Looking at a 1930's Dutch Colonial

ntl1991June 26, 2011

There's a side-entry Dutch Colonial which was built in 1931 for sale in my neighborhood. It's back yard actually butts against the side of my land. I'm wondering what the chances are that it's balloon-framed and has knob and tube. I'm sure it has plaster walls, and it has steam heating, which I don't mind at all.

The house has newer vinyl windows (but without grilles, they look cheap and plain) and needs exterior work like paint, new fascia boards, and landscaping, but it seems quite solid. It's a 3-bed 1-bath with 1500 square feet.

I'm a bit nervous because my house is one of the newest on the block, being built in 1948, and I have platform framing, drywall, non-metallic sheathed wiring, and I feel a bit nervous of the older house after getting used to these "modern" building technologies.

The house has quite a large, almost full height, attic, (compared to my 3-story house which has no attic access, and most of the ceilings are cathedral) which would make for (relatively) easier rewiring of possible K&T, and maybe central air conditioning in the future...

What about plaster walls? I lived in a turn of the century duplex for the first half of my life with crumbly horse-hair plaster and the only possible option for wall coverings was wallpaper due to all the imperfections. Is it typical for a house of this vintage to have smooth plaster walls that can be painted? (I HATE wallpaper!)

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It would be easier to look at the house and ask the owners these questions. Then you could see if the walls are up to your specs.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 6:27PM
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Paint over bumpy plaster is an acquired taste, much enjoyed by old house afficionados. You might enquire a bit, share the listing perhaps, at the Old House forum.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:27PM
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