Generally speaking, older homes were constructed differently than the more modern houses we see today. Of course in the modern age we have significantly more efficient tools like nails and screws that professionals and hobbyists alike use as mechanical fasteners. In the past, builders of all kinds used mortise and tenon joints and wooden pegs or dowels. The homes of the past are generally not insulated at all and most construction lumber was hewn by hand. Though our building methods have evolved over time, older homes retain many of the aspects that modern homeowners long for, namely strength and integrity. The growth of the wood in older homes usually had a much longer and sustainable quality of life making it much stronger than the wood used to build our homes today. Most notably, with the passage of time and changes in the construction industry has come the introduction of harmful products like asbestos and lead paint. Both possess the possibility of causing potentially life-threatening issues like cancer or neurological problems. Today’s lumber is moving toward more man-made wood, this includes materials like LVL and LSL as well as for plywood and OSB materials. It’s not just wood either, other home fixtures have changed over time, as well, including our windows; builders used to install single pane windows in older homes, today of course our windows are double paned with gas in between each pane for better insulation. In fact we have much more insulatory practices now as well as a wide variety of insulation materials and composite materials. These materials are generally used for doors and windows to prevent warping and twisting – keeping the integrity straighter, stronger, and tighter.
Fridrik Kristjansson, Nailed It Building & Construction, naileditbuilding.com