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nealtw 04-05-2013 02:58 PM

Your house is how old?
Houses are designed to last thirty years.
So if your house is close to thirty years old some of the things that should be expected are.
If you have the original roof, it needs to be inspected every other year.

Installation of windows has changed over the years, even with new windows, were they installed correctly.

The water pipes are likely grey plastic, which hasn't been used for twenty years and is at the end of it's life, even copper is only rated for thirty years.

Alumium wiring, safe enough if installed properly but now your house has had years worth of people making little changes and light fixture changes, were those connections made properly. If you have ever just bent a paper clip a few times it will break, aluminium wire will break like that too. So a light fixture that has been changed a few time over the years, how meny time have those wire ends been bent and twisted. They don't have to break to become hot spots.

The origanal furnace is at the end of it's life and is likey waisting energy.

The waterproofing on the foundation, if done anywhere close to whats done today is likely going to give up soon. If the concrete foundation was put in with ready forms, the little metal ties that held the forms together are rusting and at some point allow water thru the wall.

The down spouts were connected to the perimeter drain which has long since filled with tree roots and mud.

This posting is a result of a story told to me about a house that was refurbished by a flipper and bought by the home owner about a year ago

JoeD 04-05-2013 08:46 PM

Who ever said houses are designed to last 30 years?

Blue Jay 04-06-2013 04:37 PM

The latest addition to the house I grew up in was probably over 30 years old when we moved in in 1949. Looking at the different construction it was built in 4 phases, original was 1 room, the floor joist are hand hewed logs just flat on one side. So much for 30 years!

nealtw 04-07-2013 09:11 PM

Lot's of houses will last for hundreds of years, but wouldn't be nice if people understud what they might be in for before they bought that older house?

bud16415 04-09-2013 05:53 AM

My house was built in 1880 and is going strong. The new house I’m looking at now is much more modern being built around 1930.

A few years ago I was in Italy and I was talking with a local guy about their roofing systems and he said I can never figure out you Americans and asked how long our roofs last. I proudly said if everything is done properly they will last 30 years. He said get in the car I have to show you some roofs. As we drove down his street he pointed to a place and said that roof is 12th century and around the corner here is one that is 9th century and we finally stopped at a place that looked like it needed a lot of work but the roof looked good still and he said now here you go this roof is 5th century. My 130 year old house seemed fairly new when I got back.

I am always amazed at the yellow pine used to frame my house when I drill into it the pitch warms up from the drill and smells like fresh cut pine still.

nealtw 04-09-2013 08:51 AM

All I'm saying is when someone buys a 30 year old house that has been made beautiful again.
The basement still may leak.
It still might have old plumbing, wiring.
Rot and or damaged structure.
Evan if the work was done with permits, alot of stuff may not have been addressed.

Jimbo56 04-10-2013 05:58 AM

In my opinion older houses have a nicer feel than new builds. I would take a older house with its little problems over a new build any day.

drewdin 04-10-2013 06:13 PM

1927 here, strong as a bull.

Prettygoodist 04-13-2013 08:41 AM

The assessor site puts my house at 1913. I bought it in foreclosure in 2007 and have spent most of my free time since then working on it. It's a California bungalow (that's what I was told, I'm in the midwest) with a great covered front porch, beautiful maple floors, lots of windows and 9 foot ceilings that make it seem like a much bigger house than it is.

Still, I'm tired of owning a house this old. As I sat on the peak last October, putting the last few cap shingles on my new roof, I thought of all the things it still needs and decided I don't want to spend the next chunk of my life working on this old house. I do home repair for a living and while I know I will always tinker with my house, I want something a little newer so that I can do more choosing of my projects instead of addressing pressing needs.

I'm a fan of mid-century modern houses and will be looking to move in that direction. I think they have a good balance of not being so old that everything's starting to rot, yet being old enough to have been made with a higher quality lumber than a lot of stuff from the last 20-30 years.

One of the more curious features of my old house that also worries me a lot is the foundation walls. I've only seen 1 or 2 other houses like this although I'm sure it's probably not that rare. The poured concrete only comes up to ground level, about 4 feet. From ground up it's wood frame with cement stucco on the outside and plaster on the inside. The bottom 2x4 sitting on top of the cement wall is understandably in pretty rough shape in some spots. I've repaired a couple of sections already and have at least one more to do that I know about. I don't understand the thinking behind this design, to have wood basically sitting on the ground. I will say that the house is perfectly level and sag-free, but I have a hard time understanding how?

nealtw 04-15-2013 06:58 PM

Prettygoodist: I too have been guilty of buying houses with way to much work to do and like you I knew what I was getting into and wouldn't complain about it. My complaint is the new homeowner who thinks a house is a house and you make it a home by moving in. With all the professionals they come into contact with still have no idea of some of the things that can go wrong. I hope you are raising the foundation or lowering the ground level at your house but there are some areas where you can build a wood foundation on a wood mud sill.

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