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Information on Rex Roberts built home

xstine | Posted in General Questions on

I’m looking at a Rex Roberts home for sale on the North Shore in Massachusetts (see attached image). Am curious to learn if anyone has knowledge of how well Rex Roberts homes age (this one was built in 1964) and if there are typical problems specific to these homes as they age. I should also mention I’m a novice with green construction but learning fast!

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Christine,
    Blast from the past! Rex Roberts' book, Your Engineered House, was promoted by Steward Brand's Whole Earth Catalog, so all of the back-to-the-land hippies (including me) had a copy. I swallowed many of Roberts' ideas -- developed in California -- hook, line, and sinker, incorporating them into the first house I built in Vermont.

    Post foundation? Yup. (You can guess what happened -- frozen pipes, of course.) Board and batten siding without sheathing? Yup. Shed roof? Yup. Goofy vents for cooling (low on the north side, high on the south side)? Yup. Terrible advice for roof insulation -- a stack of radiant barriers separated by air spaces? Embarrassingly, I have to raise my hand. Yup.

    You don't want to build a California house in New England. If I had to inspect such a house, I would investigate the insulation levels and perform a blower door test. It's probably leaky.

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