Author Topic: McMansion comedy / tragedy  (Read 70946 times)

paddedhat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #150 on: September 03, 2016, 11:45:51 AM »


- Haphazardly applied dormers

Also adds cost.  Do they build the house and go "hmm, needs something... how about a dormer riiiiight there?

 Seems they are catering to the ignorant?



You hit a pet peeve of mine.  A ranch house with Cape Cod "inspired" dormers on the roof. They end up either being located in the ceiling of the great room cathedral area, which is just silly looking, especially when viewed from inside. Or, if you real want to crank the stupid meter to eleven, they end up in unfinished, unfloored attics. I had a buddy with one of each in his new home. I always wondered if the builder did it as an intelligence test, "hey Harry, let's build one of these, and see if anybody is dumb enough to buy it?"  I can just image a homeowner falling to their death since they were changing the curtains in the attic windows and, as they waded through the attic insulation, stepped off a ceiling joist and fell through the ceiling. But hey, at least the place has good curb appeal and that all important, "architectural interest", LOL.

dragoncar

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #151 on: September 03, 2016, 09:24:29 PM »


- Haphazardly applied dormers

Also adds cost.  Do they build the house and go "hmm, needs something... how about a dormer riiiiight there?

 Seems they are catering to the ignorant?



You hit a pet peeve of mine.  A ranch house with Cape Cod "inspired" dormers on the roof. They end up either being located in the ceiling of the great room cathedral area, which is just silly looking, especially when viewed from inside. Or, if you real want to crank the stupid meter to eleven, they end up in unfinished, unfloored attics. I had a buddy with one of each in his new home. I always wondered if the builder did it as an intelligence test, "hey Harry, let's build one of these, and see if anybody is dumb enough to buy it?"  I can just image a homeowner falling to their death since they were changing the curtains in the attic windows and, as they waded through the attic insulation, stepped off a ceiling joist and fell through the ceiling. But hey, at least the place has good curb appeal and that all important, "architectural interest", LOL.

I'd like a dormer in a greatroom!  Good natural light like a skylight, but if they are south facing it would give solar gain in the winter and less in the summer. 

For example, I like this -- is it what you think looks weird?


nobodyspecial

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #152 on: September 03, 2016, 09:48:37 PM »
Quite nice except I don't think you should have a chandelier like that unless you expect to have Peter Cushing swing on it to get away from Christopher Lee

bacchi

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #153 on: September 03, 2016, 11:17:52 PM »
I'd like a dormer in a greatroom!  Good natural light like a skylight, but if they are south facing it would give solar gain in the winter and less in the summer.

Isn't that a clerestory rather than a dormer?

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #154 on: September 04, 2016, 05:47:00 AM »
I think the dormer looks fine in that example, but that's one specific angle from one specific space.

I am guessing most ranch homes will look like this once you vault the ceiling:
http://www.housetweaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/vaulted-ceiling-3.jpg
Note that they went with skylights and not dormers. Can you imagine a cape cod style dormer on this particular home from the inside? It really WOULD look stupid, IMO.

And this is how it might look on the outside:
http://www.vententersearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/fauxdormers2.jpg

Which is just extra silly, just so you can have more visual "interest" on the ranch roof-line.

I'd rather keep the unfinished attic space, particularly in a ranch home. I also don't think most ranch homes were intended to have vaulted ceilings, but not my house, so not my decision!



paddedhat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #155 on: September 04, 2016, 07:32:06 AM »
I think the dormer looks fine in that example, but that's one specific angle from one specific space.

I am guessing most ranch homes will look like this once you vault the ceiling:
http://www.housetweaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/vaulted-ceiling-3.jpg
Note that they went with skylights and not dormers. Can you imagine a cape cod style dormer on this particular home from the inside? It really WOULD look stupid, IMO.

And this is how it might look on the outside:
http://www.vententersearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/fauxdormers2.jpg

Which is just extra silly, just so you can have more visual "interest" on the ranch roof-line.

I'd rather keep the unfinished attic space, particularly in a ranch home. I also don't think most ranch homes were intended to have vaulted ceilings, but not my house, so not my decision!

Dragon, that is a beautiful interior, and that is a shed dormer.  My comments refer to a  "Dog house" dormer as listed by betaguy in the post above this.

And this is how it might look on the outside:
http://www.vententersearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/fauxdormers2.jpg

So you end up with the interior of this dormer floating in space, above the vaulted ceiling. It's got it's own side walls, and flat ceiling, and typically a double hung window that's begging for a window treatment.  The interior visual is as if you took a cape cod style home, removed the second floor deck, and the interior walls, and are now standing on the first floor, staring up at the second floor ceilings.  To notch up the silliness a bit, these are often paired with matching dormers on the front elevation, that are above flat ceiling bedrooms. So, if one were to climb up and look in this particular window, you would see roof trusses and blown in insulation. Invariably, the urge to hang curtains in the unfinished attic, and the window that's fifteen feet above the great room, proves irresistible.

 This just came up, as the DW is spending days on Zillow, finding our next nest. She found one of these abortions, and it honestly looked great from the curb shot. I then asked her to go through the interior shots, and video, to find where the dormers are? After a few minutes I hear, "this is too stupid to believe, you have got to come see this".  Yep, she found them.  One in the living room, second in the foyer, and the third in the attic.

yuka

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #156 on: September 04, 2016, 10:37:12 AM »
I think the dormer looks fine in that example, but that's one specific angle from one specific space.

I am guessing most ranch homes will look like this once you vault the ceiling:
http://www.housetweaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/vaulted-ceiling-3.jpg
Note that they went with skylights and not dormers. Can you imagine a cape cod style dormer on this particular home from the inside? It really WOULD look stupid, IMO.

And this is how it might look on the outside:
http://www.vententersearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/fauxdormers2.jpg

Which is just extra silly, just so you can have more visual "interest" on the ranch roof-line.

I'd rather keep the unfinished attic space, particularly in a ranch home. I also don't think most ranch homes were intended to have vaulted ceilings, but not my house, so not my decision!

Dragon, that is a beautiful interior, and that is a shed dormer.  My comments refer to a  "Dog house" dormer as listed by betaguy in the post above this.

And this is how it might look on the outside:
http://www.vententersearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/fauxdormers2.jpg

So you end up with the interior of this dormer floating in space, above the vaulted ceiling. It's got it's own side walls, and flat ceiling, and typically a double hung window that's begging for a window treatment.  The interior visual is as if you took a cape cod style home, removed the second floor deck, and the interior walls, and are now standing on the first floor, staring up at the second floor ceilings.  To notch up the silliness a bit, these are often paired with matching dormers on the front elevation, that are above flat ceiling bedrooms. So, if one were to climb up and look in this particular window, you would see roof trusses and blown in insulation. Invariably, the urge to hang curtains in the unfinished attic, and the window that's fifteen feet above the great room, proves irresistible.

 This just came up, as the DW is spending days on Zillow, finding our next nest. She found one of these abortions, and it honestly looked great from the curb shot. I then asked her to go through the interior shots, and video, to find where the dormers are? After a few minutes I hear, "this is too stupid to believe, you have got to come see this".  Yep, she found them.  One in the living room, second in the foyer, and the third in the attic.

Could you link the house from Zillow, if you can still find it? I'm having trouble picturing it, and a search of "doghouse dormer" didn't really get me anywhere.

paddedhat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #157 on: September 04, 2016, 11:18:42 AM »
Could you link the house from Zillow, if you can still find it? I'm having trouble picturing it, and a search of "doghouse dormer" didn't really get me anywhere.

I would love to, but I'm on the road and using horribly slow WIFI.  At the moment, Zillow loads slower than that guy that used to paint landscapes on PBS.  I just did a google image search for "dog house dormer" and got a lot of quality pics. I added "on cathedral ceiling" and if you really look, you will see a handful of the silly interior views I'm ranting about. Hope that helps.

Jack

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #158 on: September 04, 2016, 02:05:17 PM »
I don't know the various architecture types.

In the top pic, the one-story house on the left looks like a craftsman, the one in the middle is hard to tell about because it looks like it was butchered when they enclosed the porch circa-1970, and the one on the right looks Victorian. (They're all relatively on the low end of the architectural fanciness scale, so that makes it a little harder to tell.)

In the bottom pic, the houses are of more "traditional" styles that are harder for me to identify (because I don't particularly like them, so I pay less attention). The one in the middle looks mostly Dutch colonial revival and the one on the right looks Georgian revival.

So for that top-left house, are you saying that it's probably a craftsman that had the porch enclosed at some point?

I actually like both the houses in the lower image, assuming they have some good outdoor space in the back.

I'm saying it's hard to tell what it was, because the trim and such might have been re-done at some point (along with the porch enclosing). I was leaning more towards Victorian because the roof pitch was definitely too steep to be craftsman.

However, I think iris lily might have gotten it right when she called the house on the right an American foursquare (apparently, a transitional style between Victorian and craftsman, with prairie style influences), and I think the house in the center might be that too. I always thought the American foursquare was more of a plan type than a style, which is what threw me off since those houses definitely do not have a foursquare plan.

If you are going to do some baseboards, can you PLEASE at least TRY to make a miter joint?

On inside corners, I think molding joints should be coped, not mitered.

At the moment, Zillow loads slower than that guy that used to paint landscapes on PBS.

Hey now, what did Bob Ross and his happy little trees ever do to you?!

(Incidentally, he was also anything but "slow" -- half an hour to go from blank canvas to finished painting is damn fast! According to this article, he taped an entire season of TV shows in about two days, up to eight episodes per day. Also, the reason he seemed so laid back was that he was trying to get away from his 20 years in the military:  ''I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work,'' he said. ''The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn't going to be that way any more.')

paddedhat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #159 on: September 04, 2016, 04:41:03 PM »

At the moment, Zillow loads slower than that guy that used to paint landscapes on PBS.

Hey now, what did Bob Ross and his happy little trees ever do to you?!
[/quote]

Jack, my point was exactly how fast bob got it done.  We are on a Verizon MIFI at the moment, in a vacation resort, and the holiday traffic is killing our surfing. At the moment, I doubt I could load a pic. gallery from a single listing on zillow, faster that it would take Bob to whip out a stunning painting. Sometimes my dark humor needs a bit of translation.........................

dragoncar

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #160 on: September 05, 2016, 12:26:17 AM »
I'd like a dormer in a greatroom!  Good natural light like a skylight, but if they are south facing it would give solar gain in the winter and less in the summer.

Isn't that a clerestory rather than a dormer?

Doh!  Yes I like clerestories.  Although maybe they are synonymous with shed dormers as mentioned by beta guy?

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #161 on: September 05, 2016, 07:00:29 AM »
I'd like a dormer in a greatroom!  Good natural light like a skylight, but if they are south facing it would give solar gain in the winter and less in the summer.

Isn't that a clerestory rather than a dormer?

Doh!  Yes I like clerestories.  Although maybe they are synonymous with shed dormers as mentioned by beta guy?

Those lights are definitely tucked into a small shed dormer. http://antiquehomestyle.com/img/16sterling-arlingtond.jpg

If you want additional light, shed dormers on the southern wall are definitely a great idea, IMO. I am actually thinking of doing something similar to that on my southern wall, which faces a sideyard. It will definitely look stupid on my hipped roof from the street, but it'll add SOOOOOO MUCCCCHHHHHHH LIGHT!

Now, Cape Cod revivals tend to have larger dormers, which have double-hung windows. Those look like the ranch I posted above. I love double-hung windows...all my windows are double-hung! But they look damn stupid coming off a ranch home in almost all cases, and they need curtains and decorations. You know those little window decals kids put on the windows for the holidays? Any seasonal curtains? You don't need to decorate the windows in your picture, but if you had double-hung windows up there, they'd look naked in comparison to your decorated windows.

Note, I am definitely not an architecture expert. I am an idiot who reads stuff on the internet and doesn't like McMansions. Yesterday, watching HGTV with the wife....3 bedrooms on the top level. Each bedroom had a bathroom. The master bedroom had a master bath the size of the other bedrooms.

Why would you do this?! The family explicitly wanted 4 bedrooms. You could've had 4 bedrooms without such a stupid lay-out.


The blog actually has a post on roofs right now and is supposed to have a post on dormers today, too.


Also, WTF is up with brutalism? Just an aside. Ugh. The blog author likes brutalism, as do several of my friends. Ugh ugh ugh.

Cape Cod revivals tend to have doghouse dormers, which are bigger, and used double-hung windows. But double-hung windows really do need window treatments.

former player

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #162 on: September 05, 2016, 08:41:52 AM »
Yesterday, watching HGTV with the wife....3 bedrooms on the top level. Each bedroom had a bathroom. The master bedroom had a master bath the size of the other bedrooms.

Why would you do this?! The family explicitly wanted 4 bedrooms. You could've had 4 bedrooms without such a stupid lay-out.

I have just seen an application for a house with 9 bathrooms -

5 bedrooms, each en suite and with the master having two bathrooms - his and hers.

Family bathroom, just because.

Guest toilet off the main hall, staff toilet off the utility.

Nine.  Gah!

(This is the UK. Total proposed floor area 4175 square feet.)

dragoncar

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #163 on: September 05, 2016, 11:23:10 AM »
Where did the author talk about brutalism?  I haven't read every post.  Anyways I think it has its place in certain institutional contexts

Yesterday, watching HGTV with the wife....3 bedrooms on the top level. Each bedroom had a bathroom. The master bedroom had a master bath the size of the other bedrooms.

Why would you do this?! The family explicitly wanted 4 bedrooms. You could've had 4 bedrooms without such a stupid lay-out.

I have just seen an application for a house with 9 bathrooms -

5 bedrooms, each en suite and with the master having two bathrooms - his and hers.

Family bathroom, just because.

Guest toilet off the main hall, staff toilet off the utility.

Nine.  Gah!

(This is the UK. Total proposed floor area 4175 square feet.)

If you have a real deal mansion and entertain hundreds of guests at a time, it might make sense to have a few guest bathrooms on the main floor.  Bonus points for urinals

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #164 on: September 05, 2016, 03:15:59 PM »
I'd like a dormer in a greatroom!  Good natural light like a skylight, but if they are south facing it would give solar gain in the winter and less in the summer.

Isn't that a clerestory rather than a dormer?

Doh!  Yes I like clerestories.  Although maybe they are synonymous with shed dormers as mentioned by beta guy?

Those lights are definitely tucked into a small shed dormer. http://antiquehomestyle.com/img/16sterling-arlingtond.jpg

If you want additional light, shed dormers on the southern wall are definitely a great idea, IMO. I am actually thinking of doing something similar to that on my southern wall, which faces a sideyard. It will definitely look stupid on my hipped roof from the street, but it'll add SOOOOOO MUCCCCHHHHHHH LIGHT!

Now, Cape Cod revivals tend to have larger dormers, which have double-hung windows. Those look like the ranch I posted above. I love double-hung windows...all my windows are double-hung! But they look damn stupid coming off a ranch home in almost all cases, and they need curtains and decorations. You know those little window decals kids put on the windows for the holidays? Any seasonal curtains? You don't need to decorate the windows in your picture, but if you had double-hung windows up there, they'd look naked in comparison to your decorated windows.

Note, I am definitely not an architecture expert. I am an idiot who reads stuff on the internet and doesn't like McMansions. Yesterday, watching HGTV with the wife....3 bedrooms on the top level. Each bedroom had a bathroom. The master bedroom had a master bath the size of the other bedrooms.

Why would you do this?! The family explicitly wanted 4 bedrooms. You could've had 4 bedrooms without such a stupid lay-out.


The blog actually has a post on roofs right now and is supposed to have a post on dormers today, too.


Also, WTF is up with brutalism? Just an aside. Ugh. The blog author likes brutalism, as do several of my friends. Ugh ugh ugh.

Cape Cod revivals tend to have doghouse dormers, which are bigger, and used double-hung windows. But double-hung windows really do need window treatments.
I sincerely do not understand why each bedroom having a bathroom is a bad thing. It is an excessive thing, but bad?

MoneyCat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #165 on: September 05, 2016, 03:40:45 PM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?

zolotiyeruki

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #166 on: September 05, 2016, 06:48:55 PM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?
Ok, now I want to see a picture of the mansion sticking out like a sore thumb.  Care to share the address of the McMansion, so we can look it up and laugh?

StarBright

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #167 on: September 05, 2016, 07:47:06 PM »
[i
I think these new builds would meet your approval.  The middle is mine from 3 years ago the landscaping has changed/grown in.  Oh lot is 40x110 2 car detached garage that is 20ft or so from the back door so no scraping snow off the car.

Neverrun - FWIW - I think your house is cute. Stylistically it appears to be a modern take on the Greek Revival style.

MoneyCat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #168 on: September 05, 2016, 08:02:08 PM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?
Ok, now I want to see a picture of the mansion sticking out like a sore thumb.  Care to share the address of the McMansion, so we can look it up and laugh?

I probably shouldn't post a photo, so I can maintain my anonymity, but it's pretty funny looking. They must have mixed at least six architectural styles and there's more cladding on that house than an early 2000s Pontiac. Their heating/cooling bill has to be about four times what I pay as well.

That family really confused me. They built a gigantic house that took up nearly their entire property yet they still hired a service to mow their tiny lawn for them.

RetiredAt63

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #169 on: September 06, 2016, 08:44:16 AM »
That family really confused me. They built a gigantic house that took up nearly their entire property yet they still hired a service to mow their tiny lawn for them.

Well, people who live in a house like that are certainly not going to do their own maintenance labour.  I am sure they had a cleaning service as well.  And lots of eating out.  Otherwise life is too menial.  Right?

Making Cookies

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #170 on: September 06, 2016, 09:03:19 AM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?

Somebody ought to knock that McMansion down and build a happy little ranch house...

mm1970

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #171 on: September 06, 2016, 09:05:18 AM »
I don't know the various architecture types.

In the top pic, the one-story house on the left looks like a craftsman, the one in the middle is hard to tell about because it looks like it was butchered when they enclosed the porch circa-1970, and the one on the right looks Victorian. (They're all relatively on the low end of the architectural fanciness scale, so that makes it a little harder to tell.)

In the bottom pic, the houses are of more "traditional" styles that are harder for me to identify (because I don't particularly like them, so I pay less attention). The one in the middle looks mostly Dutch colonial revival and the one on the right looks Georgian revival.

So for that top-left house, are you saying that it's probably a craftsman that had the porch enclosed at some point?

I actually like both the houses in the lower image, assuming they have some good outdoor space in the back.
Well, they are both on double lots, and one of them is fantastic.  The other has a mostly-falling-down 2-story garage in the back.

Making Cookies

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #172 on: September 06, 2016, 09:13:09 AM »
I read this thread with mixed emotions.  On the one hand, it's good to know that I am not alone in my McMansion snobbery.  OTOH, it's sad to think that people across this country are making the same sad choices of size over quality, faux appearance over something real, unsustainable pretentiousness over more realistic neighborliness. Uggh.

That ought to be obvious with the way people shop at the discount stores. Consumer therapy as discussed here. Buy stuff just to buy it and it isn't durable so what's the point?

I was once one of these people - so far as my meager income at the time would allow. Then I started thinking about what was REALLY important to me. And stuff for stuff's sake wasn't it.

infogoon

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #173 on: September 06, 2016, 09:14:07 AM »
Somebody ought to knock that McMansion down and build a happy little ranch house...

Or just wait. It'll fall down on its own soon enough.

VaCPA

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #174 on: September 06, 2016, 09:16:04 AM »
I sincerely do not understand why each bedroom having a bathroom is a bad thing. It is an excessive thing, but bad?

I have to agree. Of all the excessive/decadent things people do to mansions, giving each bedroom it's own bathroom seems like one of the more useful things to do.

Chris22

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #175 on: September 06, 2016, 09:31:37 AM »
This just came up, as the DW is spending days on Zillow, finding our next nest. She found one of these abortions, and it honestly looked great from the curb shot. I then asked her to go through the interior shots, and video, to find where the dormers are? After a few minutes I hear, "this is too stupid to believe, you have got to come see this".  Yep, she found them.  One in the living room, second in the foyer, and the third in the attic.

So what's the big deal with this?  Why is having a dormer into the attic such a big deal?  It probably costs an extra $500 at the time the house was built, whatever, and now it probably preserves the outside appearance of the house.  I'd rather have a "stupid" dormer to nowhere in the attic than have a house that looks goofy from the outside because it appears to be missing a dormer where there should be one. 

I mean, I'll admit to being an architectural moron, but really, what's the huge sin in an extra dormer, especially if it "looked great from the curb shot"?

rawr237

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #176 on: September 06, 2016, 09:38:52 AM »
Thanks for the link to that site -- so entertaining! And as an architecture know-nothing I feel like I'm being educated.

The only downside is that I have to be careful about reading it in my cubicle...the latest post, about roofs, had me smothering my giggles with shoulders shaking. 'roof is love roof is life' and the McMansion nubs just killed me.

Digital Dogma

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #177 on: September 06, 2016, 09:45:46 AM »
If you've ever roofed a house with dormers, you'd know how much dormers suck, they completely fuck up the flow of the job.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #178 on: September 06, 2016, 09:59:31 AM »
Anyone have any cool sites/blogs that showcase beautiful, reasonably-sized, efficient homes? Would love some eye candy and inspiration for the future :)

I love Mandala homes. It's a company in Canada. They're a bit pricey, though.

They sound sort of like Deltec in Asheville, NC. Round, energy efficient, etc. Not sure how I would like the strange wall angles. But the nice thing is they come in smaller square footages.

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #179 on: September 06, 2016, 10:39:07 AM »
This just came up, as the DW is spending days on Zillow, finding our next nest. She found one of these abortions, and it honestly looked great from the curb shot. I then asked her to go through the interior shots, and video, to find where the dormers are? After a few minutes I hear, "this is too stupid to believe, you have got to come see this".  Yep, she found them.  One in the living room, second in the foyer, and the third in the attic.

So what's the big deal with this?  Why is having a dormer into the attic such a big deal?  It probably costs an extra $500 at the time the house was built, whatever, and now it probably preserves the outside appearance of the house.  I'd rather have a "stupid" dormer to nowhere in the attic than have a house that looks goofy from the outside because it appears to be missing a dormer where there should be one. 

I mean, I'll admit to being an architectural moron, but really, what's the huge sin in an extra dormer, especially if it "looked great from the curb shot"?

 I'm not an architect or aesthetic purist, but I have built dozens of homes, and designed the majority.  For me it's simple, if you have to add needless non-functional details, in order to make your work attractive, as a designer, you have failed.  If you need to attach large, expensive "architectural warts" to your design, in order to make your work attractive, you have failed. It doesn't matter it if's big tacky columns to a home that no reason for them, of fake dormers, fake gable end vents, heinous glued on, foam details covered in plastic stucco (EIFS) or other silliness. Clean, quality design does not need them, and they add no value.  If I leave a customer with a home where a 12' stepladder is required to open, clean, or decorate a double hung window in a cathedral ceiling, I have failed. If the same house has another dormer window that needs to be accessed, buy scurrying up an attic scuttle hole, then navigating the roof trusses like you're playing on a jungle gym, I have failed. A ranch is a ranch, a Cape Cod is also what it is. Cape Cods without dormers result in claustrophobic, low quality space on the second floor. Ranches with fake dormers, are not capes, so why are they there?


BTW, your $500 guess on the dormer is spot on, assuming the house was built fifty years ago. Now, think at least 6-7X that amount, to start.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 01:17:55 PM by paddedhat »

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #180 on: September 06, 2016, 10:55:22 AM »
This just came up, as the DW is spending days on Zillow, finding our next nest. She found one of these abortions, and it honestly looked great from the curb shot. I then asked her to go through the interior shots, and video, to find where the dormers are? After a few minutes I hear, "this is too stupid to believe, you have got to come see this".  Yep, she found them.  One in the living room, second in the foyer, and the third in the attic.

So what's the big deal with this?  Why is having a dormer into the attic such a big deal?  It probably costs an extra $500 at the time the house was built, whatever, and now it probably preserves the outside appearance of the house.  I'd rather have a "stupid" dormer to nowhere in the attic than have a house that looks goofy from the outside because it appears to be missing a dormer where there should be one. 

I mean, I'll admit to being an architectural moron, but really, what's the huge sin in an extra dormer, especially if it "looked great from the curb shot"?

I think the main issues are that architecture needs to look good on both the outside and the inside, that architectural styles that feature dormers and ones that feature vaulted ceilings tend to be disjoint sets, and that form (at least loosely) follows function. A window designed to be opened and/or dressed with curtains, but which is placed in such a way that actually doing so is impractical, is functionally stupid and therefore architecturally wrong.



I noticed this pic in the roof article:



The author missed* the worst sin on that facade, which is the fact that the third-story Palladian window has fake shutters installed backwards (possibly because they wouldn't fit under the gable if installed correctly)!

I am of the opinion that shutters should either actually be operable or shouldn't be installed at all. However, even if you want shutters just for the aesthetics, it should at least appear as if they could be operable, which means that if they were to be folded in they should match the shape of the window.

Really, that window shouldn't even exist at all. But since it does, the builder should have used simple rectangular shutters like he did on the other Palladian window on the left. (And then he shouldn't have used shutters on that window, since it's a double window and the shutters aren't wide enough to cover it anyway. Or if we're expected to assume they would be bifold shutters with four segments, why not expect us also to assume fanfold shutters for the triple windows elsewhere on the facade?)

(*I understand the article was about roofs, but it at least deserved an arrow labeled "LOLWUT" or something.)

TexasRunner

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #181 on: September 06, 2016, 12:32:33 PM »
...

Those shutters are HILARIOUS! 

meghan88

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #182 on: September 06, 2016, 01:43:21 PM »
Here's an interview with the McMansion Hell blog's 22-year-old author:

http://www.papermag.com/mcmansion-hell-tumblr-1994391954.html

The blog is barely over a month old and she's already lined up to give a TED talk.

Chris22

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #183 on: September 06, 2016, 02:10:42 PM »
Here's an interview with the McMansion Hell blog's 22-year-old author:

http://www.papermag.com/mcmansion-hell-tumblr-1994391954.html

The blog is barely over a month old and she's already lined up to give a TED talk.

The blog is somewhat entertaining, but I hate the constant "Oh, the millennials will be so different!" especially coming from a millennial.  Millennials all flock to big cities and spending on experiences and all that NOW, because they're mostly under 30 and are often unmarried, no kids, etc and that's what unmarried people with no kids do. 

Give it 10 years, and see how many of those city millennials still live in the city.

dragoncar

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #184 on: September 06, 2016, 02:32:23 PM »
Here's an interview with the McMansion Hell blog's 22-year-old author:

http://www.papermag.com/mcmansion-hell-tumblr-1994391954.html

The blog is barely over a month old and she's already lined up to give a TED talk.

First of all,  apparently it's not a blog it's a tumblr

Next, from the article:

Quote
the thought of plowing your life savings into some 6,000 square foot beige-on-beige monstrosity with unnecessary home theaters and extra kitchens strikes many Millennials as anachronistic and wasteful.

Struck me as odd considering how many millenials live with their parents

meghan88

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #185 on: September 06, 2016, 02:49:02 PM »
Here's an interview with the McMansion Hell blog's 22-year-old author:

http://www.papermag.com/mcmansion-hell-tumblr-1994391954.html

The blog is barely over a month old and she's already lined up to give a TED talk.

First of all,  apparently it's not a blog it's a tumblr

Next, from the article:

Quote
the thought of plowing your life savings into some 6,000 square foot beige-on-beige monstrosity with unnecessary home theaters and extra kitchens strikes many Millennials as anachronistic and wasteful.

Struck me as odd considering how many millenials live with their parents

Tumblr is still a blogging platform:  http://howtomakemyblog.com/tumblr-vs-wordpress/

Goldielocks

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #186 on: September 06, 2016, 05:07:43 PM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?
Ok, now I want to see a picture of the mansion sticking out like a sore thumb.  Care to share the address of the McMansion, so we can look it up and laugh?

Here is one near me...  built in early 90's, and was originally pink stucco, painted just 4 years ago, and it does not stick out as much now.   The second picture is the street behind, with typical neighbors.

In order to build this, they had to acquire 1/3 of the lot from the neighbor behind them.   About 4 years later, the community got a bylaw passed for their streets limiting homes to 1800 sq.ft.  (!)  Mostly due to the trend to tear down small homes and put up monster homes on the lots.

The kicker?  At the time, the mayor lived within 2 blocks of this. (in an 1800 sqft home built in the 70s)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 05:09:30 PM by goldielocks »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #187 on: September 06, 2016, 05:39:09 PM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?
Ok, now I want to see a picture of the mansion sticking out like a sore thumb.  Care to share the address of the McMansion, so we can look it up and laugh?

Here is one near me...  built in early 90's, and was originally pink stucco, painted just 4 years ago, and it does not stick out as much now.   The second picture is the street behind, with typical neighbors.

In order to build this, they had to acquire 1/3 of the lot from the neighbor behind them.   About 4 years later, the community got a bylaw passed for their streets limiting homes to 1800 sq.ft.  (!)  Mostly due to the trend to tear down small homes and put up monster homes on the lots.

The kicker?  At the time, the mayor lived within 2 blocks of this. (in an 1800 sqft home built in the 70s)
Had to acquire 1/3 of the lot behind?  I guess when you're dead-set on having that circle driveway in the front AND the massive house on the same lot, something's gotta give.
Wow, this thing ticks so many McMansion checkboxes, it's amazing. 
--Gate on one half of the circle drive (because.....wait, why is it there again?)
--Massive house on (comparatively) small lot
--Turrets!
--Lots of different shapes of roofs
--different shapes/styles of windows
--front-facing garage
--way out of place in its neighborhood
--lots of big bushes along the driveway in an attempt to disguise the fact that there are neighbors right there.

paddedhat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #188 on: September 06, 2016, 05:48:34 PM »


Here is one near me...  built in early 90's, and was originally pink stucco, painted just 4 years ago, and it does not stick out as much now.   The second picture is the street behind, with typical neighbors.

In order to build this, they had to acquire 1/3 of the lot from the neighbor behind them.   About 4 years later, the community got a bylaw passed for their streets limiting homes to 1800 sq.ft.  (!)  Mostly due to the trend to tear down small homes and put up monster homes on the lots.

The kicker?  At the time, the mayor lived within 2 blocks of this. (in an 1800 sqft home built in the 70s)

As I once heard an old cowboy say, "well if that doesn't look like shit on a white horse".  That is so offensive on so many levels from aesthetics, to gross consumption, that if I inherited the thing for free, I would shoulder the cost of demolition, and donate it to the community as park land, jut to help mitigate the horror.  Jesus H. that is nasty.

Goldielocks

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #189 on: September 06, 2016, 05:49:39 PM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?
Ok, now I want to see a picture of the mansion sticking out like a sore thumb.  Care to share the address of the McMansion, so we can look it up and laugh?

Here is one near me...  built in early 90's, and was originally pink stucco, painted just 4 years ago, and it does not stick out as much now.   The second picture is the street behind, with typical neighbors.

In order to build this, they had to acquire 1/3 of the lot from the neighbor behind them.   About 4 years later, the community got a bylaw passed for their streets limiting homes to 1800 sq.ft.  (!)  Mostly due to the trend to tear down small homes and put up monster homes on the lots.

The kicker?  At the time, the mayor lived within 2 blocks of this. (in an 1800 sqft home built in the 70s)
Had to acquire 1/3 of the lot behind?  I guess when you're dead-set on having that circle driveway in the front AND the massive house on the same lot, something's gotta give.
Wow, this thing ticks so many McMansion checkboxes, it's amazing. 
--Gate on one half of the circle drive (because.....wait, why is it there again?)
--Massive house on (comparatively) small lot
--Turrets!
--Lots of different shapes of roofs
--different shapes/styles of windows
--front-facing garage
--way out of place in its neighborhood
--lots of big bushes along the driveway in an attempt to disguise the fact that there are neighbors right there.

Pink!! don't forget that it used to be pink!

dragoncar

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #190 on: September 06, 2016, 07:11:47 PM »
That's not a circle driveway.  There's no entrance at the gate... I'm guessing it's meant to be a pedestrian gate


With This Herring

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #191 on: September 06, 2016, 07:32:40 PM »
That's not a circle driveway.  There's no entrance at the gate... I'm guessing it's meant to be a pedestrian gate

You have to fend off those Trick-or-Treaters somehow!  (Just posting to follow.)

StarBright

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #192 on: September 06, 2016, 07:37:58 PM »
Here's an interview with the McMansion Hell blog's 22-year-old author:

http://www.papermag.com/mcmansion-hell-tumblr-1994391954.html

The blog is barely over a month old and she's already lined up to give a TED talk.

Meh- I've been to, and helped with, a few TedX MidAtlantics - it's nice but it is definitely a low-level regional deal - not a real TED Talk :)

She does have a knack for explaining architecture in a fun and accessible way, though. Good for her.

dragoncar

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #193 on: September 07, 2016, 02:34:40 AM »
Here's an interview with the McMansion Hell blog's 22-year-old author:

http://www.papermag.com/mcmansion-hell-tumblr-1994391954.html

The blog is barely over a month old and she's already lined up to give a TED talk.

First of all,  apparently it's not a blog it's a tumblr

Next, from the article:

Quote
the thought of plowing your life savings into some 6,000 square foot beige-on-beige monstrosity with unnecessary home theaters and extra kitchens strikes many Millennials as anachronistic and wasteful.

Struck me as odd considering how many millenials live with their parents

Tumblr is still a blogging platform:  http://howtomakemyblog.com/tumblr-vs-wordpress/

Barely.  MMM blogs using Wordpress, but supposed journalists don't keep referring to the site as "your wordpress"

Bergal

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #194 on: September 07, 2016, 10:32:59 AM »

We'll always have McMansions to mock but the Chicago Tribune has some promising news:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-mcmansions-price-drop-chicago-0906-biz-20160902-story.html

Wexler

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #195 on: September 07, 2016, 11:56:00 AM »
Thanks for sharing this-I lost some serious time, and I learned some new words.  Nubbing is my current favorite thing.  The interview was also interesting.  I loathe McMansions, and I am happy that someone has started a detailed analysis of why they are terrible.  I could go on forever, but the Pringles Can of Shame is probably at the heart of my hatred.  The exterior architecture of a McMansion is generally alarming, but most people aren't constantly assaulted by the ugliness of their own roof line when they are in their own houses.  However, those dumbass entries are just the opposite of welcoming.  Why, people, why?  It's 400 square feet of wasted space that makes your home demonstrably worse.  They echo, waste energy, and are cheap looking.  Demand better!  And whoever said that exterior and interior architecture should be in harmony is exactly right.  A well-designed house has windows positioned so that they make sense from both the inside and the outside. 

I highly recommend Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language.  It has this great section on the fundamentals of why some rooms just feel better than others.  His perfect room has windows on three sides.  Another Alexander idea is that the furniture in a room should lead people to look out the window.

honeybbq

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #196 on: September 07, 2016, 11:59:12 AM »

I also get distracted when talking about architectural standards, I have many anecdotes.

Share, please? Many of us are nerds, some of us are in construction related industries, and we all love tales of failure.
I am a rank amateur with an interest in historic architecture.

But try this locally produced website Bad Mansards  for some laughs. The "good  mansards" pictured are in my neighborhood and those houses are owned by friends of mine.

http://badmansard.blogspot.com/2010/10/iconic-st-louis-institutions-with-bad.html

Ahh, this makes me home sick. I used to live in South Tower Grove, not far from some of these photos. I lived in a 100+ year old house and it was fantastic and beautiful. <3

honeybbq

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #197 on: September 07, 2016, 12:15:32 PM »

Sorry to diss your house like that -- I'm sure it's very nice, and there's nothing really "wrong" with it considered in it's own context. But that sort of house is kind of a pet peeve of mine because they appear as in-fill construction in the old neighborhoods around here and clash horribly with the actual (single story) craftsman cottages and bungalows they abut.

You would rip my 'craftsman inspired' house to shreds. It's ok though. I know what it is, and it's a fair assessment. It was a tear down and rebuild and 'styled' to look like the rest of the street. So at least it 'tries' as opposed to sticking out like a sore thumb. It's just a wonky thumb.

I'd like to make it appear more craftsman-ny by changing some of the accessories/styling of the outside but maybe it isn't worth it.

I miss my 100+ year old house.

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #198 on: September 07, 2016, 01:18:00 PM »
My neighborhood was built in the 1950s for GIs returning from WWII, so all the houses were built to be identical and they are all about 1500 sq ft, which was considered quite reasonable at the time. One of my neighbors decided that their house wasn't "grandiose" enough, so they knocked it down and built a McMansion as a replacement: big giant house on the same small plot of land.

They came over while I was having solar panels installed on my roof to make fun of how the panels looked and brag about their "palace".

Recently, the bank foreclosed on their McMansion. I watched from my front lawn as they loaded all their worldly possessions into a moving truck.

Anybody want a beer?

I haven't even met these people and I wish I'd been there to point and laugh. Even in Alabama, nobody showed up to laugh at my solar panels, and my friends with $2-400K homes are 100% cool about our much smaller/cheaper place. I hope your assholes ended up in a trailer, where they belong.


Here is one near me...  built in early 90's, and was originally pink stucco, painted just 4 years ago, and it does not stick out as much now.   The second picture is the street behind, with typical neighbors.


The cowboy thing was cute, but I also thought "looks like someone tried to stuff 10 pounds of shit in a 5# bag".

Jack

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #199 on: September 07, 2016, 01:46:36 PM »

Sorry to diss your house like that -- I'm sure it's very nice, and there's nothing really "wrong" with it considered in it's own context. But that sort of house is kind of a pet peeve of mine because they appear as in-fill construction in the old neighborhoods around here and clash horribly with the actual (single story) craftsman cottages and bungalows they abut.

You would rip my 'craftsman inspired' house to shreds. It's ok though. I know what it is, and it's a fair assessment. It was a tear down and rebuild and 'styled' to look like the rest of the street. So at least it 'tries' as opposed to sticking out like a sore thumb. It's just a wonky thumb.

I'd like to make it appear more craftsman-ny by changing some of the accessories/styling of the outside but maybe it isn't worth it.

I miss my 100+ year old house.

Don't get me wrong: I have no problem with new builds or renovations built to a historical style. I have dreams of turning my ugly style-free 1949 American Small House into a craftsman as well (or maybe mid-century modernish; it would be almost equally [in]authentic either way). I would just try very hard to get the details correct, or at least break the rules judiciously and intentionally.

One of these days I'm going to get around to 3D-modeling the thing and posting it in a thread to ask for feedback...