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Anyone live in a wooden house?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by guest5234, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. guest5234

    guest5234 New Member

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    Loc:
    Stratford Upon Avon, England.
    I am a rare breed in England as I live in a Swedish 60 year old house made completly from cedar with even a cedar shingle roof, love it as it is unique and is it excellent condition for age and just needs a good paint job every 6 or 7 years, bricked central chimney and one end of the house has an 18 inch brick wall with an capped off unused chimney.
    Anyone else live in a wooden house?

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  2. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    I think 98 percent of us do on this side.
    Cheers
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yes, lots do....or did. Now we have aluminum siding and no more cedar shingles.
  4. guest5234

    guest5234 New Member

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    Brilliant, hard to talk to people in the UK about wooden houses as not many people have them, how long does you average wooden house last? houses like mine are still standing in sweden after 100 years and are still good for another 100 years.
  5. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    I think allot in the lower 48 of the States have been around for that for sure. They do have a poor insulation value.
  6. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

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    Well, mine was built in 1840. Functional houses 300yrs old are not unheard of on the east coast - but ya got to remember we haven't really been settled here that long relative to other countries...and there sure was/is plenty of wood here.

    Yeah, an English friend of mine marvelled at our wooden houses while doing her post doc here. I was just as amused then as I was to read the title of this post.

    EDIT: There is a thread over in the Picture section of the forum where some members posted their house including me - one picture shows some of the damage we had to remedy. Water is the enemy of wooden houses - neglect a problem too long and you are in trouble.
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    What else would be used to build a house? Steel?

    House I used to live in had cedar shingles on the house and shed, original to the house, around 1910. Could see daylight in the attic, yet somehow it never leaked.
  8. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Richmond, VA
    Stone. Sod. Ice.


    Edit: oops, forgot brick, which is what this house is!
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Stone, brick were common construction materials in areas where forests had already been depleted by the previous generations. Mud wattle was also common. Wood is still plentiful in many areas here and thus still commonly used, but go to Greece and a wood house is a rare thing.
  10. guest5234

    guest5234 New Member

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    Bricks are what 99.9999 % of house in the UK are built of.
  11. Heem

    Heem New Member

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    My house is 200 years old, built of 1" solid chestnut (Currently vinyl sided) You can see how each piece was just simply cut from a tree. some even has bark.
  12. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

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    Neil - What exactly makes it a "Swedish" house?
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Gotcha, brick is super expensive here compared to wood.

    Never been to Europe before, would be fun to visit some time though. Not sure I could figure out how to drive on the wrong side of the streets though haha!

  14. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the insight. Living here, we tend to assume all houses have a wooden frame, as the vast majority do here.

    My house is just over 100 years old, and used a common technique--the exterior is covered with 3/4" horizontal boards that overlap at their edges, called shiplap. Unlike modern construction, this skin actually provides much of the strength, like modern unibody cars. The framing itself is inadequate by modern standards. Then there's an airpace, and an inner wall of plaster over narrow horizontal wood strips with gaps between--plaster and lathe.

    Insulation is minimal, and I frequently ponder on how rough life was, huddled around the old wood stove.

    To answer your question, with proper upkeep, a wooden house will last forever. Of course upkeep is far from trivial, and in my renovation it is like the guy who says he's replaced his axe handle twice, and the head three times, and is happy to say it's the best axe he's ever had! :)

    Be warm and well!
  15. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

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    Who says Europeans drive on the wrong side of the street?

    Yeah, I know the Brits do; but Europeans?? Nahh....


    Henk (Flying Dutchman)



  16. Later

    Later New Member

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    Ours was built in 1860 - eight inch floor joists are tree trunks - most with bark still on them. Property was next to the site of a war of 1812 field hospital - that wood building is still standing.
  17. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Shows how much I know, thought all of Europe drove on the left side.

  18. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    My house is like most houses in the US - it has a wood frame. The bottom floor has wall made of concrete bloacks ('cinder block'), again, like most houses here. There is a concrete slab beneath the whole house. The inside walls are gypsum board ('drywall'), and between the wood framing is insulation. The outside has vinyl siding, the roof is shingled with asphalt shingles. There is fiberglass insulation between the wooden joists (horizontal structural members) in the floors and ceiling. Most houses in the US are pretty similar to mine in construction.

    My wood house has lasted almost 20 years! There are plenty of wood houses in this area that are far older than mine. When a house like mine finally wears out or is torn down, the reason is much more likely to be neglect and overall deterioration of the house than failure of the wood frame. The wood seems to last a very long time if the exterior of the house is maintained so the wood stays dry.
  19. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    In Alaska, Brick + earthquake = pile of ruble :(
    Wood houses move & give in the quakes. Easy to insulate. + Costs.
  20. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Built my first house out of straw- darn wolf came by and blew the house down. Then built a wood frame house, shot the wolf, and am still in the house after 5 years. Hoping I never have to rebuild using brick.
  21. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    66% stone
    33% wood
  22. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Wow, Neil. I didn't know that. We live in an older wood farmhouse, still having some of the original pine log floor joists and rafters.
  23. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Over here in Massachusetts, there are house dated to mid 1600's era. These are in Essex county and I am sure that there are a few from a few years earlier. Many of the houses were built by early English settlers. Look up Ipswich, Massachusetts on Wikipedia for more info and go from there. Salem, Massachusetts has an abundance of 1800's era houses and some from the 1700's. The great part of this area is the architecture from the last few hundred years.
  24. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    Yep, Built in 1991 with western red cedar siding.


    I personally like it. Was a little worried about the upkeep when we bought it but it isn't bad at all, I'm sure it is much more expensive than other types of modern siding but it adds tons of character.
    If I were building new I would use more brick/stone veneer for siding than what is normally done.
  25. Samoyed

    Samoyed New Member

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    We live in a log house. Built about 25 years ago. Roof is metal.

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