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Old 02-24-2017, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
16,276 posts, read 28,772,448 times
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Our home was built in 1962 and is built very well.

I have seen many newer tract homes that had low grade materials although the style looked amazing. Around here the style and design of homes has improved although the materials used seem flimsy.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:03 PM
 
3,205 posts, read 2,075,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treeluvr View Post
My opinion: Houses built after 1960 seem to be poorly constructed compared to those built in earlier decades. I think this is true for tracts homes and large developments. These are purely money-making ventures--less incentive to build quality. Most recently built houses also seem to have a lot less style.

Of course, when someone custom builds, the quality/style can be much better.
Hahahahaha

My first house was a two-story with walk-up attic built in 1924.

The house had beautiful wooodwork, but the studs were literally anywhere from 18" to about 29" apart, asbestos and lead paint was EVERYWHERE, and every angle in the house was off-square.

This house was part of an allotment built to house workers at the local steel plant, brought in from western Pennsylvania and thereabouts.

It is a myth that there was EVER a time when quality was the rule, in just about any field or endeavor. There has always been a market for shabbily constructed cheaply priced products, just as there has always been a (smaller) market for well made, premium priced products. The secret is knowing the difference between the two.

The one thing that comes to mind that did NOT follow this metric is paper. Pretty much all paper before about 1850 was a high quality product made from rags, and pretty much all of it made after the 1860's was a self destructive junk product made from wood pulp.

This is why just about all of the surviving newspapers from the early 1800's will be in far better condition than newspapers a few decades old.

Last edited by rugrats2001; 02-24-2017 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
36,951 posts, read 64,295,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugrats2001 View Post
Hahahahaha

My first house was a two-story with walk-up attic built in 1924.

The house had beautiful wooodwork, but the studs were literally anywhere from 18" to about 29" apart, asbestos and lead paint was EVERYWHERE, and every angle in the house was off-square.

This house was part of an allotment built to house workers at the local steel plant, brought in from western Pennsylvania and thereabouts.

It is a myth that there was EVER a time when quality was the rule, in just about any field or endeavor. There has always been a market for shabbily constructed cheaply priced products, just as there has always been a (smaller) market for well made, premium priced products. The secret is knowing the difference between the two.


Or, as John Ruskin keenly observed in the 19th century (when they were building all those timeless masterpieces) :
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey."

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/q...kin395451.html
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Sector 001
9,280 posts, read 7,790,449 times
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As long as they're not using particleboard and are using OSB or Plywood and the lumber is built to code there's no reason today's homes won't last 100 years. Where they'll cut corners more is in areas they are allowed.. using cheap builder grade interior components, and things of that sort. If anything we hit the low point and technology will allow homes to be built less expensive with better quality going forward. Buying a new home has always been a gamble of sorts. The idea they never cut corners to save money is kind of silly.

Code improvements make modern homes attractive.. better electrical, drainage, plumbing, insulation, etc.

A home should be purchased based more on what price you get and how easily you can sell it for a profit minus any improvements you need to make. Get a good home inspection before buying.

Older homes can perhaps stand more neglect due to hardwood tolerating moisture better, but if you're getting moisture intrusion rotting wood is the least of your concerns.

Homes will always be money pits.. you're gambling it's value will appreciate faster than what you put into it for maintenance costs, realtor and bank fees, etc. In my case I did pretty well.

Last edited by sholomar; 02-24-2017 at 03:37 PM..
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Nesconset, NY
2,202 posts, read 3,790,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubiquecartas View Post
We were talking about construction quality and a realtor remarked that she feels that houses built in the 1980s don't seem to be as well constructed around here (in MA). I know that corners have always been cut and that every builder is different. That said, in your experiences, were homes in your area built less well during a particular decade?
The worst constructed homes are those being built using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). It's not that MMC is inherently bad, it isn't, but it does require conscientious and well-trained builders, as well as, a complete absence of anything that would endanger the structural integrity of any part of the structure (fire, flood, excessive settling, wind shear, termites, dry rot, etc.). MMC avoids all redundancies and excessive tolerances in structural members. It's really revolutionary and fantastic.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,921 posts, read 68,889,584 times
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Quality and especially craftsmanship have decayed since about the 1950s. Craftsmen were replaced with production line type workers. No more carpenters, now we have nail gun operators. However technological advances have made up for a lot of deficiencies in materials, methods and cost cutting.

Which is the worst decade depends on what you want to look at. Worst for foundations, water control and the like? Probably around the 1880 or 1890s when they were building houses fast and furious but lacked technology related to drainage we have today.

Worst decade for surviving a tornado or hurricane? Take your pick from 1970 - today.

Worst decade for houses that will last past the typical mortgage? again you get to pick, late 1980s through the early 2000s.

Lumber for example has gotten weaker and less reliable since the 1930s. I was told compared to an old growth yellow pine true sized 2x4, many modern forced grown pine of fir 2x4s have less than 1/100s the strength. But they are propped up by advances in engineering, truss construction, panels, and other things.

Fire protection has made major advances, yet lightweight construction (trusses) often used in smaller hotels and similar buildings are so dangerous in a fire some fire protection agencies have special rules for entry (which mostly translate to "don't enter").

Old balloon framed homes that do not have fire stops or fire retardant insulation added, can have fire jump between floors in a second or two. Plaster is stronger, and more fire resistant than drywall, especially the new 3/8" drywall used in cheaply built homes.

Newer homes built with steel studs and framing are very durable and resistant to fire, wind, pretty much anything. Concrete panel construction is great in all situations except maybe earthquakes.

On the other hand, Balloon framing is stronger against certain types of loads (like wind). Log cabins are extremely durable but dangerous in an earthquake and require regular maintenance.

New homes are sealed up tight and leave you re-breathing the same air, collect moisture, enhance mold growth. Older homes allow more air infiltration, breathe, but they are harder to heat and cool.

One difference is that the existing older homes are mostly the ones that have survived catastrophes. The poorly build ones are gone. While not universally true, it tends to be generally true. Newer homes are mostly poorly built and are intentionally designed to last no more than 30 years before they need replacing, but there are some exemplary custom homes, high tech materials and nethods etc that will last 100 years.

There really is no way to answer the question, except to say "it depends" .
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
28,148 posts, read 18,490,100 times
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My first house as a newly married adult was built in 1956. We moved in in 1971. Our next house was built in 1965, and we moved into it in 1974. Our next house was built in 1979, and we moved into it in 1986 and lived there 26 years before moving into our present house in 2012, which was built in 2002.

Which house seemed built the best? The house we are in now, honestly. I think our first house was built fine in terms of quality, but the next seemed to of lesser quality. The worst one was the house built in 1965.

Our first three homes were still standing and in excellent shape when we left them. But we had taken care of them, and I think the care we gave them is key. Even a well built house can finally get a leaky roof, or have tree roots in its sewers, or can have mice overrun it. Even more than the actual build of the house, I think the systems should be checked; it is the plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling that can be costly to fix. Another thing to look for is whether all the bathroom and kitchen drains use one pipe. (A signifier of cutting costs, IMO.)

A well built home, built in 1955 will likely not have enough electric outlets for a modern family. It might not be able to accommodate a dishwasher. It might get overloaded circuits with new appliances. It might have outdated plumbing, or problems in pipes. Its furniace might be inefficient. So, even though it has the lumber in its bones, and even though its walls are truly square, it isn't necessarily up to speed for the 21st century. Imagine setting up a home network in such a home. (This can be hard in an older home.)

There are always people who think things built in the past are built better than they are now. And, I applaud people who take older homes and bring them up to speed, while honoring their original style. Bravo to those who do. But I know that there were plenty of older homes that were built badly. Choosing a home based on the year it was built seems to me to be an odd way to choose a home. I recommend choosing a home based on your needs and pocketbook and your DIY ability and motivation.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:37 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
20,663 posts, read 21,723,795 times
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I would be concerned if (1) increased costs for quality building materials has initiated the use of cheaper low quality building materials used in new construction, and (2) low quality building materials are affecting finds in building inspections.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:24 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
36,735 posts, read 40,870,108 times
Reputation: 44282
Around here the 1970's were a very bad decade. Lot of cheap crappy homes were built.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:43 PM
 
3,475 posts, read 5,670,082 times
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Quote:
Around here the 1970's were a very bad decade. Lot of cheap crappy homes were built.
Fox & Jacobs for the win! *snort*
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