Comment of the Day: Everything New Is So Much Better

COMMENT OF THE DAY: EVERYTHING NEW IS SO MUCH BETTER Knob and Tube Wiring“Your house was built in 1923? My condolences to you and your family. But do not despair, I know things seem now like it can’t get any worse, and it probably can’t, but one day with hard work and perseverance you will get out of the carcinogen and disease packed shelter of last resort and live in a actual house with modern plumbing and insulation. But do not wait too long, the current one can catch on fire and burn to the ground in mere minutes, due to that first growth wood, no fire blocking construction, and lack of sprinklers.” [commonsense, commenting on How It Was Before Air Conditioning Even] Illustration: Lulu

34 Comment

  • Ugh, don’t encourage him…

  • Just reiterating that this is one of the best comments ever!

  • Your house was built in 2013? My condolences to you and your family. But do not despair, I know things seem now like it can’t get any worse, and it probably can’t, but one day with hard work and perseverance you will get out of the lot line monstrosity with no green space that is pregnant with a laundry list of construction defects that your fly by night builder will never address and move into one of the historic treasures from the craftsman era that has been completely renovated and had all the asbestos wiring and lead paint completely remediated by one of the area’s well established contractors like Lucas, HDT or Bungalow Revival. But don’t wait to long. Your current monstrosity will lose 10% of its value when you move in as houses like yours are popping up like mushrooms in Oak Forrest, Spring Branch and other areas in Houston.

  • As an owner of a 100+ year old house I won’t try to rebut or defend anything. Good points and bad. I will say that I love it and don’t regret my decision to buy it although, for the average person, it wouldn’t probably work. And as to the “my old house is built better than that piece of crap townhome” I don’t necessarily know that to be true. My house’s framing was built entirely of 2x4s so newer homes are more substantial in that regard. The carpenter was sloppy too; spacing of studs appears to have been eyeballed, cuts were something off quite a bit (I’ve torn the house apart pretty much so I know). Tools maybe weren’t so great back then. Anyway, to say all old houses are superior or to say something exagerated in the other direction like the original comment are both silly.

  • commonsense is like the drunk family member who goes to family get togethers already a bottle into the vodka. :)

  • So many old houses were so poorly built that they weren’t even worth rehabbing. If you have one of the houses in the top 10% of houses that made it, congrats, but your house is not as well constructed as the top 10% of recent years. Plus it had to be rehabbed. Plus it’s old.

  • SanJuan, that was my exact thought when I saw the COTD.

  • Clever. But if your house is more than 5 years old, it’s an old house.

  • Sprinklers? I was curious about this comment. At what price point are sprinklers included in the cost of new construction? I looked at a multitude of HAR listings over $700K and none mentioned fire sprinklers.

    That said I’m never convinced that doubled-up drywall (fire-rated or otherwise) nailed to a 2×6 common wall would offer much protection.

  • Sigh. More of the same tired rhetoric from commonsense, who would rather torch everything inside the Loop and fill it with hideous 4-story stucco townhouses with zero character. Most of that crap won’t last 90 years like this house did.

  • Old School just keeps grabbing that troll bait. Old house or new. There are good ones and bad ones. By the way, I’ve seen some real crap from those guys you mentioned as well.

  • Gotta admit, didn’t think this was going to make it to Comment of the Day, but I feel like a proud papa.

    Fire sprinklers have been a mandatory requirement in CoH and most municipalities for at least 10 years for New Construction, since it’s no longer an “optional upgrade”, it’s not touted on HAR. The doubled up, fire rated sheetrock is only meant to slow down the fire to give enough time for the fire department to arrive, if you let a fire continue, it will fail after a pre-determined amount of time.

  • @commonsense, I don’t think fire sprinklers are required in single family homes anywhere, and definitely not in Houston.

  • Having walked a few houses that are all well less than than 10 years old I can state pretty confidently that either sprinklers are not a requirement of CoH or no one told the inspectors.

    Also, the idea that everyone who was building houses 100yrs ago was somehow some sort of master craftsman is nonsense. There have always and will always be crappy contractors.

  • Uh, what on Earth is that LuLu scribble, it looks like toilet paper wrapped in barbed wire—come on Swamplot how about an open. Competition for a new “artist”

  • I know for a fact that Bellaire, Memorial Villages, and West U require all new residential construction to have fire sprinklers. City of Houston made us install fire sprinklers in a house in Rivercrest, which thinking back may have been a matter of square footage, over a certain amount it becomes a requirement through HFD. They also made us install fire sprinklers in a pair of townhomes in Rice Military as far back as 2005 and that may have been because they shared a firewall.
    I guess I haven’t been in a Plebeian Peasantry Prolitariat Abode in a while to notice.

  • Your house was built in 2050? My condolences to you and your family. But do not despair, I know things seem now like it can’t get any worse, and it probably can’t, but one day with hard work and perseverance you will get out of the floating sky city with its lack of teleporatation tubes and robotic house maids. But do not wait too long, the current one can be snatched by the evil overload Xenu in mere minutes, due to that near spaceway access and lack of laser turrets.

  • common,
    “Fire sprinklers have been a mandatory requirement in CoH and most municipalities for at least 10 years for New Construction”

    source/link, please?

  • Common,

    Not a single one of the 10 or so new construction homes I visited last weekend in the heights had any form of fire suppression system. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a single family home with sprinklers that weren’t just for the yard..

  • @Shannon: I suppose you could draw better knob & tube wiring? The artist is doing a fine job.

  • Shannon, those aren’t toilet paper rolls, they’re knobs…as in knob and tube wiring. It looks like Lulu also added a killer splice in there too. Try not to step on it when you’re up in the attic….I’d say she has lived in an old house before.

  • @Shannon – the artwork is knob and tube wiring, typical of old homes

  • Interesting to see the editor of Swamplot rewarding outright nastiness with Comment of the Day. Now I know how to get ahead on Swamplot: make fun of people for their houses.

    Oh and commonsense, the spelling is “Proletariat.” I guess you thought you sounded educated using such a big word. Strange how someone as apparently wealthy as you can’t resist fighting with the “peasants” on Swamplot.

  • There, their, they’re grammar nazi. It’s hard enough to type on the phone while driving and trying to maintain the 3 foot rule from the menace on bicycles.

    The only house we were able to build over 7k square feet without someone requiring fire sprinklers was in unincorporated Montgomery county. I haven’t seen a new construction house without one in quite a while.

  • commonsense – Maybe you shouldn’t be typing on the phone while driving, especially if it’s so hard? I’d hate for you to kill someone because of a Swamplot conversation. Really.

  • City of Houston only requires fire sprinklers on homes 4 stories and higher. That’s why so many townhouses stop at 3 stories and have an unfinished room leading to a roof terrace on the 4th floor. Also, exterior finish materials over 40 feet high must be non-combustible.

  • 7k sq feet is not exactly your standard single family construction….

    Anyways, I don’t see anything about new construction requiring sprinklers (other than in high-rises/multi-unit stuff), and I haven’t seen it in any of the properties I’ve looked at. They are a pretty substantial cost for a single family home, enough so that it isn’t really feasible in a lot of <200k$ houses. I'm not sure where you're getting your information.

  • @Mike, I jest, I jest.

    Installing fire sprinklers costs about $1 per square foot. They are sometimes hard to see unless you’re specifically looking for them, new heads are hidden up in the ceiling and drop down through small rounded covers which are flush with the sheetrock.

  • Don’t feed the trolls.

  • R.I.P. Swamplot. Actively feeding trolls is a sure sign that your 15 minutes are up. It was a good run.

  • P.S. My comment was not meant as personal attack on the original poster, but a satirical commentary and a poke at the crowd who for some unfathomable reason like old decrepit homes with inferior materials and features. To date I haven’t heard a single logical reason as to WHY.
    P.P.S. “Character” is not a valid reason, it’s not even an agreed upon feature, Character is an excuse for something that you can’t find a good word for.

  • If you think first growth wood is inferior to second growth, or that longleaf pine is inferior to any type of pine available now, I simply don’t know what to say to you.

  • There is a better word for character: “aesthetics”. Its a word that can be an umbrella for anything that doesn’t make practical sense. Embracing and vocalizing one’s aesthetic preference doesn’t necessarily make one ill-informed, stupid, stubborn, or holier-than-thou. However, it does strongly imply these traits as being possibilities.

    And just so y’all know that I’m speaking from experience and am willing to put my foot where my mouth is, let it be said that I’m presently living in a modern masonry-and-concrete house on a coffee plantation right now, in full bloom, in SE Asia. (My other house is on the beach in a modern city.) Everything here smells like honeysuckle, I kill one free-range chicken per day, and I imbibe homemade liquors. That makes me feel superior to a Heights denizen and you and they should be very jealous of my lifestyle and that it has cost me what you would probably spend on installing insulation and then fixing the dry rot that you’ve discovered in so doing. BEHOLD THE TERROR OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AS YOU BASK IN MY CONDESCENSION! Mwahahaha.

  • A troll living under a brand new bridge is still a troll; avoid feeding him.