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Old 08-03-2012, 11:10 AM   #31
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [LTC3] Basements & Cellars

Wooden framed, no brick facade if I remember. Not a very large house, well under a thousand sq feet. It's been 20 years since I saw it and know what happened from family stories, was either very young or not born when it happened.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:02 AM   #32
johndallman
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Default Re: [LTC3] Basements & Cellars

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Wooden framed, no brick facade if I remember. Not a very large house, well under a thousand sq feet.
OK, now I believe it. Brick construction is essentially universal for normal houses in the UK, and that method of putting in a cellar didn't seem plausible for a brick building.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:05 AM   #33
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OK, now I believe it. Brick construction is essentially universal for normal houses in the UK, and that method of putting in a cellar didn't seem plausible for a brick building.
Yeah, you guys produce(ed) clay for bricks as an annoying side effect of nearly all the mining you do/did. North Americans produced wood as an annoying side effect of clearing farming land, so we're very much more in the habit of timber-frame construction, or it's modern derivative, steel-frame.

Brick facade is popular in cities, to mimic the English look, but at least in Canada it's usually not full-brick construction (only a single course), and more and more often it's even just a brick veneer (half or quarter width bricks).

Lightweight houses, now that you mention it, probably also has something to do with the popularity of basements here.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #34
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Default Re: [LTC3] Basements & Cellars

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Yeah, you guys produce(ed) clay for bricks as an annoying side effect of nearly all the mining you do/did.
Yeah, we ran out of forests a long time ago. Nowadays, wooden houses would be perceived as rather temporary. Our persistently soggy climate may have something to do with that: getting timber exposed to the elements to last takes work that you just don't have to do with brick.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:00 PM   #35
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Default Re: [LTC3] Basements & Cellars

Its also the recent, temporary, hastily-built nature of most North American towns: when you build a town at a new railway station or to shelter miners through the winter and sell them beans and bacon, and have no idea whether it will be there in 50 years, it doesn't make sense to import brick from far away and build a house which will last a few hundred years. By the late 20th century, when that wasn't the case any more, wood-frame construction had become customary.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:34 PM   #36
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Its also the recent, temporary, hastily-built nature of most North American towns: when you build a town at a new railway station or to shelter miners through the winter and sell them beans and bacon, and have no idea whether it will be there in 50 years, it doesn't make sense to import brick from far away and build a house which will last a few hundred years.
If you want a house to be around for 50 years in California -- because of earthquakes -- you're better off with wood frame than brick.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:56 AM   #37
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Default Re: [LTC3] Basements & Cellars

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If you want a house to be around for 50 years in California -- because of earthquakes -- you're better off with wood frame than brick.
At a wild guess at human nature, are the few brick houses highly sought after for rarity? :)
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #38
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Default Re: [LTC3] Basements & Cellars

Wood frame also does well enough in our climate up north here - between frost heave and our own happy little earthquakes, houses don't stay exactly still...

Framed houses also have the benefit of being much easier to insulate - weatherproofing wood is pretty trivial once you stop trying to put structural members on the outside.

If you're determined to use it everywhere, you use something like cedar shake or siding on the outside that you can replace regularly, leaving the structural members safe. Foundations also reach up about two or three feet out of the ground because of snowmelt, so water really isn't a big issue as long as you don't really flood.
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