Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-14-2009, 06:07 PM   #41
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post





And if you want a hand-carved, hand painted pull toy today - they are available. You may need to search them out, and some places will price them very high trying to cash in on the nostalgia factor, but I'm pretty sure you can find some at decent prices if you look.


"Old Time" quality is indeed very available today. High quality, hand crafted hardwood furniture - available. Hand carved wooden toys - available. Custom homes built by true craftsman that pay attention to details and follow plans done by superb architects - available. Etc, etc. It's all there.

The problem is the American consumer. We get what we ask for. Is it a surprise that suppliers provide what we empty the shelves of and don't carry what we left on the shelves gathering dust?
__________________

__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-14-2009, 08:08 PM   #42
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus View Post
Construction is another cheap service. Don't bring a level out to a subdivision going up. What you find will scare you.
My FIL would joke that every carpenter on a job had their framing square and 4 foot level... all safely tucked away in their toolbox

It does seem like construction quality has slipped, but as youbet points out, it is available if you are willing to pay. And I wonder if that 'slip' isn't more revisionist history on our part? Was a middle-of-the-run home really built all that well back in the day? Maybe, just due to the nature of the materials and training and such. But when we see some old museum-tour home, we are seeing the high end, not middle-of-the-run. That might distort our view.

Even among the high class homes with fancy fitted woodwork and masonry etc, you would still have a 50% eff furnace, rather than an 80 plus today, poor insulation, etc. So there is some give and take in all that.

I guess I'll go back and draw on my litmus test - anyone *really* want to go back in time and exchange today's quality options and price for those of yesteryear? No thanks.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 09:05 PM   #43
Full time employment: Posting here.
UncleHoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus
Posts: 769
As the owner of a middle of the run 79 year old home I cringe every time I hear someone say, "they sure don't build them like they used too".

If those people only knew. Even the nice old ones had their share of flaws and problems. Nothing is plumb or square and most things were not engineered, they were just built. A lot depended on the carpenters and how creative they were.

I'm just waiting for the day I catch up with the old masons that did our foundation.....You don't substitute common block for corner block unless you want leaks, BIG LEAKS.

I'm also looking for the carpenter that installed the door frames to the coal bin and storage room in the basement before the floor was poured. Just bury the ends in the dirt so the termites have easy access.

Oh and don't put a footer under a wood post holding up a two story stairwell. Just put it on a flat stone and the concrete guys can hide it.

The guys I really want to meet up with are the plasterer and finish carpenter that cut off a major support in a load bearing wall and moved it over about a foot because someone screwed up measuring for the finish staircase.

The list goes on and on and after 34 years most of the little indiscretions have been corrected.

This past weekend DW and I hosted about 40 of my woodworking friends to an open shop and house. As they drooled over the solid walnut wainscot and teak flooring in the dining room, the solid cherry frame and paneled wall in the living room with cherry, walnut and mahogany furniture one of them said to me. You know, you are absolutely NUTS. Best compliment I had in a long time.

Let the rest of the world have all the plastic stuff they want, I'll take the good stuff any time.
__________________
100% retired and working hard at it.
UncleHoney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 11:04 PM   #44
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
And perfect plumb construction can all be worthless if you have an inch or two of differential settlement over the decades and a crack develops in the walls in the middle of your house. Happens all the time with foundations built on compacted clay (like we have in my local area). And clay settles sloooooowly, so you may not see much settlement for years.

But do you really want to pay an extra $30,000-100,000 for a geotech crew to engineer and build a foundation that keeps differential settlement to near zero levels? Nah - it's a house, not a 50 story skyscraper.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 01:13 AM   #45
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Nice chair, Nords--I just looked at the Herman Miller website and I can see it's very supportive.
The sellers, who of course were living in a very nice Hawaii Kai home, had decided to move to Shanghai and were selling for 10 cents on the dollar. Even with the nice home I was wondering if we were trafficking in stolen goods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
And perfect plumb construction can all be worthless if you have an inch or two of differential settlement over the decades and a crack develops in the walls in the middle of your house. Happens all the time with foundations built on compacted clay (like we have in my local area). And clay settles sloooooowly, so you may not see much settlement for years.
But do you really want to pay an extra $30,000-100,000 for a geotech crew to engineer and build a foundation that keeps differential settlement to near zero levels? Nah - it's a house, not a 50 story skyscraper.
And then the earthquake wreaks havoc on your perfect drywall joints...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 08:32 AM   #46
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,798
One house the DW and I were looking to buy had crown molding. Overall the structure looked decent, until.... The thing with the crown molding was there were several places in the house where it had to just stop at the edge of a wall. Not one place did the crown on the left side end in the same place as the crown on the right side. They weren't off by fractions of inches they were off by inches. This was from a "custom house" builder. A co-worker had his house built. when he did the final walk through he noticed one of the doors wasn't square. The only reason he noticed it was because it was in a corner. The bottom was .5-1 inch off from the top.

My father had a house in Texas that was built on the clay they have there. As long as he kept the lawn watered the house remained level. When he started renting it out the renters quit watering the lawn and the way the water drained from around the house one side received more water than the other and the house became unlevel and the foundation cracked. Now my sister lives in the house and he told here the secret to keeping the house level so she waters regularly. My father also had the foundation fixed which I'm sure helps.
__________________
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
lets-retire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 09:20 AM   #47
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
As a woodworking hobbyist (from whence the term "ugly as a homemade fence"), one advantage of custom-built cabinetry and shelving is that what you want to store fits perfectly. That is, until what you want to store changes... But if you build it yourself, you can make it as modular as you want. Ever tried to move a big, honkin', hardwood bookshelf? Getting it around corners, through doorways, and into a truck is a task begging for Samantha- or Jeannie-like powers.

But I'm an expert at building stuff that looks like it came out of an old farmhouse...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 09:35 AM   #48
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
....

But I'm an expert at building stuff that looks like it came out of an old farmhouse...
Hey, that stuff is collectible! There is a neat hutch in my family that was lined with Civil War newspapers. Dad bought it for a song but it's lost value because it's been stripped and re-painted a couple of times. Blame "Antiques Roadshow" for making it difficult to downsize.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 09:37 AM   #49
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
Blame "Antiques Roadshow" for making it difficult to downsize.
I blame Antiques Roadshow because I lament the fact that my ancestors apparently didn't keep a lot of cool stuff in good condition passed down to many generations...
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 09:46 AM   #50
Full time employment: Posting here.
UncleHoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus
Posts: 769
Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire View Post

My father had a house in Texas that was built on the clay they have there. As long as he kept the lawn watered the house remained level. When he started renting it out the renters quit watering the lawn and the way the water drained from around the house one side received more water than the other and the house became unlevel and the foundation cracked. Now my sister lives in the house and he told here the secret to keeping the house level so she waters regularly. My father also had the foundation fixed which I'm sure helps.

You must be talking about the infamous Yazoo Clay. Even Frank Lloyd Wright didn't understand about Yazoo Clay. There is a Wright house someplace in the south that has been plagued by the clay for years. Sections of the house have moved up and down several inches. I remember reading about restoration efforts in the early 80's. Not sure if they ever corrected all the problems but it was getting expensive at the time.
__________________
100% retired and working hard at it.
UncleHoney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2009, 10:11 AM   #51
Full time employment: Posting here.
UncleHoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus
Posts: 769
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I blame Antiques Roadshow because I lament the fact that my ancestors apparently didn't keep a lot of cool stuff in good condition passed down to many generations...
Even some of the good old stuff isn't that great. I recently refinished an old dresser that has been in the family for about 140 years. Much to my surprise only the front and top were solid walnut, the sides were stained poplar. Even years ago there were efforts to economize and make stuff affordable for the common man.

Since I'm only the fourth owner of the dresser the story of it's history is still intact as far as I know. Supposedly the piece came across the Alleghenies in the back of a wagon and even survived the famous 1913 flood that inundated Columbus.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 033013.jpg (146.6 KB, 3 views)
__________________
100% retired and working hard at it.
UncleHoney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 08:47 PM   #52
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
Well, I've had it with IKEA. Today was the second time I've been there but never again. First time was an experience, this was horrible. Looking for a piece of furniture for storage in our computer room to hold misc books, cables, external hard drives, etc. Saw some that might have worked the first time we were there but that was not the purpose of our visit them. It was to scope out the place and see what they had. Saw some nice computer chairs also. This time in looking in detail at the furniture, I came to the conclusion it is cheap. Junk to me. Pressed wood drawer bottoms with cardboard backs. I don't call that furniture. It's utility drawers. Stuff I might use in my workshop but not in my home. Maybe priced right but I'd much rather add another $100 and get something decent. We bought some drawer dividers and a rack for cooking lids and that's the end of our trips to IKEA. Oh yeah, almost everything is made in China. Utensils are one thing but I'm not buying my firniture from China. Right now I see it as a fad but I think it will wear off. I did like there cafeteria. Nice touch! I will have to say, you could hardly find a parking space and here I thought we were in a recession.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 09:52 AM   #53
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,872
We bought 2, identical, 72-inch oak bookcases from a local outfit that boasted "solid oak furniture, no pressed wood, old-style craftmanship." They were the usual shelves-held-up-by-little-brass-thingies-that-fit-into-holes-in-the-sides bookcases but they sure weren't cheap.
They weren't identical, either, as we found when the backing (made of something like pressed sawdust) came off one bookshelf as it was being moved. The backing had been stapled on, instead of nailed on like the other bookshelf. At some point, someone decided to save time and money by using a staple gun instead of nails...The shelves cost the same, but one was definitely "cheaper" than the other.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 02:22 PM   #54
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleHoney View Post
As the owner of a middle of the run 79 year old home I cringe every time I hear someone say, "they sure don't build them like they used too".

If those people only knew. Even the nice old ones had their share of flaws and problems. Nothing is plumb or square and most things were not engineered, they were just built. A lot depended on the carpenters and how creative they were.

I'm just waiting for the day I catch up with the old masons that did our foundation.....You don't substitute common block for corner block unless you want leaks, BIG LEAKS.

I'm also looking for the carpenter that installed the door frames to the coal bin and storage room in the basement before the floor was poured. Just bury the ends in the dirt so the termites have easy access.

Oh and don't put a footer under a wood post holding up a two story stairwell. Just put it on a flat stone and the concrete guys can hide it.

The guys I really want to meet up with are the plasterer and finish carpenter that cut off a major support in a load bearing wall and moved it over about a foot because someone screwed up measuring for the finish staircase.

The list goes on and on and after 34 years most of the little indiscretions have been corrected....
As a rough carpenter masquerading as a finish carpenter told us on one of many old place redos: do you want it to be level or look level? Actually he wasn't really capable of either result. I think an advantage of much modern construction is that it takes into account labor cost and lack of craftsmanship. Engineered floor joists free of twist and metal hangers, pre-cut-to-length wall studs, tiles mounted to rubber backing that sets the correct grout joint width, ABS pipe fittings with 90 and 45 degree marks for perfect joint to joint mating, pretty much everything seems to be made to accomodate "Construction for the Complete Idiot". Problems arise when the inevitable problems crop up - and someone has to actually think how to go outside the tab A in Slot A mode.

Oh - just remembered - "Caulk and paint make a carpenter what he ain't". We are guilty of charging our painter with using structural paint several times when we don't want to tear the old MF down and start new. He claims he can't paint across air, but i tell him he just needs to get more dirt on his brush... He's made places look pretty darn good and keep the rent coming in for decades now...
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 06:02 PM   #55
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
The ideas in this book appear to be cheap.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 07:09 PM   #56
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
I thought these two posts made an interesting juxtoposition (and I love to use that word ):

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Well, I've had it with IKEA.

.... This time in looking in detail at the furniture, I came to the conclusion it is cheap. Junk to me. Pressed wood drawer bottoms with cardboard backs. I don't call that furniture. It's utility drawers. Stuff I might use in my workshop but not in my home. Maybe priced right but I'd much rather add another $100 and get something decent.
This seems reasonable to me. The quality was not what you wanted, so you take your business elsewhere, willing to pay for the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
We bought 2, identical, 72-inch oak bookcases from a local outfit that boasted "solid oak furniture, no pressed wood, old-style craftmanship."

...as we found when the backing (made of something like pressed sawdust) came off one bookshelf as it was being moved. The backing had been stapled on, instead of nailed on like the other bookshelf. At some point, someone decided to save time and money by using a staple gun instead of nails...The shelves cost the same, but one was definitely "cheaper" than the other.
And here, Amethysts was expecting quality with those vague "old world craftsmanship" terms, but didn't get the quality expected. Just because something is made from "solid wood" doesn't mean it is good quality, and just because something is veneer and presswood doesn't mean it is poor quality.


Quote:
Oh yeah, almost everything is made in China.
Well, that's "old world", isn't it? Now you made me look, the IKEA tables we bought that are solid maple, and IMO, good quality and very good value were made in Russia - is that better?

But the better quality stuff is something you have to search out at IKEA, I agree that most of it is on the "cheap" end, and may or may not be a good value, depending on the piece and your needs. Gotta be a smart shopper and know what you want and how to determine if the piece has it. IMO, solid versus veneer and presswood may be the last of my concerns. Construction details, fit and finish come first.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 08:36 PM   #57
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
ERD50

Well, guess I should have dampened my critique by not including "everything" as cheap. When I look at a credenza of the simplist design, made of pressed wood and painted black for $200 compared to a decent "solid wood" piece of furniture at Home Goods for $300, there is no question in my mind which one I'm going to buy. Oh, did I mention that the one at IKEA has to be assembled. Does anyone else have a Home Goods store near them? I think they're a great discount decorating store that is part of the Marshall's and TJ Max chain.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 01:16 PM   #58
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
And perfect plumb construction can all be worthless if you have an inch or two of differential settlement over the decades and a crack develops in the walls in the middle of your house. Happens all the time with foundations built on compacted clay (like we have in my local area). And clay settles sloooooowly, so you may not see much settlement for years.
Welcome to my world.........
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 01:21 PM   #59
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude View Post
Welcome to my world.........
It's my world too. We have a small crack between the two sides of our split level house. It is like the wall acts as a hinge and the two sides of the house are revolving ever so slightly around that hinge. No increase has been observed in the crack, but it is obvious that it changes width since previous patch jobs are noticeable yet ineffective at concealing it. And we have noticed the cabinets in the kitchen separate from the ceiling at times up to 1/4 inch. Right now they are flush though.

Ahhh, old houses... Full of "character".
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 08:59 PM   #60
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
It's my world too. We have a small crack between the two sides of our split level house. It is like the wall acts as a hinge and the two sides of the house are revolving ever so slightly around that hinge. No increase has been observed in the crack, but it is obvious that it changes width since previous patch jobs are noticeable yet ineffective at concealing it. And we have noticed the cabinets in the kitchen separate from the ceiling at times up to 1/4 inch. Right now they are flush though.

Ahhh, old houses... Full of "character".
Have you talked to your ins co? I recall a horror story about something along these lines, and the ins co would not pay, saying that if they were informed of the problem earlier, they could have had it fixed for much less.

That may not apply here, but you might want to look into it and make sure you are protected.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Out: Greed is good In: Cheap is good. Cattusbabe Other topics 19 03-11-2009 10:06 PM
Got a good, cheap laptop at Dell Outlet thefed Other topics 7 01-31-2009 11:12 PM
Boiled bone-in ham - so good and cheap tmm99 Other topics 13 01-08-2009 04:16 PM
Any good 0% balance transfers for 1 year offers left? soupcxan FIRE and Money 10 09-25-2005 09:33 PM
Cheap But Good Fish Stew haha Other topics 11 02-23-2005 05:00 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:00 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.