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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. How old is my house? This article series provides a photo guide to determining the age of a building by examination of the architectural style of construction or the building materials and components that were used in the structure. Here we list some helpful clues to answer the question "how old is the house? The age of a building can be determined quite accurately by documentation, but when documents are not readily available, visual clues such as those available during a professional home inspection can still determine when a house was built by examining its components, building materials, even nails, fasteners, and types of saw cuts on lumber.

However, we do see some chimneys with multiple fireplaces sharing the same flue in homes dating all the way back to the Revolutionary war. For instance, a wood-burning fireplace cannot share a flue with a gas or oil furnace. This requirement was put in place because the heat from a residential furnace exhaust can actually ignite the flammable creosote produced by wood-burning appliance or fireplace.

In the s, we saw an increase in add-on wood-burning furnaces, also called sidekicks. This is commonly done to save the cost of erecting a second chimney, but still reap the benefits of adding on an alternative fuel, such as wood, to heat the entire home.

Unfortunately, these sidekicks are often installed by homeowners going the do-it-yourself route and they unknowingly put the safety of the home and its inhabitants at risk. We still quite often see an oil fired furnace venting into a flue with the wood burner, which ignites the creosote and sparks a dangerous chimney fire. Ultimately, your home can have multiple chimney flues or just a single flue, depending on when your home was originally constructed or your flues added-on.

To be sure that your chimney flues are set up safely, contact Doctor Flue today for a chimney inspection.

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To learn more about chimney flues or to set up an inspection of your own flue, give Doctor Flue a call at or send us an email at office drflue. Your email:. With the recent concerns about COVID, Doctor Flue has implemented additional measures to ensure the safety and health of our crew and clients. At this time, we will remain open and keep all scheduled appointments. All of the common building foundation materials, how they fail, how they are inspected, are discussed.

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The foundation material below the house in the middle of the main structure is limestone with mortar. The outside is rock faced block with "rope? The main house is all on crawlspace, with only the kitchen having a root cellar below it. Those look like form-cast concrete blocks - if so that's a later foundation material, possibly s to s.

In this region, there are numerous houses with rock faced block foundations known to have been built in the s. Just pulled a lock off of the basement door.

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That's so helpful, thank you. Perhaps citing some research we can understand the early history of use of concrete block foundations and decorative-stone-faced concrete blocks in North America and elsewhere. The earliest patent I've found for finished stone faced concrete block is Ransome, Patent No. A second earliest patent I found for finished block faces was by Wight in though of course there would have been versions before his patent, and my search was not exhaustive.

From sources I've read, the first widespread-use of hollow-core concrete blocks date from about Ransome's decorative-faced concrete blocks date from ; in the U. Palmer didn't patent his concrete block production machine design until The product was a tremendous success, such that within 5 years of that patent there were many companies producing such blocks. Some of my early research in New York included talking with now deceased Henry G. Henry's blocks were a topic of some discussion among inspectors because his hand-mixed portland cement was sometimes a bit light on the portland, and the blocks, after a few decades, were rather crumbly.

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Henry and other block manufacturers used a hand-casting machine - it was very labor intensive. His blocks were set up on the family farm property on Rte. Portland cement, critical in the fabrication of concrete blocks, dates from in England Joseph Aspdin.

So concrete blocks could pre-date the sources I've found to date. The observation of framing materials, framing markings, and framing styles provides considerable information about the probable age of a house.

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Antique and modern trusses are distinguished and modern laminated beams and I-truss beams and wood joists are discussed. Common wood structure framing methods include the techniques described below, arranged alphabetically, not by age.

Chimney Sheep Product Review - How to Prevent Heat Loss From Chimneys and Flues

Arkansas framing system : 2x6 wall studs are spaced 24' on center, a spacing that permitted installation of more wall insulation volume than provide by conventional 2x4 wall studs.

The Arkansas building framing method became popular in North America following the 's arab oil embargo and addressed concern for high energy costs. Tall wall studs run from the sill plate atop the foundation wall to the top plate below the building rafters. Wall studs and first floor joists rest on the building sill plates flat wood members set atop the building foundation.

The wall studs extend from the first floor sill to a height sufficient to frame both the first and second floor walls.

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First floor joists and second floor joists are framed by nailing to these tall wall studs at the appropriate heights. Rafters attach to the top plate of the building walls. Ceiling joists for the top floor are nailed to the sides of the balloon-framed wall studs just as the floor joists were nailed below.

See Log Home Guide. Modular construction - present was first provided on a large scale with Sears Kit homes that were distributed from about to o0.

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Some modern modular homes built in the U. That is no longer the case. Since at least the 's a modular home is constructed in a factory of one or more sections which are carried to the building site on a trailer photo above left and lifted by a crane to be set upon a foundation which has been prepared ahead of time.

Modular homes can be quite large, involving four or quite a few more individual sections which are lifted and "set" into place at the site photo at left. Some manufacturers provide custom architectural services and can deliver unique, but factory-built homes in sections.

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Panelized construction : floor and wall panels constructed in a factory are delivered to and assembled at the building site. Panels may be conventionally-framed stud walls in modular sections or structural panels may be constructed of a sandwich of OSB oriented strand boar plywood, or wafer board on either side of solid foam board insulation. Panelized construction makes use of wall, floor, ceiling or roof "panels" which have been framed off-site and brought to the site by truck. Panels are lifted into place by crane and fastened together on a foundation, and possibly a framed-in floor which have been prepared before the panels arrive.

Some framing panels make use of special materials, such as plywood and foam roof panels for insulated cathedral ceilings.

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Plank houses were constructed entirely of sawn planks and without the use of larger dimensioned 2x lumber. Some of the plank houses we've inspected were made from scraps or salvaged lumber such as a home in Dutchess County New York that was constructed from packing crate wood. Larger collections of plank houses were built as company housing in the mining or railroad industries.

A floor is constructed atop of the building foundation, forming the first "platform", using the platform as a working surface. Interior plywood is generally glued with urea formaldehyde based glues; exterior plywood and marine plywood use phenolic formaldehyde glues and are water resistant.

The cross-grain construction combined with glue produces a strong, uniform material that is used for both enclosure and for structural stiffness in frame construction of building walls and roofs. The properties of plywood, including its tolerance to weather exposure marine plywood depend on the glues and finishes used. Both softwood and hardwoods are used in plywoods, and fine wood veneer finishes are also available for furniture use.

Timber frame construction initially used hand hewn beams, later manually or mechanically sawn beams cut by a pit saw. Timber framing using post and beam construction with mortise and tenon joint connections was used in Europe for at least years before it was first employed in North America. By a typical timber frame building used multiple bents and girt beams, may have been more than one story tall, and included an exterior made of horsehair-reinforced cement stuccoed over hand-split lath.

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Our photo above shows an 18th century Norwegian timber frame building using brick infill and stucco to complete the wall enclosure. Where there are special safety or maintenance concerns for certain systems we cite those as well. At above left we show a photograph of an "octopus heating furnace", originally coal fired, usually by now if still in use converted to natural gas fuel.

These octopus furnaces, also called "gravity heating systems" provided heat by natural convection, hot air rising into the building from the top of the furnace where it was delivered to the building first floor through a wood or iron grate, or perhaps delivered through metal ducts.

The original installation usually supplied heat to a home through a central grate in the first floor of the building from where warm air might rise to upper floors. Later versions or modified original systems added ducts to individual rooms, sometimes still only on the first floor of the building. These furnaces are the ancestor of modern forced hot air heating systems.

Our photo at left shows a pre brick wall lining used as insulation and as a wind or draft block. Brick nogging can determine the probable age for the home. Houses built between an or perhaps earlier may have brick-lined walls. I have found brick nogging in the walls of a Poughkeepsie NY home.

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A close observation of the type of fasteners used in a building is one of the most popular means of estimating its age. Hand wrought nails, machine cut nails, modern round "wire" nails and other details offer considerable information about the time of original construction of a building as well as of the time of modifications to the structure.

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An examination of nails and fasteners and other building hardware is a complimentary effort useful in determining the age of a building and its components.

The window latch shown in our photo above left dates from the Justin Morrill Smith Historic house in Vermont. Above is door hardware from the Suffolk Reserves house dating from Notice in both the door hardware photo above and that shown below that unlike contemporary passage door locksets, the knob setback distance from the door edge is considerably greater.

Chimneys & Fireplaces as Indicators of Building Age. Here is a photograph of an unlined single wythe brick chimney on an home in New York State. The location, size, shape, building materials, and use of chimneys on buildings offer good details aiding in estimating the age of a building. Someone You can Love is Nearby. Browse Profiles & Photos of Single Catholic Women in Burnt Chimneys, VA! Join, the leader in online dating with more dates, more relationships and more marriages than any other dating site. with the hall and parlor method around a central chimney and ultimately evolved into more complex form. Notable varieties, such as the saltbox, center hall and side entrance followed. Usually, floor plans vary too much at the end of the nineteenth century to be accurate so this method of dating File Size: KB.

The photos shows the door lock hardware and the folding-down interior turn knob and key opening. On the other side of this door was a small keyhole and a white ceramic door knob.

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There are several generations of plaster and lath, plaster board, and drywall which have been used in buildings. We name and illustrate these and discuss their periods of use below as an aid in finding out how old a building is and tracing its history.

Details about Beaver-board and Upson Board, a wood fiber product used as an inexpensive interior wall covering and draft blocker from about are provided. On the exposed side this wood fiberboard product was usually painted and its joints covered with wood lath or other trim.

In some applications it was covered with wallpaper. In some homes it was later covered with drywall to provide a more fire-resistant surface. As late as the 's Upson Board was used in prefabricated houses and exterior building sheathing and in recreational vehicles.

Upson purchased the Beaver Board plant from CertainTeed in Upson began its decline in the 's and closed inopening later that year as Niagara Fiberboard. Often old gas lines have been disconnected entirely and sometimes they have been re-used to route electrical wiring to new light fixtures or to gaslight fixtures which have been converted to electric.

Don't assume that an old gas fixture or valve on a wall or found in a fireplace are inactive. We turned-on and lit this fixture which gave a bright surprise to everyone. Watch out for "live gas" connections to supposedly abandoned gas piping and don't trust " Plumbing fixtures and piping materials offer considerable age in dating a building, including easy clues such as the presence of a date of manufacture stamped into many toilet tanks to the periods of use of types of water supply piping lead, galvanized steel, black iron pipe, copper, plastic piping and building drain piping lead, cast iron, copper, plastic, clay.

Often on older buildings multiple types of piping will be present as repairs and changes have been made in the building plumbing system. Chart of plumbing types and years of use courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

But an inspection of interior and exterior roofing details can indicate the probable age of a wood roof which can last up to 40 years as well as the roofing history of the building, the number and types of roofing layers, and related house-age-determination details. The wood shingle roof shown in the photo below is on a building in Key West, Florida, adjacent to the Hemingway house, viewed from the Key West tower.

Notice the absence of lichens on the wood shingles in the roof area below the metal-flashed rooftop tower? We discuss here various roofing materials Wood, slate, asphalt shingles in several generationsclay tile, metal roofing several styles and generationsand how they assist in finding The age of a building below.

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This article series explains the eras of use of different types of roofing materials as an aid to understanding the history and age of buildings. If you are trying to determine the age and condition of a particular roof covering, please see Roofing.

Cement board is a non-structural building sheathing material which in its contemporary form is made from Portland cement covered with a reinforced fiberglass mesh fabric. Cement board is used as a tile backer or a backer board for stucco applications on buildings.

Generations of types of saws used in cutting beams, and similar details are readily available on many buildings and offer both clues to building age and wonderful aesthetic detail. There we illustrate different types of saw and tool cut marks in wood: adze cuts, hand sawn pit saw marks, mechanically-operated pit saw marks, circular saw marks, and unmarked, planed modern dimensional lumber. An understanding of how hand-hewn beams were cut, for example, can permit the careful observer to not only recognize the type and age of building framing, but even to understand just where the worker was standing when a blow from a tool was delivered to a building framing member.

Adze cuts to hew a rectangular beam out of a round log were made in two steps: an adze, a hoe-like cutting tool with wooden offset handle was used to make a series of cuts along the round up-facing surface of a log.

A photograph of stencil numbers on wood framing shown here confirms that this building was a Sears Kit House whose model and probable age we can determine. Other kit homes were sold by Montgomery Ward and by a few other manufacturers including copies of some of the popular Sears and Roebuck houses that continued to be sold after Sears had discontinued their production.

This article explains types of kit homes including kit houses and log home kits which, in the latter instance continue to be improved and sold.

Jan 13,   However, we do see some chimneys with multiple fireplaces sharing the same flue in homes dating all the way back to the Revolutionary war. It wasn't until the s when the building code requirements officially mandated that any solid fuel-burning appliance not be allowed to share a flue with any other type of fuel. Such structures have been excavated in sites dating from the Palaeolithic onwards and can be found in caves, open campsites and early buildings. Indeed, the earliest known house in Scotland, discovered by AOC Archaeology Group at Dunbar and dated to BC, had such a hearth at the centre of the circular Mesolithic dwelling. The chimneys. Chimneys were widely adopted by the upper-classes during Tudor England. Under Queen Elizabeth I female guests might be sent to neighbors who could afford rooms with chimneys. Common folk lacking funds to construct chimneys continued to burn fires on a clay or brick base in the center or back of the dwelling and continued to be plagued with.

For more details, photographs, books, and references on how to identify Sears Kit Homes. Asphalt siding such as that shown in the photo of an extension on the rear of the Coolidge Hotel in White River Junction, Vermont, was the "aluminum siding" of the 's and 's in the United States. That is, it was a popular "no maintenance" siding material sold often as a cover-up product for older siding in poor condition. Aluminum siding and then vinyl siding were sold both for that purpose and also as exterior wall cladding for new construction as well.

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