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Construction (Poland Vrs where you are from)


SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #1
Many differences are environmental.
Poland has more extreme temperatures whilst in Ireland (I am Irish) there is a lot more rain.
Of course there are many technologies and different styles of building but here are things I have noticed in both countries.

In Ireland we can put pipes going straight out of the house. And we have a tiny bit of insulation on the inside (temperate climate). Also putting pipes and wires under the floor boards is easy.

Vrs
In Poland you have to chase out conrete for laying pipes and wires. Poland's 15-25 centimetres of insulation is stuck on the out side of the house to fight off the possibility of minus 30

Poland's socket back boxes are rarely screwed to the wall and fall out.
Vrs
Ireland one tap for hot water and the other for cold water in a lot of sinks (toooo hot or toooo cold)

Poland front doors built like Fort Nox, big metal things that bolt into the ceiling floor and both sides of the wall.
Vrs
Irish front doors having tiny little locks that you can easily open with such found objects as your foot.

In Ireland you shouldn't drink water from sinks other than the kitchen due to the possible dead pigeon or rat in the water tank in the attic.

Vrs
Poland has no such tank (I still go to the Kitchen for drinking water, my programming)

Ireland tank in the attic is in case of drought! in Ireland? it happens and often, surprising if you think about how much it rains.

Vrs
Poland getting hot water for showers/bath etc being pumped to the place by the state in some places. (Just a waste)

Irish houses have emursion-heaters in the houses.
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Poland heating being pumped to some places by the state, (where the snow is melts in a straight line is a dead give away and a waste)

Ireland has carpet in some bathrooms (disgusting) this is the worst thing in my opinion.
Vrs
Polish people take thier shoes off on entry in to a house (very clean)

I hope i have offended both countries equally:)




I did not have to make this a "Vrs" but I find that people on here prefer a bit of an argument :)
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #2
Poland's 15-25 centimetres of insulation is stuck on the out side of the house to fight off the possibility of minus 30

wow that is a lot of insulation. How do they get the render to stick, some kind of metal mesh? How do they manage if the house is faced in bricks?

Here in the Uk we would not get minus 30C so on a new house we would have two skins of masonary with a 10 centimetre cavity and a 5 centimetre insulation. The inside skin of masonary would be a high therm block also.
scarbyirp  
17 Nov 2008 /  #3
How do they get the render to stick

The insulation (styropian) is plugged and screwed with big plastic 'mushroom' washers. Then a self adhesive fibre mesh is placed on to the insulation. A 2 -3 mm sand : cement render is then applied to the mesh. This can be through coloured or more typically painted over with an exterior grade paint.
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #4
. A 2 -3 mm sand : cement render is then applied to the mesh.

I guessed it may be something like that, but would it be 2-3 centimetres instead of mm. Even so, it don't seem very thick to me for a first defense against the weather. Does it get any cracks in it and what do they do to stop any damp that might get through?
scarbyirp  
17 Nov 2008 /  #5
nope its only a 2 -3 mm skim on top of the mesh. This makes it ease to apply and you don't have to be a skilled spread to put it on. It goes off like rock and it's very durable and weatherproof.

Unfortunately an all too common sight over here is the unfinished version. People will just put the polystyrene insulation on and then leave it. (due to lack of money). Or even worse, they will just have unprotected and exposed blockwork finish to the outside of their houses, for years. (like my neighbour) Most Polish town/villages are full of houses with blockwork only external finishes. This adds to the grey dreariness at this time of year.
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #6
Even so, it don't seem very thick to me for a first defense against the weather. Does it get any cracks in it and what do they do to stop any damp that might get through?

If you knock on it like a door it sounds hollow and that to me sounds terrible.

Also plaster board is not usually used on walls here unless it is a partition wall, so it is very cold to the touch and gives much more of an Echo.

(like my neighbour)

Like everyone's neighbour and half of my own house ha ha ha.

Actually one of the biggest visible changes in Poland in recent years is people finishing the rendering of their houses.

This adds to the grey dreariness at this time of year.

That time of the year? The changing of the season getting to you?
What I think adds to the grey and dreariness is when you buy a new build flat or house the grey box finish. They could at least use white primer on the walls and that is at very least!

Just to explain it more clearly when you buy a new build here in Poland the norm is that the doors, electrics and plumbing are in but there are no floors, nothing is painted, no furniture, no kitchen, you have to finish yourself.

I have a theory why this is but I would be very happy to hear anyone else's explanation?
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #7
I have a theory why this is but I would be very happy to hear anyone else's explanation?

Does it cost x amount per sq mtr? Often when I hear people talking about homes in Poland, they say the house, or apartment is ??? sq metres.

Here in the UK we would say it has 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, lounge etc.
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #8
Does it cost x amount per sq mtr?

Everything in Poland is per metre square.

Here in the UK we would say it has 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, lounge etc.

Also in Ireland, e.g. it is a small two bed or a big onebed etc.




My theory is this:
Because it is not just Poland who sell new builds as a grey shell but all Ex-communist countries in Europe as far as I know.

I would have to say it is because of communism.
My theory (it is one of my weaker ones)
That during communism everybody got the same, now that is gone you may design and furnish your house/flat to your own tastes, revel in your individuality and express yourself.

So a Pole buys a house, then he has to finish it either by himself, with friends and family.
He does this bit by bit over the next 150 years because he thinks it will work out cheaper.
Now all men are guilty of this on some level but you must remember that the house/flat is uninhabitable, no floors toilets nothing...
The Poles are used to this and think it is cheaper.
The logic behind this is not very sound, it is of course cheaper for a developer to buy a batch of 200 toilets and fit them in because he is buying in bulk.

But of course some people just do not have the money.




This thread was meant to go both ways, a kind of balance.
Now what constructive/destructive criticisms can I say about where i am originally from (Ireland) about the property market??? ha ha ha,
Where do i start?
HHHmmmm this would take more time than i have ha ha ha
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #9
no floors

When you say no floors what do you mean?. To you and I, with a house in the UK or Ireland, we would expect the upstair floors to have floor boards. Are you saying that if you buy a new one in Poland there will not be a floor at the top of the stairs?
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #10
When you say no floors what do you mean?

Concrete, nothing else, same on the walls and ceiling.

Are you saying that if you buy a new one in Poland there will not be a floor at the top of the stairs?

I am not only saying that, i am saying there is no tiles in the bathroom or kitchen, no paint or primer on the walls or ceiling, no Kitchen, nothing at all, a few rough looking light bulbs hanging out of the ceiling if you are lucky. Seriously.

The construction is different, I have never seen or heard of floor boards being used at all here, it is usually poured concrete.
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #11
Thanks for your insight Sean. If you ever get the chance to do so, please post some photos of some new builds. It would be very interesting to see.
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #12
post some photos of some new builds.

Ok, i will try.
Sure i am going to be building a load of houses soon :)

Tell us something about what is wrong with what is built in your country.
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #13
Tell us something about what is wrong with what is built in your country

Well I think we have just about got it right? :) Seriously though, we have very tough building regulations here, and it makes for better built houses etc.
sledz 23 | 2,250  
17 Nov 2008 /  #14
Do they build houses with basements in Poland?
Most homes in the US have basements except some states like Florida where the water table is too high or California (earthquakes)
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #15
Well I think we have just about got it right?

have you ever seen carpet in the bathroom?
Or two taps one hot and one cold for washing?
There are ALWAYS problems, we just get used to them, no?
The building regs here are fine, I am just explaining the differences.

Do they build houses with basements in Poland?

Of course depending on the ground and water level but yes, mostly for a stove that heats the house.
I am not going to put in Basements as it is too costly
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #16
have you ever seen carpet in the bathroom

yep many homes have them in the bathroom. Makes it feel warmer in the winter when it is snowing outside:)

Or two taps one hot and one cold for washing?

yep good idea, saves the the drinking water getting contaminated by back siphonage from the storage tank.
urszula 1 | 253  
17 Nov 2008 /  #17
Basements in Poland are used to store coal and potatoes.
Basements in US are luxurious living spaces yet when Poles in Chicago have to rent one of those, they feel degraded, comes from the belief that basements are for storing crap.
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #18
Makes it feel warmer in the winter when it is snowing outside:)

It is a breathing ground for all the horrible nasties, it is completely unhygienic, really quite disgusting.
Get slippers, you can stick them in the wash :)

yep good idea,

How it is a good idea if you can't use it, you wash your hands in the hot till it's scolding hot and the cold is ffffrrrrreeeeezzzing when it is snowing outside :)

they feel degraded, comes from the belief that basements are for storing crap.

Ha ha ha,
This reminds me of the difference between A penthouse apartment and the top floor on the block of flats.
I have seen flat on the top floor of a block advertised as penthouse but never visa versa :)
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #19
How it is a good idea if you can't use it, you wash your hands in the hot till it's scolding hot and the cold is ffffrrrrreeeeezzzing when it is snowing outside :)

Someone a lot smarter than me invented a plug for the sink, so that the right temperature can be reached:)
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #20
You have them at home, don't you? do you have a bed pan too? ;)
Have you tried a tap with a thermostat mixer? sheer bliss.
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #21
do you have a bed pan too?

no I don't like eating in bed:)

Hope you don't mind me saying father, but have you lost your comb? :)
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
17 Nov 2008 /  #22
That during communism everybody got the same, now that is gone you may design and furnish your house/flat to your own tastes, revel in your individuality and express yourself.

While the theory may have some meat to it the reasons were far more practical. Over 60% of the country was destroyed by WW2. The ugly "bloki" was the fastest way to allow families to have a semblance of a dwelling.

In general I prefer the approach to construction in N. America. Standards exists and are consistent. Have been for a long time. When you want to replace an electric switch in a 100 year old house the one you get today will fit the 100 year old box perfectly.

Some small things changed. For instance lumber standards. 2 by 4 became 1 3/4 by 3 3/4 and now it is 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 but overall things work just fine from generation to generation.

Among the minor issues I have found in North America is patching and hiding failures in some aspects of construction. Let's take baseboards. They install one. Doesn't fit very well so they install another one to cover cracks and seams. Then another one. By the time they are done the baseboards is a foot high. I also found that the quality of brickwork in an average house in many parts of the US is really poor.

In general, I think if the same construction standards were present in Poland I bet more people would own houses. Building a house in N.America is a snap and most people would be able to build one themselves (give or take electrical or plumbing system). In Poland an average one family house require a thick book of plans and calculations or material strengths etc. In N.America the same is reduced to just a couple of sheets of blueprints and a drawing of a detail or two. No need to calculate anything since materials are so standardized that it is obvious that (depending on the species of wood) a 2 by 4 is safe for up to 4'8" for joists and up to 6'5" for joists (in climate zone 5).
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #23
Over 60% of the country was destroyed by WW2.

But it is still the standard, I know we all just "get used to things the way they are, is that still the case?

require a thick book of plans and calculations or material strengths etc. In N.America the same is reduced to just a couple of sheets of blueprints and a drawing of a detail or two.

I am neck high in these at the moment.
Some of them are plane ridiculous.
Although some will save you a load of problems down the road, a geological survey is something I always do with new builds.

I know this really depends on where exactly you are but how big (in metres square) are the average houses/flats over there z_darius?
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
17 Nov 2008 /  #24
I know this really depends on where exactly you are but how big (in metres square) are the average houses/flats over there z_darius

Apartments would vary. The first one I rented was about 1000 sq/ft.

In Canada the newer ones they tend to be in the 2000-3000 sq/ft area. Lots of 1960/70's are about 1000 sq/ft (split levels so really a lot more than that). Square footage is considered only for rooms which are above ground level. Of course there are also smaller and larger ones.
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #25
There are something wrong with these numbers z_darius

1000 sq/ft is 304.8 metres? perhaps 100 sq/ft? that's 30 metres/sq, a studio flat? My first flat was this size.

3000feet is 914 metres? Perhaps 300? 91 metres/sq is a big three bed flat.



z_darius 14 | 3,968  
17 Nov 2008 /  #26
Sean,

I think you used linear units instead area units to convert to metric.

1000 sq/ft = 92.9 sq/m
3000 sq/ft = 278.71 sq/m

a single sheet of flooring plywood (4 by 8 feet) is 32 sq/ft (2.97 m). You need plenty of those for an average floor.
OP SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
17 Nov 2008 /  #27
I think you used linear units instead area units to convert to metric.

Yep, i did that exactly. Doh! my bad.

Big places. at 3000 sq/ft.

So I see they have you converted to the old, out of date feet system for rooms?

If you want to know something really messed up, I grew up in Ireland mostly and I am the generation that everything changed for.
I do rooms in metres but people in feet.
I do potatoes in Kilos, sugar in pounds and people in stone.
I still do miles even though everything around me has changed.
And I am happy to use centimetres or inches but it is better to stick to one.
Vincent 9 | 869   Moderator
17 Nov 2008 /  #28
And I am happy to use centimetres or inches but it is better to stick to one

Know what you mean! For building work here we use millimetres for measurements, and it is a big headache when when trying to match metric bricks with the old imperial ones of yesteryear.
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
17 Nov 2008 /  #29
My dad is in the process of buidling a home in PL, so I can clearly see the differences between the US.

First of, homes in the US are built much much faster. Within 3 months, you have a whole brick home, with roof and entire interior finished, ready to move in. In Poland the whole process drags, especially if you are shelling out cash to bribe people to get stuff done quicker in terms of paperwork/permits, or just construction wise.

I'm sure some of it is due to the fact that homes built in Poland are built to last a million years, much sturdier, all concrete. It seems they are built to withstand a war, not just time. In the US, most of our homes are built on wood frames, then the outside is either siding, or brick stones for decoration. No stucco or "tynkowanie" like in Poland.

The US homes are easier to change if you want to add a room addition to the house, or change some layout feature. But PL houses have all concrete walls, so you would have to do massive teardowns and likely unrealistic to do, if you want to say add another bathroom. Its like whatever the house is built as, that's the way its to stay. US houses seem more flex in this matter.

As for finishing touches, all US homes have the interior finished (and must by law in order for you to gain an occupancy permit). While in Poland some people finish one level, and the 2nd floor is just the concrete slab. Or they build as they go... they move in and live in 2 rooms while finishing the building of the rest of their home which sometimes lasts 5+ years.
urszula 1 | 253  
17 Nov 2008 /  #30
For building work here we use millimetres for measurements

That's why Poles who come to the US to work in construction always screw up. They cannot figure out inches. You tell them over and over again and they still don't get it, waste their time trying to convert into metric, then wondering why the windows fell out.

They always know everything and tell you that its better their way and they are right. They are having a hard time converting to the US standards of work and not getting so many breaks for ciggies as in Poland.

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