When Was This House Built??? - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

When Was This House Built???

 
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:01 AM   #1
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When Was This House Built???


I am trying to figure out how old my house is. The town does not have a firm idea. They have it documented as 1927. Here are some facts:

1. It had gas lights throughout
2. At one point the gas lines were shut off and knob and tube was installed (the old gas lines were used to hold the new electric lamps)
3. There is chesnut mouldings throughout
4. Not balloon framed
5. Plaster walls with no metal lathe
6. Colonial Victorian in Maywood NJ
7. No heating oil tank
8. Forced hot air

I have tried to research this, the first census I have is in the 40's and Ironically I have met the grandson of that owner. I appreciate the help.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: When Was This House Built???


You may want to post some pictures. Some of the architectural details may offer some clues. Knob and Tube could date the conversion from anywhere from 1880 to 1930, but I don't think interior gas lighting was much earlier. 1850's to 1920's maybe?

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Old 01-15-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: When Was This House Built???


Here are a couple pics
Attached Thumbnails
When was this house built???-fireplace.jpg   When was this house built???-img_0427.jpg   When was this house built???-img_0444.jpg   When was this house built???-img_0870.jpg  
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:31 PM   #4
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Re: When Was This House Built???


1927 looks about right.

I say this because I have inspected at least 80-100 homes that were built between 1890 and 1940. Most of the homes that I inspected still had coal shoots. Some still had piles of coal, some had oil tanks, etc.

Looking at your pictures I would say that the 1927 mark looks to be pretty acurate.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: When Was This House Built???


My first thought was that the 1927 seems reasonable.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:48 PM   #6
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Re: When Was This House Built???


I talked to neighbor, he said his house was built in 1910 an his house was built after mine based on survey's and old title info.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:03 PM   #7
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Re: When Was This House Built???


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Originally Posted by tjfslaughter View Post
I talked to neighbor, he said his house was built in 1910 an his house was built after mine based on survey's and old title info.
Of say 1890 to 1910. The house I'm working on now is a 1850 and the gas lines were put in after it was build
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
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Re: When Was This House Built???


the original house may have burned down, and the replacement built in '27

I have a home built in 1877 according to the deed, but I can tell it's not original...
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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Re: When Was This House Built???


I am going to reach out to the local historical board.

Our First house was build on the old location for the fire house hourse stables. The barn for the horses was taken down and the beams used were re purposed as my sill plates and beams...
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:37 PM   #10
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Re: When Was This House Built???


When I was in school, one of the things we had to do was research an old property. One of the tricks is to look at deeds of sale and look for significant jump in value, meaning that a lot had a building erected.

The fact that it isn't balloon framed makes me think that it is later than 1920, unless it's timber framed with the interior walls being 2x material.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #11
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Re: When Was This House Built???


Looking at the picture it is balloon framed , no bottom plate at the floor
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:49 AM   #12
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Re: When Was This House Built???


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Looking at the picture it is balloon framed , no bottom plate at the floor
Its not balooned framed. Between the first floor and second and second and attic there is a pair of full 2x4's between the studs.

The goofy thing is that the first floor studs do not line up with the second floor.. Its all full 2x4 4x4 6x4 construction. The corners of the house are 6x4.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Re: When Was This House Built???


Are the 2x4's not ledgers for the floor system to sit on? If not how is the floor system attached?

It sounds like a vernacular build. Built however the builder thought was best. I remember an historical preservationist once saying that using a building style to date a building is pretty vague because maybe an older homeowner built it and used the methods he'd seen used as a kid. Or a style was revered by a builder because it's how his father built and he wasn't going to change what worked etc....

I would say that a building being balloon framed can give you a range of 1850's to 1940's but the fact that it isn't balloon framed doesn't help to narrow the date unless it's platform framed
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #14
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Re: When Was This House Built???


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Originally Posted by dom-mas View Post
Are the 2x4's not ledgers for the floor system to sit on? If not how is the floor system attached?

It sounds like a vernacular build. Built however the builder thought was best. I remember an historical preservationist once saying that using a building style to date a building is pretty vague because maybe an older homeowner built it and used the methods he'd seen used as a kid. Or a style was revered by a builder because it's how his father built and he wasn't going to change what worked etc....

I would say that a building being balloon framed can give you a range of 1850's to 1940's but the fact that it isn't balloon framed doesn't help to narrow the date unless it's platform framed
I attached an image. I have already padded out the walls to 5.5". As you can see the floor joist (for the attic) are sitting on top of 2- 2x4's but there is no band joist. Its the same way between the first and second floor.

I really appreciate everybody's input. I added a crappy cell phone pic of the stairs. The post is solid Chesnut (need to start sanding on it...)
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When was this house built???-houseframing.jpg   When was this house built???-stairs.jpg  

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Old 01-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #15
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Re: When Was This House Built???


Man.... I love those floors.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:55 AM   #16
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Re: When Was This House Built???


The newel posts scream 192o's to me

there's another wall system on top of that floor you showed the pix for?
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:05 AM   #17
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Re: When Was This House Built???


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The newel posts scream 192o's to me

there's another wall system on top of that floor you showed the pix for?

Both the second and attic floor uses the same system. The subfloor is tongue and groove heart pine. Maybe the poster that said the house was rebuilt in 1927 may be onto something...
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #18
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Re: When Was This House Built???


tongue and groove. I'm guessing laid on the diagonal?

An aquaintance of mine was into architectural salvage and some of his biggest selling stuff was actually old subfloor and wall planking, 25'+ lengths, pine. He'd sell it to restaurants who wanted a southwest feeling.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #19
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Re: When Was This House Built???


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tongue and groove. I'm guessing laid on the diagonal?

An aquaintance of mine was into architectural salvage and some of his biggest selling stuff was actually old subfloor and wall planking, 25'+ lengths, pine. He'd sell it to restaurants who wanted a southwest feeling.
not diagonal on the floor. The sheathing is diagonal...
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #20
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Re: When Was This House Built???


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not diagonal on the floor. The sheathing is diagonal...
Really? i'd say that 90% of the subfloors I've seen from the 1890's-1940's were laid diagonally. Rarely see the wall sheathing diagonally.

I'm also surprised that there is only an exterior layer of wall sheathing, typically I see an inner and outer. Easy to hang pictures so long as the fastener is long enough to go through plaster, lath and furring strips

I've only done work in the Ottawa area though

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