Maintaining old houses

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mattaudio
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby mattaudio » March 30th, 2016, 10:33 am

I've done longer downspouts and regrading, but I'm still going to be putting in drain tile and a sump pump before I finish mine.

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mister.shoes
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby mister.shoes » March 30th, 2016, 11:05 am

Finished our basement two summers ago. It's unusually deep at nearly 9.5' to the bottom of the floor joists and we're half a block from the creek in an area that was once pretty marshy. Even given all that, my contractor father-in-law recommended against tile and a sump and in favor of grading and proper downspouts. In his experience, 90% of basement water problems can be fixed—or prevented, as we never had water issues—with that approach. Our back yard drops a good four feet to the alley and the front maybe a foot to the street. Seven years in the house and still no problems.

1939 Cape Cod, FWIW.
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Realstreets
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby Realstreets » March 30th, 2016, 11:37 am

Finished our basement two summers ago. It's unusually deep at nearly 9.5' to the bottom of the floor joists and we're half a block from the creek in an area that was once pretty marshy. Even given all that, my contractor father-in-law recommended against tile and a sump and in favor of grading and proper downspouts. In his experience, 90% of basement water problems can be fixed—or prevented, as we never had water issues—with that approach. Our back yard drops a good four feet to the alley and the front maybe a foot to the street. Seven years in the house and still no problems.

1939 Cape Cod, FWIW.
Thanks for the input! Your backyard slope probably helps a lot. I'm not near any bodies of water (almost a mile from Lake Hiawatha) but my yard and block is pretty flat.

Did anyone do anything to the stairs? I know the headroom clearance is not to code. I don't fully understand if you need to fix that (which would probably impossible without serious construction.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby seanrichardryan » March 30th, 2016, 11:46 am

Stairs do not need to be fixed.
The city actually has a good info on their website.

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/mdr/interi ... r_basement
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amiller92
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby amiller92 » March 30th, 2016, 11:53 am

We don't have drain tile and sump either with our finished basement (like that when we bought it). We were told they hadn't had water issues, but now I'm wondering if today is the first extended rain.

We did fill in some dirt to fix the slope away from the house in the back and we have the benefit of being maybe 10 feet up from the alley, for things to drain downhill. Also learned in the garage building that the soil is very sandy, which is good for drainage.

1942 Cape Cod.

kirby96
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby kirby96 » April 13th, 2017, 8:16 am

Any suggestions on where to buy vintage brick in some quantity (~500 bricks)? I've been monitoring Craigslist, but it's a bit too hit or miss...

EOst
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby EOst » April 13th, 2017, 11:55 am

The city of Minneapolis has a supply of old brick/granite pavers for sale. Not sure how many are left now, but there was still a good pile a year ago.

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Anondson
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby Anondson » October 8th, 2018, 6:59 pm

I’m looking at window replacement to two main floor bedrooms for my 1947 story and a half and energy efficiency is my top priority.

It’ll be two windows per room. Four windows total.

Does anyone know if German-style “tilt and turn” with rouladen are available from local installers?

I intend on residing and super-insulating the whole house in the future, is it a bad idea to get ultra-efficient windows (even passive house rated?) at a different time than when I re-insulate the walls?

seanrichardryan
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby seanrichardryan » October 8th, 2018, 8:51 pm

Ultra efficient windows will push moisture infiltration into your wall cavities- just be aware. Very nice tilt & turns are made by Marvin I think. I've seen them installed in Minneapolis in a few projects.
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Tyler
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby Tyler » October 9th, 2018, 1:46 am

Ultra efficient windows will push moisture infiltration into your wall cavities- just be aware.
Hmm. Via what mechanism?
Towns!

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Anondson
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby Anondson » October 12th, 2018, 10:33 am

Hmm, I’m no builder or architect, just a homeowner, but is the idea a bit like with vehicle traffic that if you close a well used road off traffic often just moves to other routes. So that as a home’s entire exterior envelope is tightened up bit by bit, it makes what would have leaked through the window areas just reroute to the leaky places in the walls?

MNdible
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby MNdible » October 12th, 2018, 10:41 am

But glass (whether old or new) is totally vapor impermeable, whereas most old houses' walls are very vapor permeable. So... I guess I'm also pretty confused by this comment. The only difference would seem to be that more efficient windows should have less condensation, which is good, and shouldn't have any impact on vapor in the walls.

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Anondson
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby Anondson » October 17th, 2020, 11:07 am

Our 74-year-old-home still has original windows; drafty as hell, single pane, with every window long since having broken ropes so we need to prop up every window with a wooden stick.

We got bids for replacing all the windows with modern insert-style. I would have preferred full replacement instead of inserts, but budgets are what they are.

The window salesman mentioned that modern windows do not need storm windows, so they would just dispose of our old storms since they are unnecessary.

My 74-year-old current home is the youngest house I’ve lived in, and every one of them have had storm windows. I’ve never questioned not having storm windows. Every house in my neighborhood has storm windows (but none of them are upgraded windows, either).

I feel like I’m ignorant here, would I be making a mistake to not have storm windows when we get modern replacements?

billhelm
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby billhelm » October 17th, 2020, 3:39 pm

our 30s era home's windows were replaced roughly 12 years old and we don't have storms with them. I don't miss them, and it's fine without them.

BoredAgain
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby BoredAgain » October 17th, 2020, 10:35 pm

I replaced the 115 year old windows in my home with inserts about 6 years ago. No more storms. Most of the windows didn't have storms when I bough the house, so new windows without storms was a HUGE upgrade over old windows with a mix of storms or winter plastic. I have never missed the old storms. Also, now I can use my double hung windows as intended (open at top and bottom) to improve air circulation in my home that does not have central air.

I did hang onto some of the old storms to make cold boxes for my garden.

kiliff75
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby kiliff75 » October 19th, 2020, 7:31 am

I was concerned about vapor issues with insulating and having efficient windows, but our contractor told us this was mainly an issue with homes (typically 80s era) that have a vapor barrier installed. There shouldn't be an issue with moisture getting trapped in the walls unless you have a vapor barrier installed.

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Anondson
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby Anondson » October 19th, 2020, 7:56 am

I’ve been gradually upgrading our efficiency incrementally. After we installed closed cell foam insulation in our roof, a blower door test showed we were on the edge of needing an air exchanger.

With a our windows getting upgrades I’m thinking a new blower door test might be a good idea to check again.

Mdcastle
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby Mdcastle » October 19th, 2020, 7:58 am

My 1960s vintage house we had the original windows + storms replaced with modern inserts. We did have one fail from the seal breaking, but overall are happy. With modern high efficiency glass you really don't need storm windows, and we are happy to get rid of the irritation of having to move two panes of glass instead of one every time we want to open the window.

schwinnletour
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Re: Maintaining old houses

Postby schwinnletour » October 20th, 2020, 8:20 am

For home energy improvements, a 2 hour consultation with this group will allow homeowners to get the most bang for their buck. They will perform a blower door test and use an infrared camera to figure out where air leaks are occurring.

Replacing windows may not be the best bang for your buck when it comes to home improvements.

It's $100 cost is subsidized through the utility companies:

https://www.mncee.org/home-energy-squad/how-it-works/


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