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Bridgeman

Quality of houses

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I have read some discussion about the shoddy quality of Australian houses, especially in WA where apparently new houses are only expected to last 17 years. Don't want to spend our hard earned money on something that's not going to last a bit longer than that.

 

Is this the same in all states, or are some houses in other states better built? What about older houses?

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Who says houses are only built to last 17 years? That must take the biscuit for the most ridiculous statement I've read on this site, hands down.

I live in a house and it isn't shoddy. Loads of people I know live in houses that aren't shoddy.

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Guest guest17301

I think that's called 'propaganda' As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Houses are houses are houses......Our house was built in the 70s and I dont have any issues with it to be honest. How can you predict how long a house will 'last' anyway?

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Where on earth did the "17 years" come from? Houses round my neck of the woods date from all eras back to 1814 - and not one of them has fallen down.

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I think that's called 'propaganda' As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Houses are houses are houses......Our house was built in the 70s and I dont have any issues with it to be honest. How can you predict how long a house will 'last' anyway?

 

'ang on a sec Fi, don't you also say "people are people are people"?

 

Is that some strange northern-ism? Or do you just like repeating yourself? ;0)


My Brain Hurts!

 

 

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Where on earth did the "17 years" come from? Houses round my neck of the woods date from all eras back to 1814 - and not one of them has fallen down.[/

 

This was posted on another subforum on here:

 

On the house building fro t we find them shocking quality. They look nice, but that's all. A good example is the one that is just being finished opposite us. It now looks stunning that is is rendered and sat there all white. But when it was bare brick I couldn't believe what I was seeing as there were holes big enough to put a football through in the exterior walls. This is a $2million house being built by one of WA's top builders.

 

I spoke to a building manager recently who said that WA houses are only expected to last 17 years. Unbelievable.

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Guest Guest31881

I have lived in a house built in the 1960's, an apartment built around 1980 and a cottage from 1864. I think they are built to last a little longer than 17 years but some posters on here will not allow anything that is, or even sounds positive about Australia to go unchallenged. Some feel that if they did not like Australia then no one has the right to have the chance to live there.

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Where on earth did the "17 years" come from? Houses round my neck of the woods date from all eras back to 1814 - and not one of them has fallen down.[/

 

This was posted on another subforum on here:

 

On the house building fro t we find them shocking quality. They look nice, but that's all. A good example is the one that is just being finished opposite us. It now looks stunning that is is rendered and sat there all white. But when it was bare brick I couldn't believe what I was seeing as there were holes big enough to put a football through in the exterior walls. This is a $2million house being built by one of WA's top builders.

 

I spoke to a building manager recently who said that WA houses are only expected to last 17 years. Unbelievable.

 

I think saying houses only last 17 years is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Have a look at some Australian real estate sites and check it out for yourself.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest guest17301
'ang on a sec Fi, don't you also say "people are people are people"?

 

Is that some strange northern-ism? Or do you just like repeating yourself? ;0)

 

Bog off Dom

 

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Guest AKA63029

The seventeen year thingy is daft,

 

I have been back to OZ on many an occasion and seen my old houses still standing and in very good nick, even in Perth.:shocked:

 

First lived in OZ some thirty years ago, so not speaking from my backside, AGAIN.:laugh:

 

Cheers Tony.

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Where on earth did the "17 years" come from? Houses round my neck of the woods date from all eras back to 1814 - and not one of them has fallen down.

 

Loads of them since 1814 will have done, of course - otherwise they'd still be there, wouldn't they?

 

This is one of the furphies you get in the UK with old houses - people saying they are by definition better built. Some are, many aren't, the ones that were rubbishly built don't exist any more, for obvious reasons :wink:

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Have a look at some Australian real estate sites and check it out for yourself.

 

What's that going to tell you? That some houses are more than 17 years old? Proves nowt

 

I agree the "17 years" thing is silly. But so is visiting a real estate site to judge matters of build quality

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What's that going to tell you? That some houses are more than 17 years old? Proves nowt

 

I agree the "17 years" thing is silly. But so is visiting a real estate site to judge matters of build quality

 

Only suggested checking sites so they would see for themselves that houses older than 17 years are still standing. As far as quality goes - you get what you pay for IMO.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In answer to the OP, I can't say for sure Aussie houses are of generally less good quality. I simply haven't seen enough of them, or of the country

 

I do have an issue with a lot of what I have seen around Sydney, and my experience of the construction industry over here (in which I work) leads me to believe some of these issues might be quite widespread

 

The issues with "quality" of house builds I have seen here revolve around one of 2 things: structure and insulation. No problem whatsoever with foundations, services, finishes, roofs, materials etc etc. But in those 2 areas I've got a few problems with what I've seen. Sometimes they go together - I will attempt to explain.

 

First, structure. For a robust structure you need to do one of two things: Either build a robust structural frame and then infill walls as you like (doesn't matter with what, as you're not relying on them to make the house stand up), or build robust walls to form your structure. The standard mode of construction in the UK for the external envelope of a house is double skin brick & blockwork (of course there are departures from this). This provides structural strength by having two skins of masonry tied together with wall ties, around which you can build the rest of your house. *Some* houses here are built like this - but most are not. The most common form of construction I see here is stick-built stud construction. In this type of house you are using relatively small timbers to create a wall. This is an inherently less robust form, because the walls are single skin and because they are made from a network/frame of quite small elements which leaves them at some risk from rot and/or insect attack. Sure, there are things you can do to mitigate this risk, it's the lack of inherent redundancy I have a problem with.

 

Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of masonry, it's expensive, messy, slow and wasteful to build with. And timber framed houses can be great, in fact the place I've lived which had markedly the best build quality in housing was Sweden where virtually everything was timber framed. The difference there is that the houses are generally built around a "proper" (ie main structural) timber frame of substantial timbers, like an old timber framed house would be, and the walls are non-structural infills, generally very high quality factory-made highly insulated units. Some are made with structural wall units but the fact they're made in quality controlled conditions in a factory helps, and they are super-insulated. I'd go so far, tbh, as to say that timber framed houses are the way of the future - but not the way they're built here, using a stack of 4x2s.

 

The other problem I have with the way most houses are built here is insulation. And the stick-build method again causes inherent problems here - if your wall is only 100mm thick, then you can only get 100mm of insulation in it. Which restricts the insulation performance you can get out of it. Sure, the timber frame itself isn't a bad insulator, but you'll struggle to get a properly energy efficient house with a single skin, anywhere. That's why you essentially can't build new houses in the UK like this any more, it's virtually impossible to build them to meet the energy efficiency requirements of today's building regs unless the houses are small and/or terraced. Detached? No chance.

 

So I don't think Aussie houses are (blanket generalisation) worse, flimsy, whatever you want to call them. But I do have a problem with stick-built stud houses. At home that sort of construction is reserved for outbuildings these days (in fact I built a garage just like that a couple of years ago). And there are way too many houses in Sydney that are built this way. If there's one thing you can be 100% sure of in the next couple of decades, it is that energy is going to get a LOT more expensive. So I won't be buying a house anywhere that doesn't perform as well as it can in that respect

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. As far as quality goes - you get what you pay for IMO.

 

For houses I'm not convinced of that

 

You do to some extent, but most people don't really know what quality consists of - they'll pay extra for quality finishes, because they can see them and understand them. Few will pay extra for quality structure because they don't know what makes it, therefore it's not worth the developers' while building it so, therefore they don't.

 

Houses are valued on location, size, visible finishes, size of land and a few other intangibles. Not build quality. At least it's better here than in the UK in that respect - you guys value houses on living space measured in square metres, and block size measured in square metres. In the UK it's all about number of bedrooms, for some bizarre reason

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We built our house in the UK using Structural Insulated Panels which combine the structure and insulation in one create a very airtight envelope. Our walls are only 125mm thick so have 100mm of PU insulation which if you needed to meet the same level of insulation in a brick and block cavity construction the wall would be about 350mm thick.

There is nothing wrong with "stick built" houses perse but bearing in mind the standard timber frame here in the UK is almost now 140mm studs so Oz really needs to be matching this standard together with double glazing.

Surely it's in everyone's interest to save energy.........that's why I "self built" here and will "owner build" there.

Developers will only build to the minimum standard they need to to keep profits high, this is the same the world over !

 

Forgot to mention that in the UK every construction material is expected to meet a 50 year lifespan in order to be approved............I will look into what the Oz equivalent is but wouldn't expect it to be much different, certainly not 17 years !

Edited by Chardy

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We built our house in the UK using Structural Insulated Panels which combine the structure and insulation in one create a very airtight envelope. Our walls are only 125mm thick so have 100mm of PU insulation which if you needed to meet the same level of insulation in a brick and block cavity construction the wall would be about 350mm thick.

There is nothing wrong with "stick built" houses perse but bearing in mind the standard timber frame here in the UK is almost now 140mm studs so Oz really needs to be matching this standard together with double glazing.

 

 

Forgot to mention that in the UK every construction material is expected to meet a 50 year lifespan in order to be approved............I will look into what the Oz equivalent is but wouldn't expect it to be much different, certainly not 17 years !

 

SIPS are brilliant - and there is a massive difference between 100mm of PU in a factory panel, and 100mm of Celotex/Kingspan cut roughly to size and shoved in between studs (or, worse, loose rockwool which is common here)

 

I don't have any problem with timber frames or studwork per se - but there needs to be a proper structural frame formed in some way for me. SIPS sort all that out for you, site stick build doesn't (unless the main framing timbers are decently sized and engineered - generally they aren't)

 

Surely it's in everyone's interest to save energy.........that's why I "self built" here and will "owner build" there.

Developers will only build to the minimum standard they need to to keep profits high, this is the same the world over !

Totally agree

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I can only speak from my experience in Qld (and also that of my friends in NSW and Vic). I was astonished at the quality to be honest (or lack of it). A friend of mine lived in a beautiful old queenslander on stilts, I went over one winters day to find her and her children all wrapped in duvets in the living room....the wooden floors had no insulation and you could see the ground through the floor boards. She accepted this as perfectly normal. I fould that the houses are geared up more for summer (lots of shade, very dark and tiled floors etc), but of course it does get very cold in winter and the houses are simply not geared up for it. I used to come in from the school run and found it just as cold on the inside as it was on the outside. Imagine your house in the uk when it's 8 degrees outside and no heating on (except a blower in one room)....but with tiled floors and single glazing and no insulation....brrr.

 

Here in the UK we expect to be able to walk around indoors toastie warm even when it's freezing outside....I really do think that Aussies have lower expectations in most things....in theory you could say that's why they are so happy and we are miserable buggers...but it is really difficult not to challenge things when as a nation it's what we are used to doing.

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Loads of them since 1814 will have done, of course - otherwise they'd still be there, wouldn't they?

 

 

Well they are still there...not that there were many in 1814 . Some have been removed over time to build highways, large commercial buildings etc. but that's a different story. And many have had later extensions built around them and it's only when you start investigating the history of the building that you discover that the original building is still intact.

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Yeah, the ones that are still there, are still there. The ones that used to be there and now aren't, err, aren't

 

See what I mean? You can't say "not one of them has fallen down" because it's quite likely - indeed almost certain - that some of the older ones have done exactly that and been replaced, you just don't know that because they're not there

 

My last house in the UK was 650+ years old, facing a market square in an old town that dated back to about 800AD. At the time it was built the square would have been surrounded by buildings, but none of those were left, ours was the oldest by some 200 or so years. The others had burnt down, fallen down, been knocked down, etc etc etc. I'm not claiming ours was particularly specially built. I think it survived mainly because it had served as a meeting hall up until the 17th century, and when it wasn't serving that purpose had been built on to on both sides by 17th C masonry houses which pretty much held it up

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My inlaws Queenslander here in FNQ is over 30 yrs old and has withstood many a cyclone, torrential rain and flooding without any probs (as have friends houses).

 

House I've got is just coming up for 8 yrs old (also in FNQ) and is solid as a rock.

 

In my life before Oz I spent 16 yrs in the consultancy, inspection and testing industry (majority of my role related to construction).

 

IMO opinion what you get here is (on the whole) built well and is built to suit the particular climate in the region it is located.

 

When looking at buying something, check out who the develper is/was; check out other (older) properties they put up etc to see how they've fared over the years.

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Yeah, the ones that are still there, are still there. The ones that used to be there and now aren't, err, aren't

 

See what I mean? You can't say "not one of them has fallen down" because it's quite likely - indeed almost certain - that some of the older ones have done exactly that and been replaced, you just don't know that because they're not there

 

My last house in the UK was 650+ years old, facing a market square in an old town that dated back to about 800AD. At the time it was built the square would have been surrounded by buildings, but none of those were left, ours was the oldest by some 200 or so years. The others had burnt down, fallen down, been knocked down, etc etc etc. I'm not claiming ours was particularly specially built. I think it survived mainly because it had served as a meeting hall up until the 17th century, and when it wasn't serving that purpose had been built on to on both sides by 17th C masonry houses which pretty much held it up

 

One careful owner? :wink::tongue:


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Guest The Ropey HOFF

Theres crap built houses in Australia and crap built houses in the uk, the new build houses we saw in Australia were incredible and we love our newish house here in the uk, i suggest you get a reputable builder.

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Oh ,eckinbottom... My house is 17 years old...But then, it has withstood the pong of smelly fish bait, 2 cyclones, 5 tail swipes from cyclones and 1 earth tremor...:yes:

 

Cheers, Bobj.

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so......if you're buying a house in Oz, who would you emply to check it out and notify you (in plain Oz), areas of concern...........certainly holes in the floor would raise my eyebrow!


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