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TOH-Excess Evolution

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  • TOH-Excess Evolution

    Just watched a new episode of This Old House on PBS. The homeowners are tearing down (recycling 85% of material) their old house to build a new one. One of their main reasons is that they outgrew it. There was only 4 of them with no apparent plans for more family (based on age of everyone). The old house appeared to easily be about 1500-1800 sq. ft.

    I just found it interesting that they considered that small whereas Americans used to live their whole lives in 1200 sq. ft. or less with 4 people. Made me think about how this mentality also added to the mortgage problems going on.

    Also, I've typically been very down on premanufacturing parts of a house and assembling on site in the past. But they have a contractor/builder on this one that has developed a process & facility where he can do alot of this for ANY home. Custom or whatever. I was impressed this time.

    Check it out and give your opinion.

    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: TOH-Excess Evolution

    I was also impressed with the care in deconstruction! I also noticed some slick tools for doing just that.
    This episode reminded me of the "This Old House" of the past where the homeowner did sweat equity.

    I live in a home built around 1966 [before building inspectors arrived in Glendale, AZ]. The size is ok but the 1966 architecture compared to open floor plans of today is very obvious.

    If I had a spare couple of hundred thousand dollars I'd redo the inside. On the other hand,
    if I would have been fast enough I'd have my representative add a page for me on the rescue bill and send me oh I suppose $850,000.00 and I could have bull dozed the place and build a new energy efficient place with a basement, solar, geothermal, and the works!


    Cactus Man

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    • #3
      Re: TOH-Excess Evolution

      What did you think of the "premanufacturing" the builder was doing? I normally have frowned on this but have to say I liked it and it may be the way things get done better in the future.

      J.C.

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      • #4
        Re: TOH-Excess Evolution

        I like the recycling, I think it is a win-win-win proposition. If they can do that for less than the price of demolishing, carting away an entire house, then the homeowners win. The deconstructors should win, because they can sell the material. Society wins, because the more stuff we incinerate/put in a landfill, the more expensive that next ton is going to be. Also, I would rather our money goes to labor than all the infrastructure required for hauling trash.

        I do agree that Americans like a lot of space. I have 2200 sq. ft. for my family of four, and could easily use a another bedroom (for an office office). If I were to live 30-40 minutes north I could have a house that was 5000 sq. ft. for the same price. I'm not sure what I would do with that much space, but 3500 would be no problem to allocate (not that we've furnished our 2200 sq. ft. yet).

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        • #5
          Re: TOH-Excess Evolution

          When my two kids were young we moved from 1200 sq ft to 5700 sq ft. The primary advantage I found was that the same amount of toys on the floor seemed to be less. It also was easier to clean. I could vaccuum in a about the same time because the furniture was spaced so that nothing was in the way.

          My son has the place now and he is a tinkerer so the eight car garage fits him well.

          The down side is that he just put in 57 new windows. He tore off all the stuco siding and is residing with vinyl. Big houses equate to big bucks for maintenance.

          -Tom

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