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Old 01-29-2008, 09:30 AM   #21
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Danger Will Robinson ...
we in the midwest love to have company (as in 'misery loves company') ... you don't know what cold is until you get a -30 degree windshield temperature with 40 mph winds and you have to put your head in your (hopefully) down coat so that you can catch a breath.
... don't say you haven't been warned ...
but hey, we didn't have Katrina

p.s. DW DEMANDED an attached garage after our 1st townhouse (parking spot, no garage).
We've had one ever since. Absolute necessity
I'm hoping that in ER, I can stay out of the -30 degree, 40 mph situations by just not going out that day. We shall see! I do plan to spend a lot on the highest quality coats (down or whatever), and cold weather clothing.

My house was absolutely perfect for me except for its lack of a garage, and except for the landscaping which takes too much work (well, and except for Katrina). But next time I just won't look at any houses that don't have a garage. As a woman, I think an attached garage is nice to have from a personal safety point of view, as well.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:45 AM   #22
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I'm hoping that in ER, I can stay out of the -30 degree, 40 mph situations by just not going out that day. We shall see! I do plan to spend a lot on the highest quality coats (down or whatever), and cold weather clothing.
That's the way I am! If I know that's it's going to be REALLY cold or REALLY nasty out.....I don't go out! I'll go the store and do and other running I have to do BEFORE the weather turns ugly. Like last week a couple of days it was single digit temps and windy.....but it was perfect weather in the house!

It's 50 out right now, and not raining or snowing. However, a little later, it's supposed to rain, the temps are supposed to take a nose-dive, with the rain turning to sleet and snow.....then the winds are supposed to kick up to 25-35mph with 45mph gusts. The low tonight is supposed to be +2.....and windy!

I'm getting ready to head to the store for milk and a couple of other things....before I need a coat! When I get back I'll fill the bird feeders, and then hibernate for a day or 2. It's really nice to be ER'd and to not have to go out in nasty weather!
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:48 AM   #23
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I'm hoping that in ER, I can stay out of the -30 degree, 40 mph situations by just not going out that day. We shall see! I do plan to spend a lot on the highest quality coats (down or whatever), and cold weather clothing.

My house was absolutely perfect for me except for its lack of a garage, and except for the landscaping which takes too much work (well, and except for Katrina). But next time I just won't look at any houses that don't have a garage. As a woman, I think an attached garage is nice to have from a personal safety point of view, as well.
an unsolicited recommendation: when searching for a house, you may want to ensure it has sufficient attic insulation, exterior wall insulation, insulated windows (double pane, ...etc.) ... you get the idea. Or make sure you adjust the price for these items. It will save you a bunch in heating bills. A good home inspecter can help you id inadequacies.
Happy house hunting.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:06 AM   #24
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an unsolicited recommendation: when searching for a house, you may want to ensure it has sufficient attic insulation, exterior wall insulation, insulated windows (double pane, ...etc.) ... you get the idea. Or make sure you adjust the price for these items. It will save you a bunch in heating bills. A good home inspecter can help you id inadequacies.
Happy house hunting.
Good idea.

In the area where I want to retire, nearly all of the homes built since about 1990 seem to be in planned communities with homeowners' association, which doesn't appeal to me. I would rather live in an older, established neighborhood with no homeowners' association or fees, and I find older homes in this region to be less expensive and more appealing. So, I have been tentatively thinking of buying a home built from 1950-1989.

I guess that homes built in that timeframe probably weren't insulated in a very energy efficient way(though I don't really know what age of home would be better than others). Anybody know? Would a home built in 1960 be less well insulated than one built in 1980, for example? What age of home in the 1950-1989 timeframe would be likely to be better insulated? I will also view added insulation positively.

I think (though I'm not sure?) that a fireplace insert might keep cold drafts from come down the chimney and into the living room. Anybody know about that? Is that what they're for?

I LOVE the ER forum. There's always somebody who knows nearly anything I ask about.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:58 PM   #25
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Good idea.

In the area where I want to retire, nearly all of the homes built since about 1990 seem to be in planned communities with homeowners' association, which doesn't appeal to me. I would rather live in an older, established neighborhood with no homeowners' association or fees, and I find older homes in this region to be less expensive and more appealing. So, I have been tentatively thinking of buying a home built from 1950-1989.

I guess that homes built in that timeframe probably weren't insulated in a very energy efficient way(though I don't really know what age of home would be better than others). Anybody know? Would a home built in 1960 be less well insulated than one built in 1980, for example? What age of home in the 1950-1989 timeframe would be likely to be better insulated? I will also view added insulation positively.

I think (though I'm not sure?) that a fireplace insert might keep cold drafts from come down the chimney and into the living room. Anybody know about that? Is that what they're for?

I LOVE the ER forum. There's always somebody who knows nearly anything I ask about.
Olders homes are probably not as well insulated. For instance, my house, built in 1985, uses 6" studs for the outer wall, allowing a bit more insulative value. Also, the windows are double-pane.

Other possible disadvantages include lead-based paint, asbestos, old and under-powered electrical systems (i.e. a 60A fusebox), old and underpowered (not to mention inefficient) HVAC and appliances, etc....
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:11 PM   #26
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Olders homes are probably not as well insulated. For instance, my house, built in 1985, uses 6" studs for the outer wall, allowing a bit more insulative value. Also, the windows are double-pane.

Other possible disadvantages include lead-based paint, asbestos, old and under-powered electrical systems (i.e. a 60A fusebox), old and underpowered (not to mention inefficient) HVAC and appliances, etc....
That makes sense. I hadn't really thought of asbestos, either - - an older home could have that, and it could be pretty expensive to have it removed. Thanks! It's good to know a little more about what to expect.

For some reason, I thought that 1960's houses might have better insulation than 1980's houses. Sometimes older homes seem to have more soundproof walls than newer homes. But then, good insulation has become more and more important to buyers as years go by.

Thanks. See? I KNEW that somebody here would know about these things.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:55 PM   #27
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Of course, W2R, you might come across an old house like ours. It was built in the VERY early 1900's (the aughts or teens) with NO insulation. However, NOW it's loaded with insulation! The walls and attic were insulated when the folks remodeled in the late 1950's. The house was wrapped and had insulated siding put on in the early 70's. In the late 70's or early 80's I put another 12" of insulation in the attic. We have thermo-panes all the way around plus storm windows, as well as insulated entry doors. Had new electric service installed about 5 years ago. New plumbing was installed, along with new energy efficient furnace & water heater, in the late 90's.

So sometimes older is better!
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:43 PM   #28
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Of course, W2R, you might come across an old house like ours. It was built in the VERY early 1900's (the aughts or teens) with NO insulation. However, NOW it's loaded with insulation! The walls and attic were insulated when the folks remodeled in the late 1950's. The house was wrapped and had insulated siding put on in the early 70's. In the late 70's or early 80's I put another 12" of insulation in the attic. We have thermo-panes all the way around plus storm windows, as well as insulated entry doors. Had new electric service installed about 5 years ago. New plumbing was installed, along with new energy efficient furnace & water heater, in the late 90's.

So sometimes older is better!
What a great house! I'll remember it when I am looking, and I'll look for upgrades like that. I love the older homes.
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:57 AM   #29
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you can find those very old homes that have been updated (as Goonie mentions). If you were looking for something newer (i.e., with better electrical service, tv cabling, etc) as well as the better insulation, I think you would probably want to look at 1980+. I did insulation for new homes in a cold part of Utah in anout 1980. I think there were some Fed laws passed not too long before that mandating certain levels of insulation. Back then, 2x4 walls were R11, and 2x6s were usually insulated to R19. You can always have attic insulation blown in (assumes you have an attic-you cannot insulate if you have no attic, unless you add a lower ceiling), and it is reasonable in ROI terms, but redoing walls to insulate is an expensive proposition, that CAN lead to unsightly scars on your walls. One way to check is to pull the cover off of an electrical outlet on an outer wall, measure the depth of the wall stud, and check for fiberglass. It should be pretty tight around the electrical outlet., and if it is not you may end up with drafts or cold spots.

hope this helps.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:42 AM   #30
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you can find those very old homes that have been updated (as Goonie mentions). If you were looking for something newer (i.e., with better electrical service, tv cabling, etc) as well as the better insulation, I think you would probably want to look at 1980+. I did insulation for new homes in a cold part of Utah in anout 1980. I think there were some Fed laws passed not too long before that mandating certain levels of insulation. Back then, 2x4 walls were R11, and 2x6s were usually insulated to R19. You can always have attic insulation blown in (assumes you have an attic-you cannot insulate if you have no attic, unless you add a lower ceiling), and it is reasonable in ROI terms, but redoing walls to insulate is an expensive proposition, that CAN lead to unsightly scars on your walls. One way to check is to pull the cover off of an electrical outlet on an outer wall, measure the depth of the wall stud, and check for fiberglass. It should be pretty tight around the electrical outlet., and if it is not you may end up with drafts or cold spots.

hope this helps.

R
That is a TREMENDOUS help!!! Thank you so much. Yes, I was concerned about the outer wall insulation mostly, since attic insulation is easily added.

I don't care so much about the TV cabling (my present home is vintage 1972, and I had cable TV brought into the house from the street and a cable outlet installed in every room by the cable company for just $150 in 2002 - - pretty cheap, so I expect that even with inflation I could afford to have that done in the new house).

I'd rather avoid the aluminum wiring that my present house has, though, which I believe would mean avoiding many of the houses built in the 1970's. That's why I am thinking 1960's vs 1980's.

Sounds like what I want is a house built in the 1980's, probably. That may be a little tougher to find in the neighborhoods I am thinking of, but I could probably find one.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:55 PM   #31
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That is a TREMENDOUS help!!! Thank you so much. Yes, I was concerned about the outer wall insulation mostly, since attic insulation is easily added.

I don't care so much about the TV cabling (my present home is vintage 1972, and I had cable TV brought into the house from the street and a cable outlet installed in every room by the cable company for just $150 in 2002 - - pretty cheap, so I expect that even with inflation I could afford to have that done in the new house).

I'd rather avoid the aluminum wiring that my present house has, though, which I believe would mean avoiding many of the houses built in the 1970's. That's why I am thinking 1960's vs 1980's.

Sounds like what I want is a house built in the 1980's, probably. That may be a little tougher to find in the neighborhoods I am thinking of, but I could probably find one.
Houses in the built 1990's did NOT have asbestos (it was outlawed by then).
Houses in the 1970's (or before) might have had paint.

We're finishing up rehabing a house that was built in the late 1800's or early 1900's (no real record of it's construction date). It had plaster walls with no insulation and limited heating, and no A/C (in the NorthEast, that makes things a lot more comfortable). Suprisingly enough when we had it tested, there was no lead paint, and no asbestos flooring. It did have 1 electrical outlet upstairs (which was supposedly good enough for 3 bedrooms.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:20 PM   #32
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Houses in the built 1990's did NOT have asbestos (it was outlawed by then).
Houses in the 1970's (or before) might have had paint.

We're finishing up rehabing a house that was built in the late 1800's or early 1900's (no real record of it's construction date). It had plaster walls with no insulation and limited heating, and no A/C (in the NorthEast, that makes things a lot more comfortable). Suprisingly enough when we had it tested, there was no lead paint, and no asbestos flooring. It did have 1 electrical outlet upstairs (which was supposedly good enough for 3 bedrooms.
Sounds like you have your work cut out for you!! I love the built-ins, molding, and woodwork in older homes, but I just don't have the skills or motivation necessary to upgrade a late 1800's or early 1900's home to modern standards. Plus, I should qualify that by saying I love them but not their bathrooms! I am no fan of clawfoot tubs, probably because I am old enough to remember when many homes had them.
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