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Apr 5, 2014 6:15PM
Homes nowadays are thrown up overnight with shoddy construction, and very little character to boot.
Give me a 1920's Sears home any day.

Apr 5, 2014 6:08PM
70'S HOMES GOOD AND BAD- from a guy who renovates homes for a living.  

The good : fairly solid construction, excellent tile work, and decent quality of construction.  garage doors were solid wood = good insulation and hold up well

The Bad:  very poor insulation,  Horrible plumbing copper and cast iron= copper may possibly be ok in the north but not in the south.  cast iron drains will give major problems where ever you may live. Electrical can range from decent to downright dangerous, with breakers that don't come close to functioning.  Smoke detectors are limited and other safety options like carbon monoxide don't exist. Windows are generally junk during this time period and would need to be replaced.  If you live in the south, just don't bother with an older home, Insurance will be through the roof , sometimes as high as triple.  Reason is they never thought about hurricanes or wind load=the roof will be ripped off during high winds when the pathetic windows being blown in and roof being lifted off with no wimpy straps.  leaving you at best without a home and at worst dead.

I have renovated many 70's homes.  they usually have nice solid 'guts" if you will , but need 10's of thousands in upgrades to make them as safe as a newer home.  Yeah i know,  you have an older home and love it.  That's fine.  I'm not saying your older home isn't great.  Most of my life was spent in 70's homes too and i enjoyed it.  Just don't think because you love your home it is better or safer than a new one with hundreds of code rule changes that have improved the safety over the years.      

And yes, craftsmanship is much lower now especially on tract or other manufactured homes.  wish we had the 70's skilled labor mixed with todays new/safe building code.  Now that would be a house that we would all love.... 
Apr 5, 2014 5:10PM
     My father and uncles built homes in the '50s. I built homes in the '80s. Some differences come to mind. In the '50s basements were hand laid block, always plumb and level. The '80s used poured wall basement construction, seldom plumb or level and prone to bowing and cracking. the '50s sub flooring was solid 1x10 pine boards laid 45% of an angle from the floor joists. The '80s flooring was 5/8" T.& G. plywood that was prone to twisting and would squeak when walked on.The 50's houses were built in a time when energy conservation wasn't as important as was in later decades, but these homes were built like brick s#*th;"#<s. In the '80s there was an acute interest in energy conservation with using insulation and making a home as reasonably air tight as possible. But in my mind the worst thing was that the homes built in the '80s were constructed with materials like plywood, particle board, adhesives plastics, all of them with glues such as formaldihide glues. Now you have yourself an airtight as was possible house emitting gasses from the building materials used and you have created an environment that triggers asthma and other illnesses in babies to the elderly. It's in your flooring, your wall sheeting, your roof sheeting, your plastic plumbing, thinking about it is why I live in a 1900s home.
Apr 5, 2014 4:18PM
Some of this stuff is true...some of it...not so much.
We had air conditioning in the 60's...and so did EVERY house of every person I knew.
Ivy will indeed invade the concrete between bricks and eventually cause it to chip out, creating all sorts of problems.
Single story houses are indeed easier to maneuver around, but the reason hoses were built double storied originally, with bedrooms upstairs is because heat RISES and with a heat source opposite the staircase, bedrooms could be kept somewhat warm in winter months. In hot climate areas, basements were built because rooms underground tend to stay BELOW 70 degrees naturally.
Solar in the 70's was EXPENSIVE and not all that effective really. Which is why it fell out of favor. Today's soar is a whole different world, many applications capable of providing ALL the power needed for a 2000 sq. ft. home in the summer and a large portion of it's needs in winter. (Thermal heat is also available in many parts of the country...but it is expensive to set up)

Bottom line...if you are going to build a new home from scratch...specify 2x6 exterior walls (some areas already have out that requirement into the building code), use an exterior wrap on the walls ahead of siding, place ALL the insulation you can into the walls before putting up interior wall board. And make the wall board thick stuff...not the 1/2 inch...pony up for the 3/4 inch. This will give you about 8 inches between your interior and the outside elements. BEFORE putting up the wall board...run ALL your potential phone lines, cable lines, internet lines power lines through the walls. This cuts down on the number of holes in your walls, thereby fewer holes for interior air to leak out or exterior air to get in.
Make sure your concrete pad (if that's your foundation) is double sealed ahead of the pour...especially if you live in cold climates. This will help to keep your floors warmer. Concrete absorbs water from the air, so be sure that the sides of your foundation are sealed as well.
If your home will have a crawl space, not only do you want your floor-hoists to be filled with insulation, but spend the money to have the joists sealed as well. (think of this as a ceiling for your crawl space. Again, helps to keep the cold air from working it's way into the floors. (crawl under any house with a space, and you'll also see insulation hanging down. It happens over time.
In a home with crawl spaces, your water pipes and heating duct pipes will be below the joists anyhow, so the "ceiling won't affect them. But...have BOTH water and heating ducts insulated as much as possible. Keep control of the heat in those systems...no reason to let it out.

The above can be expensive to put into your new construction, BUT...unless you're cursed with fidgety feet, and don't plan on staying long, the pay-back will be excellent in your monthly heating/cooling bills. And even if you do have fidgety feet...the resale value of a house so well insulated will be better than a similar home without these "extras"

Apr 5, 2014 4:06PM
I like my home which was built in 1944.
Apr 5, 2014 12:18PM
I am a handy man by trade. I have worked on houses from the 50's to 2014. Houses made today are cheaply made. Not to mention the cheap illegal construction  workers with fake ID's and low pay. My brother worked plumbing in new house construction for 8 years (1999 to 2007) before being laid off by the recession. My brother would see several illegal's use the same name as one replaced the other. 8 guys used one name over a period of time. You would have to be a idiot to think houses ( track ) are better built today. There's a snow job on new houses it's all the fancy cheaply made appliance's that look to damn good to be true, some offer house distribution panels for internet phone etc., fancy looking light fixtures which are bought in bulk which means cheap, cheap garage door openers. There are a lot more tricks to draw the buyer away from the fast built shoddy workmanship of a house. Google online you'll find housing complex's sinking, cracking walls, house foundations sliding, houses built on land that shouldn't have buildings on them due to the soft soil.
Apr 5, 2014 12:09PM
some of the 1970s homes where really ugly that's what I have learned
Apr 5, 2014 12:04PM
I lived in a home built in 1967 by the Master of retirement homes.  Yes, I did a few things like add extra insulation to the attic, new AC, furnace, and some new appliances, but that home was rock solid and beautiful.  My electric bills were unbelievably low in a climate where 112 was not uncommon in the summer.  Yes, I also put in new double paned windows...in all I spent about $20,000 over time.  It was quiet, NO outside noise, beautiful patio to spend evenings.  Then because of health reasons I sold it and have regretted it ever since.  Having lived in newer much 'fancier' more expensive homes, none can compare with that home, and if possible I would go back in a heartbeat.  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND FUNCTIONAL and so inexpensive to purchase and manage.

They are also a wonderful nurturing environment for neighborhood rodents and provide easy access for neighborhood felons to access second story areas, unnoticed.

These issues were apparently not addressed by the Oxford studies.

Apr 5, 2014 11:33AM
We all know a thing of beauty is a joy forever.  Well, based on what I have seen of 1970's houses here, there is not going to be any joy in Mudville or anywhere else down the road.  
Apr 5, 2014 10:24AM
And a burglar could climb the ivy to break in.
Apr 5, 2014 10:08AM
Hmm what did we learn? that would be don't do it again, houses from the 70's & 80's are horrible
Jul 31, 2012 8:09PM
My 'summer house' was built in 1954. Waay more efficient than my FL house built in the '70s.  

Mainly because I have a basement (naturally cooler) and a kitchen/den/whatever room down here. No need for A/C. Bedrooms are upstairs, but if it's hot I can sleep down here.

I'll take a 50's house with a basement over a McMansion from the 90's any day.

Jul 31, 2012 2:18PM
I have lived in my 1970's raised ranch for a little over ten years.  I actually moved back to the subdivision where I grew up because I just loved the homes.  Sure, they're not the huge monsterous homes that  are being built these days, but they have plenty of room for a family of four.  As a child of that era, I didn't think being eco-friendly (we referred to it as the ecology movement) ever went out of style.  We always recycled, composted and made use of alternative energy sources. Yes, there were things we had to do to the place to make it more energy efficiant; better appliances, more insulation, thermo-paned windows, etc.  There's something really nice about living in the exact model home I grew up in.  Ahh, I think I hear the Doobie Brothers on the stereo!
Jul 31, 2012 2:01PM

Like the style. Does not scream I AM RICH.  In fact, it doesn't  scream anythig.  The newest homes scream so loud that it would keep me up at night.  Tasteful homes without being cookie cutter ads for biggest, richest and I dont have to see other family members for days are a waste of space.  There's plenty of room for living but the shag carpeting had to go. 

Jul 31, 2012 1:26PM
Now if I could just get another 72 chevelle vroooom~!
Jul 31, 2012 1:20PM
I live in a home/community where all of the houses were built in the mid 70's.  I love my home!! Sure things will need replaced...that's a given after that much time has passed.  And if you are not 'updating' and doing the necessary maintenance after time, anything will fall apart.  Newer homes need less maintenance, but are sorely lacking in character.  Give me an older home any day.  I lived in a 1915 Craftsman and it was as solid as a ROCK.  TONS of character...and LOVED that home.  Our 70's Texas ranch has vaulted ceilings and a rustic brick fireplace that goes all the way to the peak of the ceiling.  I am redecorating, painting, and we put down new laminate floors.  It's beautiful!!  Thank you for doing this article.  I lived in a house almost identical to the little blue one with my parents when I was a teenager. 
Jul 31, 2012 12:58PM

Wow! Some people have real anger issues! Over an article about houses from the 70's?


$ucks to be you..

Jul 31, 2012 12:00PM

Didn't MSN have this same BS article a few weeks back?  Obviously written by someone in love with homes from the 1970's...


My first home was built in 1974.  I lived there for 8 years.  I'm glad I moved on and bought a much larger, better built home, which was built in 1999.  (I've lived here for 10 years, and life is MUCH better.)


To the author of this article:  Put that in your pipe and smoke it!  :)

Jul 13, 2012 3:06PM
1970s homes often have qualities like R-11 insulation in both their ceilings and walls, hollow luan doors, as well as aluminum windows that rattle and squeal whenever it is windy out too!   Many of them have copper piping that is corroding and will someday soon wear-out too, which will have expensive consequences for their owners.  How long do items like shingles, furnaces, water heaters, aluminum or wood siding, and appliances last?  Most 1970s homes are due for the replacement of many of these items, and are also overdue for kitchen and bathroom upgrades also.  Often 1970s homes were built as cheaply as was possible too, and there are a myriad of other problems that such homes can have due to 1970s construction standards and a lack of building compliance oversight that was present during the 1970s too!!!

However, many 1970s houses were better-built than many 1980s houses were, and they will require fewer repairs than many older houses too!!!
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