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Old 02-25-2017, 12:13 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,496 posts, read 7,058,146 times
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In my experience 46 years as a Carpenter the older the better.I just trim now but 80% is glorified cardboard even in half million $ homes.The exterior sidings and trim same crap no wood anywhere.It will last with good paint but neglect it once and watch it swell up first rain or snow it will fail. Same with fake stucco with a poor or no drain plane.My home was built in 1896 and is 100% wood and will outlast anything built today. I will not side a house today unless cement board or wood to much liability and callbacks.
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:04 PM
 
2,801 posts, read 1,255,328 times
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My contractor told me that anything built from the 1980s on, in terms of real estate development housing, is garbage. He recommended--in general--anything built before the 1970s.
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:10 PM
 
2,801 posts, read 1,255,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
The newer a house is the better it is. There were a lot of really poor building practices in the last century. Clay or concrete tile drain lines were one of the worst choices, followed by cast iron with leaded joints. ADS plastic drains last forever and never clog. Galvanized pipe gave way to copper, which gave way to PEX, which is essentially immortal. Building codes mandated things like hurricane clips to keep the roof from flying away, ventilation in attics and crawl spaces, adequate insulation and rebar and UFER grounds in the foundation.

If you find a house that is 50 years old in great shape, it's because somebody spent a small fortune on upgrades and repairs. My house was built 45 years ago. I bought it 22 years ago. The bozo who built it never nailed off the siding. Large areas of the attic had no insulation at all. The windows were single pane aluminum frame sliders. All the floors squeaked because they used nails instead of screws to hold the subfloor down. All those deficiencies and more have been fixed, to the tune of about $70,000. When I am dead and gone, somebody will walk in and spout, "They don't build them like they used to."
I disagree. My house is nearly 100 years old--thick plaster walls, original oak flooring, original real wood crown molding (none of that fake stuff), a bathroom built on a foot of concrete, cedar siding, etc.--and both the housing inspector and the structural engineer said that it is solid as a rock--and no inhabitant has at any time "spent a small fortune on upgrades and repairs." All houses require maintenance and upkeep over the years, but the truth is that they really don't "build them like they used to."
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:31 PM
 
4,455 posts, read 2,869,319 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicSmallHome View Post
I disagree. My house is nearly 100 years old--thick plaster walls, original oak flooring, original real wood crown molding (none of that fake stuff), a bathroom built on a foot of concrete, cedar siding, etc.--and both the housing inspector and the structural engineer said that it is solid as a rock--and no inhabitant has at any time "spent a small fortune on upgrades and repairs." All houses require maintenance and upkeep over the years, but the truth is that they really don't "build them like they used to."
Truth

WRT networks and old houses: I've had multiple iterations of a home network in my 1926 house, not because it was difficult, or because it failed, but because my needs have changed over the years, as have my main rooms for the network. I need to tweak it one more time because I will be moving my bedroom into what used to be the office and don't want the modem blinking in there all night. Comcast for some stupid reason ran a completely new line from where my cable came in, to the second floor then-office, adding splitters and a general mess in the late-90s. A few years ago when I was having connection issues, we eliminated the lower splitters and tested everything out from the basement entry point and it works fine, so I'm not sure why they didn't do that in the first place - I suppose it was easier for them to damage my siding than to run the cable through the walls like they should have. (and the problem ended up being out in the neighborhood somewhere that was taking down that entire node).

Anyway, I've found houses to be pretty solid around here to the mid-1930s or so. Then there seems to be another segment from then to through the 1960s. After that I think it's a crap-shoot. I'm in a lot of newer houses for work and am amazed - and appalled - at the cheap materials used, even in "high end" houses. Fake stones, bricks etc. I just laugh. (sorry)

I've spent the past year working in 1700s houses and wow! That wood is HEAVY. Talk about dense old growth wood. If you've never had the pleasure of feeling that, give it a try sometime. It's absolutely wonderful.
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Tri STATE!!!
5,899 posts, read 2,135,335 times
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It's only going to get worse. Walmart home depot style housing construction . When regulations are cut in this new admin we are going to see some slapped together mcmansions sold to hungry customers.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
37,465 posts, read 64,948,984 times
Reputation: 37731
Superstition about old houses being categorically supremely better will never be overcome.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:50 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 6,047,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP48G View Post
FYI many run down blighted junk suburbia of today was built before the 60s.
In my area, the same is true. However it isn't necessarily due to shoddy construction. Many of the post war 1940s and early 1950s suburbs are marred by structural obsolescence as they often only have >1000sqft, 2 or 3 bedrooms and the real deal breaker, 1 bathroom. Additionally, many only have a single car garage if they have some garage at all.

Their design, in my opinion (in addition to location in some cases), is primarily the reason we see some suburbs of this era blighted. Many are now rental homes as those that can afford to, move to larger homes more accommodating of 21st century families.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
15,296 posts, read 14,850,360 times
Reputation: 25047
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
"Immortal" is a big word... Check PEX for Zurn QPEX fittings and corrosion.

4O1A4106 by Mike Jaquish, on Flickr

4O1A4112 by Mike Jaquish, on Flickr
The PEX looks to be in excellent condition, with no apparent deterioration. The fact that they chose not to install a water softener is a separate issue. I can only imagine what the inside of the water heater looked like.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
37,465 posts, read 64,948,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
The PEX looks to be in excellent condition, with no apparent deterioration. The fact that they chose not to install a water softener is a separate issue. I can only imagine what the inside of the water heater looked like.
Begs a couple of questions...
Why is it the Zurn QPEX 1807 product line that is most commonly associated with these corrosion issues?
Did Zurn require a softener installation when using QPEX 1807 fittings?

This example happened in an area where water softeners are rarely used. Now that I check for QPEX fittings, I have seen this corrosion almost exclusively with the Zurn QPEX 1807 fittings.
My 24 year old polybutylene system exhibits nothing like this.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,128 posts, read 69,437,803 times
Reputation: 35691
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
"Immortal" is a big word... Check PEX for Zurn QPEX fittings and corrosion.
PEX done right can last virtually forever with a little maintenance. However done right means direct home runs from a manifold at the meter to each device. No intermediate connections. That is the beauty of PEX. Connections are where you get leaks, corrosion, and failure. Unfortunately few installers will actually do this properly. It does use a bot more material, but there are other benefits besides longevity. The biggest problem is it requires thinking.

In working on dozens of homes with different types of plumbing I have never seen or heard of a failure in a straight piece of pipe except for PEX that got dinged by a nail or screw. Sometimes copper piping will also get dinged with a nail or screw, but I have never seen it. I have tapped copper pipe, but it resisted the fastener. PEX on the other hand - well hanging a picture or putting up a shelf can turn your wall into a lawn sprinkler if you do not know exactly where each pipe runs. The old threaded galvanized pipe is pretty much gone. You are not going to find many houses that still have it because it rots from the inside and basically becomes solid. You still find that pipe once in a blue moon, but it is getting less and less common. CPVC is also an excellent option. It fell out of favor because of some problem with a defect in glue or tubing or something a few decades ago, but it is back and in frequent use now. I expect that in another 50 or so years, every house regardless of age will be plumber with PEX or CPVC galvanized is no longer used, and copper is on its way out (despite the best efforts and screaming and yelling of some older plumbers who are afraid to learn to use PEX).

Of course old or new homes can have PEX. My house is 181 this year and is all PEX. (Half of it was don properly with no connections, and half of it was done trunk and branch because the idiot either could not read the contract, drawings, or remember my many conversations and explanations - or maybe he thought I just would not notice. Either way, it is 100% PEX.

Old homes are not going to have the original plumbing. Heck my house did not have plumbing at all when it was built.

As for drains, cast iron drops are much better than ABS. Why? Because of noise. With vertical drops, the cast iron will virtually never rot out because the water/sewage does not is in the pipes, it just droops through them. You do not want to sit in your living room or dining room and hear the sewage rushing through the plastic pipes in your walls. Cast does not really do that. Plastic - there is no way to block out the sound. Insulation helps only a little and is too expensive for most homes.

For horizontal collector pipes, you want ABS or other plastics. There noise is less of a concern, the material is not dropping at high velocity, and the horizontal cast iron pipes do not last.

I've not seen tile sewer pipes in use in a very long time except outside the house. I did see the remains of some in one old house.
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