14 June 2006

The Saulet Apartments: Yep, New Construction Blows

About time there is some mention of what is going on with the Saulet Apartment complex in the Lower Garden District. I noticed (braces placed on balconies) and had heard before KTMB that the place was built very poorly which the above article discusses. This is the sort of thing that really concerns me regarding the supposed upcoming building boom in New Orleans as well as the ongoing repair/renovation work by our carpetbaggery friends.

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Soulet Apartments, Lower Garden District, Louisiana

4 Comments:

At June 14, 2006 3:11 PM, Anonymous Frolic said...

What's the alternative to new construction and an outside labor force? I agree that cheap construction is a danger that we should guard against, but we've got to have housing.

Having volunteered on a few gutting projects, I can tell you that old construction and local labor is not all that. One old building have roof beams that were 2x4 scabbed together. Very scary.

I was always amazed that people paid high prices for the Saulet. It also looked like crappy construction. Not to mention that it was cheaply finished and the scale made it an eyesore.

 
At June 14, 2006 3:13 PM, Anonymous Frolic said...

And I meant to say an outside labor force for renovating existing properties.

 
At June 14, 2006 10:52 PM, Anonymous humidhaney said...

tear that terrible piece of crap down.

And I hear you about your fear on the building boom. When will folks in NOLA realize that a solution is not always the best solution.

"Hey, at least they built something."

No.

"Build something worth while. Build something that will last."

You have to sign a waver to enter the Saulet. Balconies will collapse, toxic mold.

Also, the folks that built it are being sued by the people who financed it. Guess what? They are the same family.

Awesome.

 
At June 15, 2006 3:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

What is needed are stricter building codes and stricter enforcement. Yes, I'm an engineer so I might sound like I'm simply promoting work for myslef and my friends, but this important. After Katrina the state adopted the new International Residensial Building Code. Of course the homebuilders were opposed to any stricter codes, because they said it would make construction more expensive. Of course it does, but only in the short view. In the long run, having a roof that won't blow apart and windows that won't shatter in a mild windstorm has got to be worth many times more than what it costs up front for these basic upgrades. Florida adopted better codes following several bad hurricanes a decade ago and not only do they have safer, stronger houses, they also continue to enjoy a building boom! So much for the "chicken little" homebuilders.

Good news: Louisiana did adopt the stronger code. Bad news: it does not take effect until 2007. Until then, homeowners should ask for better, stronger construction. Don't just take your contractor's word for it.

Peace,

Tim

 

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