Vinyl in the 'hood...#1

In addition to the new series I started last week - Beauty on the East Side - I'm starting another - My Vinyl Collection - to give fixBuffalo readers a better sense of the design standard being used in the construction of our beloved "Vinyl Victorians" here on the City's East side. Exhibit #1.
Photoshopping courtesy of the developers who plop these into place. No street address will be given but rest assured I haven't made any of this up. Not me. It was someone else...
Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. Mcguire: Plastics.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faqmy flickr


michele J said...

WOW! No chance you can miss that garage!

Kelly said...

I like how the siding over the basement window, by the meter, is already warped.

Anonymous said...

The warping is probably from the heat exhausted by the dryer vent. Wonder how easily it will peel off after the winter.

fix buffalo said...

So does this mean everyone loves the front entrance?

WestCoastPerspective said...

Spacious porch!
Was this a pre-fab house?
The 'architect' should be run out of town.

Anonymous said...

So it has vinyl siding...the house probably still looks better than what was there. Looking at the size and design it was planned for low income home buyer who's financial resources are limited!!
Which would also limit the owners' maintenance $$. If it were wood or some other maintenance required siding, chances are it would just deteriorate to the point of being as bad as what was there.. pleez dont tell me BRICK!!AGAIN the costs were more than likely minimized to make this home affordable.IT'S NOT LIKE THERE ARE PLENTIFUL $100'000 PAYING JOBS FLOATING AROUND HERE IN BUFFALO.
It's an attempt to make home ownership available to EVERYONE!!

STEEL said...


I am quite certain that it is not better looking than what was there before. As for maintenance It has already been pointed out here that this brand new house is exhibiting deterioration. Also the design flaws of this building go way beyond its sad cladding material.

Put the same money into renovation of existing houses as you put into these cracker boxes and you will leave the city with a treasure rather than worthless dreck.

Anonymous said...

STEEL..Having read your critical comments in the past of any new type of construction that does not meet your "specifications"., Ihave to assume you are also one of those 'ACTIVISTS'who not only critiques , but also invests much of your money in rehabbing older housing in older, improvished neighborhoods in Buffalo.Iwould hate to think that your comments were that only of a "Monday morning armchair quarterback" As you know it's always easier to criticize the end result rather than apply your knowledge "hands on"...and of course ..with your wallet.I have spent thousands of dollars in rehabbing my properties to bring them above standards..both in and out. costs of exterior maintenance can be prohibitive to any home owner and especially to 1st time owners who are struggling just to make their mortgage payments. While the vinyl look is not "historical" ,WHEN APPLIED CORRECTLY IT CAN GIVE AN ATTRACTIVE APPEARANCE AND PERHAPS PREVENT THE PROPERTY FROM BECOMING "ABANDONED" IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE OF THE MINIMAL NEED (COSTS) TO MAINTAIN IT.

biniskiewicz said...

Aside from the warped siding (I agree probably from a dryer vent), this house doesn't bother me at all. As far as the opinion that whatever preceded this house must have been superior: I doubt it.

There is a lot of old, poor construction. The cost of gut rehab for existing homes is high; usually higher than demo and redo. It has to be total gut to get insulation in correctly, bring in all new mechanicals, etc.

I sat on the boards of several non profit housing corporations. The cost of rehab was always depressingly high. The result was usually unsatisfyingly compromised. To put in all new windows and doors, walls, etc., etc., is not cheap. Then too, many of Buffalo's dwellings are challenged by being doubles. Home buyers today overwhelmingly prefer single family dwellings.

If this picture is poster child for how bad vinyl victorians can be, perhaps I have drunk some of the cool aid, because it doesn't look bad to me. In fact, I am intrigued as to the floorplan because it seems nicely private from the street, which I would like as a homeowner.

I also like the fact that the driveway is short and efficient and doesn't hog the side and back yards like the old drives. The garage greeting the street is a constant source of criticism in modern suburban designs, but again it doesn't offend me. To me, it makes sense and gives me more privacy. Evidently I am not alone in my thinking because this design layout seems to be popular.

I am not against re-using the old, preservation, rehab, etc. I have an old, genuine victorian in a historic preservation area that I am doing a gut rehab on. I like old buildings and am going to do a few more gut rehabs on buildings I own on Main. I'm not against preserving (and 204 High Street looks really intriguing, by the way).

But these new houses are not blights to the hood to my eyes.

STEEL said...


How can you call me out on my intensions when you don't even post who you are?

As I said the plastic coating is only one aspect of this anti urban clunker that I find offensive.

Also, The idea that rehab is more expensive than new is a myth. I love how people describe rehabs addes expense by saying...you have to put in all new windows and plumbing and electrical...as if you don't have to do that with the new build.

Come on guys. Many of the houses being torn down on the east side are solid well built structures that will add significantly to the city in the future if the same money is invested in rehab as they put into these cheap new houses. By the way anyone who believes this thing will stand the test of time with little maintenance is dilusional.

sbrof said...

I have to side with steel on this one, rehab is definitely cheaper than demo and reconstruction.

I intern for the city in their housing rehab department and look at the numbers every week. To rehab even the WORST homes costs under 70k, on average it takes only 30-40k to renovate a home. Yes it is a lot of money and you will say you will never get the return on investment but this is city, state and federal money going into the rehab anyone, the same money that is building this new homes.

The difference is the cost of demolition, 5-10k the cost of new construction, I would venture a guess that any of these new homes costs more that 70k to renovate. Considering habitat for humanity homes cost 50k without ANY LABOR COSTS.

In the end we have a product that will last another 80-100 years and not 40. It is urban in scale, environmentally more friendly because it is not throwing away a whole building just to build a new one. The reasons are numerous, it is a myth that it costs more to renovate than build new.