Re: Wooden Stud's Last Stand

wrote:

It sounds like you're really engaged in your work, AJ! :-)
Tim Carver snipped-for-privacy@twocarvers.com
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Matt,
I agree with you. We have been looking into Modular built homes. What I have seen so far are very well built homes. The last one we looked at was being built for a lawyer. It was 4000 sq. ft. with another approx. 1000 sq. ft. left unfinished for future use. Everything in the house was quality. 16" center walls and floors. Walls were all 2" x 6" floors 2" x 12".
The only thing I problem I saw were the floors. They seemed to be getting thrashed. The owner pushed her floor guy to put in the pre-finished wood floors before the site guys could get in and do what they had to do. There were some stress cracks in one of the rooms. But were fixed on site. I saw one side light window next to the entry door broken. That was it.
Now compare that to what I've seen on sites where the builders were putting up houses. OSB underlayment on floors so thrashed from rain and snow that I don't know how they were going to be able to put anything on top of it. Ceiling studs that have been patched together with screws to lengthen them. The contractor said oh yeah they are just as strong if not stronger. Placement of cabinets wrong. So much that the water and drain pipes were in the middle of the cabinet. Kitchen cabinets that were the wrong color and installed anyway. Houses left open to the weather for as long as a year waiting for subs. Some of the worse finish work I have ever seen. The list goes on. These builders were getting between $135.00 and $175.00 a sq. ft.
Compare this to a house that is built inside of a building. Buttoned up for transport with a heavy cardboard to protect the inside from weather. Brought to the site on tractor trailers. Set in position and sealed from the weather with in 8 hours. How can you beat that with a site built? You are taking a chance with any contractor. They are only as good as they can control their subs and even at that weather plays a hugh roll.
I am not saying there are not contractors out there that are really good at what they do. But finding one you can trust is the hard part. Not me I'm tired of trying. We are looking into the Modular homes. These are not trailers. These are factory stick built homes. Made with about 30 percent more wood then the national average site stick built home. These other guys will have to do better at convincing me these homes are not built above average for the money.
Roy Roy
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When I first heard of modular homes, I could see the advantages right away. The potential for much higher quality at a reduced price. The contractors, apparently, also saw the possibilities. They lobbied the state government to classify any non site built home as a mobile home (trailer to us older types) ensuring that they would never reach their full potential.
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CW wrote:

Yeah, really. Who wants to pay car taxes on his house?
One way I see people getting around that is to ship kits. I forget what the percentage is, but they can ship pre-fab stud wall sections and whatnot and still qualify as site built so long as some portion of it didn't come strapped to a pallet.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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You folks don't give termites enough credit for being sneaky. They will build a dirt tube across anything in their path to get to wood they can eat. Of course now we have those nasty Formosan termites that don't need any ground contact at all. They can start in your attic.
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Steel is the stud of choice in Centex (Fla) where my wife builds houses. The only wood framing is in the load bearing walls of 2 story segments. There is a 2 story, all steel home going up down the road from me where there isn't a stick of wood in sight. They even have steel roof trusses. Wood studs are rapidly becoming a rare thing on job sites here. The builders say the steel is a lot more dimensionally stable and straighter than wood.
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Jimmy responds:

Sounds like it. And there are areas of the south with sensible building codes, plus very strong enforcement and no kickbacks.
Charlie Self
"Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal." Alexander Hamilton
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Charlie Self said:

Yea, I noticed that after posting. I should have said, "Where I live in the South." A bit of generalization due to my ranting...
Greg G.
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Greg G notes:

I've noticed some awful building code violations in areas in FL that should be immune to such things, while I've seen excellent enforcement of reasonable codes in semi-rural areas in VA. Of course, it does help if your boss code enforcement guy is a retired Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. who was a combat engineer with 'Nam combat experience. No way to buy him. No way to scare him.
Charlie Self
"Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal." Alexander Hamilton
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Charlie Self said:

Does he have a brother? A twin? <g> We sure could use him here...
Greg G.
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Greg G asks:

Probably not many 'Nam vets still looking for that kind of job, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that there are retired Gul War I combat engineers who are fully qualified, Marines and Army. You might even find some SeaBees.
Charlie Self
"Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal." Alexander Hamilton
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Charlie Self wrote:

And no way to bull shit him. Rumor has it that would be fatal to the largest contractor in my area.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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Bill Seuret writes:

If no one worried about safety, why were mechanical brakes developed and placed in cars during the late '30s? If no one worried about safety, why was safety glass developed and used? Why did front disc brakes get developed and come into use (in the US) during the early '70s (much earlier on many specialized or expensive European cars)? The list is a lot longer, probably never ending, as the car is a never ending development process (when development money isn't ALL wasted on new sheetmetal). The government isn't the be-all and end-all in making demands for safety in vehicles.

Scheduled service on some new cars is on the order of 100,000 miles if one discounts the need for oil changes every 3-4,000 miles. Oil changes used to come every 1000 miles, plugs and points needed changing at 10,000 miles (never heard of 7500 mile tune-ups). Oil changes used to come with about 50 point grease jobs, too, and it was a good idea to check the master cylinder brake fluid level at each oil change.
Other details: stock shock absorbers weren't worth beans from the outset, and only stayed that good for about 3000 miles; if you were lucky and the roads were good, in the '50s, a bias ply tire would last 12,000 miles and the really great ones rolled on for another 3000 or so. In 1957, headlights jumped up to 12 volts (from 6), while tires dropped to 14" tubeless from 15" tubed types. Quartz-halogen lights, IIRC, came along a few years ago, but not at government insistence. One of the problems I currently find with headlights is the lack of standards. These new blue lights are incredibly rough on on-coming drivers if the dimwit with the bright lights doesn't light a hand and hit the dimmer switch.
I do have some questions, one of which is safety related: what the HELL happened to the floor dimmer switch; what happened to vent windows. too?
Of course, the answer to both is the same: saves about a buck a vehicle to change or leave them off.
Charlie Self
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Floor dimmer switches are short-lived in the rust belt, where salty shoes take 'em out in three-four years. Cars last longer'n that now.
Vent windows spoil the aerodynamics, and as we know, it's cheaper to take the fuel penalty on air conditioning than on an open window.
Of course, conspiracy is another approach....

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AC is just about NO penalty today. I used to miss vent windows, but since I have not smoked in almost 30 years, I don't need them. Fact is, with climate control it is rare that I put the windows down and listen to all that noise.
IMO, every car I've owned has been better made than the previous and the ones I have now are truly excellent. Aside from normal wear items like brakes, tires, oil changes, #1 is a '91 with 135,000 miles and needed rear struts at 75K, a water pump at 95k. #2 is a 2001 with 77,000 miles and still has two of the original tires and no repairs other than oil changes.
Neither has been back for warranty service. Back in the 50's and 60's, a car would go back to the dealer with a list of 10 to 30 items needing attention.
Another bonus if fuel mileage. Both cars have the 3.8 liter engine, but the 10 years between has advanced technology. The 91 is a Regal, the 2001 is a larger LeSabre, but gets better gas mileage, faster acceleration and is a few hundred pounds heavier. Ed
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George responds:

Funny. I lived in the salt belt for 39 years and had to change one dimmer switch in that time. And it wasn't due to salty shoes, but the fact that Chevy mid-engine vans hung the damned switches from the outside of the floorboard without ANY protection whatsoever.
Vent windows spoil what aerodynamics? At 75 or 80 mph? Pfui.
As I said, it saves about a buck a vehicle each. If that's a conspiracy, have at it.
Charlie Self
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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says...

Vent windows were also notorious for allowing for ready casual break- ins.
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