Author Topic: Home designs that annoy me.  (Read 4557 times)

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Offline Packard

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Home designs that annoy me.
« on: August 01, 2022, 10:18 AM »
Things that annoy me on home shows:

Staircases with no hand rails at all that would be illegal in almost every city, or town in America.

Rooms with white carpeting and the expectation that they would remain clean.

Coffee tables in the middle of the room too far from seating to be anything other than a display table.  Also note in the image in the link, the end table has a coffee cup shown on it—clearly out of reach from the couch.

http://cdn.home-designing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Low-Square-Modern-Minimalist-Coffee-Table-Metal-Silver-No-Assembly-Required.jpg


Small coffee tables in front of huge couches so that only the people sitting in the center have access (the coffee table should be nearly the length of the couch).  And coffee stains on the oatmeal colored loveseat would convince me to choose a dark color instead.

Anymore beefs?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 10:21 AM by Packard »

Offline mino

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2022, 11:01 AM »
Actually soft color carpets are fine as long as one uses brain and the customer understands the implications.

Especially like the one on the picture which is not fixed /so easy to get cleaned/ and is not single solid color /so any non-cleanable spill can blend-in/. That is actually a good example how a soft color carpet can be used functionally well.

Everything else 100% with you.

Most of the displays - from places like IKEA all the way to exhibitions - are completely useless as an inspiration. They are either just for display in a gallery - like here - or are so jam-packed with stuff that no sane person would want to live in that.

The worst thing is many people fall for it when arranging their homes and you cannot even advise them as they have no proper point of reference. They will tell you 10 yrs later you were right, but what good is that ..

The same goes for the few shows about renovations I have seen. 99% of the time they include so little storage spaces it is almost sad thinking about the people who will have to live there once the show is over.

On the other hand, this is like in IT which I know. I always tell colleagues frustrated from the customer's absurd ideas:
"If (They) knew what they needed, they would not need us (nor pay us) to tell them ...
 [cool]
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Offline live4ever

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2022, 11:23 AM »
A very large number of small bathrooms on those shows or on Houzz/Pinterest (even those that are professionally designed and built) do not meet code when it comes to clearances for toilet, lav drain, shower/tub glass clearance from vanity, and shower/tub door swing clearances.  It's actually gotten fairly tricky to remodel 5x8 bathrooms.
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Offline Bob D.

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2022, 11:26 AM »
For the camera you need extra space. Furniture positioned at a 'normal' spacing/distance will appear crowded in print or in any 2D medium. Plus depending on what is being 'sold' in the image you want that image in full view. If a third of the chair is hidden behind a coffee table that just leaves questions in the viewers mind. The room needs to feel like there is space to walk around comfortably not cramped.

The coffee cup and other such items give a feeling of home or lived in and not a static store display.
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Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2022, 11:29 AM »
  • Closets 18" deep or less, preventing normal hanging of clothes
  • 7' 6" ceilings
  • Plumbing access hidden behind built-ins
  • Plumbing without cutoff valves, making it necessary to turn off the water to the whole house to replace a simple washer
  • Tile laid using mastic, not thinset, over drywall in wet areas like showers, with no gaps between tiles for grout
  • Use of compressed paper to create "lumber" to be used in exterior applications where water is a common issue

If I had time, I'd have a very long list of design/construction issues that I've encountered.   [mad]
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 11:32 AM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

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Offline Packard

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2022, 11:48 AM »
There is an actual and valid reason for 7’ 6” ceiling heights in my area anyhow. Any space with 8’ or higher ceiling height is counted towards the square footage for tax assessment purposes.

So a 2,000 square foot home with a full basement at 8’ ceiling height would be assessed as a 4,000 square foot home.

So the property/school tax on my home (2,000 square feet) would jump from $8,600.00 per year to up to$17,200.00. (Though I don’t know if it is directly proportional, it would be seriously higher).

Offline Econoline

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2022, 12:05 PM »
Anything built after 1920...

Offline Yardbird

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2022, 12:08 PM »
Packard-that tax assessment would get me in a lot of trouble because I do not handle stupidity very well.  And it does not get better with age.

Offline Yardbird

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2022, 12:13 PM »
Packard-where do you live at?  Just wondering where those tax assessments are written. 

I understand you can't fight everything.  I have farm property in Illinois, and compared this year's assessment to a bill from 18 years ago.  One property had a tax increase of over 500%, the other over 700%.   When the camel sticks its nose inside the tent, you have to whack it, because if you don't, before long the entire camel is inside your tent. 

So if taxes double if your ceiling is over 7.5', what is the next thing they have up their sleeve to get into your back pocket?

Offline mino

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2022, 12:20 PM »
Ref Packard .. this reminds me how over here in the middle ages there was a "chimney tax".

This meant - at the time when central heating tech was not available - that there were houses made with crazy chimney "trees" inside the walls so that all the fireplaces in a house could exit into a single chimney.

End result of the tax was that the "well-off" people - who it was suppossed to hit - worked around it via engineering per above while all the poor and middle-low-income ones - who could not afford the engineering complexities - ended up living all the winters in a single kitchen-living-room which they could heat up using the single chimney ..

This lasted - via inertia - until central heating became technologically available in the 19th century at which point the taxes were eventually abolished. I think after WW1 or so.

Heh.
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Offline woodbutcherbower

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2022, 12:43 PM »

Any space with 8’ or higher ceiling height is counted towards the square footage for tax assessment purposes.


Easy. Just leave your ceiling where it is, and lower the floor. Tax problem solved.

Offline Packard

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2022, 01:32 PM »
Packard-where do you live at?  Just wondering where those tax assessments are written. 

I understand you can't fight everything.  I have farm property in Illinois, and compared this year's assessment to a bill from 18 years ago.  One property had a tax increase of over 500%, the other over 700%.   When the camel sticks its nose inside the tent, you have to whack it, because if you don't, before long the entire camel is inside your tent. 

So if taxes double if your ceiling is over 7.5', what is the next thing they have up their sleeve to get into your back pocket?

Under 8’ is not counted as “living space”.

I live upstate NY.  When I moved here my total taxes came to $1,800.00 per year and I paid $0.79 per gallon to heat my house.

My recent assessment will increase the tax to $9,200.00 and my last oil bill was @$5.999 per gallon.  I am not worried about the cost of gas—the cost of heating oil will break the bank.

I’m going off topic.  I will try to rein that in.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 02:58 PM by Packard »

Offline demographic

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2022, 01:26 PM »
A roof thats fussy just for the sake of it, adding cost, reducing space for solar panels, decreasing possibility if rooflights and loft conversions and adding potential for leaks.
While I'm on the subject I'll mention house design with fussy details for no good reason. A workmate suggested that extra corners must cost an extra five grand per corner when you taks into account,  the founds not being straight, bricklayers being faster on long runs, ading cavity trays and different types of roof truss.

This is an example of a roof that I just cant stand.


Offline 4nthony

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Offline Packard

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2022, 03:04 PM »
My house has two adjacent windows with a shutter to the left of the two and one to the right of the two.  If you could imagine they were both operable, then each shutter would cover 1/2 of each window.

There is no reasonable way to correct this other than to remove the shutters, so that is the plan.

My current home has generous eaves (30”) except where the previous owner enclosed a walkway where there was just the gutters for an overhang. That was causing water problems in the newly created sunroom so I removed the gutter and the fascia and sistered up the joists to allow for an 18” overhang.  Better, but the 30” is much nicer.  It is like having awnings on all the house windows (I live in a ranch house).

Offline Packard

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2022, 03:16 PM »
I weaned my housekeeper off or paper towels and Swiffer pads.  I bought a bag of 50 microfiber towels.  She uses 4 or 5 each week.  So I wait until I accumulate several before laundering.  (Remember:  No fabric softener—it will reduce the absorbency of the towels).

I also bought this Rubbermaid damp mop which I saw in action in the local Simon shopping mall.

It has grown in price since I bought it, but it is still a better deal than Swiffer.

The Rubbermaid Hygen mop + auto refill reservoir + extra cleaning pads is going to cost a  little over $250.00 today.  Though the auto refill tank is mostly for convenience.  But in the three years I have had it, I have only spent $10.00 for cleaning supplies.  The mop handle never seems to break (I had to replace the Swiffer mop frequently) and the microfiber pads last a long time and get laundered (no fabric softener). 

To clean microfiber, I wash in hot water with an extra rinse and regular laundry soap.  They come out absorbent and soft. 

I also have microfiber cloths to wash my car.  Same laundry process for all of them.

Offline oberlin1

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2022, 04:44 PM »
I am with Sparktrician on shallow closets…last house was infested with them.

Other design peeves are interior barn doors and white subway tile.  There are so many beautiful colors and styles for tile and you choose stuff in the mens bathroom at the train station?!
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Offline mino

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2022, 07:39 PM »
I am with Sparktrician on shallow closets…last house was infested with them.

Other design peeves are interior barn doors and white subway tile.  There are so many beautiful colors and styles for tile and you choose stuff in the mens bathroom at the train station?!
White tiles are absolutely fine. The same way as pure-white wall paint is absolutely fine. On itself.

The problem is not the tiles. The problem is that any plain tile or wall needs to be coupled with adequate non-paint decorations. A plain tile bathroom with requisite wooden furniture details, nice colorfull curtains etc. can be absolutely stunning.

That same bathroom with just plain white walls and plain white furniture can also be an alter ago of a public bathroom.
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Offline Bob D.

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2022, 08:27 PM »
"Shutter fails, haha"

How about 16" x 7 foot tall fake (as in plastic) shutters on either side of a 9 foot wide overhead garage door?

Two houses around the corner from us both built in the 80s. I believe the shutters were on from the beginning.

We see them time we take our evening walk.
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Offline kevinculle

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2022, 08:37 PM »
I would advise you to not buy any home whose design annoys you.  Of course, if it's not your home you don't get a vote.

Offline dwillis

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2022, 09:45 PM »
Along similar lines, when I was an architecture student many years ago I would look at buildings in architectural publications. But there was something wrong and it finally dawned on me what was missing from virtually every photograph, people. Now I understand that the photographs showcase the building, but here we were studying architecture and were taught that we were designing buildings for people. So without people in shown buildings how is it possible to judge the design, if the space is effective, the scale and proportions?

And to Packard's point, showing buildings with building code violations, impractical finishes, et cetera, is a misrepresentation of what a building will finally look like and function (or not).
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Offline Peter Kelly

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2022, 05:32 PM »
From my personal collection




Best columns ever



I call this the anthill



Class in a glass



Needs more roof



Suburban Houston has a special kind of awful



The landscaping really makes it!



New column design I call "the muffin top"



Cozy!

Offline mino

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2022, 07:08 PM »
The first one is not that bad. If the golden details on the poles were skipped and those were just plain poles, the assymetry would actually work. Salvagable.

That last one is missing the requisite gold digger sitting at the bar.

Looks like a basement area of one of the 90's brothels we had (here). Before the industry "consolidated" and moved into purpose-built places.
Would not mind it as a noise-insulated "party basement" in an otherwise sane house. Put away the ceramic "art" pieces and statues and would be quite fine with me.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2022, 08:58 AM by mino »
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Offline Peter Kelly

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2022, 07:31 PM »
Full listing if you care to check out the rest of this Brooklyn NY home in all it's baroque splendour: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7804-10th-Ave-Brooklyn-NY-11228/30697063_zpid

It's really quite something.

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2022, 07:49 AM »
Looks like a basement area of one of the 90's brothels we had.

BA-HAHAHAHA!!!! [big grin]
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Offline rst

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2022, 11:02 AM »
My beef is the "McMansions" where the designer threw every architectural feature possible onto the facade.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2022, 11:14 AM »
Boy there are some great responses here.  Lot's of fun.

Staircases that would never meet code due to open risers, missing hand rails and guard rails, etc.  Also homes that are designed without any thought about how to perform future maintenance without it costing an additional arm or leg.  For instance those tall entry foyers with hanging lights that require a stupidly tall ladder, roofs that are over a 12 12 pitch, landscaping planted that will require wrestling or scaffolding to get around or over.

Peter

Offline Cheese

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2022, 11:35 AM »
I'll throw in my  [2cents]

These are filed in my computer under Dormer Madness.





Offline demographic

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2022, 01:18 PM »
I'll throw in my  [2cents]

These are filed in my computer under Dormer Madness.

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

Holy complications just for the sake of it Batman.
That to my eyes is just pointless tat.

Offline Stan Tillinghast

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2022, 10:10 PM »
This is a minor thing and it's not "design", just poor execution.
We had a house in Maui which had a fantastic view, really liked the house overall.
Except: light switches were at random distances from the doorway.
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!

Offline squall_line

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2022, 10:30 PM »
This is a minor thing and it's not "design", just poor execution.
We had a house in Maui which had a fantastic view, really liked the house overall.
Except: light switches were at random distances from the doorway.

This reminded me...

Our current house, at least half the rooms on the main floor have light switches outside of the room itself.  The switches for the kitchen are in the dining room and the hallway, the switch in the hallway toward the bedrooms controls the light in the living room (but not the hallway light), the switches for the family room are in the kitchen and the entryway...

There's a bank of 4 switches by the door to the garage that controls the light in the front entryway, which is around 2 corners and 40 feet away.

At least we don't have low-voltage switches like some of the MCM houses in town, although I don't suppose I'd mind those too terribly once I got used to them.

Offline mino

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2022, 04:39 AM »
Maybe your house went through a timespace breakage and it failed to reintegrate properly ? Just the wires somehow found themselves, being conductive.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Shattered_(episode)
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Offline Packard

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2022, 10:32 AM »
My house has a steeper-than-usual for basement staircase.  Despite the steepness, and the fact that I am just 5’ 8” tall, I will hit my head walking down the staircase unless I remember to duck,

Blame the architect.  Poor planning.  He might not even have realized the problem until the house was actually being built. 

It does have a walk-out at the rear of the house—a convenience for bringing lumber into the basement shop.  But once there is snow on the ground, that avenue is lost.  It is the primary reason I got the track saw.  Bringing in larger pieces of sheet goods was nearly impossible.

Offline Packard

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2022, 12:15 PM »
Not strictly speaking an architectural error, but a deficiency nonetheless.

When I shopped for my house, I rejected houses at the juncture of a tee-intersection because in the evening cars driving to that intersection would be shining their headlights into the house. I knew I would resent that intrusion.

Some homes situated on a sharp curve would also suffer that fate.  My real estate agent tried to talk me into some of those houses.

I told him, “You’re probably a good salesman, but you will never be a good enough salesman to sell me something I don’t want.”

I had to switch to another agency when he persisted on showing me houses that did not meet the criteria I listed.

I bought a house that did not include all the things I wanted, but also did not include any of the disqualifying things on my list.

Offline Crazyraceguy

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2022, 03:46 PM »
Anything built after 1920...

I would really like to know the reasoning behind this. Really, what is the determining factor here?

My house was built in 1929 (in the US) and it has "issues" with the design as we live today. It was apparently a popular design, because there were a lot of them built. Both the near east and near west sides of town have them. I would seriously like to know why. I would assume that there was no building code or permit process to pass at that time? If there was maybe this was just an easily approved plan?
Anyway, it has a couple of things that would be considered problems now, which were just normal back then.
First (as built) it only had one bathroom, plus it was upstairs. That was resolved with a fairly large addition in 1950.
Second, doors...everywhere. Coming in the front door, you enter the "parlor" (living room today) directly behind that was the dining room. These were visually separated by some kneewalls and columns. A left turn from the dining room is the kitchen, through a 2-way swinging door. Also in that kitchen the door to the cellar stairs and the back door to the outside. Three doors in a kitchen that is 10' x 14'.?
Third, in that parlor, no closet at all. In fact, none on the first floor at all. Apparently hall-trees or wall mounted coat racks were the thing?
Fourth, the main stairs are way too steep. The rise is just under 8", which is fine, but the run is a little under 8 1/2". They aren't bad to climb, but coming down them is sketchy at best. Do not try it with just socks, you will die. This probably should have been #1, because it cannot be fixed, the others have been.
Fifth, the stairs to the cellar are worse. The total rise is less, because of a very low ceiling, but the run is interrupted by a landing in the middle for a doorway to the outside.
If it weren't for the addition to the back, there would not be an un-interrupted section of wall that is longer than 6 feet.
It sounds like I hate this house, but I don't. Most of the flaws have been addressed, either by my grandparents (long ago) or me in the last decade. The character is still here and it is more livable, nothing like modern open concept. If I was looking at this house as a buyer though? no.
That's kind of not true, I did buy it, but it was from a family member and only because it has been in the family for 90 of it's 94 years. My grandparents were not the original owners.
Which brings me to the original question. What is so great about old houses, especially small "city houses"?
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Offline Packard

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2022, 04:54 PM »
When I remodeled the guest bath, I replaced the inward opening door with a sliding barn door because when you opened the door, in order to reach the light switch you had to close the door behind you.

In the daytime, not an issue, but at night, especially with guests that are not familiar with the layout, finding the switch in near total darkness can be unnerving.

 The sliding door pretty much resolved the issue, but at the cost of money, time and effort.

However, when I visited my brother-in-law’s house, the architect solved that same issue by having a light switch inside the bathroom, and a second one just outside the bathroom (in the hall) both of which controlled the lights in the bathroom.

I haven’t yet decided if it was a design deficiency by the architect, or a lack of imagination on my part.  It would have cost less money, and far less effort to have an electrician come in and install a second switch.

Offline squall_line

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2022, 10:30 AM »
Anything built after 1920...

I would really like to know the reasoning behind this. Really, what is the determining factor here?

My house was built in 1929 (in the US) and it has "issues" with the design as we live today. It was apparently a popular design, because there were a lot of them built. Both the near east and near west sides of town have them. I would seriously like to know why. I would assume that there was no building code or permit process to pass at that time? If there was maybe this was just an easily approved plan?
Anyway, it has a couple of things that would be considered problems now, which were just normal back then.
First (as built) it only had one bathroom, plus it was upstairs. That was resolved with a fairly large addition in 1950.
Second, doors...everywhere. Coming in the front door, you enter the "parlor" (living room today) directly behind that was the dining room. These were visually separated by some kneewalls and columns. A left turn from the dining room is the kitchen, through a 2-way swinging door. Also in that kitchen the door to the cellar stairs and the back door to the outside. Three doors in a kitchen that is 10' x 14'.?
Third, in that parlor, no closet at all. In fact, none on the first floor at all. Apparently hall-trees or wall mounted coat racks were the thing?
Fourth, the main stairs are way too steep. The rise is just under 8", which is fine, but the run is a little under 8 1/2". They aren't bad to climb, but coming down them is sketchy at best. Do not try it with just socks, you will die. This probably should have been #1, because it cannot be fixed, the others have been.
Fifth, the stairs to the cellar are worse. The total rise is less, because of a very low ceiling, but the run is interrupted by a landing in the middle for a doorway to the outside.
If it weren't for the addition to the back, there would not be an un-interrupted section of wall that is longer than 6 feet.
It sounds like I hate this house, but I don't. Most of the flaws have been addressed, either by my grandparents (long ago) or me in the last decade. The character is still here and it is more livable, nothing like modern open concept. If I was looking at this house as a buyer though? no.
That's kind of not true, I did buy it, but it was from a family member and only because it has been in the family for 90 of it's 94 years. My grandparents were not the original owners.
Which brings me to the original question. What is so great about old houses, especially small "city houses"?

So many of the homes of that era were a) kit homes, and b) heated with gravity-fed systems or boilers.  Having doors to isolate individual rooms helped moderate temperatures or provide heating only in the rooms that needed it.  Modern forced-air systems shouldn't be unbalanced in this way.

You described my old neighbor's home almost to a tee.  My old home was built in the mid-to-late 20's as well and featured many of the same quirks, save that mine was a story-and-a-half with a walk-up attic that was only suitable for storage.  The only reason there were no closets in my house was because someone took out the closet between the front bedroom and the bathroom long before I bought it, making it a sort of en-suite.  The second bedroom would have had a closet, but it was also the pass-through to get to the attic, so I don't know how anyone would have stored anything in it.

Online Richard/RMW

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Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2022, 11:12 AM »
Our first married home was located in PA across the Delaware from Trenton NJ, constructed just after WWII. My reading about that era led me to believe there was a severe housing shortage as vets returned and didn't move back to the farm, and this area was a manufacturing hub meaning lots of available jobs.

The house was the classic center staircase Cape Cod, the 30' by 30' footprint even had room for a 10' by 20' garage along with stairs to the basement, first floor living area was ~500 SF. The second story had knee walls/dormers in the front 2 bedrooms and a shed dormer in the rear bedroom/bath.

It had many of the deficiencies you note (from the present-day perspective), tiny or no closets, oil tank/boiler for hot water & heat, cast-iron radiators breaking up every room, no insulation, asbestos siding, lathe & plaster, etc. There were 3 bed/1 bath all on the second floor, Living/Dining/Kitchen pretty much as CRG described, largest closet was just over 2' wide so being DINKS we used a spare bedroom to store our stuff. We couldn't even get a king-sized mattress up the stairs.

I chalked most of it up to a lack of available materials, an enormous need for housing, and the fact that most people didn't have a lot of stuff to fill closets at that point in history. What they needed was a roof over their heads near the available jobs.

Needless to say we spent 13 years modernizing, adding central air (retained the radiators for heat, loved them) stripped it to studs (outside) and added spray foam then Hardy board, new windows and so on. The 30-ish couple who bought it didnt have to make any upgrade inside the house, we just walked back through it a few weeks ago and it's basically as we left it.

I came from the southwest, where I grew up an historic building was from the 1960's. Banging around an area where "Washington Slept" nearly everywhere caused me to reevaluate my perceptions on a lot of things. It's still occurs & a light bulb goes off, like how ~200-year-old manufacturing towns grew up in the middle of nowhere but along rivers (transportation and power + raw materials) or finding out the site we are redeveloping along the Ohio in Pittsburgh was used to manufacture ocean-going Liberty ships during the war, because that where the steel plants were.

Anyway, putting a building into context with society at the time it was constructed is fascinating to me, & forces me to learn more of our history.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 412
Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2022, 01:48 PM »
Which brings me to the original question. What is so great about old houses, especially small "city houses"?

A lot of them are downtown.  I can walk to the bakery, brewery, library, grocery.  And what is "small" by today's standards is totally livable.  The retired couples living in 2200 sf houses outside the city limits are doing it wrong.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1640
Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2022, 03:16 PM »
In a closet in my home I found the original architect’s plans for the house. As I recall, the drawing was dated 1951 (my house was built—or completed—in 1953).  The title block labeled it, “Midcentury modern ranch”.

What designated it as “Midcentury modern” was the fact that there were no crown moldings anywhere and there were a couple of arches as you entered the house.  Not stupid, but I wish they had not done it anyway, was the fact that it is all plaster and metal lath.  Sheetrock had been around for a while at that time, but I guess that the builder (he built all the houses on my block and lived in mine when it was done), did not trust that new-fangled sheetrock.

Instead he used hybrid panels that were about 2’ wide and 8’ long made like site built metal lath and plaster, but done in a factory.  They put it together with just plaster.  On the ceilings, I have had to tape some of the joints. 

But the big problem, and one the builder should have foreseen [eek], was the fact that WiFi does not transmit through the walls, and it also plays some havoc with cell phone reception (but not lately).

The rooms are quieter.  The plaster does not transmit sound very well.

Hanging pictures on the wall calls for some engineering.

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 10:07 AM by Packard »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1189
Re: Home designs that annoy me.
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2022, 05:45 AM »
...
But the big problem, and one the builder should have foreseen [eek], was the fact that WiFi does not transmit through the walls, and it also plays some havoc with cell phone reception (but not lately).
...
Maybe he actually foresaw it and went for a partial Faraday cage to protect from the upcomming electromagnetic smog?

Not expecting some "crazy" people wanting to bring their radio transceivers inside their homes!
 [cool]

In this vein, just the opposite, the panel house we had a flat in (built in the early 60s) was made from "poured concrete" panels, with pretty much no rebar inside the walls.

At the time it was economical as rebar was expensive/rare after the war. 50 years later, the lack of (structural) rebar turned a blessing - those buildings had to use more cement to compensate. So they are now both in a better shape than newer ones (no rebar to rot) and wireless signals are also excellent for a concrete house (no metal cage in the walls).
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.