Friday, June 28, 2013
As I mentioned earlier on this blog, we took a vacation a few weeks ago out to Indiana to visit some friends of ours that moved out there several years ago. About a year ago, the bought the house where they now live out in the suburbs of Indianapolis. When they bought the place, there existed only a street and weedy lots. Their house was the first house to be built and everything you see has been built within the last year. In fact during our stay, those two houses in the picture above were being built along with four more houses further down the street that I didn't take a picture. They were about ten models of houses to choose from evidently and they were all very similar looking like the ones in the next picture.
Something about these new suburbs that just doesn't sit well with my nature. I feel like I'm living in an animal factory with the rest of the animals. Perhaps a better analogy would be that living in the suburbs is like working in cubicles. I've lived in cities for the last couple decades but I always seem to go for the more mature neighborhoods where the houses and surroundings have character. I like the big trees, the varied architecture and the larger lot sizes among other things.
Another thing I noticed is that they just don't make things like they used too. Everything is so cheaply done. In this particular neighborhood that didn't exist a year ago, every house had vinyl siding and every house had siding that was already bowing, cupping, twisting, bulging or what not. It is like disposable siding I guess. It is so cheap you can't afford not to use it but it is so cheap that you end up throwing it away after two or three decades... or less.
I'm guessing some of that has to do with workmanship since every light or fixture that was attached to the outside of these houses was attached to a plastic block that had been tacked to the side of the sheathing and the vinyl just notched around it. There was no water prevention at all. In fact, some of them looked like they funneled water behind the siding so that it runs down the sheathing to the drip edge. Every house I saw had this problem. I tried to tactfully bring it up to our friend but he assured me that the builder said that was what was supposed to happen. I'm guessing there is a thick layer of mold thriving behind his siding. Being a good guest, I just dropped the subject.
I don't know what my friends paid for their house but I would tell you this, I wouldn't have paid it. Even if it was the same price as my house though I know it wasn't since they live in a higher priced area and the house is more than twice the size of ours, I wouldn't trade. Our house has its problems but they were due from lack of maintenance and not because it was badly built.
I could go on and on about the cheap windows, unreinforced concrete everywhere, etc but I won't. The entire time we stayed in that area I felt it was like some sort of suburbatory for people like me who know the difference. I'm just glad I escaped.