victorian/edwardian houses or new houses?

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It would depend on the older housing stock. If it's all back to back terraces built next to th'pit, I can understand the preference for a new house.
However, if it's good Victorian or Edwardian stock built in a decent part of town it will be closer to the amenities than some faceless new house built on a flood plain or other land that nobody else wants.

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On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 13:12:05 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman

Take a South Yorkshire pit village and demolish t' pit and pretty soon it's just as chocolate -boxy as a village in the Cotswolds.
Back to back houses are OK if well built specially of stone. But by and large they are too small to bring a family up in. OK for people who's kids have flown the nest.

My house was built in 1972. It's been well maintained but what worries me is that the "London Brick Co" "Heather" bricks seem to be deteriorating, surfaces spalling off in patches. Corners and edges rounding off. WTH do you do about that?
DG
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derek wrote in message ...

Either live with it, bearing in mind that the bricks are 4.5" thick and losing an inch is not that significant or buy a few spares, cut them in halves lengthways and after creating a suitable hole around the existing brick, cement in half a brick. Much easier and stronger than trying to replace a complete brick. Alternatively, render the outside wall. London brick company commons are very soft and frequently show surface spall. That's why better houses use "stock" bricks, which are a different clay and fired at a higher temperature AIUI.
Regards Capitol
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Or install exterior insulation and clad it in timber.
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derek wrote:

Well it would take a couple of hunderd years for the trees to grow back, but, yes, I see your point.

When I were a lad...etc. etc.
They are fine up to toddle stage, as are flats with communal play areas.
I agree that after that its nice to have more space.

Render it and paint it?

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I think its the wrong question to start with.
Houes come in a range of conditions and lifespans irrsepective of when they are put up.
Ther are some truisms around to illusdtate
(i) Old houses that have stood for 300+ years are probably, lucky, well maintained, or well built.
(ii) EVERY house needs a minor upgrade every 15 years, and a major one (up to 30% of the cost of replacement) every 60 years. Its also true to say that older woners mend and make do to take em up to the 60 year mark: When they die, its usually time for a massive gutting and modernisation.
(iii) A brilliant house in a crap location is worth less than a crap house in a brilliant location.
None of thes issues really answers the OP's question,. becaue its the wrong question. There are good and bad examples of both.
The question you should be asking is, whether THIS house, at a price I can get it, represents good value for money to ME, with my (nonexistent? or not?) DIY skills.
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wrote:

Agreed, though the advantage of a crap house in a brilliant location is that the planners will probably let you knock it down and build something else. If it's vaguely historical, house and land may be worth less than the land would be on its own.
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A relative has a 20 year old large house. They have just replaced all the windows to double glazed sealed windows, and most of CH system needs replacing as some rads are starting to rot. It was installed incorrectly and was sucking in air for the first 5 years of its life. The boiler is a very inefficient cast iron job, so a real re-do needed. The gutters also show signs of wear too. The downstairs toilet was always slow in emptying. It needs a HepVo in the basin to vent it. The roof tiles have lots of moss growing on them as well.
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Then they'll be wondering why there is mould growing on the walls....

That's incompetent installation and lack of maintenance.

Why?
That's simply bad design and installation. Toilets are hardly rocket science......

That's no real issue and can easily be removed. I quite like to see a certain amount of lichens on roof tiles. It makes them look more interesting.....

.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

I've been wondering about that - this year, I noticed a few small clumps of emerald green moss here and there on my roof. Is it likely to do any damage? If so, what sort of damage? An uncle who saw it, insisted it needed to be removed immediately, as it would damage the roof.
Sheila
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Apparently lichens only grow in places of low atmospheric pollution, so it's a good indicator of air quality, as well as any aesthetic benefit.
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but is the same true about moss? In fact, are moss and lichen synonymous? I know that lichens are rarer than they once were.
I'm sitting working looking at the roof of the house opposite, and this is liberally covered in mosses. This is sunny Twickenham, not that far out of London and close to the Heathrow flightpaths and one of London's arterial road, so whereas this might not be an area particularly high in atmospheric pollution it certainly isn't the cleanest environment.
I've taken the liberty of crossposting this to uk.rec.gardning, in the hope that one of their knowledgeable netizens may be able to throw some light on the question.
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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wrote:

I just discussed with SWMBO, who is a zoology graduate, but has also studied plant life extensively.
There are a whole spectrum of lichens and some will grow in moderately polluted conditions. Others are more sensitive to conditions, so for example you will see a richer set of lichens in a forest in Wales than you will in town.
They are a composite organism from a fungus and algae, bacteria or both.
http://www.lichen.com/biology.html
Mosses are rather different, in that theyare plants and produce chlorophyll themselves and are generally attracted to places where there is moisture - hence finding them in gutters...
Clearly it makes sense to remove moss from gutters to avoid them cloggin and water running down the walls, but there is no reason to remove them or lichens from roofs. Arguably there is more risk of damage from blasting with a pressure washer or from use of chemicals.
.andy
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I heard recently on some environmental thing on R4 about the effects of pollution on buildings. All this is subject to the vagiaries of my memory, but I think I've remembered the gist of it right: In Victorian times, they burnt loads of sulphorous coal, and got gypsum (or something) deposits on buildings. Now, with all the petroleum fuel being used, there's hardly any sulphur, but loads of nitrogen-containing stuff -- which means that these days it's easier for plants/algae/etc to grow on buildings.
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"Andy wrote in message >

synonymous?
Actually, since the Clean Air Act came into force (yes I remember that!) the pollution has reduced drastically. Most came from coal fires and those of us of a certain age will remember those horrid yellow filthy smogs every winter in the good old days. Whilst most pollution still comes from the home, central heating etc, vehicle pollution has made drastic reductions too in recent years, in fact the pollution from cars is a reversing trend despite more and more on the roads. Because of this Litchens can now be seen on many rooftops, walls and trees, even in towns, which is something one never saw when I was a kid. Take a look as you drive along, you will spot some roofs covered with grey litchens.
I seem to remember Kew saying recently that they were on the acendancy in their garden and you aren't too far from there.

True, it's a bit like Ivy, you do the damage getting it off.
Whilst there are some "green" roofs in the UK (Notcutts GC in Staines for one) it is a strongly growing trend on the continent the idea being that building a house and then having a green roof does not reduce the green habitat for parts of the animal kingdom one bit. It's a bit like building underground especially for the flying insects/birds. So whilst moss in your gutters is not good, on the roof it isn't a problem.
Incidentally in certain parts of the country people used to plant Houseleeks ( Semperivivum tectorum ?) on their roofs to ward against Witches and lightening. Plant them on the sunny side of the house. :-)
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see
Pollution from homes: oil, gas and electricity generation, is approx 42%, so clamping down on this is very productive. The MicroGen Stirling elec/gas boiler will make a big impact here. The coming minimum 86% boiler efficiency is welcome too and will make an impact. EU regulation on gas burners, which are very clean anyhow, are tightening too.
Vehicles "are" a very large polluters, especially when they are concentrated in cities, where masses of people live. Great progress is being made on pollution from homes, in insulation standards, boiler efficiency , etc, yet there appears no immediate solution to the filthy car. Technology is there to make boilers very efficient and very clean burning, at no great cost, also by increasing insulation standards, a homes emissions can be drastically reduced. This can be done right now and people wonder why it is not being implemented. The car? Well apart from taxing larger engines, not much at all can be done. There are some advanced concept engines around, but the big corps have not yet taken up these ideas, tending not wanting any change at all.
Cars are even dirtier until the engine and exhaust is hot. So, in many cases, when the car is used to go to Safeway or the school run, the thing is hardly up to temperature before being switched off. In this period they pollute heavily. The current piston internal combustion engine needs totally replacing.
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"IMM" wrote in message> > > >>

concentrated
yet
Sorry!? I think you have that the wrong way round. The laws on vehicle pollution continue to get tougher and tougher and the manufacturers have had to comply to continue to sell vehicles. There has been massive strides in reducing pollution from cars, per mile travelled. Catalytic Converters, Electronic Engine Control, lean burn engines, two stage ignition, direct petrol injection, particle traps etc with more to come. We are significantly reducing overall pollution figures despite a massive increase in vehicles, now all we need to do is get rid of all those old polluting buses.
As for central heating, I thought the figures were they produced 80% of the greenhouse gasses produced in this country.

is
any
Not much can be done about cars? What about the exhaust emmissions laws which have worked amazingly and conuinue to get tougher, the MOT emissions tests, that's a damn sight more than is happening with central heating. Some people use boilers that are decades old and with no maintanance.
Fact is... All the major manufacturers and significant others are working flat out on Fuel Cell engines which produce no pollution except steam. Meanwhile they continue to develop even cleaner reciprocating engines. The Hydrogen to run Fuel Cells can be produced using sunlight eventually, to split water, so then we will be using the energy current account and not even extra heat will be produced above that the sun provides.

is
True but that's as much a social problem. Anyway, see my comments above.
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Bob Hobden wrote:

Wrong. The hydrogen has to be made. An innefficent process that burns as much, if not more, fossil fuel than any other form of transport.
Better to use batteries, and then whilst the electricity generation is still
an issue, as with hydrogen, at least there is no need to build a huge
new infrasturcture of hydrogen supply and handling equipment.
A car that will do 300 miles between an overnigh charge of 9-10 hours at 20 Amps is technically feaisble and hads been demonstrated. Got about 600bhp as well, and under 1.5 tons weight.

I doubt that it can in any real quantity. The energy per unit area falling on teh earh is probably best used to make e.g. biomass, which is about teh most efficient process we have available.
However the real simple answer that dare not speak its name, is 'why the fuck do we need to go anywhere at all' and the answer is, mostly we don't.
Lets face it most of what we do could be done in front of a console from home, if we had to.
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And just how do you think electricity to charge the batteries is produced? With a loss approaching 30% at every stage: thermal value of fuel for power station to power delivered at charger (taking in power loss in transmission lines), charging the accumulator, discharging the accumulator all taken into account, the net result is a great deal more pollution to propel your so-called clean electric vehicle.
Unless, of course, *YOU* can differentiate between the reciprocating electrons which are being excited by wind or hydro power........

And?
Much more efficient to burn the hydrogen in a reciprocating (or rotary) engine than to convert it through a fuel cell to run an electric motor, though electrically propelled vehicles do have the potential to convert the slowing down process back into usable power.

And I suppose the goods we need will be delivered through the telephone wires too? When I go shopping I visit a number of outlets. I can see what I want to buy, and reject what had interested me from its description. I generally share a car with a friend's family anyway, doubling the efficiency of a trip. Well, since he has a family, more than doubling it.
Sorry, your dream will never catch on.
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Jaques d'Alltrades wrote:

Well first of all, because it isn't 30% at every stage.
Thermal efficiency of a modern power station is up to 65% - more if you can use the waste heat to e.g. heat water for the neighborhood.
Elecricity generators and motors can achieve over 90%, and transformers etc are typically around the 95% plus mark.
I am not sure on distribution losses. Theortecically those can be as low as you like, by use of fatter or supercinducting cables.
My extensive experience of charge/dishcarge of secondary cells suggests that 90% convesrion or better ins not uncommon.
The big things in favour of all electric cars tho are
(i) the initial electricity generation can be done by many different things - from windmills to nuclear power stations, as well as burning non fossil fuels (biomass)
(ii) its a lot easier to scrub atmospheric pollutants from a power station flue than from a car exhaust. That doesn';t affect the hydrigen versus electric car argment tho.
(iii) we already have an electrical distribution system that has huge off peak energy availability. And that is precsiely when we would be charging our cars up. Essentally tow electrckettles overnight is all it takes power wise, to get a full days motoring (unless you intend to drive to scoitland, in which case the electric car uis stll not able to cut teh mustard, although it is feasible to fully rechage current cells in about one hour at e.g. a specially equipped 'service station'

Hydrogen would use electricity in greater quantities, needs an infrastructire to distribute and store it, It simpkly isn't there as a road fuel. Fuel cells are possibly better, but they don't seem to work yet and they have top produce some end producs that need disposal. And they stll use fossil fuel. OR very expemsive synthetic fuel.

Its here, it works. It needs nothing extra to be used immediately. It simply shifts teh burden of energy back to teh power stations, where it can actually be dealt with in a planned way, according to whatever policy you have in mind.
Its just horrendously expensive on batteries right now. However the technology is advancing at huge rates, it has been done, it can be done, and I actually costed out how much it would cost ME to do it. Under 100,000 using multiple cell phone type batteries. If trhat cannoty be knocked down ny a gfactor of 5 I would be very surprised...

Yes, but generating the hydrogen is inefficient in the first place, as is the means of delivering it.
How much desle does it take to deliver each liter ifdiesel to your pump/
How much ti drive there and collect it?
Its cheaper to deliver electricty than almost anything else.

Well, I don't. Apart from fresh food, and touchy-feely items, 90% of what i buy is done on the net now. I make my living off it now. Days go by when I don't even get into the car.
The economies of scale really work with delivery driving. One van, going from depot to door, can carry as much as 15 cars going to te shops and back.
One worker, sitting at a PC, not only saves (in our case) about 3500 quid a year in transport charges, but 4 hours a day commute time, not to mention all the hours sitting in the bog, chatting near the coffee machine etc etc.
We reckoned that 20% more productivity at 65% of the cost was the difference between home working and going to work.

It has. In my case, and in millions of others. E-shopping and home working is steadily becoming not 'unsual' but 'minority normal'
Give it 5 years..and some tax breaks to encourage it...

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