quality of building materials/products

Hi All,
I think that over the past 25-30 yrs, the quality of materials and products has gone down - not just a little bit either. Anybody else seeing this?
I was musing that it seems like industrial engineers have found yet another way to save us some time -- sell us products that we can buy, bring home, unwrap and throw away. We no longer have to wear out the stuff we buy - it's worthless right from the package! :-)
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My observations as a homeowner AND part-time handyman.... Yes, "contractor grade" materials are worse than ever. Any crap that the contractor can get away with is fine (with the contractor). If a contrator can save 25 cents one something that will cost the homeowner $100 down the line, it's better to save the 25 cents. "Contractor grade" tools are better than average, though. Now that Home Depot and similar are almost the ONLY place for consumers to get building materials, the "discount" is gone and those stores have become merchandising centers rather than do-it-yourself/discount centers. Some materials don't HAVE to be very good, though, because the results are due more to craftsmanship, so you have to learn what quality of what is sufficient. -B

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greg Hunter wrote:

I disagree. First there are some new products that are far better than anything available 30 years ago. Next high quality products are available today if you want to pay the price. After inflation the price for those high quality products are no more than they were 30 years ago.
If you look around at thirty year old stuff, you will generally find more quality than you will see in today's homes. I suggest two reasons for that. First there is the choice made by builders and buyers for price over quality. We all make that choice. Second is the survival of the fittest. The cheapest built homes from 30 years ago are less likely to still be around and those that are will have had much of the really cheap stuff upgraded. Few people tear out quality materials to replace it with junk. However many of us tear out cheap stuff to replace it with something better.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joseph Meehan wrote:

You must like all man made synthetic plastics with no life in it as a building material. I live in a 10 year old custom built house. When I go to today's show homes, it just turns me off. I don't want to have another house built at any cost. Also not only material, the quality of trades people are not upto par either. My house was built by an old German carpenter. He hammered every single nail with his own hands. Never even thinking about pneumatic nailers for an example. He is now retired. Poor quality material plus bad attitude of most trades people, results in poorly built structure with just good looking. I feel sorry for young first time buyers who does not know much about house construction. Old houses over 100 years still standing, do you think new houses they build now will last even 50 years from now? Tony P.S. Wonder why the brand new terminal roof cracked in Paris airport(?)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'll bet he prefers LVL beams that can span further than steel, take up less space, need less support and can be shaped to fit more dramatic spaces. I'll bet he prefers the marbles, slates, granites and other stones that can be had economically now that computer-guided cutting tools can work them efficiently, when in the past they were too difficult to accurately shape to be affordable. I'll bet he prefers the halogen lighting, low voltage fixtures and computer-controlled zones unavailable even a decade ago.

He built one tenth the quantity of homes possible with pneumatic tools, and those nails he so lovingly hammered are more susceptible to loosening and nail pops than pneumatically driven ones. As his wood dries, it's far more likely to twist, check and crack, and squeaks will be far more prevealent in his creation than most new homes today.

The phallacy is believeing that 100 year old homes are better simply because they're still here. They are far less energy efficient, lack most modern conveniences, and will cost far more in upkeep. Most housing, no matter how poor, will last 50 years with normal maintenance, or even a century or so. And of those homes built 100 years ago, nearly 90% are no longer standing or have been so remodeled or updated as to no longer qualify as older homes.

Bad engineering, same as that silly tower in Pisa that almost fell over.
But please feel free to stay in your ten year old home for the rest of your life. Everyone has different preferences, and the fredom to exercise them.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Cochran wrote:

My last house was build in 1892. Yeah, you read that right - 112 years old. I personally removed all the asbestos, rewired the place, replumbed. I know the difference between the stuff built today and yesterday. The low-to-medium price stuff of yesteryear compares favorably with the stuff halfway to 7 figures (and up) today.
A few materials or materials processing (ferro-cement, et al) may be superior today but in general - the materials of today have been a disappointment to me.
BTW, your attitude sucks.
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Cochran wrote:

After 10 years, R2000 spec. house I am living in has no squeaks, no nothing wrong with structure. Engineering? Computer simulation? I have a family full of all kinds of engineers here including myself. Phoo-ee. I still love old ways. Wish young people know to appreciate and learn from it. Tony P.S. I just finished my cabin, hand hewn Swedish log home.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greg Hunter wrote:

Sure. Take framing lumber...
I remember watching carpenter's frame houses before the war...nice straight, clear stuff. They would have burned what's used today.
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

old-growth stuff, and what little that is left (usually way up in Canada) that isn't in protected areas is like gold. I understand there is still a lot of old-growth left in the isolated areas of former USSR. If somebody comes up with a cheap way to move that halfway around world, it'll be a gold mine.
I could cry when I think of all the clear-grain I threw on the burn pile as a kid- 1x8 non-jointed redwood etc, 'only' 2 feet long, etc. Who knew?
aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ameijers wrote:

Typically needs 150 trees to build a house. As renewable resource, we have farm trees and manage it. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 07 Jun 2004 19:23:14 -0400, Greg Hunter

No. Though lately the quality of posters in this group may be heading South...
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You get what you pay for. Since most people want it cheap cheap cheap, they get low low low quality. If you have inferior (read cheap) contractors, then you'll get a bad job. Simple as that. Quality = money and a lot of people don't see that.
On Mon, 07 Jun 2004 19:23:14 -0400, Greg Hunter

Remove NO-SPAM from email address when replying
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.