Author Topic: Are older houses better constructed than todays cookie cutter homes?  (Read 1936 times)

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
I have one house that is 75 years old, another that is just under 60 and one that is now 11 years old. I've had far less problems with my older houses than my newer house. And I don't think it is because the older ones were well maintained/had new parts either.

-My roof is leaking in the garage. (Ugh!)
-The kitchen sink is leaking.
-The master bath had a leak when I bought it. They failed to disclose on the form...it was obvious from the green water having sat in the pipes when testing, and the paint marks downstairs in the ceiling. They tried to fix it but it didn't work.
-One of the toilets recently started leaking.

I am quite surprised by how quickly this house is falling apart. After a mere 11 years...


Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: Are older houses better constructed than todays cookie cutter homes?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015, 08:09:44 PM »
none of those sound like "structural" problems... I mean mostly just pipe work...
maybe that contractor just didn't do a good job

I don't mind older houses if the foundation is still good. The rest need updating like electric work and hvac system if it hasn't been done before. Grew up in a 100+ year old plantation house, I remember not having outlets in every room, just main ones :D

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Are older houses better constructed than todays cookie cutter homes?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2015, 10:42:40 PM »
Yeah, its mostly plumbing. Heading to Home Depot in the am to get something to seal suspected leak spot.

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Are older houses better constructed than todays cookie cutter homes?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 06:32:32 AM »
I believe the engineering today is better as well as the materials, but construction worksmanship is poor.

You had craftsmen back in the day. Father taught son and they had  pride in their work.

Today, in the interest of profit, the selection of employees is what they cost, not what they know.

NorCal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 778
Re: Are older houses better constructed than todays cookie cutter homes?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2015, 07:34:22 AM »
I think there's a survivorship bias as well.  Homes that were well made 75 years ago are still around.  Homes that were poorly made 75 years ago don't exist anymore.  Or at least so much work has been done to them that they're not recognizable anymore.

I've seen a range of qualities in new homes.  Some seem pretty good, others look like they'll fall apart in a decade.

soupcxan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 181
Re: Are older houses better constructed than todays cookie cutter homes?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2015, 08:19:48 AM »
Remember when a 2x4 was actually two inches by four inches? And now it's 1.5x3.5! /Get off my lawn.

Generally though, I think materials are engineered better and design is more precise, but cost pressures have tried to take too much cost out of materials and labor is less skilled than ever.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 08:21:33 AM by soupcxan »

Abe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1265
Re: Are older houses better constructed than todays cookie cutter homes?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2015, 11:21:25 AM »
Agree with survivorship bias - many poorly made houses in the newly developed suburbs from 1950s have been demolished due to structural issues after several decades. The same will probably happen with today's houses. The question is how long are houses "expected" to last?