Three houses awaiting completion on the 4700 block of West 11th Avenue.
There is nothing unusual about the ones in the photos, there are dozens of others just like them under construction all over the lower mainland. These three would currently come on the market for about $2.25M each, as per nearby comparables (Point Grey; new; 2500+sqft; 33×122 ft lots).
Concrete basements; almost everything else will be plywood, drywall and stucco. Quite possibly the worst materials for our climate. There’s a good chance they’ll need new roofs before their mortgages are paid off.
Behold the mouldy shoe-box knockdowns of 2050-2060.
As Buffett said, “Price is what you pay, Value is what you get”. – vreaa
[Thanks to 'westsidefrank' for the photos]
scullboy at vancouvercondo.info 28 Sept 2010 6:05am – [in response to an article in the Vancouver Sun 27 Sep 2010 suggesting a need to relax construction rules] “I have lived in most of the provinces (with the exception of the Prairies) and I have to say Van/BC has the worst. buildings. EVER. You can rent nice flats and apartments all over Montreal, some of them date from the early part of the 20th century. The windows may still be single paned glass but the construction is still rock solid. When you walk in to some of the apartment buildings, you can *feel* how solid they are. Maybe it’s because they aren’t made of pressboard, so the acoustics are different… I don’t know. We’ve survived 2 hurricanes in the last 5 years out here in Halifax and except for damage caused by uprooted trees, the region did just fine. Hell even in Toronto most of the units feel solid (though I’m not sure about those buildings at Spadina and Front).BC is the only place I’ve ever lived where it’s common to see those massive rain screens. Homeowners in BC are the only people in the country stupid enough to buy the “it’s different here, we have special housing needs” bullshit.
If anything Van/BC needs TIGHTER restrictions on building. Frankly I don’t hold out much hope that the city/provincial homeowners are bright enough to clue into that. If anything I’d expect the “It’s different here” meme to produce an even more stupid and greedy batch of buyers to accept even shoddier construction.”
Anonymous at vancouvercondo.info 28 Sept 2010 8:22am – “My house in Winnipeg was built in 1910 out of 2×8 redwood… [We lived in it through the 1980's] …The beams in the basement were so hard you couldn’t drive in a nail. In February, when it was -40 deg. outside we were wearing short sleeves around the house.
Fast forward 20 years in time and 2,000 km in space and here I am in a rackety townhouse built entirely out of 2×4s with almost no insulation, wet and moldy where the lightest gust of wind blows right through it… my bills are double those from frigid Manitoba and we wear hoodies in the house half of the time.”
mflat at vancouvercondo.info 27 Sep 2010 4:48pm – “Took a long walk from downtown to Main & 25th to check out some houses. First up was V840359, listed at $720K. This is a Vancouver Special built on one of the worst bogs in the city. Take a walk down 18th sometime, and have a laugh at all the tilted foundations where neighboring roofs are almost touching due to the house angle. The house listed was like a horror slum on the inside. The worst part of it was the room angles, with sloping floors, and walls/ceilings that felt trapezoidal due to the sunken foundation. No thanks.”
ulsterman at vancouvercondo.info 28 Sep 2010 8:51pm – “I believe this to be one of the most galling aspects of the insane housing prices on the LM. Not only are they insane to anyone in the world beyond the bubble of the “Playground of the Gods”, but the quality is so pathetically poor.
When my civil/structural engineering dad came to visit me in 2005, he was shocked by the flimsiness of the houses built and being built. I have a distinct memory of helping him cut a hole in the wall of our modest little Irish home – we had a lot of fun (not) drilling through the two layers of brick separated by insulating foam. Our little house – two layers of red brick – solid as a rock 60 years after construction, and yours today for about C$200k in Belfast. And yes, the median income there is the same as the income here. Shocking concept, I know.”
And updated with this contrarian word:
say what? at vancouvercondo.info 28 Sep 2010 11:24pm – “Plywood, OSB, wood in general is structural and has nothing at all to do with building envelope. First step toward eliminating leaky walls: overhangs and sloped roofs! Second step: proper installation of building envelope, especially around windows. Flimsy construction? That plywood provides shear strength primarily, and there are many interior sheeted shear walls, required here by engineers, that you would never seen in a non-earthquake zone. The walls themselves are bolted down to foundation and the successive floors are tied down to foundation using metal straps or rods, all of which was not the case in the past. Softwood lumber is not treated with anything, it is just dried in a kiln. Wet lumber and plywood dries out once under cover, and takes on moisture content proportional to air humidity, and at that moisture content does not deteriorate. Outside walls are required to be 2×6 for greater insulation… the list of things I read that are just wrong or clueless goes on and on.
Before you denounce this post as the rantings of a rabid housing bull whose livelihood depends on the Vancouver real estate ponzi, just take a breath and read the next sentence. Houses here are needlessly complex in design, and drastically overpriced. The market here will eventually fail in dramatic fashion, causing rampant unemployment amongst the hated dependent industries.”