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RandomUsername12123 t1_j1hpp30 wrote

Looks like it

I bet the upper part of the water pipe is the same too


Trendiggity t1_j1hzlox wrote

They literally don't make stuff like they used to. The house we rent is just about 100 years old and the chain link fence posts are original. The clay (!) pipes that run the sewer to the municipal system only failed 3 years ago.

(I'm glad we rent a hundred year old house because that fix cost our landlord like 30K lol)


[deleted] t1_j1i4y64 wrote



narayans t1_j1ih41w wrote

It's inherently difficult to pick up on bias so I appreciate when it's pointed out


marsman t1_j1icvh0 wrote

Not so much with housing because the materials and approach to building have changed and that has had a very real impact on longevity (older houses are not over-engineered as such, but they did tend to be built out of heavier/more solid materials because the alternatives didn't exist and using far more labour intensive approaches). That still leads to issues but they tend to be different.

Take UK housing stock, a 100 year old house is not particularly unusual (about 25% of the total stock), most is more than 60 years old. Many of those 100 year old houses are built from solid engineering brick, actual stone, have stone lintels, joists tend to be far thicker/larger than they would be if built now to support thicker/heavier wooden floor boards than would be the norm now too, albeit not as well finished. You'll likely still have a slate roof and heavier rafters to support it. They have/had lime plaster on the walls, lath and plaster ceilings etc.. And would have had internal plumbing/gas/electricity retrofitted at some point in the last 60 years.

That means that the structures tend to be incredibly solid (until someone tries to take out a chimney and fails to support things properly etc..), but also have lots of rough edges, walls aren't quite parallel, nothing is level, insulation (beyond the plaster and ceilings) is poor because the expectation was that the house would need to breathe and would have open fires internally..

Newer builds on the other hand tend to be built using a minimum of material, and using processes that are as light on labour as possible. You have far more complex materials involved, and plumbing, wiring and so on are embedded. The downside of that is that things can go wrong quickly when they do, weathering can be pretty catastrophic, a roof might be expected to last 15-25 years rather than 50-100 years for example, but broadly there is simply less room for wear before it becomes a problem.

There is probably a sweet spot (in the UK at the moment it's likely a 60's built semi/detached house) that balances a decent finish with a solid structure.


Trendiggity t1_j1ilyv6 wrote

Agree 100%. I live in Halifax (the Canadian one!) which is on the short list of oldest Canadian cities. There is 6-7 square kilometers of residential development where I live that was all built in the 1920s-1930s and over 95% of them are still standing, many with renovations and add-ons over the years. Including my own; it was reno'd in the 70s or early 80s and it's... very apparent which sections are built cheaper.

Also agreed on the 1950s-1960s builds. A friend has a house from the mid 50s in a subdivision about 10km from here and it's a very well built house. Not as overbuilt as mine but from an era of cheap lumber, before plywood became common in residential construction. It's the perfect middleground and is what my partner and I are looking for in a house when we buy... if we can get over the 60s asthetics of most of those builds


RandomUsername12123 t1_j1ikgnv wrote

You can buy and build stuff today that will outlast this millenium.

Are you ready to pay for it tho?


F0sh t1_j1jdyzq wrote

It's pretty hard to tell whether you're buying a high quality property, because the things which determine longevity are not obvious. Even if you could, house prices are so expensive that there is enormous pressure to build cheap, so you're unlikely to be able to find it readily. Hence you're not just paying for the actual cost of building a longer-lasting building, but also the cost of competing for a limited supply of them.


Trendiggity t1_j1iksl9 wrote

There are hundreds of not thousands of houses in this area of my (very old) city that date back to the 1920s (rebuilding after the Halifax explosion). Most streets are all original to that decade; there is the odd new build but due to things like fire or neglect. I wouldn't call it survivorship bias. There's easily three times more construction material in houses of this era than new prefabs.


Blazlyn t1_j1i4ll7 wrote

There are a lot of reasons why they don't make it that way anymore and what you see standing is survivorship bias. Dollars, life of building, and cost of life all play into the changes. Construction used to have formulas for how many people would die per $1,000 spent on different types of construction.


F0sh t1_j1jeb24 wrote

it's not like large numbers of 100-year-old houses in the places we're talking about have been destroyed (through natural processes - we're not talking about whether buildings can survive a bomb blast).

You can't have a survivorship bias if the vast majority of things from the population survived.


jld2k6 t1_j1idtjl wrote

My stepdad has an 8500²ft house that was built by a super rich person in the mid 1800's. As soon as you walk in there's a gigantic handmade custom ornate winding wooden hardwood varnished staircase going upstairs (looks like it would have taken months to carve) and the dining room looks like a cathedral with the same hardwood forming squares coming down from the 15ft ceiling ceiling with decorative cloth between each one and a huge hand carved 14 person table in the middle. It even has a maid's quarters upstairs on the third floor and there's little hidden hallways built so the maids could bring food straight from the kitchen to the dining room without using the main door. It's crazy to me that the house is valued at like 40k, the inside is absolutely beautiful and has like 6 fireplaces with custom themed rooms like "the oriental room" and "the trophy room" with tons of old exotic taxidermied animals all over the walls with a poker table in the middle. Used to love getting drunk and exploring all over there but he gave it to his son and got a smaller house with my mom so I haven't been inside in a while


doctorcrimson t1_j1jpm7a wrote

I replaced a municipal clay pipe juncture in North Dakota years back, to make a bigger pipeline tie in, and it was much older. In fact it was pretty damn close to the train yard. If it was buried and made properly the clay pipe shouldn't have failed so soon in the first place, yours was a shoddier example to use.


Trendiggity t1_j1mb84x wrote

Our landlord also loved using the really caustic industrial drain cleaner because he was too cheap to hire a proper plumber to snake out our back bathroom sink (it's part of the renovations I was talking about). I have a feeling the dozens of applications didn't do our clay sewer pipe any favours

Our next door neighbours failed a couple of years after ours. Apparently many of the houses on our street had theirs taken out the last time they paved and the owners who didn't were told it was a matter of time.

I imagine they were cheaper products used (at the time) due to the reconstruction in our city after the Halifax explosion (look it up if you haven't heard about it, a WWI munitions ship exploded and basically levelled half our city). I was impressed they had a 100 year lifespan, I didn't know they lasted longer!