They don't build them like they used to

Find some interesting houses in logging country


Man, that is for sure, Keith! They used what they had back then.

And some of them are still standing like the day they were built.


Ha, I was impressed in a way, floors were not quite level but nothing too significant

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One of my regular talking points (usually to an agent that is pissing and moaning that I’m too picky) is that houses built 130 years ago were never intended to last until today. I don’t know that anyone really had a specific life expectancy in mind… probably because they were just cold and wet and wanted something over their head. 130 years ago nobody planned for things like speculative buying, refinancing, market fluctuations… and home inspections :slight_smile:

If it’s any indication of a building’s life expectancy, the IRS lets you depreciate the whole thing over 30 years.

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There’s also survivor bias.
The 130 year old homes we’re looking at are the ones that lasted.
Many others did not.

See also this perspective:

Yeah, but what does “lasted” really mean? It’s there and some REA can stick a sign in the yard?

Century building. Log beams.
Planking width usually dictates circa of construction.
The most common kinds of wood flooring in old houses can be divided into two general categories: wide-plank floors (boards typically 8″ and wider) often seen in early buildings, rural areas, or secondary spaces like bedrooms and kitchens; and strip floors (narrow boards typically 2″ to 4″ wide), at first reserved for better rooms but nearly ubiquitous in most houses by the 20th century.
Wide-board floors are the oldest and simplest type. In most areas they were originally constructed of softwoods like pine that were durable but easy to hand-saw, then face-nailed to supporting beams or joists.
True strip floors are a product of the Industrial Revolution, and started to become widely affordable and reliable in quality in the 1880s. OldHouseOnline.
Thank for sharing.

I like the title of that article. The house they are talking about isn’t really that old, but I guess compared to the japanese/Chinese houses they bring up at the end of the article they are. Also the article brings up its too hard to permit (and continually more expensive) to build in CA (I’m in Northern rural CA) and the negative effects this has. I’ve had clients laugh at old houses in worse condition than this. But I guess if the only reason you can afford it is because you gotta walk uphill to get to the bathroom you might as well just laugh and get on with it.

I purchase 25 years ago a house in New Jersey and the house was over 100 years old . It had true 2x4 and 2x6 . In those days they had great construction.

In my immediate area (urban California) old houses are often gutted down to a few studs, many of which (usually entire sections) are termite eaten.


To add costs as far as I can tell, and reduce the potential for 2x6 framing for proper insulation.

It’s easier to get a permit to “remodel” a home than to “demolish” it. The building department will even instruct you on exactly how many wall parts you have to leave standing to qualify as a “remodel”. In the name of historic preservation the least historically valuable part of the home – the interior studs – get preserved. Nothing else. Not the layout. Not the foundation. Not the roof. Not the windows. Not the skip sheathing. Not the siding. Not the knobs or the tubes. Not the mailbox. Not the built in ironing board. Not the kitchen ice box cabinet. Not the furnace. Nope: just the studs and part of the foundation.

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