Identifying Age of House?

lazy_gardensJanuary 12, 2010

This site, by home inspectors, has some great articles on housing ... including when materials were introduced, when they stopped production, etc.

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Yeah, that's a good site. I read the whole thing word by word to try to figure out the age of my house. I learned a lot but still no luck in getting a date...
I have the name of the company that manufactured the bricks of the fireplaces, the name of the toilet, the name of the door knobs and the name of the hinges. From that I can gather 1885 to 1910 but I d love to get the exact year. I also think I have the name of the construction company that built the house but I can not get anything when I google it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 8:33AM
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Your toilet tank cover has a date stamped on it. Provided that the toilet was never replaced, this should be pretty close. You can also trace your deed backwards a little a bit of effort but that is right on the money. My first house listed a land transfer 1870, 2 years later "improvements" aka house. The local water department also had a record of water and sewer line installation which was 1871.
The toilet tank covers had a date of 1921.The original toilet was located in the basement, non functional but all still there . This style also fell right into the time line, the tank was a lead lined wooden box that sat approx 5 feet above the bowl.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 10:11AM
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The original toilet to the house has a wooden box so there is not lid with stamp. I am hoping though there might be a stamp under the toilet. I also have the original tubs and there are stamps there but they are coded with letters so there is not a clear date stamp. However, one of the tubs have a hand scribble with the serial number and 1902 next to it so this is the date I am going with until I trace the deed. I intend to do that when I get a few days to spare to the county building.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 12:02PM
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If you follow the tax assessments you can zero in on the construction date within a couple of years.
The tax assessment will jump the year following construction or additions, but always compare to other properties (comps) so that you can discount blanket increases that applied to all properties.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 3:01PM
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look on bottom of deeds it will say,where like court house,then like book K say page 47 ,go there find that book look up that deedpage 47,the next deed will say book??G,page 20 there should be next deed,keep going see how far you can go.A friend of mine and I did this,she came accross a page she couldnt read,had to quit,it was all blurred real bad,Theres people there to help you,they dont charge only for making copies.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 11:52PM
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I am also looking for the date of my house. My neighbor thinks it was built when she was very young and we are thinking around 1920 but it was only 2 rooms then and no bathroom. Later the house was built around and that part was built around the 50's and that is when the bathroom was put in as well. I traced deeds back and there are no improvements listed on any of them. I checked the Assessors office and their records go back to the 60's and it lists the house as being new because they changed the year of the house whenever the footprint of the house was changed dramatically. I looked up sanborn maps but they did not map this area (not in the city limits), I went to the county to find out about the septic and well to see if I can get an idea from them but they lost the records (and to this day do not know where the septic tank is). Talking about frustrated!

I say all this because you have to keep in mind that if your house was built in pieces (meaning having additions) that makes it a little harder. You can try Sanborn fire insurance maps if your house is older than 1867, they often noted houses on the maps. If you have online access to your local library they may provide online access to resources for research (free)that might include Sanborn maps.

here is a link that contains some of the local maps

just another idea...

Here is a link that might be useful: here is some info on the maps....HIH

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 1:49PM
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I think I got it. I was lucky enough to know the name of the first owner. It was written on a paper stapled to the original fuse box (still working btw...)
I went to the library and looked his name in the town directories and I got him listed for the first time in 1904. That first listing also included that he moved from so and so address. That year makes perfect sense so the house is built in 1903. Yeah!
In the library I also found a map of 1901 which had my land vacant.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 10:39PM
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