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You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby JRC on Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:36 pm

KristenS wrote:Doesn't that sound like the kind of town that would promote a knowledge of history? That would know and care about how the town came to be?

Yeah...it sounded like that to me too. What a farce!

I'm so frustrated!


I may be generalizing too much, but I've always had the impression that, on the east coast, something isn't considered "historic" unless it was built before the Civil War. And that date gets newer and newer as you go west. On the west coast, they're all about saving craftsman bungalow--and even mid-century modern--homes. But, around here, MCM is just a nice way of saying "out dated 50's ranch."
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby KristenS on Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:29 pm

JRC-- I know what you mean. In a very general way, the East Coast sees "old" a little differently than the West Coast. Maybe that's just because we have more stuff that's older?

Which reminds me of a trip to France I took with my high school jazz band. We walked over the Pont Neuf in Paris, which I promptly translated as the New Bridge. Another student asked the guide how old the bridge was. She answered, "Just under 400 years."

We have very, very little in our town that could make an age claim like that! But I still think it's worth preserving.

And really, I'm not into keeping an old thing JUST because it's old. Progress is a lovely thing!

But replacing a perfectly functioning half-round attic window for a vinyl window... what kind of person does this?! What possible reason could there be? So it's matches the monstrosities you're putting in on the first floor?!?! (I'm not typing the curses I'm saying-- just imagine them there in these sentences.)
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c. 1907 Shingle Victorian/Craftsman
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby airgrabber on Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:16 pm

I know it occurs everywhere, but here in NJ the "vinyl replacement" phenomenon seems particularly pervasive. Perhaps this sort of misguided thinking can be filed under "More Money than Brains" which I've found to be true of many of my fellow homeowning New Jerseyans.
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby KristenS on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:18 pm

With some of the folks I've met lately, $60 in your pocket wins the more money than brains contest.

Ugh...I was really trying to cheer myself up with this thread. And instead it seems I'm sinking into a pit of anti-New-Jersey-ness.

I think what I want most of all is to not feel like I'm alone in my opinions and desires. I need to find the people in my community that feel the same way I do. That value the same things I do.

I just thought they would be easier to find.
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c. 1907 Shingle Victorian/Craftsman
House history still being researched!
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby JRC on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:37 pm

KristenS wrote:With some of the folks I've met lately, $60 in your pocket wins the more money than brains contest.

Ugh...I was really trying to cheer myself up with this thread. And instead it seems I'm sinking into a pit of anti-New-Jersey-ness.

I think what I want most of all is to not feel like I'm alone in my opinions and desires. I need to find the people in my community that feel the same way I do. That value the same things I do.

I just thought they would be easier to find.


Use this as inspiration to make your house sparkle in all its historic greatness. (if/when finances allow...) If you can accentuate the original details that make your house great, maybe more people will take notice and realize that that "old stuff" is worth keeping.

I'm new to this, so I'm hoping that my advice is good advice. :wink:
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby airgrabber on Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:54 am

KristenS wrote:With some of the folks I've met lately, $60 in your pocket wins the more money than brains contest.

Ugh...I was really trying to cheer myself up with this thread. And instead it seems I'm sinking into a pit of anti-New-Jersey-ness.

I think what I want most of all is to not feel like I'm alone in my opinions and desires. I need to find the people in my community that feel the same way I do. That value the same things I do.

I just thought they would be easier to find.


Kristen, I actually LIKE New Jersey and living in New Jersey...and we do have a lot of historic properties and homes here. I think JRC has the right idea. You can only control what goes on with your property, so make it a paragon of historic preservation! Or, become involved with PNJ or your local historical society to meet other old-house crazy people (and further your common goals). Also, let's not forget the healing power of venting here on the OHW! :D
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby KristenS on Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:50 am

Thanks for the hint on PNJ. I didn't even know about them. I'm all over their website now.

This is what I need! More ways to meet more people who feel like I do. :)
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby aptharsia on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:24 pm

gut your entire house down to the studs and rebuild it with drywall, hollow doors, tile floors, and vinyl siding
...and then you list it for sale as having "old world charm"


I hate it when agents say that. I am constantly searching real estate listings and see this done in every state. I'll find this beautiful exterior and the agents first words are "Old World Charm!" But then the interior looks like a condo with all the walls knocked down between the living/dining/kitchen, modern light fixtures, drywall, newly tiled fireplaces. What's old world about it, maybe the floors, but that's about it.

And I see a lot of "ripped down to the studs", "all new" (on an 1880 home), and "beautifully restored" yet, had been ripped down to the studs and all that you see of the old stuff is floors, trim, staircase and that's about all that was restored.

So not just in NJ, everywhere.

P.S. I hope this is okay but here is a recent example I found with some before/after pics of what happens everyday to charming houses: 1928 in Winston Salem.
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby triguy128 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:57 am

I recently had a neighbor tell me "repainting the white window and exterior wood trim indow and removing the old storm windows really makes the windows sparkle". Hope that makes you feel better.


And he's right. Even old single pane windows with storm windows still have a certain "realness" to them that is lost in thermal panel glass.


What's sad, is that just throowing on a simple storm window over most any window, expecially decorative ones, its' a LOT cheaper than new windows and achieves nearly the same end result for energy efficiency.
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Previous home - 1968 single story Ranch/Colonial, 1200sqft - 11 windows
Current home - 1925 2 story Beaux Arts Neo-classical overlooking the Mississippi River, 3200sqft - 48 Windows
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Re: You know you're an old house owner in NJ if...

Postby KristenS on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:40 pm

Aw heck-- I think it BEATS the energy efficiency of most average-costing new windows. I've had both. And after 37 Winters in the Northeast, I'll take 100 year old windows with a decent storm over ANY new window I've experienced.

It's a shame that typical aluminum storms are so ugly, though. My house's original windows are a delight from the inside. But from the outside, they look nearly as bad as the vinyl uglies next door.

This Summer my man and I took a day trip to an old seaside town in New Jersey, Ocean Grove. (Most people know its neighbor, Asbury Park, much better!) We were there to get ideas for porch steps. For which we found no good ideas.

But we did see a lot of older storm windows. The wood type, that attach on top hinges, or just slide in and are held in place with turn buttons. They looked GORGEOUS! I figured that with the right type of weatherstripping, they should be nice and efficient, too.

I know we could get those. And I'd be willing to pay the price for the beauty. I just don't know how I'd get up to my second-floor windows every year to switch out the storms and screens!
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