I do not assume later works are better than earlier works. A lot of the best architecture we have was prior to modern engineering.
TRANSLATION:A lot of the architecture I like
was prior to modern engineering.
Many towns in Europe have houses that have stood for centuries. It is very unlikely a typical house engineered today will last more than 50 years.
I've lived in numerous old [European] houses and they may be still standing, but they certainly were not necessarily well built.
I currently live in a good solid Edwardian house and yet some of the brickwork at rear is simply dreadful and needed serious patching up when bath room was stripped back to the brick. Modern houses [in UK] certainly seem a lot better put together than many older ones, probably because building regs are more strict now.
Cowboy builders who do build crappy houses are certainly around, but are definitely not but a recent invention. Not to mention the large swathes of badly built buildings from ye good olde days that have been demolished because they were not fit for living in. Or need serious work doing to bring them up to decent [modern] conditions/standards.