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chronyx

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After years working on houses, new to pre-war...I can safely say I don't think there is ANYTHING else that costs so much, that has as little care/quality of construction.

Of course the electrical installation is my main area of notice (Anyone who says old time sparkies are the best does not know what they are talking about, except for perhaps their metal conduit work looking good)

Then there's the houses thrown up in 1930's still being coaxed along year after year...

Any other suggestions?

(Old council houses are actually pretty solid. Real brick walls inside! One of the cleanest I ever worked on was ex-council and had been swept/cleared under the ground floor boards after construction!)

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After years working on houses, new to pre-war...I can safely say I don't think there is ANYTHING else that costs so much, that has as little care/quality of construction.

Of course the electrical installation is my main area of notice (Anyone who says old time sparkies are the best does not know what they are talking about, except for perhaps their metal conduit work looking good)

Then there's the houses thrown up in 1930's still being coaxed along year after year...

Any other suggestions?

(Old council houses are actually pretty solid. Real brick walls inside! One of the cleanest I ever worked on was ex-council and had been swept/cleared under the ground floor boards after construction!)

Beware of anything built in the past 100 years.

Older houses have survivorship bias: those that still look OK have demonstrated that they are indeed built to last.

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After years working on houses, new to pre-war...I can safely say I don't think there is ANYTHING else that costs so much, that has as little care/quality of construction.

Of course the electrical installation is my main area of notice (Anyone who says old time sparkies are the best does not know what they are talking about, except for perhaps their metal conduit work looking good)

Then there's the houses thrown up in 1930's still being coaxed along year after year...

Any other suggestions?

(Old council houses are actually pretty solid. Real brick walls inside! One of the cleanest I ever worked on was ex-council and had been swept/cleared under the ground floor boards after construction!)

Laings easyform, council built housing...without the steel rods, but was formed from poured concrete ( was poured into wooden shutters to set)....would still be standing after an earthquake

http://www.collier-stevens.co.uk/surveyors-blog/2011/laing-easi-form-housing/#.VWi5LVKQ6Vw

Edited by GinAndPlatonic

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One of the cleanest I ever worked on was ex-council and had been swept/cleared under the ground floor boards after construction!)

That's on my to do list for the summer holidays.

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Laings easyform, council built housing...without the steel rods, but was formed from poured concrete ( was poured into wooden shutters to set)....would still be standing after an earthquake

http://www.collier-stevens.co.uk/surveyors-blog/2011/laing-easi-form-housing/#.VWi5LVKQ6Vw

Unlikely any housing in the UK would be standing after an earthquake!

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Beware of anything built in the past 100 years.

Older houses have survivorship bias: those that still look OK have demonstrated that they are indeed built to last.

Problem with old houses is they simply were not designed for modern services to be placed in them so you end up having to route/place those in all the wrong places, total nightmare. Makes it very expensive to change anything.

Mind you modern houses not much better, once the tongue and groove chipboard nailed down you are pretty stuffed, MDF mouldings and skirting are destroyed with any water contact.

Back to initial point - I think designing houses around their services more elegantly would make a lot of difference to serviceability / reliability and overall cost of maintaining them.

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I have a 200 year old house which is a solid as a rock, and will still be here in 200 years time I reckon, but they're not exactly convenient either. It takes more to insulate and heat them. The romantic winter fires, are a daily chore of dragging the equivalent of two wheelbarrows into the house every day. In the countryside, the mice always find a way to get inside. That beautifully looking wisteria, actually grows like a weed and if it covers half the house, you're forever trying to prevent it growing into the roof tiles.

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Problem with old houses is they simply were not designed for modern services to be placed in them so you end up having to route/place those in all the wrong places, total nightmare. Makes it very expensive to change anything.

I agree...but is the cost of doing it properly first time round worth it. We used to live in a Victorian house in London, built in 1850. When we got it, it hadn't been maintained for about 30 years, and we did a rolling interior rebuild over the 15 years we were there. Structurally it was fine. We we-wired, re-plumbed and put networking in with ducts so in the future you could pull fibre if needed. Being a bit of a data centre obssessive, everything was designed around a duct/service panel model, so lift 1 floorboard and you have access to everything. That planning cost nothing. One refit in 30 years though is not a bad run - and you can expect fashions/styles/whatever to change enough in 30 years to require more work. Once you have the floors up and the plaster off the walls, anything is possible. And as a house - the designers in 1850 got it spot on. Big south facing windows for passive solar gain, layout is perfect even for modern tastes.

On the general construction side, doing it properly is sodding expensive. We've just extended where we are now, and every decision was in favour of quality, with a basic principle of "I don't want to have to maintain this again in my lifetime" (I think we are done with moving around). I could have halved the price by botching everything, which is why most modern houses have the structural integrity of a wasp's nest.

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I agree...but is the cost of doing it properly first time round worth it. We used to live in a Victorian house in London, built in 1850. When we got it, it hadn't been maintained for about 30 years, and we did a rolling interior rebuild over the 15 years we were there. Structurally it was fine. We we-wired, re-plumbed and put networking in with ducts so in the future you could pull fibre if needed. Being a bit of a data centre obssessive, everything was designed around a duct/service panel model, so lift 1 floorboard and you have access to everything. That planning cost nothing. One refit in 30 years though is not a bad run - and you can expect fashions/styles/whatever to change enough in 30 years to require more work. Once you have the floors up and the plaster off the walls, anything is possible. And as a house - the designers in 1850 got it spot on. Big south facing windows for passive solar gain, layout is perfect even for modern tastes.

On the general construction side, doing it properly is sodding expensive. We've just extended where we are now, and every decision was in favour of quality, with a basic principle of "I don't want to have to maintain this again in my lifetime" (I think we are done with moving around). I could have halved the price by botching everything, which is why most modern houses have the structural integrity of a wasp's nest.

Very good point, yes there is flexibilit if you are prepared for a re-skinning inside.Caveats - totally stuffed with stone floors usually and some big issues with joistwork potentially for water routes in particular. Floorboards are a pretty flexible flooring system and yes, in days past passive design very much was near the top of the list whereas now laying out the road and stuffing as many units of the highest resale at whatever angle is top of the list.

I really am not a fan of underfloor heating, either wet or dry, total mare if anything goes wrong with the flooring element of the design.

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I really am not a fan of underfloor heating, either wet or dry, total mare if anything goes wrong with the flooring element of the design.

Tell me more.

Not wanting to hijack the thread or anything but I'm considering a wet system in a new build extension.

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I will not live in a Victorian house again. It's what you can't see which is a potential nightmare and expensive to fix. Tree roots growing into drains; rotten joists;dry rot; wet rot; damp; falling ceilings; draughts...the list goes on and on. I disagree about the passive solar as well as most are long and thin in terraces so unless you are lucky to face east/west you don't get much sunlight directly into the house for much of the day.

What Kirsty and Phil neglect to say is that you need a lot of money and good DIY skills even to consider living in an old house.

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After years working on houses, new to pre-war...I can safely say I don't think there is ANYTHING else that costs so much, that has as little care/quality of construction.

George Osborne's education?

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George Osborne's education?

:lol::lol::lol::lol: Touche

(I would also have accepted 'The LIbLabCon housing policies')

Edited by chronyx

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