Tuesday, April 19, 2016

More demolitions....

Six more requests for demolition this week.  This house looks in great shape.  I suppose its crime is being too small though it is as big as the first house we lived in (1100 sq ft first floor, 500 sq ft basement).  It's also crazy because Portland says they want us to live in smaller spaces BUT they keep letting people build those awful McMansions (oversized houses on hormones) that don't fit the neighborhoods, go right up to the lot line, take the light away from the neighbors, have no room for trees and greenery.  


5 comments:

Sharon @ Laurelhurst Craftsman said...

I am actually torn on this issue. I've been thru the kind of remodel where you spend more than $100K where you just upgrade the systems, like plumbing and electrical. You spend so much money and you get very little marginal benefit. It is frequently cheaper to tear down the old structure and build a new one. That is why we tore down the old garage. I don't totally object to demo and build. But I DO object to building houses that totally fill the lot and tower over the houses around it. That is wrong and Portland shouldn't approve those applications. And I really hate the ugly corrugated metal roof boxes they are throwing up. Those are a tragedy.

barbara woods said...

i would love to have that house [ as long as it had a sewing room . It looks like waste to tear it down but ours is 160 years old that we know of,[ tax receipt for 1855] and we have put 80 thousand dollars into fixing it up, ran out of money and still like the large living room.

donaleen said...

Sharon, Are you saying you would have torn down your house, with its history? I thought you valued history and vintage and things older than you....

Sharon @ Laurelhurst Craftsman said...

Of course I value old houses with their history, but I am also realistic most families don't have a spare $100K to replace plumbing and electrical and blow in insulation, etc. I'm not even sure you could get a bank loan for this kind of work. And then there's the cost to deal with lead paint and asbestos. And then once you spend that money, you can anticipate your property taxes skyrocketing by some undetermined amount. (I think ours went up at least another 50%.)

What I am saying is I totally understand why developers are tearing down old houses. In the end, I think it is cheaper per square foot to provide housing. I would like nothing better than for everyone to buy an old house and fix it up like we did, but I believe most of the population wants to buy a house, move in and do nothing. Unimproved old houses can be drafty, loud and fairly uncomfortable.

And right now with our "housing crisis" builders are using this opportunity to tear down old structures so they can maximize their profits. I would like there to be more review about the kind of houses they are putting back up. They shouldn't be McMansions and they should fit the character of the neighborhood.

I'd also like there to be more salvaging of the interior, like hardwood floors and old growth woodwork. Craigslist should be full of listings of materials so folks who value those resources can reuse them in their own houses. Honestly, I'd love to replace the now-missing wainscoting in my living room. If I had access to old growth fir that was removed from one of these demo'd houses, I likely would replace it, even if I had to strip paint.

I appreciate that you care. I do too. I just don't believe we can save every old house and I think we need to pick our fights. Thank you for the link to that blog that shows demo applications; I've added it to my follow list.

donaleen said...

It would be easier for me to move to an uglier place than to watch my place get uglier, which is what is happening. When I think about the changes even within sight of my house, most every single thing is uglier. More concrete. Less gardens and trees. More cars. More parking. More noise from blowers, power washers, etc.