Friday, July 18, 2008

604 it's over

or, more signs of the times

I rather liked the last post picture, with allusions to perversion, a black hole sucking in the 604 area code, y'know.

The picture for today seemed emblematic as well - a sign advertising "quality homes" that has a mean list to it. I hope they build homes better than they put up signs. It does not instill confidence. Most of us are well aware of the preponderance of cheap construction and poor workmanship these days. Having a sign like that is like going to a job interview downtown unshaven, and unwashed.

Shortly after taking that picture, I saw a roofing crew re-doing a residential roof. The truck driver did not seem to know how to operate the boom crane to load the new shingles onto the roof, and I watched in dread anticipation of a work place accident. Nobody seemed to know what they were doing - the roof was not properly stripped, and it looked as if they were going to shingle over the remaining nails and detritus from the old roof. I had to keep moving.

Somewhat disheartened, I came across this place -

and my heart sang again. I like the style, and the use of the lot. It was refreshing to see after seeing so many dreary New Vancouver Specious - er, Specials. They look to be quality built, it is apparent from the curb. I like the whimsy of the upper floor windows, and half-expected to see The Cat in the Hat lurking about somewhere. It looks like Dutch Modern meets Harbour Grace, NFLD, or such. Why can't tasteful, quality construction be codified? If we are going for density, let's do it right.

A bit further on, I passed another house under construction, and saw a guy putting up the fascia above the front entrance. It was uneven, and there was a gap. I fully expected to see the guy leave it that way, but he actually pulled it off and fixed it! I commented to him as I passed, and thanked him for making it right. Why should that make me so happy? I am just so tired of seeing crap being built, and having to look at it.

Then again, maybe I am just manic today.


Lurkulus said...

I agree that the houses in your photo are welcome eye salve from the dreaded (latter-day) Vancouver Specials.

In fact, any house that doesn't:
a) occupy 90% of the lot
b) replace the remaining space with gravel
and c) have an ugly fat stone fence lining the lot perimeter, as though
the house was the Biltmore Estate
almost automatically qualifies as a decent place.

Toronto real estate agent said...

Bad construction work is a nightmare of every realtor. Some people try to sell a bad looking houses. Those signs are commical too. Well I sell Toronto condos so no signs needed, and the construction is way better, but I`ve seen some awkward construction situations there too.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope that black part of the house IS a design feature, and not just covering up something... like, say a big hole where a medicine ball went through the wall...

Other than that, it is cool, but those peaked gable roofs... they've gotta go. So much more space with straight up modern boxes with flat, shed, or best of all, shed roofs with clerestory windows.

On second thought, it does vaugely look out of the Simpsons or something. Call it post-Memphis Modern. Now if only the colors were more off hue and more vivid...

But enquiring minds have to know; does it have the dreaded pressboard crown molding in the interior? That's the dealbreaker.

streel said...

"NFDL" - wtf???????, come on Sol, I always thought that you were a tad more east coast astute than that.............

Anonymous said...

The builder/developer of these houses have others in and around the Grandview area as well. He has been building creative homes (mostly duplexes in and around the Drive) for the past 20 years. His name is Earl Cunningham and he is known for utilizing unconventional materials such as corrugated sheet metal in his designs.

jesse said...

604-ITS-OVER? ROTFL! Save that one for the front page. Best. Sign. Ever.

solipsist said...

streel - I am not astute about much at all. I was tired and stressed yesterday, and did not proof-read. I have fixed more than one typo. Thanks for pointing it out.

I don't go with the NL abbreviation, and still am stuck on Alta, Ont., Man., etc. I'm a stick in the mud, and resist change.

Thanks for all comments.

Art Vandelay said...

That pair of houses looks more like "grain elevator" X ""barn" to me.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait till the house prices go back to normal. Not tiny house for 600K that needs 100K in repairs done.

Anonymous said...

Had a good chuckle over the "Dr. Seuss" reference. Could totally see him lurking in my


solipsist said...

"grain elevator" X ""barn"

I think, having lived in both, that is part of the appeal for me.

At least they are not of the cardboard box type. There is a company called Mattamy Homes that literally builds houses on an assembly line. Just hope that you buy one built on a Wednesday.

...tiny house for 600K that needs 100K in repairs done.

That sounds like a good deal. Flip that house! No, wait 604-ITS-OVER And I think that it is more than the housing market that is over.

coco said...

Those Vancouver specials may look pretty for now, but without the proper amount of overhang it will be leaky rotting houses in a few years.

Given all the rain and wind we have here. 6" to 12" of overhang usually doesn't cut it. Try at least one and half feet all around at a minimum. Two to three feet all around the house...excellent.