Is this just me?

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Is this just me? or do others think that the new houses they are building today are ugly? They were running one of those realtor shows on tv and I did not like any of the new homes. They all look like boxes. I will admit that I have an artistic taste and like lots of gingerbread like the old houses had, and I also do not like the look of vinyl siding, but it's more than that. New houses are just plain ugly. If I had the choice, I'd rather have an older home, and thats based solely on appearance. (I also know older homes are built better as far as the lumber used). Of course I am aware that older homes generally lack enough insulation, and need to be replumbed and rewired. But I'd still have an older house.
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Around hear (Sacramento CA Area) there is a wide variety of new homes styles. But it seems the style is this grand appearance with tall ceilings and very open. Well they do look good but a lot of the design is For lack of better words non functional more show than livable. But if you look you can find the best of both worlds. As for Quality, track homes and quality very seldom meet. Our older home was built in 1963 definitely quality construction, for 63 the design was all right but nothing like newer homes. The house we just bought was built in 91 you can see the quality is lacking, but I new that going in and am about 90% remodeled. It's kind of a give and take how much do you want to put in a older home verses buying a newer home. In our older home I would of had to enlarge kitchen, up grade AC & heat, patio room needed to be torn out the cost for everything was just to much for the area. There is just so many ways to look at it.
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Cost. Everything comes down to $$$.
If you look at many of the older homes there are varied roof lines, alcoves, dormers, all sorts of architectural niceties that take time to frame, more time to roof, side, drywall, etc. Rectangles save money.
Many now have garages facing the front and look bland that way also. This is cheaper than having a side facing door and the curved driveway that it needs. Add some of the fancy trims, porticos, eaves, etc and you can easily add $5k to $50 tot he price of the house. Can you afford it and if so, do you want that or the latest appliances in the kitchen and the plasma TV in the game room?
Are new houses better made? Some are, many are not. Lumber is not as good as the old growth, but some of the laminates and engineered beams are stronger, lighter, more warp resistant so if used properly, they will endure.
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alcoves,
easily
A lot of the big builders are going to steel studs, never warped at one time cost about half.
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The price of steel has gone crazy so some of the price advantage is gone but the are still straight. . Seems as though everything has been going crazy. If I was to build today, I'd go with insulating concrete forms for good energy efficiency. Cost to build is competitive with stick built but heating cost is down about 60%. www.polysteel.com www.standardicf.com
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On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 19:37:00 +0000, Sacramento Dave wrote:

What about the cost of the electrician? Surely they're not using Romex in steel studded walls?
--
Keith

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Any experiences or guesses about how many "builders" use engineered beams? My gut feeling is many if not most builders are just HMO spelled differently!
wrote:

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wrote:

Let's be real You need plasma tvs in the bedroom also, and the kids' rooms after they are old enough to want one.
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The reason older houses seem so much better is that all the cheap, poorly designed and built ones were torn down a long time ago, and only the good ones are left standing. Most people lived in ugly drafty homes that they didn't own. No bank would give you a mortgage with less than 40% down so good design and workmanship (not to mention gingerbread) was just a dream for most people. So now when so many more people can afford to buy a house (or at least are led to believe that they can) there's a high demand for ugly rectangular tract homes that can make anyone's American dream come true. A hundred years from now they'll mostly be gone and someone will be pining for the great old houses that were built in 2005.
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On Sun, 18 Dec 2005 11:04:43 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Las Vegas can average 8.x houses on an acre of tract land. Only about 15% of Nevada is privately owned, which helps keep values up. You have a 2X6 outside frame, "tar paper and chicken wire" and stucco shot on by hose. Some places you can turn the hose and start the next house or fence. USA has become dense, faster everything We live in the "microwave" society and every thing is fast. I appreciate the older things, not like when I was younger.
Peace!
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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I have to go to Las Vegas about once or twice a year. I'm still amazed at the number of houses being built at any one time. They all look pretty much alike. Three different colors of roof tile depending on the development, all the same color stucco. Not for me, but a lot of people still moving in there.
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Being in the residential construction industry the only way to make money is to hurry up and get to the next one. It may be true that houses aren't built as good as they used to be but new homes don't cost as much as they used to relatively speaking. When I here people complain about the poor craftmanship in their new home I usually tell them "If this house was built the right way, you couldn't afford to live in it".
Edwin Pawlowski Wrote: > snipped-for-privacy@at.us wrote in message

--
kirk28

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On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 02:05:32 +0000, kirk28

I've said something similar for a long time.
"Thank goodness for cheap houses, or I'd have no house at all"
Although lately I've felt that it isn't so cheap at all. My girlfriend 22 years ago had a house that cost 3 times as much, but other than being bigger, with a big lot, it seemed about the same.
(My nice home built in 1955 had silver-colored doorknobs and I think silver door hinges for the bathroom, to match the silver faucets etc. Her semi-custom built house had gold like all the other doors, and silver fixtures. (OTOH, the fool I bought this house from painted all the hinges the first year the house existed.))

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The things I hate the most about new houses are the crap they they call lumber (particle boards for roofs!) and all the plastic crap and oversized houses with vaulted celiings. I'd rahter have an attic that I can store stuff in or superinsulate and have access to for maintenence.
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On 19 Dec 2005 07:12:35 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You hit this one right on the nail. The reason the houses are so bland, is because they build them way too big. And part of the reason they are so big is because there are no usable attics and such for storage. Then all that space has to be heated and cooled, and cleaned. I wouldn't even want a house as big as most of the new ones. Give me a smaller house build of solid materials, WITH an attic and basement, and make it look nice. It dont need to be real fancy, just use a few angles, and a little gingerbread trim, and NO plastic siding. I lived in a house most of my life that was about 900 sq. ft. and had a useable attic which had one finished room, and a nice basement. That was plenty room for me.
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wrote:

I agree with everyone in tihs thread, Just a few comments.
Jerry-built homes have been around for a long time. All alike. In a way row houses and town houses are the same thing.
When I lived in NYC I made a point to go out to long Island to look at ?? My mind is a blank. (there is another town by the same name just north of Philadephia. ) .... Levittown! Tiny houses built for vets for wwii, and the GI bill, built I think between 1948 and 1952, I saw them about 1980 and they didn't look so similar anymore. 90% had ahead additions built on them. And they had trees and bushes and different colors that made them look different. they were still in good condition but it was onl 30 years. (Maybe I'll have time to see the one near Philly, which should be about 55 years old now.)
I can't quite see how my house will last 100 years, even though the n'hood is in good condition after 25. (Of course I was in great condition when I was 25!)
Still, the homes of my grandparents are still around. You know, I don't know where on the scale they were when they were built. And none of my grandparents had any money when they got to the US, but I'm not sure how they were doing when they bought the houses I know about.
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Hell, keep it dry and the paint in good condition and a shack would last a hundred years. It's all a matter of maintenance and materials. Some maintain easier than others, it's usually inversely proportional to their cost. Cheap stuff requires more maintenance, more expensive stuff usually requries less. Good, fast, cheap... pick two. Pay now or pay later, etc.
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wrote:

I easily give the wrong impression here. Levittown was privately built and privately bought. I think that the biggest market was from WWII vets who were just getting married, but that was certainly not required. The town near Philly doesn't just have the same name, it catered to the same market.
I don't know why Imentioned the GI Bill. I didn't get any sleep last night, but I don't think that had anything to do with it.

And WK, I'll try to keep my house lasting in v. good condition, at least until I move or die (of course dying will probably require moving.) So far, my neighbors are pretty much doing the same, and the HomeOwner documents allow us to repair their homes if they don't, and to bill them for it, and if they don't pay, to foreclose, and sell to someone who will probably do much better. I don't think it has ever gone that far.
Since 1980 or earlier in Md. or central Md. no new n'hood can be built by one builder (or maybe even by many) without a homeowner's association. Although it doesn't have to meet, I think they all have powers like this, which they can call upon if necessary.
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There were three Levittowns total. New York, north of Philly, and one was in New Jersey and in the 1970's they changed the name to Willingboro.

The one in Philly was built in at least two stages. The first was off Rt 13, the second was more west, has some larger houses, and ran into Route 1. IIRC, there were five diferent houses and they were also turned on the lot 90 degrees in the series so no two next to each other would be the same. They were mass produced and very reasonable in cost.

You can be certain I'd not move there. I will not live where there is an HOA.
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wrote:

Thanks. Very interesting.

Sounds like they learned from the repetitveness on long island. Maybe I should go see this one too

I guess we will only be neighbors from afar!
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