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I'm new here, hello...

I'm a civil engineer, working for a highway heavy contractor. We are working on a future housing development, and one of the items being asked for is the design life of the stick built or modular homes that will be built at the site. I can't seam to find this anywhere, I was hopping some one here might know.
 

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Eater of sins.
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Wow, good question. I guess of properly maintained a couple hundred years.
I live in a house that is onehundred years old this year here in Old Towne Orange.
It's gone through earthquakes, Santa Ana winds and such and is in need of some foundation work but is not in danger of falling ofit's own anytime soon.

Andy.
 

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I guess this is as good a time as any to tell my favorite engineering joke.

Civil engineers build targets, mechanical engineers build weapons. :D

My guess would be the design life would depend on materials used and climate. Don't houses buit in dry, desert conditions last longer than ones built on the coast?
 

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Wow, good question. I guess of properly maintained a couple hundred years.
I live in a house that is onehundred years old this year here in Old Towne Orange.
It's gone through earthquakes, Santa Ana winds and such and is in need of some foundation work but is not in danger of falling ofit's own anytime soon.

Andy.
The old saying - they don't build them like they used to. Many of the houses built during the last boom may not hold up as well as houses built a couple decades ago I imagine, love to hear others' thoughts on the matter.
 

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JumboJack for president!
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Who cares as long as it is insured!!:clap:
but ya my parents house was built in 1863, still going strong. I would imagine that todays houses could go longer though. It seems like all of the old foundations go and the walls crack. Seems like today's modern material is so tested that it might be better.
 

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A properly poured foundation will definately outlast an old stone foundation. However when it comes to lumber the old slow growth stuff i think will outperform much of the Fir that is used today. We have better roofing material available today also. G
 

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If you really think about it, the demise of a house is not usually because of how well it was constructed. Generally it is caused by neglect. Even the best built homes must be properly maintained.
 

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Xana, I would take the opposite opinion, in that the materials of a 150 year old house will stand a far sight longer than a average home built with today's materials.I know old homes, and if maintained, will not require substantial reworking of materials, though if you look at the known issues of today's materials ( EIFS, sick house syndrome, LP siding and so forth) the modern materials that have failed, and the ones that will that we simply don't know about yet put me in the mindset that a modern home is good for 40 or 50 years.
 

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I've actually pondered this.

Like anything, maintaining the structure and it's components is key. A "new" house could last 25 to 35 years with very little maintenance, but once the roof fails, it's quickly downhill.

Quality of construction is also a factor.

Rule of thumb for a maintained stick built house is 100 to 120 years. Well maintained could easily double that. You'd have several roofs, siding replaced as well as windows, mechanicals ect., in that time frame.
 

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I think that is a good question

Alot goes into a stick built house
You have to have the right materials and the right contractor to put them together correctly. I have never done much remodeling, but what I have done is amazing. The full dimensional full lumber and things of that nature, however, the current situation with engineered lumber,better roofing,better insulation,better products is also a BIG plus. The contractors of current are quicker and imo less picky in the way we do things - I don't know if we have the same eye for detail as those old timers - good discussion

I wouldn't put my dog in a modular home - p.o.s.
 

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The old saying - they don't build them like they used to. Many of the houses built during the last boom may not hold up as well as houses built a couple decades ago I imagine, love to hear others' thoughts on the matter.
I think you're right, and demolition and remodeling contractors will have a rosy future.
 

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I think alot of it will depend on how many hacks were involved in the project. Where I'm at there are no inspections except plumbing. Footer's could be 4" thick and no one would say anything !!!

Round here, some houses are gonna way outlast others !!
 

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I've always wondered about TJI's. I just cant see them being solid after 75 years, especially if the house suffers some neglects. I recently fixed a 4 and 1/2" "swimming pool" in the middle of a house, had to pier and beam it in 3 place besides jacking up the center. 80 year old house, good to go for another 50 at least. Replacing TJI's? :eek:
 

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A properly poured foundation will definately outlast an old stone foundation. However when it comes to lumber the old slow growth stuff i think will outperform much of the Fir that is used today. We have better roofing material available today also. G
Not sure I agree with that. We demolished a building that was 110 yrs old. The foundation was stone, two feet thick. I don't know what mix they used for the mortar, but this wall was as good and sound as the day it was built. Because of Building Code, we were forced to remove the foundation and replace it with a poured foundation which I considered by far inferior to what was there.

I suppose 100 yrs from now we'll find out how well the poured foundation is holding up.
 

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Any building needs proper maintenance or mother nature will reclaim it in short order.

But the materials used to protect it from moisture and insects play a huge role in how long it can go with little or no care.

Pay a visit to the north east and a 200 year old house and barn is not an uncommon thing. Surely not all of them had the best of care along the way.

But most of them have one thing in common. A slate roof from Vermont quarries.

When you keep the rain outside the envelope the life span seems to continue to grow.
 

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The old saying - they don't build them like they used to. Many of the houses built during the last boom may not hold up as well as houses built a couple decades ago I imagine, love to hear others' thoughts on the matter.
Not in my neck of the woods, I'm in a part of town that was built around 90 years ago and the houses were built out of scraps; I'm shocked they are all still standing. I think with modern code being alot more strict a new home would last alot longer.

If you really think about it, the demise of a house is not usually because of how well it was constructed. Generally it is caused by neglect. Even the best built homes must be properly maintained.
Absolutly, if all houses were bulit properly in a stable climate and maintained properly I would assume they would last for hundreads of years.

The bottom line is to answer this question only time can prove it. For all we know in 20 years the glue in super-joists may fall apart and just about ever new home will collapse; or our genetically engineered fast sprouting spruce spontaniously combusts!

Its a good question, too bad no one can possibly have an accurate answer :)
 

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I've always wondered about TJI's. I just cant see them being solid after 75 years, especially if the house suffers some neglects. I recently fixed a 4 and 1/2" "swimming pool" in the middle of a house, had to pier and beam it in 3 place besides jacking up the center. 80 year old house, good to go for another 50 at least. Replacing TJI's? :eek:
What is a TJI?
 

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A TJI holds up the floor? Is it a piece of wood?
 
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