Homes built in 1940


A wide range of issues affecting design and structure will need to be considered as part of any ss renovation. Houses of this period were generally of sound construction and are less likely to have significant external moisture problems. The introduction of new materials and methods of construction, particularly during the s, as well as changes in design and layout, meant there was experimentation and a higher risk of moisture ingress, and a lack of durability of some of the materials which means that some of these houses may not have performed as well as expected.

As houses predominantly had timber joinery they were relatively air leaky compared to a modern house with aluminium joinery. They were generally less susceptible to internal moisture problems such as condensation and mould but they are colder due to the draughtiness and lack of insulation. There are a number of aspects of the building that should be considered, evaluated and possibly addressed as part of any renovation project.

These include:. The original design and layout and subsequent unsympathetic or poorly carried out alterations may need to be addressed to rectify issues such as:. Any new extension may involve consideration of compliance with current Resource Management Act constraints for side yards and site coverage. Structural problems in ss houses may include undersized framing, inadequate bracing, and unsafe chimneys.

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Read more. Houses built during the ss generally have few weathertightness issues. With renovation, attention will be needed to ventilation to ensure that internal moisture does not become a problem. With any ss house renovation, there will be areas — such as framing sizes, mouldingsand roof profiles — where original features need to be replaced or new construction must merge with existing.

Few houses built in the s and s were insulated. Insulation may be required as part of any renovation project, and in any case will provide benefits for occupants. Original copper pipes will probably not need replacement but plastic pipes installed during renovations in the s or early s may. Low pressure hot water systems may need to be upgraded to mains pressure. Pipes may need replacement to cope with the higher pressure.

Some ss houses will still have black rubber-sheathed cabling called TRS or tough rubber sheath. The sheathing of TRS cabling deteriorates over time so any remaining original cabling should be replaced. Most foundations will be in good condition aside from lacking earthquake bracing.

Other common problems include unevenness and corrosion of reinforcing. Some houses will have problems with subfloor moisture. Original roofs will need maintenance and may need replacement. Weatherboard cladding is likely to remain in good condition if properly maintained, but brick claddings may be cracked or have corroded ties, and asbestos claddings may need replacement.

Problems may include walls that are out of plumb or are unsuitable for paint finish, and linings that have cracked due to building movement. Original windows are unlikely to be double-glazed and may not be airtight. Original frames may be in poor condition. Metal elements such as roofing, fixings and flashings may have corroded and need replacement.

Corrosion can affect structural performance.

homes built in 1940

See Borer, rot and mould for details of how to identify and respond to these problems. Asbestos-cement was used in s and 50s for wall and roof claddings and also in s floor coverings and spray textured ceilings. It becomes a health hazard when old materials containing asbestos are being removed or break down, allowing the fine particles to become airborne and breathed in.By Ms.

We are purchasing a house in the East End, built in The house is cute and in good condition, but like many homebuyers we want to make changes. Specifically, we plan to remodel the kitchen, opening the wall between the kitchen and living room to make a more open kitchen. I have recently become aware that asbestos was sometimes used in wallboard and drywall. Some source say it was rarely used in residential construction, some say it was used regularly.

I really don't know which is true. We are DIYers and plan to do most of the kitchen remodel ourselves. We may also have some other changes to make that require cutting the drywall. So my question is this: how likely is it that the drywall in a residential, single-family home, built in in Houston, contains asbestos? I know we can order a kit to test, but my greater concern is that it's illegal to remove asbestos materials ourselves, and we cannot afford to pay someone else to do our remodel.

Don't worry about it. Drywall is ripped out and disposed every day, and I have never heard or seen warnings about asbestos in it. If the City was concerned about it, they would work to alert residents to its dangers, and how to dispose of it, just as they do with oil, lead paint, computers and other harmful products. It is always advisible to wear masks when creating dust. Other than that, you're good.

BTW, the asbestos was used in the joint compound, not the drywall. If you are removing one wall and wearing a mask, you will not be exposed to enough asbestos to cause concern. Thanks for responding. A lot of sources I read say that asbestos was included in drywall, not just joint compound And although asbestos usually requires years of exposure to develop cancer, apparently some cases of cancer have been traced back to brief exposure from a single home improvement project I just worry.

We have to live in this house, after all. A lot of things contain asbestos but it's only dangerous when it's a dust and absorbed into the lungs through breathing.Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Age-specific issues that your inspector should look at. A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

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homes built in 1940

If you see comments in violation of our community guidelinesplease report them. Dear Jerry: Somewhere, I remember hearing about or reading a column you did a number of years ago regarding what to look out for in houses of certain ages. Some say new is the only way to go.

But others, like us, like the charm of an older home. There are a number of basic, uniform concerns that should be inspected in all houses regardless of age, including basic structure, mechanical systems such as heating, plumbing and electrical components, roofing, etc. However, there are some age-specific issues that should also be looked at. When you hire a home inspector to look at your prospective purchase, make sure that he or she is knowledgeable about, and has an appreciation for older homes.

Sometimes beauty is only skin deep, but usually urban houses of this vintage were well-built and have few structural problems. Occasionally, support columns may rust through at the basement floor level, but replacing them is usually not a major undertaking. One reoccurring issue is settling, normally toward the center of the house or under stair landings. Other areas may have settling issues as well. As older houses settle over the years, doors will be trimmed, plaster cracks will be filled and other adjustments will be made to compensate for the settling.

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It is usually best to simply stabilize the structure in its present condition rather than try to return it to its original plumb and level state.

This process of stabilizing, and it is not always necessary, is normally not a major task or expense. Houses of this era that contain galvanized metal water pipe may suffer from reduced water flow. Replacing these lines with copper can be disruptive and expensive.Remodeling a s house to bring it into the 21st century can involve anything from budget-friendly cosmetic updates to high-priced renovations that basically gut the interior to start rebuilding from scratch.

Take a good look at your home and prioritize the items you'd like to change. Next, set a budget that you can live with and stick to it. Address the items on the top of your list first.

Doing some or all of the work yourself can save you professional labor costs that often come with a hefty price tag. Prior to tackling any major renovation project, check with your local government for building codes and regulations pertaining to residential homes and acquire the necessary permits. Also, some remodeling projects may require adherence to federal guidelines, such as the proper removal of asphalt floor tiles that may contain asbestos.

Old House Archives

These tiles were commonly used during the s as a typical floor covering. Proper removal of asphalt flooring is strictly regulated by the U. Environmental Protection Agency. Also, homes built during the s may contain lead-based paint. If a contractor is hired to repair, paint or renovate your home in such a way that will disturb lead-based paint, it is mandatory that he be trained in lead-safe work practices. Homes built during the s were often constructed with red brick exteriors that encased colorful interior spaces.

Assorted pinks, browns, blues, greens, whites, reds and yellows created colorful interiors. Applying neutral paint colors to the walls and ceilings -- such as soft white, barely beige or light gray -- can help to give a fresh, modern look to your home for little expense. Paint the wood trim in bright white to continue the crisp, clean look. Replace single pane windows with energy-efficient double- or triple-pane windows.

Remove heavy draperies from your windows to let natural sunlight stream inside. Install white wooden blinds with 2-inch slats to provide bright, updated window treatments that can still provide privacy at night. Some s homes were constructed with hardwood floors. If that's the case in your home, try sanding and refinishing floors that are in good condition. You'll save money on pricey replacement flooring.Home design in the s, especially in the kitchenrepresented a rapid shift.

Older styles and materials were quickly replaced. New ideas took hold, and the kitchen was transformed.

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Because of World War II restrictions, it would not be until the late s and into the s that many of these new materials found their way into home design. Chiefly, the rationing of metal adversely affected the production of steel kitchen cabinets. Home design styles in the s straddled the 20th century. On the one hand, kitchens were still fairly small. Colors often hovered in the range of pastels.

Iconographic shapes like scallops, sweeps, and curves were common. Unfinished pine was a favored inexpensive wood often used for kitchen cabinets. These were touches that hearkened back to an earlier, more innocent age before the war.

On the other hand, the sleek styles that would characterize the Jet Age period of the late s and s, while still on the horizon, would begin to occasionally show up. Large tempered plate glass found its way into higher-end homes. Some of these curves and scallops began to straighten out. Lines and planes were common. Three types of linoleum are combined to form this floor.

This uniquely designed kitchen works off of an oval shape to facilitate work flow.

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Sink, stove, and refrigerator are all within easy reach. Base cabinet open shelves help the cook locate and retrieve pans. Shades on the right side pull together to close off and hide part of the kitchen. In this kitchen, linoleum is used not just for the flooring, but for the sink surround and countertops.

Rarely is linoleum found on kitchen countertops, even in the s. Yet the designer noted that linoleum here would be "clatterproof, easy to clean, and resistant to stain. This bathroom from has been done in a Colonial style with knotty pine, scallops, and Shaker-inspired fabrics.

Knotty pine was often used in kitchens at the time, but was not often found as an element in bathrooms. The rectangle to the very left of the picture, right above the magazine rack, is a medicine cabinet. This s bathroom is the epitome of modern and sophisticated.

Much of the furniture is made of furniture-grade plywood. Plywood as a design element is popular once again. In the late s and into the s, higher grade plywood was often used to make nightstands, beds, cabinets, and chairs. Edges would be rounded off with a router, sanded down, and lacquered to help smooth them down. This s dining room style is up for interpretation.

The crenelated, appliqued gold pattern along the table cloth has a definite Grecian flavor.

Renovating homes built between the 1940s and 1960s

Yet the room designer calls this crenellation a "Chinese fret design. The custom linoleum lets us know the bedroom belongs to none other than Tom, Dick, and Larry. At that time, it was possible to order customized linoleum flooring with special name plate inserts from the Armstrong factory.This site is optimised for modern browsers. Learn about upgrading. Houses from this period, including state houses, were often well-built, and have been popular with homeowners wanting to renovate.

Main navigation Maintaining My Home. Home Maintenance Guides Building Periods s—s. Typical features of the s—s house include: shallow, boxed eaves three or four-paned casement windows shallow recessed porches at front and back a piled subfloor hipped or gabled roofs — typically with a 30—40 o roof slope tiled, asbestos -cement shingle or corrugated sheet roofing a concrete perimeter foundation wall typically bevel -back weatherboard cladding, but brick and asbestos-cement cladding were also used no insulation when built stud height was typically 2.

Regular maintenance required on s—s houses includes: cleaning and checking the external cladding and repainting when necessary. See the guide for roof maintenance ensuring gutters and downpipes are kept clear of leaves and other debris. If necessary, prune back any tree branches that grow over the house checking that the subfloor space is dry and well-ventilated. See the guide for subfloor maintenance. Replacing missing or damaged subfloor insulation. Use insulation designed specifically for subfloors.

Press insulation firmly against the floor so there is no air movement between insulation and floor. With exposed subfloors, fix sheet material under the insulation to hold it securely in place. See the subfloor maintenance guide for details. Asbestos-cement was used in the s and s for wall and roof claddings and also in the s for floor coverings and spray-on textured ceilings.

If your house has sheet cladding from this period including corrugated cement-based roof cladding or sparkly textured ceilings, check whether they contain asbestos before working on them. You can find more information on the asbestos page. Building Periods. Introduction Villa Bungalow Art Deco s—s s s s to present Renovations to period houses. Footer Contact us About us Glossary.

How World War II Provoked Prefabricated Housing

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Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West.

homes built in 1940

Thanks to all who have contributed, I'm taking notes. I grew up in a house with lots of plaster so I'm fairly familiar with it. Now I'm remembering the attic issues and the other things that were mentioned. Then again, some of those houses had the best craftsmanship I've ever seen.

Originally Posted by bande Location: The New England part of Ohio. I'm planning to move and the areas I'm targeting and can afford are those with houses built in the 40s'smost likely 60s.

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I'm an experienced home-owner, but the oldest house I've had is my current one, which was built in the 80's. For example, my 80's house, I and my neighbors had the poly pipe issue. The older neighborhood next to us houses in the s did not. I don't expect these houses to be perfect. I don't care about cosmetic updates I can handle those on my own.

I don't care about open floor plan I'm actually not a fan. I'm just more concerned with costly repairs and safety issues. I'm under contract for a home now that's filled with 2 wire ungrounded romex. Electrician is already on retainer to get me a homerun from the living room to the panel and add hookups in the kitchen for my appliances. The house was built in the mid 50s and hasn't burned down yet, so it's not like the house is completely unsafe. Someone was living in the house up till earlier this year.

I'm wanting to try my luck at rental real estate, and something that has a smaller price tag, is a bit easier on me financially right now. If all my plans were to fail, I'd still have a roof over my head, instead of paying rent for my not so spectacular apartment I'm living in now. I was ready for a change and this house will give me just that.

I notice your profile says you are on the east coast planning to move to the west coast. In my experience, the issues with an older home on the west coast can be somewhat different than those of an older home on the east coast. Here are some of the issues that I've personally seen or encountered in older homes out here in California.

A big one is plumbing, as in pipes having tree roots growing in them very common in older homes that haven't been well maintainted here in Southern Calif. But that would be a very wrong assumption.

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And that can be a very expensive proposition as major mold remediation is not a DIY job. Many west coast homes from the 60s on were just built on concrete slabs. There's no basement. Those slabs can crack and shift.

1940s Interior Home Design

Fixing a cracked slab is a costly proposition, and it isn't always discovered in a home inspection. And, you will want to fix a cracked slab or you will end up with bigger issues down the road. In many parts of the west, another consideration is earthquakes! If you're buying in the west, you need to be aware of the earthquake danger in the area where you are buying. Older homes usually have not been built or retrofitted based on current earthquake standards.