/ Old houses

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subtle on 16 Mar 2019

Old houses - yes, they may have character, generally larger gardens than modern housing, but they are also draughty and errr prone to leaks - aaaaaarrrrrghhh - got a leak in the dining room, water pissing in through the roof somewhere, currently pouring with rain so nothing I can do until it stops except stick a bucket under the drip and cross my fingers.

Flamin money pit old houses.

Sigh.

Will this rain ever end.

Sam W - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

After our first winter in a detached Victorian house, I feel your pain.  My favourite features are the general cold, and doing a circuit of the house after every storm to see how many tiles we've lost off the roof.

profitofdoom on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

> Old houses - yes, they may have character, generally larger gardens than modern housing, but they are also draughty and errr prone to leaks - aaaaaarrrrrghhh - got a leak in the dining room, water pissing in through the roof somewhere, currently pouring with rain so nothing I can do until it stops except stick a bucket under the drip and cross my fingers. > Flamin money pit old houses.

Character plus holes plus problems - I feel your pain - I don't want to sound smug but I've always chosen the newest possible place to live in - I've seen too many problems with older places: and the older, the worse

oldie - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Agree with the cons. Been in our 1920's house 20+ years and have just forked out for new roof after too many tiles and valleys shot. On the plus side the tiles used to be easy to replace from inside and it was possible to see exactly where problems were since no lining felt or membrane......our surveyor friend had  plastic bags all over his roof replacing old tiles.

A lifetime's experience leads me to believe the rain will end. Although it seems a distant memory we'd had a few unseasonably dry months earlier.

ThunderCat - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Woken up to the sound of water dripping into the cupboard beside the bed this morning. Joy 

wbo - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle: I've owned new houses and old houses - one I really loved, but when the wind blew stuff would move across the floor.

  But the worst rubbish  I've seen was a British new build bought by a family member.  New houses have leaking windows and roofs as well

wintertree - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

A leaking roof is nothing to do with the age of a house and everything to do with the quality of the roof.

The main complication with an old house is that it’s more likely to be listed or in a conservation area, which makes it more expensive to fit a low maintenance, high quality roof.

Myfyr Tomos - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Built 1822, stone and Blaenau Ffestiniog slate, at 600'. Keep it well maintained and it'll last a bloody long time. Currently horizontal rain driven by 50mph SW wind. Snug as a bug...    (or should that read smug?)

profitofdoom on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to Myfyr Tomos:

> Built 1822, stone and Blaenau Ffestiniog slate, at 600'. Keep it well maintained and it'll last a bloody long time. Currently horizontal rain driven by 50mph SW wind. Snug as a bug...    (or should that read smug?)

Not smug! Sounds like a great place, long may you keep dry

marsbar - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

Personally I wouldn't choose anything post 1980s again.   

climbingpixie on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to Myfyr Tomos:

I recently moved from a poorly built and maintained late 19th C solid brick terrace in Leeds to a well built and maintained late 19th C stone terrace in Bingley and the difference is phenomenal. I would never have thought that both houses were around the same age, our current place is so much cosier and less draughty. Yeah, it's expensive to heat compared to a modern place but it's massive, full of character and I'm quite happy with a cooler house anyway.

Fruitbat on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Old houses don't have to be damp and cold (the latter usually exacerbated by the former). It's often lack of maintenance or incorrect maintenance that leads to problems, with  another common cause being the use of modern materials and techniques which are incompatible with the original construction. All the problems caused are then put down to "Well, it's because it's an old house."

MonkeyPuzzle - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Pretty much all of the plaster downstairs here is shot, but there's part of me that's worried about replastering in case it's actually load-bearing.

I just picked a salad's worth of vegetation growing up under the bay *inside* the living room.

Chimney stack is, erm, "jaunty".

The audible cracks and pops of seasonal expansion and contraction haunt my dreams.

The drains were clearly built by someone with no understanding of either water, effluent or how to avoid blockages.

It's so drafty that, in spite of the double-glazing, conversations outside sound like they're sat in the room with you.

Cracks, cracks, everywhere cracks.

Still, it's home, isn't it?

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

I feel your pain.  My house is ~1650 and when I bought it it had lots of horrible bits that were bodged before it was listed. The timber was damp, riddled with death watch beetle, single glazed with rotting timber frames and very draughty and cold. Why did we buy it? Good question, and one I have asked myself on numerous occasions. We were mesmerised by the character, the views and the garden...and were unbelievably naive. The survey was spot on about all the issues, but I chose to ignore them because we had fallen in love , so nobody to blame but ourselves.

Anyway, we have made good progress. Stripped off all the render (pebble dash from the 1950s) and  had the lathes tidied up, the wood treated for DWB, parts of the rotten sole plate replaced with French oak,  fitted savolit boards and re rendered with lime plaster. Fitted new bespoke double glazed timber windows and new front door. Now the house is warm, it can breath, all damp problems gone, less draughty than before (although still draughty in the eves of upstairs) so much more cozy and weather proof. It has cost a lot of money but I justify it by kidding myself that I am just a custodian for the the next owners who will get to enjoy its history (i.e a mug )

It's funny though, whenever friends come to stay they absolutely love it, and when we stay away somewhere really modern and contemporary...we absolutely love that. Go figure...

Deleted bagger - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Got an old house cirta 1870 but a new roof = watertight.

Duncan Bourne - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

A lot depends on the house. My current 1930's build semi is lxury itself. nice and cool in summer warm in winter, no leaks. But then we had the roof done and pointing done when we moved in. In contrast my old 1890's terrace, was cold, damp and rain came into the bedroom when it rained in that direction (and in the back bedroom when in the other.) Basically it was cheap bulid at the time, no damp course (we fitted one) ancient bathroom extention and gutters that sat on top of the wall bricks. There was very little you could do to improve it. My friends 1815 townhouse is great, well built and no problems.

earlsdonwhu - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

From the Guardian.... "Bovis Homes, one of Britain’s biggest housebuilders, recently had to set aside £7m to repair poorly built new homes sold to customers, and its interim boss publicly apologised to customers."

pec on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Why do so many people seem to assume that something which has been standing outside in all weathers for over 100 years is magically going to remain in perfect functioning order without any maintenance?

You wouldn't expect your car to cover 200,000 miles without any servicing or repairs so why should a house?

If your old house has problems its because you or previous occupants adopted that attitude.

The remarkable thing about Victorian houses is actually that they have lasted so well because they were built with quality timber which far outlives its modern counterparts and with slate roofs which easily outlive modern tiles and lead flashing, cast iron guttering etc which all have a far longer life span than their plastic equivalents.

Modern houses tend to be built from materials which all depend on each other to function so they can just scrape through the requirements of building regs with nothing to spare. If your modern house isn't in need of repair yet its only because you haven't lived in it long enough.

How many current new builds will still be around in 100 years without anyone bothering to maintain them, let alone the crap that was thrown up in the first few post war decades?

Lusk - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Pretty much all of the plaster downstairs here is shot, but there's part of me that's worried about replastering in case it's actually load-bearing.

> I just picked a salad's worth of vegetation growing up under the bay *inside* the living room.

> Chimney stack is, erm, "jaunty".

> The audible cracks and pops of seasonal expansion and contraction haunt my dreams.

> The drains were clearly built by someone with no understanding of either water, effluent or how to avoid blockages.

> It's so drafty that, in spite of the double-glazing, conversations outside sound like they're sat in the room with you.

> Cracks, cracks, everywhere cracks.

> Still, it's home, isn't it?


Sounds like you bought the wrong house, should've viewed first

paul__in_sheffield - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Ours is a variety of dates starting in 1627. I’ve replaced 41 leaded windows and currently 4 which face the worst of the weather are shipping water at an alarming rate but the wind is dropping and the rain is turning to sleet. Hoping for dry weather next week to repoint into the stone mullions. We’ve an acre of garden above the house which Mrs Paul in Sheffield has never been up to the top of. There are some stables up there under the brambles. 5 years we’ve been on it this summer, but the end is in sight!

Timmd on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

You'll be reet after 10 to 15 years of sorting things out as you can afford them. ;-)

I grew up in a Victorian semi, it was ace if draughty, and moved in very strong winds.

It's still standing, and being a family home for a new family which is nice...

Post edited at 22:22
Dave the Rave on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Blox. Old houses are great and cheaper than the feckin Wendy houses that keep being built on feckin plastic town estates for twice the price and still have loads of problems. 

Slate roof coal fire end of

Graham Mck on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to Dave the Rave:

yup - my house was built in 1990s, was nearly 20 years old when I moved in.  Had to have all the roof ridge tiles repointed, replace the facias and guttering, fit new windows and front door.  Quality of original materials was poor.  Don't get me started on the internal doors, plumbing or floors!  Think I'm rebuilding it bit by bit!

wintertree - on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> There are some stables up there under the brambles. 5 years we’ve been on it this summer, but the end is in sight!

If you cut the brambles back leaving a foot or so of stems in the autumn you can get out on a day like today and pull the roots out by the residual stems.  The ground is basically liquid mud by now and can’t hold on...  4 years in and today was hopefully my last major bramble pulling day...

Timmd on 16 Mar 2019
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Could you use a petrol strimmer to tackle the brambles?  I've relatively fond memories of hacking my way through brambles with one during conservation volunteering.

1
Rob Exile Ward on 17 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

In any discussion of old houses I have just two words - black mortar.

bouldery bits - on 17 Mar 2019
In reply to subtle:

Sorry to hear that.

You should feel good that you are adding your part to the story of your home. 


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