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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: meghan88 on August 25, 2016, 07:56:12 AM

Title: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 on August 25, 2016, 07:56:12 AM
http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/149128564511/mclean-virginia?is_related_post=1

A mere 1.7 million for this foreclosed gem.  The two best lines in the post describe the multi-story rotunda:  "Pringles can of shame" and "Church of Wasted Space".
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MrsDinero on August 25, 2016, 08:48:44 AM
Ugh yeah.  I have friends that just bought a newly built McMansion. 

It was raining when they looked at it and noticed there was water leaking in the foyer.  The builder said "that will be fixed before moving in". 

There was also a small pond in the garage due to the roof leaking, builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

None of the windows has blinds, builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

The new A/C wasn't working (they live in Texas), builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

There was NO DRIVEWAY to the garage (it was a model home), builder said "that will be fixed before moving in."

This was one of the times I couldn't hold my opinion back and I strongly advised them to keep looking because if it was having problems now then what else hasn't been uncovered?  New does not equal better.

My friends still bought the home.

Since moving in in June, they have had 3 roof leaks, in different parts of the house.  The house is completely wired and wifi, but there has been problems controlling the outdoor lights from the main switch, they had to call an A/C repair person, and they were shocked at the energy bill because they were told this was an energy efficient house.   It probably is, but when you have 3000 sqft, cathedral ceilings, still no blinds and open concept everything, in the middle of a Texas summer, it is going to cost money to cool it.





Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 25, 2016, 09:08:32 AM
None of the windows has blinds, builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

The rest is crap, but I believe that is standard for new construction.  I bought a house new (didn't build it, bought it from the builder) and it didn't come with any blinds.  Or towel racks, TP holders, etc etc etc. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zephyr911 on August 25, 2016, 09:27:20 AM
None of the windows has blinds, builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

The rest is crap, but I believe that is standard for new construction.  I bought a house new (didn't build it, bought it from the builder) and it didn't come with any blinds.  Or towel racks, TP holders, etc etc etc.

Nonetheless, if the builder actually says they will do it, it is reasonable to expect them to do it.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MrsDinero on August 25, 2016, 09:31:43 AM
None of the windows has blinds, builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

The rest is crap, but I believe that is standard for new construction.  I bought a house new (didn't build it, bought it from the builder) and it didn't come with any blinds.  Or towel racks, TP holders, etc etc etc.

Nonetheless, if the builder actually says they will do it, it is reasonable to expect them to do it.

And the builder has "fixed" everything so far.  I would just expect with a brand new build the roof would actually, you know, keep the rain outside the house.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 25, 2016, 09:33:18 AM
That blog is great! I like this comment (http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/148836862221/my-dude-and-i-have-been-throwing-around-this-idea) I found on it, connecting architecture to mustachianism:

Quote
Quote
Anonymous asked:

My dude and I have been throwing around this idea of "perceived luxury," in that middle- to upper-middle class people do things like buy Kerigs, Coach purses, and shitty townhomes because it makes them feel rich, when actual rich people are like "f that shit." Do you think McMansions are this same sort of thing? Like this nescient view of what "being rich" not only fueled the buying a house you can't afford, but also the actual design of the house?

This describes both McMansions and everyone I went to high school with perfectly.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 25, 2016, 09:35:13 AM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money). 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 25, 2016, 09:53:57 AM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).
It's all about the "convenience".  I have a one-cup coffee cone.  When I want one cup of coffee I put one cup of water on to boil.  While the water is boiling I put the filter in the cone, put the cone on the cup, add my choice of coffee.  By then the water has boiled (measured amount so no energy wasted) and I can pour it over the coffee.  I should time it against a Keurig starting from scratch (i.e. Keurig is turned off, with cold water in the reservoir). But I can't because I don't have a Keurig.  Anyone want to time it under those conditions and I will time my coffee cone?  Starting water is 5oC from the fridge Britta.  You start with the power switch, I will start with measuring out the water.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 on August 25, 2016, 09:58:30 AM
Since moving in in June, they have had 3 roof leaks, in different parts of the house.  The house is completely wired and wifi, but there has been problems controlling the outdoor lights from the main switch, they had to call an A/C repair person, and they were shocked at the energy bill because they were told this was an energy efficient house.   It probably is, but when you have 3000 sqft, cathedral ceilings, still no blinds and open concept everything, in the middle of a Texas summer, it is going to cost money to cool it.
Sad, but a cautionary tale to research the builder thoroughly and get everything in writing.  Ideally there should be an amount of the purchase price held back for deficiencies.  Many new builds have problems because the subcontracting to the trades usually results in the low bidders doing the work, and they have to cut corners to make a buck.

Re. the developing coffee debate:  I'd go with the cone or a Bodum.  Less waste.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Miss Piggy on August 25, 2016, 09:59:10 AM

Nonetheless, if the builder actually says they will do it, it is reasonable to expect them to do it.

And the builder has "fixed" everything so far.  I would just expect with a brand new build the roof would actually, you know, keep the rain outside the house.
[/quote]

You both have unreasonably high expectations. I mean, how are these builders supposed to make any money if they actually have to pay attention to quality, in addition to size?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: boarder42 on August 25, 2016, 10:00:47 AM
yep we live in a mcmansion.  yep we're ok with that.  would have liked to have custombuilt my own lake front home but lot prices plus build to get the energy efficient home in the right way we wanted it would have cost over 150k more than we paid and wouldnt have been able to recoup the value.  also paid 10% under market for our current home.  so is it perfect no ... is it slightly inefficient yes.  would i like my house to be burned down in a fire  or hit by a tornado so i could build the perfect house with no wasted space... absolutely.  here's hoping.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 25, 2016, 10:08:42 AM
Let them eat McMansions! The 1 percent, income inequality, and new-fashioned American excess  (http://www.salon.com/2014/04/13/let_them_eat_mcmansions_the_1_percent_income_inequality_and_new_fashioned_american_exess/)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: rothnroll on August 25, 2016, 10:25:47 AM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Capsu78 on August 25, 2016, 10:37:57 AM
I have a private theory that I share with my wife when we are invited to visit homes for the first time- the higher end the kitchen in the home, the higher the probability we will be served Cheetos as an appetizer...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 25, 2016, 10:59:46 AM
Let them eat McMansions! The 1 percent, income inequality, and new-fashioned American excess  (http://www.salon.com/2014/04/13/let_them_eat_mcmansions_the_1_percent_income_inequality_and_new_fashioned_american_exess/)

"Narthex". I need to use this new word. Somewhere.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 25, 2016, 11:02:13 AM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: RocketSurgeon on August 25, 2016, 11:04:07 AM
That entry describes the windows as 'stuck-on.' Is that a real thing or are they just using colorful language? It's hard to tell from the picture if you can see through them.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 25, 2016, 11:07:46 AM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something.

$80 for the device plus $0.50 per cup of coffee is incredibly expensive compared to something like a french press. And even if it weren't, a Keurig would also be antimustachian just because of how much waste it generates.

To get back on-topic, Keurigs are not unlike McMansions in that way (http://www.alternet.org/story/61523/big_houses_are_not_green%3A_america's_mcmansion_problem).
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: 4alpacas on August 25, 2016, 11:14:32 AM
I have a private theory that I share with my wife when we are invited to visit homes for the first time- the higher end the kitchen in the home, the higher the probability we will be served Cheetos as an appetizer...
Our kitchen has laminate countertops, but no cheetos in it.  We do have goldfish crackers.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheAnonOne on August 25, 2016, 11:23:23 AM
That entry describes the windows as 'stuck-on.' Is that a real thing or are they just using colorful language? It's hard to tell from the picture if you can see through them.

It's a real thing... you can get "fake" windows... (WHY THOUGH?)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 25, 2016, 11:26:57 AM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something.

$80 for the device plus $0.50 per cup of coffee is incredibly expensive compared to something like a french press. And even if it weren't, a Keurig would also be antimustachian just because of how much waste it generates.

To get back on-topic, Keurigs are not unlike McMansions in that way (http://www.alternet.org/story/61523/big_houses_are_not_green%3A_america's_mcmansion_problem).

I guess if that sort of thing matters to you...  Frankly, it doesn't to me.  Yeah, I'm an asshole, I know.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: 4alpacas on August 25, 2016, 11:27:50 AM
That entry describes the windows as 'stuck-on.' Is that a real thing or are they just using colorful language? It's hard to tell from the picture if you can see through them.

It's a real thing... you can get "fake" windows... (WHY THOUGH?)
Really?  For the outside?  Do you have a matching fake one on the inside? 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MrsDinero on August 25, 2016, 11:32:55 AM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something.

What I hate about these pod coffees are they are not recyclable .  If you use the refill ones fine, but most people use the little plastic ones and just toss them in the garbage which is compounding the current landfill capacity problem.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: golden1 on August 25, 2016, 11:38:01 AM
OMG, that house is such a trainwreck!  If you are going to spend that much money on a house, at least let it be tasteful. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: golden1 on August 25, 2016, 11:44:25 AM
The problem with McMansions in our neck of the woods is that they are all one of about three models that fit the New England market, and man, are they boring as hell.  They are also >4000 sqft.  But hey, at least they aren't hideously tacky like that monstrosity.   
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MgoSam on August 25, 2016, 12:52:04 PM
OMG, that house is such a trainwreck!  If you are going to spend that much money on a house, at least let it be tasteful.

I honestly think that house is the equivalent of someone that uses big and fancy words to sound intelligent/sophisticated.

I met someone that did that a few months ago and looked at him and said, "You do understand that I know the meaning of the words you're using and it is very clear that you do not." He was oddly silent around me the rest of the night.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MrsDinero on August 25, 2016, 12:57:54 PM
I have a private theory that I share with my wife when we are invited to visit homes for the first time- the higher end the kitchen in the home, the higher the probability we will be served Cheetos as an appetizer...

I would be ALL OVER a bowl of Cheetos (not the generic stuff) at  party :)   
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mlejw6 on August 25, 2016, 01:06:37 PM
Oh, man. I've been tramping around mansions and mcmansions in McLean. At one point, I was able to peek into a back window (I was on a job, I wasn't trespassing). Inside was a two story room that extended below ground. It was a gym. The house contained an indoor gym with basketball hoops and all manner of toys sports gear for the kids to play with. That's just crazy!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Drifterrider on August 25, 2016, 01:06:50 PM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

Years ago my father asked if I wanted the then new half size Mr. Coffee machine.  Told him I had a coffee maker.  He said I could only make a few cups with the new one if I only wanted a little.  Told him if I only wanted a little, I only make a little in my paid for coffee maker.

He saw the newest gadget on TV:  A bagel slicer.  Only $70.  (Mind you, my father was always frugal).  Told him I had a drawer full of bagel slicers:  I called them knives.

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MrsDinero on August 25, 2016, 01:15:31 PM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

Years ago my father asked if I wanted the then new half size Mr. Coffee machine.  Told him I had a coffee maker.  He said I could only make a few cups with the new one if I only wanted a little.  Told him if I only wanted a little, I only make a little in my paid for coffee maker.

He saw the newest gadget on TV:  A bagel slicer.  Only $70.  (Mind you, my father was always frugal).  Told him I had a drawer full of bagel slicers:  I called them knives.

That reminds me of when my friend sent me a link to this:  http://yonanas.com/

She was thinking about buying it and when I pointed out that she already had a nice blender to use, she said "I'm sure this is better because it is specially made for bananas".
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Captain FIRE on August 25, 2016, 01:17:32 PM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something.

$80 for the device plus $0.50 per cup of coffee is incredibly expensive compared to something like a french press. And even if it weren't, a Keurig would also be antimustachian just because of how much waste it generates.

To get back on-topic, Keurigs are not unlike McMansions in that way (http://www.alternet.org/story/61523/big_houses_are_not_green%3A_america's_mcmansion_problem).

But it is much cheaper than buying a cup of coffee out.  My DH doesn't really have facilities for cleaning a coffee pot at his work, shy of taking it into the bathroom (which is doable, but adds a great degree of difficulty).  So he has $0.50 coffee instead of $2-3 coffee.  It is not the most mustachian approach, but it is certainly more mustachian than what most of America does.

To put it in terms of housing: It may not house sitting for free (water), or living in a tiny house (pot of coffee), but a 1500 sq home for a family with a few kids is pretty reasonable (Keurig) and far better than a McMansion (Starbucks).
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 25, 2016, 01:29:09 PM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something.

$80 for the device plus $0.50 per cup of coffee is incredibly expensive compared to something like a french press. And even if it weren't, a Keurig would also be antimustachian just because of how much waste it generates.

To get back on-topic, Keurigs are not unlike McMansions in that way (http://www.alternet.org/story/61523/big_houses_are_not_green%3A_america's_mcmansion_problem).

But it is much cheaper than buying a cup of coffee out.  My DH doesn't really have facilities for cleaning a coffee pot at his work, shy of taking it into the bathroom (which is doable, but adds a great degree of difficulty).  So he has $0.50 coffee instead of $2-3 coffee.  It is not the most mustachian approach, but it is certainly more mustachian than what most of America does.

To put it in terms of housing: It may not house sitting for free (water), or living in a tiny house (pot of coffee), but a 1500 sq home for a family with a few kids is pretty reasonable (Keurig) and far better than a McMansion (Starbucks).

Exactly.  You know what my wife did when the Keurig broke once?  Stopped at Panera every day.  So I will take the Keurig, thanks very much.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Nick_Miller on August 25, 2016, 01:37:09 PM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something.

$80 for the device plus $0.50 per cup of coffee is incredibly expensive compared to something like a french press. And even if it weren't, a Keurig would also be antimustachian just because of how much waste it generates.

To get back on-topic, Keurigs are not unlike McMansions in that way (http://www.alternet.org/story/61523/big_houses_are_not_green%3A_america's_mcmansion_problem).

But it is much cheaper than buying a cup of coffee out.  My DH doesn't really have facilities for cleaning a coffee pot at his work, shy of taking it into the bathroom (which is doable, but adds a great degree of difficulty).  So he has $0.50 coffee instead of $2-3 coffee.  It is not the most mustachian approach, but it is certainly more mustachian than what most of America does.

To put it in terms of housing: It may not house sitting for free (water), or living in a tiny house (pot of coffee), but a 1500 sq home for a family with a few kids is pretty reasonable (Keurig) and far better than a McMansion (Starbucks).

I agree. Not every decision has to be a free/water decision. I think as long as you avoid the McMansion/Starbucks choices, and hit mostly first two, with a dash of Keurig (we all have our vices), you should be good. We have a Keurig, and I can tell you I haven't bought a cup of coffee out in over a year. That's a lot of money saved.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MgoSam on August 25, 2016, 01:38:17 PM
I have a private theory that I share with my wife when we are invited to visit homes for the first time- the higher end the kitchen in the home, the higher the probability we will be served Cheetos as an appetizer...

I would be ALL OVER a bowl of Cheetos (not the generic stuff) at  party :)

Me too! There's a 'craft cocktail bar' that I want to check out sometime. The prices are high, but I've always wanted to try a well-made old-fashion. In order to serve alcohol, a place must have food available and so for the longest time the only food option was a bowl of Cheetos.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: gaja on August 25, 2016, 02:12:49 PM
We had one of these coffee pod machines (gift from FIL), but I couldn't stand all the garbage it generated. After testing different options (Boden, Aeropress, cone, etc) we landed on a fancy espresso machines that grinds beans. The up front cost was expensive, but the cost of running it is very cheap. Whole coffee beans can be bought in bulk, and keep better than ground coffee. The best thing is that there is no excess: we only make the cup(s) we will drink, and the only garbage produced is ground coffee that can be used in the garden as fertilizer or to keep the snails out.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: kitkat on August 25, 2016, 02:29:49 PM
http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/149128564511/mclean-virginia?is_related_post=1

A mere 1.7 million for this foreclosed gem.  The two best lines in the post describe the multi-story rotunda:  "Pringles can of shame" and "Church of Wasted Space".

Wow this site is hilarious and awesome. I'm from the Houston suburbs, and now as people I went to high school with have started buying houses, this is all I will think about.


Anyone have any cool sites/blogs that showcase beautiful, reasonably-sized, efficient homes? Would love some eye candy and inspiration for the future :)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on August 25, 2016, 02:35:16 PM
Myself and my coworkers are laughing it up at this.  Very nice link.  :D
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Capsu78 on August 25, 2016, 03:04:09 PM
I have a private theory that I share with my wife when we are invited to visit homes for the first time- the higher end the kitchen in the home, the higher the probability we will be served Cheetos as an appetizer...

I would be ALL OVER a bowl of Cheetos (not the generic stuff) at  party :)

Me too! There's a 'craft cocktail bar' that I want to check out sometime. The prices are high, but I've always wanted to try a well-made old-fashion. In order to serve alcohol, a place must have food available and so for the longest time the only food option was a bowl of Cheetos.

I was once invited to "Cocktails and Nibbles" at the 4 year old home of the corporate president of a guy who was getting married.  Fabulous mountain views, impeccable landscaping, probably a gold plated toilet stashed away somewhere...and the kitchen was fabulous- separate sinks for food prep and pot cleaning and all the shiny high end things a 1000 person team of product managers could hope to come up with.  Being a kitchen geek (and a bit of an asshole), I snuck a peek into the ovens where I saw the broiler pans still wrapped in plastic...I am pretty sure these ovens had never been fired up.   Turns out this "Titan of Industry" had a bit of a problem with keeping his wife "unacquainted" with his mistress from work.  This house was the part of the settlement she didn't get her hands on in the divorce decree.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MilesTeg on August 25, 2016, 03:19:21 PM
None of the windows has blinds, builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

The rest is crap, but I believe that is standard for new construction.  I bought a house new (didn't build it, bought it from the builder) and it didn't come with any blinds.  Or towel racks, TP holders, etc etc etc.

Yeah, builders generally don't put things like window blinds in, and sometimes don't even put all appliances in as standard (even things like refrigerator). Typically they are options at "design center" time for that type of thing, but almost always way, way overpriced. It's typically a good thing, it's almost always cheaper to buy things like window coverings and refrigerators separately. Especially since those types of things have _thousands_ of potential options/costs on the open market.

Builders that aren't in the luxury home market typically only install things as standard that allow them to get a certification of occupancy from the local authority (walls/insulation, electrical, hvac, flooring, plumbing, etc).

Very surprised though that the "model home" didn't have this kind of thing. Definitely a huge red flag. Model homes are almost always decked out with nearly every conceivable option so the builder can show off all the over priced options that they profit a lot on. Quadruple red flag that the model home had structural problems -- typically a builder will go the extra mile on the craftsmanship put into the models, again as salesmanship.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MilesTeg on August 25, 2016, 03:22:27 PM
My guess is the builder is "Journey Homes". Never, EVER purchase a Journey Homes built home. You WILL regret it.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Inaya on August 25, 2016, 04:01:32 PM
I have a private theory that I share with my wife when we are invited to visit homes for the first time- the higher end the kitchen in the home, the higher the probability we will be served Cheetos as an appetizer...
Because god forbid we get fingerprints on the stainless steel.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: frugledoc on August 25, 2016, 04:51:34 PM
I don't get the coffee thing.  Don't you guys have Cafetieres in the US?

They cost about 10 bucks and then you can get nice coffee for virtually nothing, with no waste.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: kitkat on August 25, 2016, 05:08:20 PM
I don't get the coffee thing.  Don't you guys have Cafetieres in the US?

They cost about 10 bucks and then you can get nice coffee for virtually nothing, with no waste.

TIL a new term (the actual term?) for a "french press" !

Love my french press -- we primarily use it when camping. Use a typical drip coffee maker on a daily basis though, as I have a bunch of roommates and it makes ~12 cups at a time.

Honestly, I think the people talking about Keurig "convenience" would even consider a french press inconvenient. I would highly encourage them to try it, particularly if you have one of those magical "electric kettle" thingies my SO introduced me to :) Literally the only additional work is rinsing the grounds out after use.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mlejw6 on August 26, 2016, 07:38:15 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 26, 2016, 10:22:55 AM
Oh my goodness, a high school friend actually posted this McMansion Hell website to her facebook today!  Alas, her caption to it was, "I'm not often a snob, but when I am it's usually about McMansions."
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MgoSam on August 26, 2016, 10:32:32 AM
Oh my goodness, a high school friend actually posted this McMansion Hell website to her facebook today!  Alas, her caption to it was, "I'm not often a snob, but when I am it's usually about McMansions."

It's interesting when someone takes a term meant for derision and turns it into a badge of honor.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: celticmyst08 on August 26, 2016, 04:02:29 PM
Oh my god, this site is amazing. I know what I'll be binge-reading tonight...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mm1970 on August 26, 2016, 04:45:05 PM
We had one of these coffee pod machines (gift from FIL), but I couldn't stand all the garbage it generated. After testing different options (Boden, Aeropress, cone, etc) we landed on a fancy espresso machines that grinds beans. The up front cost was expensive, but the cost of running it is very cheap. Whole coffee beans can be bought in bulk, and keep better than ground coffee. The best thing is that there is no excess: we only make the cup(s) we will drink, and the only garbage produced is ground coffee that can be used in the garden as fertilizer or to keep the snails out.
I have a friend that has one of these...was a gift.  Seriously best cup of coffee that I've ever had.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: nobodyspecial on August 26, 2016, 10:01:11 PM
I don't get the coffee thing.  Don't you guys have Cafetieres in the US?

They cost about 10 bucks and then you can get nice coffee for virtually nothing, with no waste.

TIL a new term (the actual term?) for a "french press" !
I thought you chaps called them freedom presses now ?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on August 27, 2016, 01:15:25 AM
Honestly, I think the people talking about Keurig "convenience" would even consider a french press inconvenient. I would highly encourage them to try it, particularly if you have one of those magical "electric kettle" thingies my SO introduced me to :) Literally the only additional work is rinsing the grounds out after use.

I find rinsing the grounds an unacceptable amount of work (or possibly an unacceptable type of work) when I lived in an appartment. If you put all the grounds down the sink it will block, if you put the wet grounds in the bin or compost tub they get everything wet and the bin starts to stink and is a pain in the ass if it splits.

But there are plenty of options that are incredibly cheap with a level of work I accept - paper/mesh filters, aeropress, one cup cone. Or using a cafetiere and dumping it straight on the garden.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: justajane on August 27, 2016, 06:39:52 AM
Thanks for the laughs, OP.

My favorite line: What do you get when you mix a valance with an Austrian shade? Sadness. You get sadness.

That whole house was depressing as hell. The aesthetic confusion - oy!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: human on August 27, 2016, 06:44:52 AM
Just wanted to say thanms for posting this. That blog is great!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 on August 28, 2016, 01:28:26 PM
Thank you!!  I'm glad the link provided some amusement.  Here's the actual listing:

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mc-Lean-VA/51726927_zpid/46465_rid/1690000-1700000_price/5926-5961_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/38.999909,-77.137242,38.91234,-77.247277_rect/12_zm/

Taxes are $23,406 / year!!  *gulp*
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: rothnroll on August 28, 2016, 02:48:10 PM
Thank you!!  I'm glad the link provided some amusement.  Here's the actual listing:

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mc-Lean-VA/51726927_zpid/46465_rid/1690000-1700000_price/5926-5961_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/38.999909,-77.137242,38.91234,-77.247277_rect/12_zm/

Taxes are $23,406 / year!!  *gulp*

23k a year for taxes?!
WTF! No wonder it was a foreclosure.
The tax is almost 2k a month!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 29, 2016, 09:38:30 AM
Oh my goodness, a high school friend actually posted this McMansion Hell website to her facebook today!  Alas, her caption to it was, "I'm not often a snob, but when I am it's usually about McMansions."

It's interesting when someone takes a term meant for derision and turns it into a badge of honor.

I'm reading that as she is a snob AGAINST McMansions, as it is popular to hate them. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 29, 2016, 11:19:55 AM
Oh my goodness, a high school friend actually posted this McMansion Hell website to her facebook today!  Alas, her caption to it was, "I'm not often a snob, but when I am it's usually about McMansions."

It's interesting when someone takes a term meant for derision and turns it into a badge of honor.

I'm reading that as she is a snob AGAINST McMansions, as it is popular to hate them.

Hmm, yeah, I guess I don't know what she meant after all.  But, for the record, she is a snob often :-)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on August 29, 2016, 11:34:44 AM
http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/149128564511/mclean-virginia?is_related_post=1

A mere 1.7 million for this foreclosed gem.  The two best lines in the post describe the multi-story rotunda:  "Pringles can of shame" and "Church of Wasted Space".
whoah. I think this is my new favorite website. It talks in detail about McMansions and how to identify them and no, they are not just big new houses. They are UGLY and UNGRACIOUS and NONSENSICAL new big houses.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BFGirl on August 29, 2016, 12:08:10 PM
Keurigs are meant for people to feel rich?  My wife uses hers to avoid brewing a whole pot because she only wants one cup (I don't drink coffee) and to avoid having to stop somewhere (which is about time and annoyance more than money).

LOL. You don't need a Keurig to make 1 cup of coffee.

I'm sure you don't.  But I think the last Keurig she bought was like $80, and a cup thingy works out to like $.50.  Which to me, is cheap.  And she's an adult, if that's how she wants to make her coffee and it works for her, who the fuck am I to tell her different?  My point was simply that it would never occur to me that a Keurig was some sort of "wannabe-rich fake status symbol."  It's just a lazier way of doing something.

$80 for the device plus $0.50 per cup of coffee is incredibly expensive compared to something like a french press. And even if it weren't, a Keurig would also be antimustachian just because of how much waste it generates.

To get back on-topic, Keurigs are not unlike McMansions in that way (http://www.alternet.org/story/61523/big_houses_are_not_green%3A_america's_mcmansion_problem).

We use our Keurig with a reusable filter pod and our own coffee.  We can each make the type of coffee we like and there is less waste than with a typical coffee pot.  We don't generally use the throw away pods.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: eljefe-speaks on August 29, 2016, 01:34:17 PM
Great find OP! I too am going to binge read this. It strikes that nice balance of being entertaining and educational.

It is interesting to me that the average person could instinctively identify the architect-designed, "real" mansion as being aesthetically superior to the McMansion, but the architect is trained to define how and why and what is going on in the observer's brain. To the layperson, it's just a feeling. The architect peeps behind the curtain.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 29, 2016, 01:42:21 PM
Great find OP! I too am going to binge read this. It strikes that nice balance of being entertaining and educational.

I know, right?  It's not just funny and amusing, but also very informational!  I'm learning all sorts of things about architecture there :-)  Seriously, it gives some real appreciation for the art/science of good architecture, at least to us novices.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Dr. A on August 29, 2016, 01:54:03 PM
Thank you!!  I'm glad the link provided some amusement.  Here's the actual listing:

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mc-Lean-VA/51726927_zpid/46465_rid/1690000-1700000_price/5926-5961_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/38.999909,-77.137242,38.91234,-77.247277_rect/12_zm/

Taxes are $23,406 / year!!  *gulp*

I encourage you all to plug that address into Google Maps. That $1.7 mil gets you a house that is not 100' from a gas station. No wonder the windows in that bathroom are frosted.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dcheesi on August 30, 2016, 08:40:07 AM
On the Keurig tangent:

I currently have three different means of brewing single-cup coffee: an Aeropress, a pour-over cone, and a Keurig. Guess which one I use every day?

The speed (my Keurig has an auto-on/off timer), convenience, and above all the lack of mess (coffee grounds all over the sink and counter is a huge annoyance to me), all keep me coming back to the Keurig.

As for the oft-cited downsides, I found that the difference wasn't as night & day as many people assume. First, it takes significantly more coffee to make a decent cup with any of the other single-cup methods. Maybe I have expensive tastes, but I found that if I buy coffee that I actually like, and use enough of it to taste right in a press or a pour-over, it works out to only a little bit cheaper than the K-cups.  And since I'm back in an apartment now, all of that extra coffee plus the filter goes into the same garbage can as the k-cups.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Dezrah on August 30, 2016, 09:56:44 AM
Great find OP! I too am going to binge read this. It strikes that nice balance of being entertaining and educational.

I know, right?  It's not just funny and amusing, but also very informational!  I'm learning all sorts of things about architecture there :-)  Seriously, it gives some real appreciation for the art/science of good architecture, at least to us novices.

This site is a good example of "punching up".  Mockery is a great form comedy and I love a site that can wield it so effectively.  There are so many guilty parties in every image: cynical architects, incompetent builders, tasteless buyers, huckster realtors, shortsighted lenders, etc.  So much to say about a social class and we're just looking at houses.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Alex321 on August 30, 2016, 10:07:32 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 30, 2016, 10:13:46 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.

There's a fair bit of that, but also legitimate criticism of cheap, shoddy construction and workmanship. There's no reason for people to not receive fair value for the dollar, just because they happen to have a lot of dollars and are disposed to spend them on housing.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on August 30, 2016, 10:23:43 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
No, I really feel the cheapness of these places and the uncaring-ness of their builders. Ive always lived in old houses. Right now, the 140 year old house  I live in is a gut rehab and we took the walls down to the brick and insulated them and put up drywall.

But you know what? I miss real plaster. It has a quality that is just timeless in these old houses. It gives a different vibe, and so much of a house is the wall surfaces.

I call the McMansions  "palaces of drywall" because when I walk into one that is all I can see. Drywall. Ugh.



Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Alex321 on August 30, 2016, 10:32:34 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
No, I really feel the cheapness of these places and the uncaring-ness of their builders. Ive always lived in old houses. Right now, the 140 year old house  I live in is a gut rehab and we took the walls down to the brick and insulated them and put up drywall.

But you know what? I miss real plaster. It has a quality that is just timeless in these old houses. It gives a different vibe, and so much of a house is the wall surfaces.

I call the McMansions  "palaces of drywall" because when I walk into one that is all I can see. Drywall. Ugh.

Your distinctions have nothing to do with McMansions and are instead about old vs. new.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 30, 2016, 11:10:46 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.

Fundamentally, architecture is all about the mathematical relationships between elements of a building (http://freshome.com/2014/10/29/how-architects-take-advantage-of-the-golden-ratio/) -- and that applies regardless of the building's architectural style. These buildings aren't bad because somebody had poor taste, they're bad because nobody gave enough of a shit to get the ratios right.

(FYI, the the same kinds of mathematical relationships occur in all sorts of other places, from the notes in a musical harmony to the arrangement of petals in a flower. It's a natural property of the universe, not just some pretentious asshole's opinion.)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Alex321 on August 30, 2016, 11:35:22 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.

Fundamentally, architecture is all about the mathematical relationships between elements of a building (http://freshome.com/2014/10/29/how-architects-take-advantage-of-the-golden-ratio/) -- and that applies regardless of the building's architectural style. These buildings aren't bad because somebody had poor taste, they're bad because nobody gave enough of a shit to get the ratios right.

(FYI, the the same kinds of mathematical relationships occur in all sorts of other places, from the notes in a musical harmony to the arrangement of petals in a flower. It's a natural property of the universe, not just some pretentious asshole's opinion.)

Sounds like someone read The DaVinci Code.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 30, 2016, 11:35:45 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.

Fundamentally, architecture is all about the mathematical relationships between elements of a building (http://freshome.com/2014/10/29/how-architects-take-advantage-of-the-golden-ratio/) -- and that applies regardless of the building's architectural style. These buildings aren't bad because somebody had poor taste, they're bad because nobody gave enough of a shit to get the ratios right.

(FYI, the the same kinds of mathematical relationships occur in all sorts of other places, from the notes in a musical harmony to the arrangement of petals in a flower. It's a natural property of the universe, not just some pretentious asshole's opinion.)

I know and understand all that, but if I'm honest, I still like the looks of some McMansiony houses more than something considered an architectural masterpiece.  Sorta in the same way that I understand, say, Billy Madison is far inferior to Hamlet, but I still would rather watch Billy Madison 10 times out of 10. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: kitkat on August 30, 2016, 11:45:29 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.

Fundamentally, architecture is all about the mathematical relationships between elements of a building (http://freshome.com/2014/10/29/how-architects-take-advantage-of-the-golden-ratio/) -- and that applies regardless of the building's architectural style. These buildings aren't bad because somebody had poor taste, they're bad because nobody gave enough of a shit to get the ratios right.

(FYI, the the same kinds of mathematical relationships occur in all sorts of other places, from the notes in a musical harmony to the arrangement of petals in a flower. It's a natural property of the universe, not just some pretentious asshole's opinion.)

I know and understand all that, but if I'm honest, I still like the looks of some McMansiony houses more than something considered an architectural masterpiece.  Sorta in the same way that I understand, say, Billy Madison is far inferior to Hamlet, but I still would rather watch Billy Madison 10 times out of 10.

I scrolled through the majority of the blog, and at one point the author made it clear that if a house is your home, it doesn't matter what it looks like, all that matters is that its yours and you love it and bla bla bla. She says even she grew up in a mcmansion and loves it with all her heart. I definitely see the point about people just wanting criticize the affluent, but at least from the blog author's perspective it really is more about educating and understanding architecture, as well as putting dishonest and shoddy home builders/designers/realtors/etc on blast. I appreciate when she points out how certain details are signs of poor construction -- a much bigger issue than architectural aesthetics.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on August 30, 2016, 01:05:14 PM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
No, I really feel the cheapness of these places and the uncaring-ness of their builders. Ive always lived in old houses. Right now, the 140 year old house  I live in is a gut rehab and we took the walls down to the brick and insulated them and put up drywall.

But you know what? I miss real plaster. It has a quality that is just timeless in these old houses. It gives a different vibe, and so much of a house is the wall surfaces.

I call the McMansions  "palaces of drywall" because when I walk into one that is all I can see. Drywall. Ugh.

Your distinctions have nothing to do with McMansions and are instead about old vs. new.
Yes, that is true, but one of the evaluative points in determining Mansion vs  McMansion  is age.

And the website here says one can build a 3,000 sq ft house today and it could be either a mansion or it could be a McMansion depending on architectural aesthetics. But it is true that they all will have drywall, no one is doing  real plaster these days.


I als get distracted when talking about architectural standards, I have many anecdotes.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 30, 2016, 01:08:07 PM

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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on August 30, 2016, 01:28:18 PM

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
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 30, 2016, 01:29:18 PM

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.

My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on August 30, 2016, 01:36:21 PM

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.

My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).
Which slide? I could not see whatbyou were talking about.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 30, 2016, 02:01:43 PM

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.

My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).

I really like the Craftsman style, and if I were building a house that's what I would build. 

However, I have no idea if people consider these McMansions or not; in my town LOTS of people tear down smaller, older homes and build these on small lots, as shown below.  Ordinarily, people see big house + small lot as McMansion; I see it as building a desirable house in a desirable location (which has small lots just because that's how the area is) with not much ground to maintain.  McMansion?  Not McMansion?  No idea. 

But if I had the cash (this one is $750k) this is exactly the kind of house I would want.

(http://p.rdcpix.com/v02/lacbfdd45-w0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 30, 2016, 02:12:53 PM
My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).
Which slid? I couldnt see what you are talkihg about.

The PDF linked was just a reference about WTF an "American Small House" is, since it's not a well-known thing.

I don't have a picture of the house with the upside-down columns. (I also can't remember exactly where the house in question is, so I can't look it up on Street View. Next time I drive by it I'll try to take a picture to post, though.)

I really like the Craftsman style, and if I were building a house that's what I would build. 

However, I have no idea if people consider these McMansions or not; in my town LOTS of people tear down smaller, older homes and build these on small lots, as shown below.  Ordinarily, people see big house + small lot as McMansion; I see it as building a desirable house in a desirable location (which has small lots just because that's how the area is) with not much ground to maintain.  McMansion?  Not McMansion?  No idea. 

But if I had the cash (this one is $750k) this is exactly the kind of house I would want.

(image removed to save space)

I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on August 30, 2016, 02:15:25 PM

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.

My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).

I really like the Craftsman style, and if I were building a house that's what I would build. 

However, I have no idea if people consider these McMansions or not; in my town LOTS of people tear down smaller, older homes and build these on small lots, as shown below.  Ordinarily, people see big house + small lot as McMansion; I see it as building a desirable house in a desirable location (which has small lots just because that's how the area is) with not much ground to maintain.  McMansion?  Not McMansion?  No idea. 

But if I had the cash (this one is $750k) this is exactly the kind of house I would want.

(http://p.rdcpix.com/v02/lacbfdd45-w0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg)

This one is probably Mcmansion status for me using the Mcmansion ID elements from the website we are referencing. it has:

At least 3 cladding materials , stone, shingle, clapboard

It has a preponderance of secondary facade spaces that overpowered the primary facade space (i am not using the right terms there, I know!)

But here is what puzzles me: the roofing material is two different materials. why???

They did a nice job with the garage, using a pleasing wood tone and breaking up the giant overheard door into vertical spaces with small windows. Still, one cant escape the fact that the garage equals the mass of the house, more or less.

Ive seen uglier mcmansions, however.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 30, 2016, 02:24:56 PM
This one is probably Mcmansion status for me using the Mcmansion ID elements from the website we are referencing. it has:

At least 3 cladding materials , stone, shingle, clapboard


I give it a pass on that; lots of Craftsman houses have that pattern. The thing that makes it okay is the fact that the masonry is only used on specific elements (chimney, columns, foundation) and that the materials progress vertically instead of being plastered randomly on different walls as they are with McMansions.

(The multiple-material-progressing-vertically pattern works on Victorian houses too.)

As an example, see this actual craftsman (from 1910 according to the filename):

(http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlewaterfronthomes/files/library/1910_craftsman.jpg)

But here is what puzzles me: the roofing material is two different materials. why???

It can be appropriate to use standing-seam metal roofing on a predominantly-shingled roof in areas where the pitch is too shallow (e.g. less than 3-in-12) because water could be driven up under the shingles.

Of course, that house screwed it up: the metal roofing should have been on the porch roof, not the weird hip roofs.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: patchyfacialhair on August 30, 2016, 02:36:41 PM

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.

My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).

I really like the Craftsman style, and if I were building a house that's what I would build. 

However, I have no idea if people consider these McMansions or not; in my town LOTS of people tear down smaller, older homes and build these on small lots, as shown below.  Ordinarily, people see big house + small lot as McMansion; I see it as building a desirable house in a desirable location (which has small lots just because that's how the area is) with not much ground to maintain.  McMansion?  Not McMansion?  No idea. 

But if I had the cash (this one is $750k) this is exactly the kind of house I would want.

(http://p.rdcpix.com/v02/lacbfdd45-w0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg)

I love that home, Chris22.

I've narrowed down my list for a dream/forever house: curb appeal, front porch with a porch swing, formal dining room, office/den, main level master bedroom with en suite 5 piece bath, separate half bath for guests on the main level, other 2 bedrooms up or down stairs with a jack and jill bath, small yard, attached 2 car garage, and location within 2 miles of stuff like shopping, schools, library, grocery, and theater.

Facepunch away! It's a dream. I haven't seen anything in my town that has all the above with less than 3000ft2.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 30, 2016, 03:15:20 PM
I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

Around here in Chicagoland, you can either have your aesthetics, or you can have the convenience of not scraping snow/ice off your car 6 months out of the year.  For most people, convenience wins.  And yeah, side facing or rear carriage house is ideal, but on the average 75' x 100' lot in this area, there's just no space for it.  I never really got the idea of pushing people to live on smaller lots in denser environments, and then bitching when they adapt to that by making big forward-facing garages.  Cars are a way of life for most, and forward facing garages make owning and covering cars feasible on the size of lots that are available if you live densely UNLESS you planned it in advance (meaning 75 years ago) to have a rear alley with garages on that.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Inaya on August 30, 2016, 03:38:17 PM
I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

Around here in Chicagoland, you can either have your aesthetics, or you can have the convenience of not scraping snow/ice off your car 6 months out of the year.  For most people, convenience wins.  And yeah, side facing or rear carriage house is ideal, but on the average 75' x 100' lot in this area, there's just no space for it.  I never really got the idea of pushing people to live on smaller lots in denser environments, and then bitching when they adapt to that by making big forward-facing garages.  Cars are a way of life for most, and forward facing garages make owning and covering cars feasible on the size of lots that are available if you live densely UNLESS you planned it in advance (meaning 75 years ago) to have a rear alley with garages on that.
I've got family in Winnetka, and they have a detached garage in the back. However, their house is on the only hill in Illinois, so the garage is up-slope from the street. I've never thought to ask what happens when their driveway gets icy.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: bacchi on August 30, 2016, 04:57:52 PM
I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

Around here in Chicagoland, you can either have your aesthetics, or you can have the convenience of not scraping snow/ice off your car 6 months out of the year.  For most people, convenience wins.  And yeah, side facing or rear carriage house is ideal, but on the average 75' x 100' lot in this area, there's just no space for it.  I never really got the idea of pushing people to live on smaller lots in denser environments, and then bitching when they adapt to that by making big forward-facing garages.  Cars are a way of life for most, and forward facing garages make owning and covering cars feasible on the size of lots that are available if you live densely UNLESS you planned it in advance (meaning 75 years ago) to have a rear alley with garages on that.

A 75' wide lot should be plenty wide enough for a single-car driveway going past the house to a garage in the back. Even with 3000ft^2, it's only about 2000ft^2 footprint, which is 27% cover. Add in a longish driveway (12'x75'?) and the total impervious cover still hovers around 40%.

Of course, that driveway adds some cost, which may be the real reason. That's how a McMansion works, after all -- somewhat well-off people try to own a house that's out of their league so they skimp and save on architects and materials and construction costs.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on August 30, 2016, 05:21:06 PM
I never really got the idea of pushing people to live on smaller lots in denser environments, and then bitching when they adapt to that by making big forward-facing garages.  Cars are a way of life for most, and forward facing garages make owning and covering cars feasible on the size of lots that are available if you live densely UNLESS you planned it in advance (meaning 75 years ago) to have a rear alley with garages on that.

On the contrary: the Craftsman house evolved with the first suburbs. That suburban mode of development was enabled not by automobiles, but by streetcars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streetcar_suburb) -- yep, that's right, public transit (shock, horror)!

I mean, just think about it for a minute: why didn't all these Craftsman houses, Victorian houses, rowhouses, and other urban forms not have garages (or even driveways, in many cases) in the first place? It sure as Hell wasn't because the owners of those houses preferred to park their cars in the street! It was because they didn't have them at all. Yet, somehow, they still managed to go about their lives anyway, because the neighborhood was dense enough to accommodate that lifestyle.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why streetcar suburbs cannot be equally viable today on your similarly-dense "average 75x100 lot," except for whiny-ass complainypants people who lazily insist on using a car instead.

(Don't even get me started on the history of minimum lot sizes and other modern zoning contrivances [hint: racism], which is what really caused the perceived modern need for driving every-fucking-where!)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 on August 30, 2016, 06:07:36 PM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
I don't think it's always a question of taste.  It would be nice if a building could stand the test of time, whether aesthetically or functionally.  I've seen old homes tarted up by contractors who couldn't be bothered to give a shit to do things properly, and old homes that were renovated with loving care.

I've seen new homes that were built by builders who cut every corner imaginable, and new homes that were built to last.

It just saddens me when scads of materials are squandered on bad efforts.  What a waste on all fronts.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on August 30, 2016, 07:59:53 PM
"that's some MC Escher shit"


Me too! There's a 'craft cocktail bar' that I want to check out sometime. The prices are high, but I've always wanted to try a well-made old-fashion. In order to serve alcohol, a place must have food available and so for the longest time the only food option was a bowl of Cheetos.

(http://i.imgur.com/sU2yinS.jpg)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BlueHouse on August 30, 2016, 08:20:19 PM

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.

One of my favorite topics about architecture in DC:  Pop-ups -- row houses that "pop-up" by adding another floor to the top, sometimes disrupting the architectural roof lines of the surrounding homes.  Some are okay, unfortunately, many are really poorly done. 

http://www.popville.com/category/pop-ups/
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 30, 2016, 09:22:45 PM
One of my favorite topics about architecture in DC:  Pop-ups -- row houses that "pop-up" by adding another floor to the top, sometimes disrupting the architectural roof lines of the surrounding homes.  Some are okay, unfortunately, many are really poorly done. 

http://www.popville.com/category/pop-ups/

Yucky!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Zamboni on August 30, 2016, 09:31:58 PM
The window dressings in that OP McMansion made me think of my ex-MIL . . . which is never a good thing. But her taste is the best; just ask her and she'll tell you. Or don't ask her and she'll still mention it in short order.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on August 30, 2016, 09:51:07 PM
I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

Around here in Chicagoland, you can either have your aesthetics, or you can have the convenience of not scraping snow/ice off your car 6 months out of the year.  For most people, convenience wins.  And yeah, side facing or rear carriage house is ideal, but on the average 75' x 100' lot in this area, there's just no space for it.  I never really got the idea of pushing people to live on smaller lots in denser environments, and then bitching when they adapt to that by making big forward-facing garages.  Cars are a way of life for most, and forward facing garages make owning and covering cars feasible on the size of lots that are available if you live densely UNLESS you planned it in advance (meaning 75 years ago) to have a rear alley with garages on that.

There are new housing developments in my area with alleys and garags off these alleys.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 on August 31, 2016, 08:38:39 AM
I never really got the idea of pushing people to live on smaller lots in denser environments, and then bitching when they adapt to that by making big forward-facing garages.  Cars are a way of life for most, and forward facing garages make owning and covering cars feasible on the size of lots that are available if you live densely UNLESS you planned it in advance (meaning 75 years ago) to have a rear alley with garages on that.

On the contrary: the Craftsman house evolved with the first suburbs. That suburban mode of development was enabled not by automobiles, but by streetcars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streetcar_suburb) -- yep, that's right, public transit (shock, horror)!

I mean, just think about it for a minute: why didn't all these Craftsman houses, Victorian houses, rowhouses, and other urban forms not have garages (or even driveways, in many cases) in the first place? It sure as Hell wasn't because the owners of those houses preferred to park their cars in the street! It was because they didn't have them at all. Yet, somehow, they still managed to go about their lives anyway, because the neighborhood was dense enough to accommodate that lifestyle.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why streetcar suburbs cannot be equally viable today on your similarly-dense "average 75x100 lot," except for whiny-ass complainypants people who lazily insist on using a car instead.

(Don't even get me started on the history of minimum lot sizes and other modern zoning contrivances [hint: racism], which is what really caused the perceived modern need for driving every-fucking-where!)

Local man doesn't understand why everyone doesn't do things exactly the way he thinks they should, more at 11 along with weather and sports.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: SweetTPi on August 31, 2016, 09:16:39 AM
One of my favorite topics about architecture in DC:  Pop-ups -- row houses that "pop-up" by adding another floor to the top, sometimes disrupting the architectural roof lines of the surrounding homes.  Some are okay, unfortunately, many are really poorly done. 

http://www.popville.com/category/pop-ups/

Yucky!

All I can say is that at least they seem to tie it into the existing architecture decently well, regardless of the issue of disrupting the roof line.  Around here there are a lot of bungalow/craftsman/cottage style homes (mine is a 1940's English cottage style, for reference).  Typical of the era and style, they're generally small by today's standards, so people have added a second story.  What you sometimes get is the traditional front lines, and then what looks like a box, vertical front and all, sitting on top.  It's awful. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Dancing Fool on September 01, 2016, 06:44:35 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.

My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).

I really like the Craftsman style, and if I were building a house that's what I would build. 

However, I have no idea if people consider these McMansions or not; in my town LOTS of people tear down smaller, older homes and build these on small lots, as shown below.  Ordinarily, people see big house + small lot as McMansion; I see it as building a desirable house in a desirable location (which has small lots just because that's how the area is) with not much ground to maintain.  McMansion?  Not McMansion?  No idea. 

But if I had the cash (this one is $750k) this is exactly the kind of house I would want.

(http://p.rdcpix.com/v02/lacbfdd45-w0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg)

How has no one pointed out the columns aren't even fully under the entablature? Is that normal for Craftsman homes?

Also might be McMansion-esque based on the very prominent secondary masses.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 01, 2016, 07:49:06 AM
How has no one pointed out the columns aren't even fully under the entablature? Is that normal for Craftsman homes?

Also might be McMansion-esque based on the very prominent secondary masses.

Also there are a weird number of columns (and spacing of columns).  Two with a small gap next to the door, while two one-behind-the-other on the left side. 

Also the arch.  Craftsman style almost unanimously used straight flat lines (with an emphasis on vertical or upward direction).

And the stone wainscot...  And the complete lack of primary mass...  And the different light fixtures...  And two gables having trusses and one not...  And not having a column on the right-hand side of the house... 

So its a mini-McMansion!  Is that a McHouse?

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Making Cookies on September 01, 2016, 08:00:18 AM
One of my favorite topics about architecture in DC:  Pop-ups -- row houses that "pop-up" by adding another floor to the top, sometimes disrupting the architectural roof lines of the surrounding homes.  Some are okay, unfortunately, many are really poorly done. 

http://www.popville.com/category/pop-ups/

Yucky!

All I can say is that at least they seem to tie it into the existing architecture decently well, regardless of the issue of disrupting the roof line.  Around here there are a lot of bungalow/craftsman/cottage style homes (mine is a 1940's English cottage style, for reference).  Typical of the era and style, they're generally small by today's standards, so people have added a second story.  What you sometimes get is the traditional front lines, and then what looks like a box, vertical front and all, sitting on top.  It's awful.

Well, except that one. It juts out the back the whole length of the lot in addition to the added height.

http://www.popville.com/2015/11/ridiculous-pop-up-and-out-in-bloomingdale/
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 01, 2016, 08:05:38 AM


I scrolled through the majority of the blog, and at one point the author made it clear that if a house is your home, it doesn't matter what it looks like, all that matters is that its yours and you love it and bla bla bla. She says even she grew up in a mcmansion and loves it with all her heart. I definitely see the point about people just wanting criticize the affluent, but at least from the blog author's perspective it really is more about educating and understanding architecture, as well as putting dishonest and shoddy home builders/designers/realtors/etc on blast. I appreciate when she points out how certain details are signs of poor construction -- a much bigger issue than architectural aesthetics.

This is key...  So many McMansions are purchased as "investments" and for "tax reduction" objectives, and the builder beige on the walls and cheap wall to wall carpeting on the floor are never touched until they try to sell 4 years later... 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zephyr911 on September 01, 2016, 08:07:19 AM
I never really got the idea of pushing people to live on smaller lots in denser environments, and then bitching when they adapt to that by making big forward-facing garages.  Cars are a way of life for most, and forward facing garages make owning and covering cars feasible on the size of lots that are available if you live densely UNLESS you planned it in advance (meaning 75 years ago) to have a rear alley with garages on that.

On the contrary: the Craftsman house evolved with the first suburbs. That suburban mode of development was enabled not by automobiles, but by streetcars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streetcar_suburb) -- yep, that's right, public transit (shock, horror)!

I mean, just think about it for a minute: why didn't all these Craftsman houses, Victorian houses, rowhouses, and other urban forms not have garages (or even driveways, in many cases) in the first place? It sure as Hell wasn't because the owners of those houses preferred to park their cars in the street! It was because they didn't have them at all. Yet, somehow, they still managed to go about their lives anyway, because the neighborhood was dense enough to accommodate that lifestyle.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why streetcar suburbs cannot be equally viable today on your similarly-dense "average 75x100 lot," except for whiny-ass complainypants people who lazily insist on using a car instead.

(Don't even get me started on the history of minimum lot sizes and other modern zoning contrivances [hint: racism], which is what really caused the perceived modern need for driving every-fucking-where!)

Local man doesn't understand why everyone doesn't do things exactly the way he thinks they should, more at 11 along with weather and sports.
This just in: forum member informed cart is before horse; shoots messenger... now back to your favorite sponsored content!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 01, 2016, 08:09:13 AM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
No, I really feel the cheapness of these places and the uncaring-ness of their builders. Ive always lived in old houses. Right now, the 140 year old house  I live in is a gut rehab and we took the walls down to the brick and insulated them and put up drywall.

But you know what? I miss real plaster. It has a quality that is just timeless in these old houses. It gives a different vibe, and so much of a house is the wall surfaces.

I call the McMansions  "palaces of drywall" because when I walk into one that is all I can see. Drywall. Ugh.

Your distinctions have nothing to do with McMansions and are instead about old vs. new.
Yes, that is true, but one of the evaluative points in determining Mansion vs  McMansion  is age.

And the website here says one can build a 3,000 sq ft house today and it could be either a mansion or it could be a McMansion depending on architectural aesthetics. But it is true that they all will have drywall, no one is doing  real plaster these days.


So -- are you saying that you believe that a large home can only be called a mansion if it is old?  No new homes would qualify?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: PloddingInsight on September 01, 2016, 10:29:33 AM
OMG, that house is such a trainwreck!  If you are going to spend that much money on a house, at least let it be tasteful.

I honestly think that house is the equivalent of someone that uses big and fancy words to sound intelligent/sophisticated.

I met someone that did that a few months ago and looked at him and said, "You do understand that I know the meaning of the words you're using and it is very clear that you do not." He was oddly silent around me the rest of the night.

My takeaway from this is that you are a terrible human being.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Fomerly known as something on September 01, 2016, 10:49:27 AM
[img][/img
My neighborhood has a lot of fix-and-flipped houses, of varying quality. They're generally too small to be McMansions, but some of the same issues apply. One of the most egregious I've seen is the "craftsman" bungalow (that was probably originally an American Small House (http://georgiashpo.org/sites/uploads/hpd/pdf/American_Small_House.pdf)) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).
Which slid? I couldnt see what you are talkihg about.

The PDF linked was just a reference about WTF an "American Small House" is, since it's not a well-known thing.

I don't have a picture of the house with the upside-down columns. (I also can't remember exactly where the house in question is, so I can't look it up on Street View. Next time I drive by it I'll try to take a picture to post, though.)

I really like the Craftsman style, and if I were building a house that's what I would build. 

However, I have no idea if people consider these McMansions or not; in my town LOTS of people tear down smaller, older homes and build these on small lots, as shown below.  Ordinarily, people see big house + small lot as McMansion; I see it as building a desirable house in a desirable location (which has small lots just because that's how the area is) with not much ground to maintain.  McMansion?  Not McMansion?  No idea. 

But if I had the cash (this one is $750k) this is exactly the kind of house I would want.

(image removed to save space)

I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

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.



Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 01, 2016, 11:27:03 AM
I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

I think these new builds would meet your approval.  The middle is mine from 3 years ago the landscaping has changed/grown in.

Sort of, but not really. I agree that the detached garages placed in the back yard are a vast improvement compared to what would have happened if they had been front-facing attached ones instead.

However, those houses are clearly speculative construction built as cheaply as possible with little thought given to design. You can tell by the fact that they are nothing more than rectangular prisms with porches tacked on (which is optimal for energy efficiency but pessimal for architectural interest) and have basically the minimum number of windows required by code (especially on the sides). Hell, with the one on the left the builder couldn't even be bothered to even pretend the fireplace deserved a chimney!

Also, they are definitely not of the craftsman style. First of all, the eaves are not wide enough and the rafters are covered by fascia rather than left exposed (the roof is totally colonial except for the brackets). More importantly, though, real craftsman houses are never plainly two-stories like that. If they have a second floor at all, it would be tucked under the slope of the roof (as in a "1-1/2 story" house) or at least the outer wall would be set back relative to the outer wall of the first story. (See this page (http://southsoundpropertygroup.com/2014/05/09/what-makes-a-house-a-craftsman/) for reference.)

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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MudDuck on September 01, 2016, 11:47:42 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.

TGS, you crack me up! I agree, though, as I, too am a nerd in a construction-related industry. A good fail on someone else's part is always entertaining.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 01, 2016, 11:53:55 AM
New posts are up.  Absolutely HILARIOUS!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: VaCPA on September 01, 2016, 12:31:16 PM
I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

I think these new builds would meet your approval.  The middle is mine from 3 years ago the landscaping has changed/grown in.

Sort of, but not really. I agree that the detached garages placed in the back yard are a vast improvement compared to what would have happened if they had been front-facing attached ones instead.

However, those houses are clearly speculative construction built as cheaply as possible with little thought given to design. You can tell by the fact that they are nothing more than rectangular prisms with porches tacked on (which is optimal for energy efficiency but pessimal for architectural interest) and have basically the minimum number of windows required by code (especially on the sides). Hell, with the one on the left the builder couldn't even be bothered to even pretend the fireplace deserved a chimney!

Also, they are definitely not of the craftsman style. First of all, the eaves are not wide enough and the rafters are covered by fascia rather than left exposed (the roof is totally colonial except for the brackets). More importantly, though, real craftsman houses are never plainly two-stories like that. If they have a second floor at all, it would be tucked under the slope of the roof (as in a "1-1/2 story" house) or at least the outer wall would be set back relative to the outer wall of the first story. (See this page (http://southsoundpropertygroup.com/2014/05/09/what-makes-a-house-a-craftsman/) for reference.)

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.

Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 01, 2016, 12:37:06 PM
Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Part of the McMansion type is that they are houses WAY to big for lots that are way too small.  If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: No Name Guy on September 01, 2016, 01:03:18 PM
Ahhhh the hilarity. 

A great thread about mocking craptacular McMansions turns into an architect snob fest........
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: infogoon on September 01, 2016, 01:39:39 PM
I always enjoy the infill development projects; there are a couple of streets here where there have been multiple passes at it, so the same street will have a cluster of the original stick-frame houses from 1910 or so, then a block of 1950s duplexes, then some 1970s split-levels, then an "apartment building" from the mid-80s that looks like a cheap motel, and then maybe a couple of ugly new builds with tiny front porches.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MilesTeg on September 01, 2016, 01:45:52 PM
Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Part of the McMansion type is that they are houses WAY to big for lots that are way too small.  If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...

Sadly, most new development in cities is only lots that are tiny no matter what. Municipalities want to pack them in as tightly as possible to maximize the tax revenue. And it's not all bad. There are plenty of people who want a house (even non McMansion style) with just a small lawn.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 01, 2016, 01:56:42 PM
Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Part of the McMansion type is that they are houses WAY to big for lots that are way too small.  If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...

Sadly, most new development in cities is only lots that are tiny no matter what. Municipalities want to pack them in as tightly as possible to maximize the tax revenue. And it's not all bad. There are plenty of people who want a house (even non McMansion style) with just a small lawn.

True, but you can put a house on that small lot that isn't ridiculous.  I wasn't actually trying to come off as snob-ish, but builders are SOOO lazy these days and most architects repeatedly fail to apply the basic principles of architecture.  Especially in Texas.


Edit:  For others amusement, my realtor just emailed me (by automatic MLS listing forwarding) the attached photo.  Just, bad...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on September 01, 2016, 03:12:42 PM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
No, I really feel the cheapness of these places and the uncaring-ness of their builders. Ive always lived in old houses. Right now, the 140 year old house  I live in is a gut rehab and we took the walls down to the brick and insulated them and put up drywall.

But you know what? I miss real plaster. It has a quality that is just timeless in these old houses. It gives a different vibe, and so much of a house is the wall surfaces.

I call the McMansions  "palaces of drywall" because when I walk into one that is all I can see. Drywall. Ugh.

Your distinctions have nothing to do with McMansions and are instead about old vs. new.
Yes, that is true, but one of the evaluative points in determining Mansion vs  McMansion  is age.

And the website here says one can build a 3,000 sq ft house today and it could be either a mansion or it could be a McMansion depending on architectural aesthetics. But it is true that they all will have drywall, no one is doing  real plaster these days.


So -- are you saying that you believe that a large home can only be called a mansion if it is old?  No new homes would qualify?

No. Using  the criteria of the website in the first post, mansions can be built new. I'm ok with that.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: galliver on September 01, 2016, 03:43:31 PM
"that's some MC Escher shit"


Me too! There's a 'craft cocktail bar' that I want to check out sometime. The prices are high, but I've always wanted to try a well-made old-fashion. In order to serve alcohol, a place must have food available and so for the longest time the only food option was a bowl of Cheetos.

(http://i.imgur.com/sU2yinS.jpg)

That's fantastic! I actually like the spirit of the law, tbh; I feel like drinks being sold long after food isn't available (at least at that establishment) is an unhealthy drinking culture. But the law vastly overreaches, IMO, with "hot soups and sandwiches" being the baseline requirement, rather than e.g. chips/nuts/crackers. So good on them for the passive resistance demonstrated by their menu!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: galliver on September 01, 2016, 03:59:10 PM
Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Part of the McMansion type is that they are houses WAY to big for lots that are way too small.  If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...

But the houses in that picture don't look mansion-sized. They're normal-sized. Are you really saying that houses of any size *need* a sizable clearance around them? That's odd to hear on a site that promotes walkable neighborhoods (also odd is Jack's assertion that certain construction "clashes with the existing single-story homes"; people like you are causing the Bay Area housing crisis!). Because you know what helps create walkable neighborhoods? Population density. And population density increases when you build up instead of out, and build homes closer together.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 01, 2016, 04:09:24 PM
Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Part of the McMansion type is that they are houses WAY to big for lots that are way too small.  If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...

But the houses in that picture don't look mansion-sized. They're normal-sized. Are you really saying that houses of any size *need* a sizable clearance around them? That's odd to hear on a site that promotes walkable neighborhoods (also odd is Jack's assertion that certain construction "clashes with the existing single-story homes"; people like you are causing the Bay Area housing crisis!). Because you know what helps create walkable neighborhoods? Population density. And population density increases when you build up instead of out, and build homes closer together.

Sorry, when I replied I cut out the previous comments.  This string of conversations wasn't about the photo (I actually like the pictured house, except for the irregularities mentioned above). 

Here is the full tangent.  :) (Descriptor for house in question is highlighted in bold)

I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

I think these new builds would meet your approval.  The middle is mine from 3 years ago the landscaping has changed/grown in.

Sort of, but not really. I agree that the detached garages placed in the back yard are a vast improvement compared to what would have happened if they had been front-facing attached ones instead.

However, those houses are clearly speculative construction built as cheaply as possible with little thought given to design. You can tell by the fact that they are nothing more than rectangular prisms with porches tacked on (which is optimal for energy efficiency but pessimal for architectural interest) and have basically the minimum number of windows required by code (especially on the sides). Hell, with the one on the left the builder couldn't even be bothered to even pretend the fireplace deserved a chimney!

Also, they are definitely not of the craftsman style. First of all, the eaves are not wide enough and the rafters are covered by fascia rather than left exposed (the roof is totally colonial except for the brackets). More importantly, though, real craftsman houses are never plainly two-stories like that. If they have a second floor at all, it would be tucked under the slope of the roof (as in a "1-1/2 story" house) or at least the outer wall would be set back relative to the outer wall of the first story. (See this page (http://southsoundpropertygroup.com/2014/05/09/what-makes-a-house-a-craftsman/) for reference.)

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.

Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Edit:  Then again the house is question isn't terribly McMansiony considering the neighborhood (and I'm assuming a Northern USA location).  Either way, population density has its place, but putting a 3500sq.ft house (in general) on a 1/6th acre lot isn't really efficiency at its greatest and is pretty tacky.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: galliver on September 01, 2016, 04:17:52 PM
Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Part of the McMansion type is that they are houses WAY to big for lots that are way too small.  If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...

But the houses in that picture don't look mansion-sized. They're normal-sized. Are you really saying that houses of any size *need* a sizable clearance around them? That's odd to hear on a site that promotes walkable neighborhoods (also odd is Jack's assertion that certain construction "clashes with the existing single-story homes"; people like you are causing the Bay Area housing crisis!). Because you know what helps create walkable neighborhoods? Population density. And population density increases when you build up instead of out, and build homes closer together.

Sorry, when I replied I cut out the previous comments.  This string of conversations wasn't about the photo (I actually like the pictured house, except for the irregularities mentioned above). 

Here is the full tangent.  :) (Descriptor for house in question is highlighted in bold)

I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

I think these new builds would meet your approval.  The middle is mine from 3 years ago the landscaping has changed/grown in.

Sort of, but not really. I agree that the detached garages placed in the back yard are a vast improvement compared to what would have happened if they had been front-facing attached ones instead.

However, those houses are clearly speculative construction built as cheaply as possible with little thought given to design. You can tell by the fact that they are nothing more than rectangular prisms with porches tacked on (which is optimal for energy efficiency but pessimal for architectural interest) and have basically the minimum number of windows required by code (especially on the sides). Hell, with the one on the left the builder couldn't even be bothered to even pretend the fireplace deserved a chimney!

Also, they are definitely not of the craftsman style. First of all, the eaves are not wide enough and the rafters are covered by fascia rather than left exposed (the roof is totally colonial except for the brackets). More importantly, though, real craftsman houses are never plainly two-stories like that. If they have a second floor at all, it would be tucked under the slope of the roof (as in a "1-1/2 story" house) or at least the outer wall would be set back relative to the outer wall of the first story. (See this page (http://southsoundpropertygroup.com/2014/05/09/what-makes-a-house-a-craftsman/) for reference.)

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.

Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Edit:  Then again the house is question isn't terribly McMansiony considering the neighborhood (and I'm assuming a Northern USA location).  Either way, population density has its place, but putting a 3500sq.ft house (in general) on a 1/6th acre lot isn't really efficiency at its greatest and is pretty tacky.

That *is* the photo I was talking about. Those don't look McMansiony at all. They remind me more of townhomes, just slightly more detached and with garages through the back.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Zamboni on September 01, 2016, 04:24:40 PM
I actually think the red white and blue cottage is cute. Painting concrete bright red is not the style choice I would have made, but the overall home has a certain charm to it. So there you go . . . there's a house for everyone.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: yuka on September 01, 2016, 06:39:58 PM
I actually think the red white and blue cottage is cute. Painting concrete bright red is not the style choice I would have made, but the overall home has a certain charm to it. So there you go . . . there's a house for everyone.

It has some appeal to me, as well. But when I look closer, I'm frustrated by the siding (especially when you have so little exterior wall, you could do so much better) and the tiny tiny porch.

As to those close-packed houses in the other image, they also appeal to me, but I really don't like the driveways. Considering that the whole block was built at once, it would have been so easy to put an alley in the back, and then you'd be spared all that wasted concrete that could have been porch or garden or grass or anything else.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 01, 2016, 06:44:27 PM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
No, I really feel the cheapness of these places and the uncaring-ness of their builders. Ive always lived in old houses. Right now, the 140 year old house  I live in is a gut rehab and we took the walls down to the brick and insulated them and put up drywall.

But you know what? I miss real plaster. It has a quality that is just timeless in these old houses. It gives a different vibe, and so much of a house is the wall surfaces.

I call the McMansions  "palaces of drywall" because when I walk into one that is all I can see. Drywall. Ugh.

Your distinctions have nothing to do with McMansions and are instead about old vs. new.
Yes, that is true, but one of the evaluative points in determining Mansion vs  McMansion  is age.

And the website here says one can build a 3,000 sq ft house today and it could be either a mansion or it could be a McMansion depending on architectural aesthetics. But it is true that they all will have drywall, no one is doing  real plaster these days.


So -- are you saying that you believe that a large home can only be called a mansion if it is old?  No new homes would qualify?

No. Using  the criteria of the website in the first post, mansions can be built new. I'm ok with that.
I was unclear, my question was based on your presumed reference that Mansion=plaster, which, except for very 'creative' architect would mean older than 1960.   This does not seem logical, so could you elaborate?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: nobodyspecial on September 01, 2016, 09:15:09 PM
If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
If you build a mansion and you can ride your horse to your neighbours house then it isn't a mansion.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on September 01, 2016, 09:44:44 PM
Don't forget the hopelessly jealous, holier-than-thou types looking to tsk-tsk at the crass "bad taste" of the affluent.
No, I really feel the cheapness of these places and the uncaring-ness of their builders. Ive always lived in old houses. Right now, the 140 year old house  I live in is a gut rehab and we took the walls down to the brick and insulated them and put up drywall.

But you know what? I miss real plaster. It has a quality that is just timeless in these old houses. It gives a different vibe, and so much of a house is the wall surfaces.

I call the McMansions  "palaces of drywall" because when I walk into one that is all I can see. Drywall. Ugh.

Your distinctions have nothing to do with McMansions and are instead about old vs. new.
Yes, that is true, but one of the evaluative points in determining Mansion vs  McMansion  is age.

And the website here says one can build a 3,000 sq ft house today and it could be either a mansion or it could be a McMansion depending on architectural aesthetics. But it is true that they all will have drywall, no one is doing  real plaster these days.


So -- are you saying that you believe that a large home can only be called a mansion if it is old?  No new homes would qualify?

No. Using  the criteria of the website in the first post, mansions can be built new. I'm ok with that.
I was unclear, my question was based on your presumed reference that Mansion=plaster, which, except for very 'creative' architect would mean older than 1960.   This does not seem logical, so could you elaborate?
Sigh, more on plaster? Ok.

 I like  plaster even though it is difficult to work with and can be difficult to live with. I like the aesthetics of it. However, I am probably glad that my house doesnt have it for practical purposes.

In my heart of hearts, I kinda equate true mansions with age (as well as other characteristics such as size and great millwork) and those old houses usually have some plaster walls.

But if the website owner wants to define criteria for "mansion" that isnt dependant on age, I can go along with that.
 I'm not sure there is really any other point.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 01, 2016, 11:00:38 PM
If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
If you build a mansion and you can ride your horse to your neighbours house then it isn't a mansion.
If you build a mansion and call it a mansion instead of a house, then the other mansion dwellers will not invite you to their parties.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: obstinate on September 02, 2016, 12:31:06 AM
Municipalities want to pack them in as tightly as possible to maximize the tax revenue.
That is not why houses are close together in cities.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Rural on September 02, 2016, 04:01:38 AM
Municipalities want to pack them in as tightly as possible to maximize the tax revenue.
That is not why houses are close together in cities.


Both of these statements can be true, pretty easily.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 02, 2016, 05:34:40 AM
Re laneways for garages - are these common in areas that get a lot of snow?  Most municipalities get the main streets plowed first, then secondaries, and small residential streets get done last.  I would imaging laneways would be even lower priority.  That would imply a snowbound car for a few days after a heavy snow.  In some areas that would mean the car gets stuck for maybe half the winter.  Same for garbage pickup if the laneway is used for that.  If the garage is at the back, but the driveways leads to the street, that is a lot of driveway to keep clear all winter. 

My architectural peeve totally unrelated to Craftsman style is front porches that are too shallow - what is the point of a porch if you can 't put a chair on it and sit on that chair without being a contortionist?  Entryways with no roof are another, lovely standing there while the rain/snow/sleet beats down on you as you try to unlock the door.

Yes I am influenced by my climate, isn't all building supposed to be responsive to climate?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 02, 2016, 08:41:44 AM
Would you want more windows on the side of the house, considering you'd basically just be staring directly into your neighbor's house. Way too close together

Part of the McMansion type is that they are houses WAY to big for lots that are way too small.  If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...

But the houses in that picture don't look mansion-sized. They're normal-sized. Are you really saying that houses of any size *need* a sizable clearance around them? That's odd to hear on a site that promotes walkable neighborhoods (also odd is Jack's assertion that certain construction "clashes with the existing single-story homes"; people like you are causing the Bay Area housing crisis!). Because you know what helps create walkable neighborhoods? Population density. And population density increases when you build up instead of out, and build homes closer together.

First of all, you want more windows even with narrow side yards because windows are good for more than just looking out of. They are also important for ventilation and daylighting (the latter of which applies even if you use frosted glass so you aren't staring at the neighbor's wall).

Second, nothing is necessarily wrong with having narrow side yards -- lots of the old neighborhoods around here were built that way.

Third, my "odd assertion" is that the problem is taking a neighborhood that was developed in a certain way (e.g. ~1000ft2 single-story cottages) and letting people replace the houses piecemeal with ~4000ft2 three-story monstrosities that tower over their neighbors is terrible. If your goal is density, you should re-zone the whole neighborhood to multifamily and let somebody buy up a whole block and build townhomes or an apartment building.

I actually think the red white and blue cottage is cute. Painting concrete bright red is not the style choice I would have made, but the overall home has a certain charm to it. So there you go . . . there's a house for everyone.

It has some appeal to me, as well. But when I look closer, I'm frustrated by the siding (especially when you have so little exterior wall, you could do so much better) and the tiny tiny porch.

It's an American Small House (see my link from earlier); many of them are built like that. Aside from the paint colors and the star on the wall, it is pretty normal.

By the way, I found the house with the upside-down columns that I mentioned earlier! Note that it provides an example of a bad renovation of a house that was probably a Craftsman to begin with, and also an example of how even old neighborhoods had houses pretty close together (and there's nothing wrong with that).

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 02, 2016, 08:55:42 AM
Those "upside down" columns have a real art deco feel to them.  May as well paint them purple and black.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 02, 2016, 09:08:00 AM
Those "upside down" columns have a real art deco feel to them.  May as well paint them purple and black.

I can't say I agree; I did an image search for art deco houses (https://www.google.com/search?q=art+deco+house&biw=1113&bih=631&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiymZLq-fDOAhXK2R4KHSpfBLIQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=_) and can't find a single one with tapered columns like that. Besides, even if the columns were art deco, the rest of the house sure isn't!

By the way, I don't think purple and black are really art deco colors either; maybe you're thinking of Hollywood regency?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 02, 2016, 09:14:27 AM
Those "upside down" columns have a real art deco feel to them.  May as well paint them purple and black.

I can't say I agree; I did an image search for art deco houses (https://www.google.com/search?q=art+deco+house&biw=1113&bih=631&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiymZLq-fDOAhXK2R4KHSpfBLIQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=_) and can't find a single one with tapered columns like that. Besides, even if the columns were art deco, the rest of the house sure isn't!

By the way, I don't think purple and black are really art deco colors either; maybe you're thinking of Hollywood regency?

Oh, I agree, it is not a style of home to have columns like this for art deco ( some have this at the roof line as accents,), but it is a common style for pedestal in Art Deco.. usually with a statuette on top as decoration. 

I can't think of another style that celebrated the "V" shape... so the art deco pedestal came to mine.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mm1970 on September 02, 2016, 09:39:17 AM
I like the Craftsman style too, as long as you don't screw it up. The house pictured there would be reasonably good, if you chopped the garage off. (Craftsman houses never have attached garages; if you really want to park cars inside build a detached carriage house instead. Or at least make it side-facing or at basement level or something!) I also have slight objections to the small hip roof and windows above the front door and the oversized bracing on the gables, but those are minor compared to the evil front-facing garage.

I think these new builds would meet your approval.  The middle is mine from 3 years ago the landscaping has changed/grown in.

Sort of, but not really. I agree that the detached garages placed in the back yard are a vast improvement compared to what would have happened if they had been front-facing attached ones instead.

However, those houses are clearly speculative construction built as cheaply as possible with little thought given to design. You can tell by the fact that they are nothing more than rectangular prisms with porches tacked on (which is optimal for energy efficiency but pessimal for architectural interest) and have basically the minimum number of windows required by code (especially on the sides). Hell, with the one on the left the builder couldn't even be bothered to even pretend the fireplace deserved a chimney!

Also, they are definitely not of the craftsman style. First of all, the eaves are not wide enough and the rafters are covered by fascia rather than left exposed (the roof is totally colonial except for the brackets). More importantly, though, real craftsman houses are never plainly two-stories like that. If they have a second floor at all, it would be tucked under the slope of the roof (as in a "1-1/2 story" house) or at least the outer wall would be set back relative to the outer wall of the first story. (See this page (http://southsoundpropertygroup.com/2014/05/09/what-makes-a-house-a-craftsman/) for reference.)

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.
This is interesting, because when I look at those houses, I see...

Well, they look a LOT like the houses you'd see in my husband's small town in upstate NY.  Most of the lots are about that size (35-40 x 110).  Depending on the street, the houses are either 2-story like those, or single story (with maybe a finished attic under the eaves).  Garage in the back, very small front yard.

And these houses were built in the early 1900's.  My in-laws house was built in 1925-ish (and remarkably, on a double lot.  There aren't many of those).

Of course a picture can't tell you the "finishes". (Every worker who comes to the house says they are coming over if there's ever an earthquake.)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Nate R on September 02, 2016, 11:32:42 AM
Re laneways for garages - are these common in areas that get a lot of snow?  Most municipalities get the main streets plowed first, then secondaries, and small residential streets get done last.  I would imaging laneways would be even lower priority.  That would imply a snowbound car for a few days after a heavy snow.  In some areas that would mean the car gets stuck for maybe half the winter.  Same for garbage pickup if the laneway is used for that.  If the garage is at the back, but the driveways leads to the street, that is a lot of driveway to keep clear all winter. 


Absolutely. I live in Milwaukee, TONS of these alleys. Current house built in 1921 is on a block with an alley. There is NO driveway for the houses. In Milwaukee, they don't plow the alleys at all. But they DO pick up garbage in them. It works out 95% of the time. Occasionally it sucks when snow partially melts, then refreezes and you have deep icy ruts. Some blocks get together and pay a private company to plow the alley, but many do not.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 02, 2016, 01:12:41 PM
This is interesting, because when I look at those houses, I see...

Well, they look a LOT like the houses you'd see in my husband's small town in upstate NY.  Most of the lots are about that size (35-40 x 110).  Depending on the street, the houses are either 2-story like those, or single story (with maybe a finished attic under the eaves).  Garage in the back, very small front yard.

And these houses were built in the early 1900's.  My in-laws house was built in 1925-ish (and remarkably, on a double lot.  There aren't many of those).

Of course a picture can't tell you the "finishes". (Every worker who comes to the house says they are coming over if there's ever an earthquake.)

It's not the general massing of the houses or their placement on the lot that's a problem; it's the details (and the fact that they're being miscategorized as "craftsman" when they're something else).

I'm willing to bet that the early-1900s 2-story houses you're thinking of are probably late Victorian, not craftsman, and have certain features that add more interest to the facade but aren't found on craftsman houses. For example, I'd give them about an 80% chance of having bay windows and a 99% chance of having fancier window frame, entablature and pediment moldings than the houses in neverrun's picture do.

(The single-story houses are more likely to be craftsman, especially if they tend to be newer than the two-story ones. That's probably not uncommon: parts of my neighborhood, for example, range in age from the 1890s to the 1950s, so the oldest parts of the neighborhood are Victorian then it transitions through craftsman and American small house to end at mid-century ranch. See attached pic; time starts in the upper-left corner and progresses clockwise.)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mm1970 on September 02, 2016, 01:29:00 PM
This is interesting, because when I look at those houses, I see...

Well, they look a LOT like the houses you'd see in my husband's small town in upstate NY.  Most of the lots are about that size (35-40 x 110).  Depending on the street, the houses are either 2-story like those, or single story (with maybe a finished attic under the eaves).  Garage in the back, very small front yard.

And these houses were built in the early 1900's.  My in-laws house was built in 1925-ish (and remarkably, on a double lot.  There aren't many of those).

Of course a picture can't tell you the "finishes". (Every worker who comes to the house says they are coming over if there's ever an earthquake.)

It's not the general massing of the houses or their placement on the lot that's a problem; it's the details (and the fact that they're being miscategorized as "craftsman" when they're something else).

I'm willing to bet that the early-1900s 2-story houses you're thinking of are probably late Victorian, not craftsman, and have certain features that add more interest to the facade but aren't found on craftsman houses. For example, I'd give them about an 80% chance of having bay windows and a 99% chance of having fancier window frame, entablature and pediment moldings than the houses in neverrun's picture do.

(The single-story houses are more likely to be craftsman, especially if they tend to be newer than the two-story ones. That's probably not uncommon: parts of my neighborhood, for example, range in age from the 1890s to the 1950s, so the oldest parts of the neighborhood are Victorian then it transitions through craftsman and American small house to end at mid-century ranch. See attached pic; time starts in the upper-left corner and progresses clockwise.)
I don't know the various architecture types.

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 02, 2016, 01:50:43 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 02, 2016, 01:57:32 PM
http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/149128564511/mclean-virginia?is_related_post=1

A mere 1.7 million for this foreclosed gem.  The two best lines in the post describe the multi-story rotunda:  "Pringles can of shame" and "Church of Wasted Space".
Gee, thanks.  There goes my productivity for the day...


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.

One of my favorite topics about architecture in DC:  Pop-ups -- row houses that "pop-up" by adding another floor to the top, sometimes disrupting the architectural roof lines of the surrounding homes.  Some are okay, unfortunately, many are really poorly done. 

http://www.popville.com/category/pop-ups/
I have a sister that lives in the area.  In some places, you're not allowed to tear down old buildings and build new ones.  Or there are heavy restrictions on new construction.  So the contractors will tear down everything (and I mean everything) except for two exterior walls, so it qualifies as a "renovation".  Then, they build the new house in the space, complete with facade.  At the very end, they do another "renovation" which includes tearing down the two remaining original walls.
My architectural peeve totally unrelated to Craftsman style is front porches that are too shallow - what is the point of a porch if you can 't put a chair on it and sit on that chair without being a contortionist?  Entryways with no roof are another, lovely standing there while the rain/snow/sleet beats down on you as you try to unlock the door.
I'm with you there.  Our house is a bad example of it--the porch looks lovely, as long as you're not trying to use it for anything.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on September 02, 2016, 02:17:27 PM
This is interesting, because when I look at those houses, I see...

Well, they look a LOT like the houses you'd see in my husband's small town in upstate NY.  Most of the lots are about that size (35-40 x 110).  Depending on the street, the houses are either 2-story like those, or single story (with maybe a finished attic under the eaves).  Garage in the back, very small front yard.

And these houses were built in the early 1900's.  My in-laws house was built in 1925-ish (and remarkably, on a double lot.  There aren't many of those).

Of course a picture can't tell you the "finishes". (Every worker who comes to the house says they are coming over if there's ever an earthquake.)

It's not the general massing of the houses or their placement on the lot that's a problem; it's the details (and the fact that they're being miscategorized as "craftsman" when they're something else).

I'm willing to bet that the early-1900s 2-story houses you're thinking of are probably late Victorian, not craftsman, and have certain features that add more interest to the facade but aren't found on craftsman houses. For example, I'd give them about an 80% chance of having bay windows and a 99% chance of having fancier window frame, entablature and pediment moldings than the houses in neverrun's picture do.

(The single-story houses are more likely to be craftsman, especially if they tend to be newer than the two-story ones. That's probably not uncommon: parts of my neighborhood, for example, range in age from the 1890s to the 1950s, so the oldest parts of the neighborhood are Victorian then it transitions through craftsman and American small house to end at mid-century ranch. See attached pic; time starts in the upper-left corner and progresses clockwise.)
I don't know the various architecture types.

In the top photo, the right most ne looks like a classic American Four Square house but the porch is off center. There are houses like this all over Iowa, my home atate, and all over America. That photo looks like houses on the  east side of Des Moines.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: KCM5 on September 02, 2016, 02:43:17 PM
In the top photo, the right most ne looks like a classic American Four Square house but the porch is off center. There are houses like this all over Iowa, my home atate, and all over America. That photo looks like houses on the  east side of Des Moines.

And the bottom photo could be on the west side!

I'm loving the blog - a bit snobby, but mostly informative.

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 on September 02, 2016, 04:48:48 PM
Thank you!!  I'm glad the link provided some amusement.  Here's the actual listing:

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mc-Lean-VA/51726927_zpid/46465_rid/1690000-1700000_price/5926-5961_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/38.999909,-77.137242,38.91234,-77.247277_rect/12_zm/

Taxes are $23,406 / year!!  *gulp*

I encourage you all to plug that address into Google Maps. That $1.7 mil gets you a house that is not 100' from a gas station. No wonder the windows in that bathroom are frosted.

Slight correction:  it's right beside TWO gas stations.  So you can easily send the nanny over with a gas can if you forgot to fill up the Hummers.

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 02, 2016, 05:53:56 PM
So why do builders make these monstrosities?  I mean, they presumably do have an architect on staff who makes the first plan, which they modify/duplicate.  I understand they want to save money, but a gable roof is a lot cheaper to build than the complex roofs most mcmansions seem to have.  Why do they use so many different window types?  Is it just because they went down to the re-store and grabbed whatever was on sale, so they couldn't get matching ones?  Or are they making things more complicated simply to cater to the buyers, who think complicated looks affluent?

Lets break it down:

-Complex high pitched roof with lower cross gables or hips

This is no cheaper, and likely more expensive, to build than a simpler, lower pitched roof

- Tall (1.5-2 story) entry features, often arched

This also adds cost

- Haphazardly applied dormers

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

- Multiple wall cladding materials applied to single surfaces

Again, wouldn't it be cheaper to just get one lot of the same material?  Seems they are catering to the ignorant?

- Windows of differing sizes and shapes, often arched

Again, why build up all this mismatched inventory instead of just using a single style?

- Structure is commonly asymmetrical with tall vertical appearance.

I get this -- if you build up, you use fewer materials per sqft and maximize area for small lots.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily on September 02, 2016, 06:06:11 PM
In the top photo, the right most ne looks like a classic American Four Square house but the porch is off center. There are houses like this all over Iowa, my home state, and all over America. That photo looks like houses on the  east side of Des Moines.

And the bottom photo could be on the west side!

I'm loving the blog - a bit snobby, but mostly informative.
It COULD be on the westside along Kingman Blvd. by Drake Universit, you are right:)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Zamboni on September 02, 2016, 06:14:08 PM
If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
If you build a mansion and you can ride your horse to your neighbours house then it isn't a mansion.
If you build a mansion and call it a mansion instead of a house, then the other mansion dwellers will not invite you to their parties.

Actually, if you called it a mansion or a house you will be shunned by your neighbors . . . . everyone knows that dwellings must be given names likes Gaineswood or Annesley or Glensheen or something else properly pompous.

And now I sit here decided if my home should have a male or female sounding name . . . . or if it should have an inanimate name like The Breakers. Decision, decisions.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: yuka on September 02, 2016, 06:33:38 PM

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.

One of my favorite topics about architecture in DC:  Pop-ups -- row houses that "pop-up" by adding another floor to the top, sometimes disrupting the architectural roof lines of the surrounding homes.  Some are okay, unfortunately, many are really poorly done. 

http://www.popville.com/category/pop-ups/

Some of those pop-ups are like tasteless sheds stacked on top of the houses. They're the urban equivalent of parking a 25-year old car in the front lawn.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: yuka on September 02, 2016, 06:36:47 PM
If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
If you build a mansion and you can ride your horse to your neighbours house then it isn't a mansion.
If you build a mansion and call it a mansion instead of a house, then the other mansion dwellers will not invite you to their parties.

Actually, if you called it a mansion or a house you will be shunned by your neighbors . . . . everyone knows that dwellings must be given names likes Gaineswood or Annesley or Glensheen or something else properly pompous.

And now I sit here decided if my home should have a male or female sounding name . . . . or if it should have an inanimate name like The Breakers. Decision, decisions.

Hmm, if I lived in one of these things, I don't think I'd care much what my neighbors thought about my house's name; actually, chances are I've never even seen my neighbors, let alone talked to them. If it were well-built, I'd go with Dreadfort; otherwise, The Model Home
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: yuka on September 02, 2016, 06:38:58 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 02, 2016, 06:46:10 PM
If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
If you build a mansion and you can ride your horse to your neighbours house then it isn't a mansion.
If you build a mansion and call it a mansion instead of a house, then the other mansion dwellers will not invite you to their parties.
How about Shedley Manor (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1492271/bankrupt-fraudster-jailed-for-disguising-his-1-2-million-luxury-mansion-as-a-barn-and-filling-it-with-antiques-and-cannabis/)?
Actually, if you called it a mansion or a house you will be shunned by your neighbors . . . . everyone knows that dwellings must be given names likes Gaineswood or Annesley or Glensheen or something else properly pompous.

And now I sit here decided if my home should have a male or female sounding name . . . . or if it should have an inanimate name like The Breakers. Decision, decisions.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BlueHouse on September 02, 2016, 07:16:33 PM
If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
If you build a mansion and you can ride your horse to your neighbours house then it isn't a mansion.
If you build a mansion and call it a mansion instead of a house, then the other mansion dwellers will not invite you to their parties.
How about Shedley Manor (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1492271/bankrupt-fraudster-jailed-for-disguising-his-1-2-million-luxury-mansion-as-a-barn-and-filling-it-with-antiques-and-cannabis/)?
Actually, if you called it a mansion or a house you will be shunned by your neighbors . . . . everyone knows that dwellings must be given names likes Gaineswood or Annesley or Glensheen or something else properly pompous.

And now I sit here decided if my home should have a male or female sounding name . . . . or if it should have an inanimate name like The Breakers. Decision, decisions.
Mine already has a name, otherwise I would call it the Grimpen Mire. And every time you say it, it needs to be followed by eerie horror organ music. Or a scream.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 02, 2016, 07:41:31 PM
If you build a mansion and your neighbor's house is close enough to be a problem, then it is probably a McMansion...
If you build a mansion and you can ride your horse to your neighbours house then it isn't a mansion.
If you build a mansion and call it a mansion instead of a house, then the other mansion dwellers will not invite you to their parties.

Actually, if you called it a mansion or a house you will be shunned by your neighbors . . . . everyone knows that dwellings must be given names likes Gaineswood or Annesley or Glensheen or something else properly pompous.

And now I sit here decided if my home should have a male or female sounding name . . . . or if it should have an inanimate name like The Breakers. Decision, decisions.

You're not allowed to name your own house unless you also buy your own silverware. When you move into the place it should already have a name. It's generally a variation of the name of whoever owned the land a hundred years ago, or a reference to some local hill or historical incident using whatever language was commonly used in the area at the time. If you can personally remember the thing your house was named for that's not a good sign. Now if for some reason you build a house and move into it, there's going to be some awkwardness. Name-wise that's just "your house" or "your place". Maybe there will be a name for it that's a play on part of your name (think Biltmore). Your grandkids or whoever buys it after you're done with it will then have a house with a name that isn't theirs. Or, if you own more than one piece of property you obviously have to differentiate between them. Hence "the something-or-other house" or "the summer cottage" or "the lake condo". Eventually they'll be known as that by people besides you and your next of kin.

The names you suggested are a good start, but fall short of true pretentiousness because the pronunciation can be deduced by the spelling. Unless of course "Gaineswood" is pronounced "GaNEEshed" or something equally nonintuitive. The names also lack enough extraneous vowels. Remember, it's not "point", "brook", "park" or "old": it's got to be "pointe", "brooke", "parke" and "olde". The fact that the words were frequently never actually written that way in older versions of English is immaterial. But word fragments that sound Shakespearean or medieval are hip.

There's a new subdivision being built a few miles away from me. It's called "Mirehaven". We live in a desert. Also, for bizarre reasons condominiums around here tend to be named "(something-or-other) Pointe". I just can't shake the mental image of a bunch of shoddily constructed buildings in ballet slippers, trying desperately to stay balanced.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat on September 02, 2016, 08:01:25 PM
None of the windows has blinds, builder said "that will be fixed before moving in".

The rest is crap, but I believe that is standard for new construction.  I bought a house new (didn't build it, bought it from the builder) and it didn't come with any blinds.  Or towel racks, TP holders, etc etc etc.

Yep, FIREd builder here. Back in the 90s, you could grab a complete set of bath hardware (toilet paper holder, towel rack, towel rings, etc) for $20, all made of nicely finished Oak, and install everything as part of the deal. The customer was happy. Since then, a typical big box store had 40-50 lineal feet of isle, stuffed full of hundreds of different pieces of bath hardware, and the average new home customer is far too important to accept the same shit that the commoners have in their baths. I got unlucky enough to end up with one of my spec. homes falling into the hands of a horrible older couple. These two quickly self identified as two of the biggest a-holes on the planet, and probably the most unhappy couple I ever met. They generally hated life. As the male was on one of his rants, he started to bitch about the lack of bath hardware. I told him it was never going to happen, particularly in his case.  First, his wife would hate it, no matter what it was. Second, the stuff goes from a few bucks to a hundred, or more, per piece. Third, with hundreds of choices, where would I even start in the fruitless quest to satisfy you two?  I can't even begin to imagine what it would of been like getting involved with selecting blinds with these two idiots.

We had a boom in our region that lasted for two decades, and ended with the great crash. At the peak, my buddy owned a sheetrock outfit that was doing 1000+ homes a year. Most were McMansion sized shitboxes, built for lower middle class folks who were driving 70-100 miles one way, to NYC, for a paycheck.  He would occasionally do warranty work, when his crews couldn't keep up. It's policy to make the homeowner wait to the end of the warranty year to do any sheetrock repair. He said he will never forget how many dozens of homes he had gone to, and the end of their first year, to  find beach towels for curtains, and mostly unfurnished rooms inside. Drag whatever you had from your apartment in the city, and face the reality that you are never going to be able to afford to furnish the monstrous piece of shit you just took a thirty year mortgage on. Typically the "formal" living and dining rooms were completely free of furniture. Talk about some crazy priorities. Spend five hours a day commuting, to afford a chip board and vinyl siding  3000 sq. ft. shitbox, that you can't afford furniture or curtains for.  OTOH, you can all but guarantee that there will be at least one large SUV, (Tahoe, Navigator)  or $35K faux luxury ride in the driveway.

 I'm in a rather dark mood at the moment,  and humming God Bless America to myself as I'm typing this. WTF?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Taran Wanderer on September 03, 2016, 05:14:33 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 03, 2016, 09:29:06 AM
So why do builders make these monstrosities? 



- Haphazardly applied dormers

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

- Multiple wall cladding materials applied to single surfaces

Again, wouldn't it be cheaper to just get one lot of the same material?  Seems they are catering to the ignorant?


I think this is actually what happens.

One of the articles described that the advent of "balloon / stick" wall construction allowed for new forms, as well as huge spaces for lower cost (versus stone or masonry).  The problem with large homes was that there was just so much exterior wall and it was difficult to make to look interesting.   The dormers, secondary masses, wallpaper, gables and window features were intended to relieve the monotony of the exterior.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: A Definite Beta Guy on September 03, 2016, 11:29:27 AM
So why do builders make these monstrosities? 



- Haphazardly applied dormers

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

- Multiple wall cladding materials applied to single surfaces

Again, wouldn't it be cheaper to just get one lot of the same material?  Seems they are catering to the ignorant?


I think this is actually what happens.

One of the articles described that the advent of "balloon / stick" wall construction allowed for new forms, as well as huge spaces for lower cost (versus stone or masonry).  The problem with large homes was that there was just so much exterior wall and it was difficult to make to look interesting.   The dormers, secondary masses, wallpaper, gables and window features were intended to relieve the monotony of the exterior.
Yep, this seems to be it. Most of the houses look like they appeal to a certain kind of aspirational class that wants as much "bling" as possible. More more more more. Dormer here, bay window there, shiplapshiplapshiplap.

The interiors are clearly just check-list items. Typically with massive amounts of wasted space that serves no purpose other than to suck up utility bills. Someone has to keep the gas companies in business.

I really can't be too snobbish, though. I live in a standard mass production split-level from the post-war era. I like the neighborhood and it's quite walkable, but I am not adding to American cultural history in here. To say nothing of the shoddy workmanship in the sub-basement. If you are going to do some baseboards, can you PLEASE at least TRY to make a miter joint?

Attached front-facing 2-car garages are nasty street-viewing. I'll agree on that 100%. I live in Chicago and dug my car out of snow and ice for my entire life. Don't see the problem with it.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar 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?

(http://i.imgur.com/79M26pJ.jpg)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: nobodyspecial 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
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: bacchi 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?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: A Definite Beta Guy 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!


Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: yuka 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 (http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1990-07-07/lifestyle/9007060122_1_bob-ross-joy-of-painting-pbs/2), 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.')
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat 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.........................
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar 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?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: A Definite Beta Guy 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: former player 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.)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar 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
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: iris lily 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?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MoneyCat 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?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki 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?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: StarBright 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: MoneyCat 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: RetiredAt63 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?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Making Cookies 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...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Making Cookies 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: infogoon 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: VaCPA 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 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"?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: rawr237 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Digital Dogma 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack 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:

(http://67.media.tumblr.com/f678986a9cc719d5cd572e2e079e108a/tumblr_inline_od1md6GZh61sppt0x_540.png)

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.)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 06, 2016, 12:32:33 PM
...

Those shutters are HILARIOUS! 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Chris22 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar 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
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 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/
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks 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)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks 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!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar 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

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: With This Herring 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.)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: StarBright 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar 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"
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Bergal 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
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Wexler 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: honeybbq 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
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: honeybbq 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.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zephyr911 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".
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack 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...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 07, 2016, 01:47:20 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".

I don't like the way solar panels look.  There are certain situations where they are likely to reflect the sun in your eyes.  I personally wouldn't make fun of anyone for installing them if it makes economic sense, but from an environmental perspective, I'd much rather have utility-scale panels in the desert somewhere and nice looking homes around me.

One of my new neighbors installed a pool, electric solar panels, and bought a huge-ass RV that they park in front of their house.  The house looked beautiful when they bought it, but they aren't maintaining the landscaping (they now have a dirt/gravel pit where the pool installers went over their front yard) and it looks like shit.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: yuka on September 07, 2016, 04:07:36 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".

I don't like the way solar panels look.  There are certain situations where they are likely to reflect the sun in your eyes.  I personally wouldn't make fun of anyone for installing them if it makes economic sense, but from an environmental perspective, I'd much rather have utility-scale panels in the desert somewhere and nice looking homes around me.

One of my new neighbors installed a pool, electric solar panels, and bought a huge-ass RV that they park in front of their house.  The house looked beautiful when they bought it, but they aren't maintaining the landscaping (they now have a dirt/gravel pit where the pool installers went over their front yard) and it looks like shit.

This is the energy equivalent of someone buying a car with their raise. Someone may actually have said, "well shit, saved all this electricity with our solar panels, what are we going to do? I know, we'll dig a big hole in our yard so we can continuously run a pump, and then we'll buy a bus to drive long distances with just our family. That should zero us out!"
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: whiskeyjack on September 07, 2016, 11:46:37 PM
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.

This book is amazing but almost ruined my ability to ever buy a house.  Nothing I found was ever quite right after that.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: acanthurus on September 08, 2016, 01:42:44 PM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 08, 2016, 02:00:28 PM
So when people say a house is "too big" for the lot, is there an optimal ratio of yard space to house space or driveway space? How about when the lot is oddly shaped, such that there's no way to get around to the back of the house? Do the standards vary depending on whether there's a front yard, or how far away from the Equator you are? (Having to dig deep to bury water and other utilities influences construction cost.)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: slugline on September 08, 2016, 02:01:43 PM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

The place is on a street called Secluded Trail in a gated community . . . to protect the public-at-large from having to look at it. . . .
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 08, 2016, 02:07:41 PM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

o_O

...

ಠ_ಠ

Quote from: realtor page
Key Facts
  • Single family home

(╯į□į)╯︵ ┻━┻
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on September 08, 2016, 02:18:28 PM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

McMansion duplexes are not rare. Here's some new ones in Philadelphia (http://www.ocfrealty.com/listings/314207).

It's not quite so...emetic as the ones in The Woodlands, though. These are merely ugly.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 08, 2016, 02:24:22 PM
This looks good!
(https://ssl.cdn-redfin.com/photo/57/mbpaddedwide/402/genMid.DC8231402_1.jpg)


This looks like shite!
(http://www.ocfrealty.com/sites/www.ocfrealty.com/files/120368552892-1457544001-1.jpg)

All they needed to do was figure out a way to put 8-12 in a row and it could have looked pretty good.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zephyr911 on September 08, 2016, 02:27:22 PM
I don't like the way solar panels look.  There are certain situations where they are likely to reflect the sun in your eyes.  I personally wouldn't make fun of anyone for installing them if it makes economic sense, but from an environmental perspective, I'd much rather have utility-scale panels in the desert somewhere and nice looking homes around me.
I think mine look pretty awesome, and they don't reflect any glare to the ground level, ever, but regardless of my stance on such a subject, I wouldn't be a dick to a neighbor over it. Thus my unrepentant schadenfreude at these assholes. ;)
Quote
One of my new neighbors installed a pool, electric solar panels, and bought a huge-ass RV that they park in front of their house.  The house looked beautiful when they bought it, but they aren't maintaining the landscaping (they now have a dirt/gravel pit where the pool installers went over their front yard) and it looks like shit.
Trust-fund hippies or something like that, my guess. Plenty of people who fancy themselves environmentalists are also clueless consumers.

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.
Jesus Christ, that is fucking hideous.

It's not quite so...emetic
Hahahahaha!!!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: infogoon on September 08, 2016, 02:33:49 PM
All they needed to do was figure out a way to put 8-12 in a row and it could have looked pretty good.

Honestly, the most objectionable difference between them to me is the big honkin' garage door. Houses should have front porches to accommodate humans, not front garages to accommodate vehicles.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 08, 2016, 02:47:26 PM
All they needed to do was figure out a way to put 8-12 in a row and it could have looked pretty good.

Honestly, the most objectionable difference between them to me is the big honkin' garage door. Houses should have front porches to accommodate humans, not front garages to accommodate vehicles.

Yep. And you don't even have to get rid of the garage, as long as it has less emphasis than the [human] entry and rest of the facade does. For example, this is great:

(http://www.danheller.com/images/California/SanFrancisco/Homes/Sisters/rowhouse03-big.jpg)

(See the garages? No? Look closer; they're there.)

This is fine too:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3074/2711891283_263eb1b830_z.jpg)

And here's a duplex version instead of a rowhouse (although IMO it would be better if the front doors were aligned with the stairs):

(http://www.brianporter.com/userfiles/image/portland-duplex(1).jpg)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 08, 2016, 07:21:34 PM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

The place is on a street called Secluded Trail in a gated community . . . to protect the public-at-large from having to look at it. . . .

It looks as though three or four different architectural styles got together and had group revenge sex, and this is the result.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mrcheese on September 08, 2016, 08:42:29 PM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

The place is on a street called Secluded Trail in a gated community . . . to protect the public-at-large from having to look at it. . . .

In the overview paragraph I counted 11 exclamation points and not a single full stop. It would appear nothing about that house invokes calm...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Making Cookies on September 09, 2016, 07:33:59 AM
Too bad real estate pages don't have comment sections. A roast would be fun!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 09, 2016, 07:58:56 AM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.
That poor single window--it's the only one with shutters.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat on September 09, 2016, 09:02:50 AM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

The place is on a street called Secluded Trail in a gated community . . . to protect the public-at-large from having to look at it. . . .


It looks as though three or four different architectural styles got together and had group revenge sex, and this is the result.

First thing I thought, having worked with an NGO in the Caribbean, and the Philippines, is that, If I encountered it while working in the rural  areas there, I would assume it would clearly be either the trophy home of a proud local government official, who has risen to the top of the corruption food chain, or belong to an untouchable drug king pin. It's the kind of ugly that stops you in your tracks.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: 4alpacas on September 09, 2016, 09:26:27 AM
It's the kind of ugly that stops you in your tracks.
Quote of the day!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 09, 2016, 10:42:00 AM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

The place is on a street called Secluded Trail in a gated community . . . to protect the public-at-large from having to look at it. . . .

It looks as though three or four different architectural styles got together and had group revenge sex, and this is the result.

Thanks for making me laugh at work, now my coworkers are staring at me! 

Friggin hilariously accurate.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 on September 09, 2016, 10:59:54 AM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 09, 2016, 11:36:30 AM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.

On today's episode of Xzibit's Pimp My Kitchen...

"Yo dawg, I heard you like venting, so I put an exhaust hood in your masonry fireplace-like stove surround so you can vent while you vent!"

That's such a great look they should use it everywhere!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 09, 2016, 11:40:37 AM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.
That poor single window--it's the only one with shutters.

It's probably afraid the other windows will steal them. Kind of like the only kid on the playground whose mom sends him to school with a packed lunch.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 09, 2016, 11:48:20 AM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.

...Shockingly Tacky Stone....  yep.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Miss Piggy on September 09, 2016, 01:57:43 PM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.

That has to be THE ugliest expensive kitchen I've ever seen. Dare I say it's even uglier than the cheap honey-oak kitchen my house came with? Is that even possible? It must be...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 09, 2016, 02:00:21 PM
They should get a "blogging" platform that lets you actually discuss posts instead of listing 1030 "reblogs"
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TexasRunner on September 09, 2016, 02:02:02 PM
They should get a "blogging" platform that lets you actually discuss posts instead of listing 1030 "reblogs"

With her levels of traffic, should should go MMM's route.  Maybe he should email her on how to not screw up the opportunity...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on September 09, 2016, 02:21:40 PM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.

On today's episode of Xzibit's Pimp My Kitchen...

"Yo dawg, I heard you like venting, so I put an exhaust hood in your masonry fireplace-like stove surround so you can vent while you vent!"

That's such a great look they should use it everywhere!

Every damn house in Dallas (which is where Flower Mound is, basically) has those insane vent hoods.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mm1970 on September 09, 2016, 02:33:55 PM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.
I thought...it can't be that bad, right?

oy
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 09, 2016, 02:37:50 PM
On today's episode of Xzibit's Pimp My Kitchen...

"Yo dawg, I heard you like venting, so I put an exhaust hood in your masonry fireplace-like stove surround so you can vent while you vent!"

That's such a great look they should use it everywhere!

Every damn house in Dallas (which is where Flower Mound is, basically) has those insane vent hoods.

By itself, the vent hood is fine. (Better than fine; it's the kind of vent hood I would want if I had a decent one!)

By itself, the stone surround would also be fine (give or take the actual choice of stone).

The trouble is that if you're going to build a stone stove surround, you build the damn ventilation into it instead of adding a separate visible hood too! It should look more like this (http://www.cornerstonemason.com/kitchen/kitchen1.jpg), with the light, filter and fan tucked up out of sight behind the stone arch or lintel.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 09, 2016, 02:47:57 PM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.
I thought...it can't be that bad, right?

oy

I tend to agree with her on the exteriors, but I'm curious what she thinks good interior design is.  Like, the view out the great room seems lovely to me but she mocks it as "lawn viewing apparatus?"  As a mustachian, I much prefer to use neutral tones for basic building blocks and then add cheap color accents (e.g., a beige couch / carpet with red throw pillows / rugs instead of the other way around, minimizing the cost of changing my color scheme).

She also need higher resolution photos!  I can't even tell what the "oops" is about in the first photo.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 09, 2016, 06:40:41 PM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.
I've seen worse.  Several years ago, DW and I happened upon a rare Saturday open house of this McMansion (http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9318-Cypresswood-Dr-Spring-TX-77379/28384416_zpid/).  Sadly, that page doesn't show any pictures of the monstrosity of a kitchen.  The flooring was cobblestone, and it extended into the back game room.  Hard, cold, lumpy, trip-you-when-you're-up-for-a-midnight-snack cobblestones.  The T-shaped island was big enough that there were parts of it that you literally could not reach.

The whole house is a museum of bad finishes.  There was a powder room--a small powder room--that had three different patterns of wallpaper, including leopard print on the ceiling.  The media room had Route 66 themed wallpaper...with matching upholstery.  Literally--the exact same pattern on both the walls and the furniture.  IIRC, the bathtub in the master suite had something like a swan neck for a spigot.  The first floor had three different types of hardwood floors, plus marble (cracked in a few spots) in the entry room and great room, never mind the aforementioned cobblestone in the kitchen.

Oh, and the whole house had these awful, single-paned windows (in Houston!), and there were at least 5 A/C compressors outside.  I can only imagine what the electricity bill in the summer is like for that house. 

She also need higher resolution photos!  I can't even tell what the "oops" is about in the first photo.
I think the posts are based on the real estate listings, so the pictures are whatever she can get ahold of.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: yuka on September 09, 2016, 10:45:30 PM
A new post on McMansion Hell regarding Texas McMansions:

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/150135343136/flower-mound-tx

The kitchen is incredibly fugly.  Something you can't un-see.
I thought...it can't be that bad, rigHt?

oy

I tend to agree with her on the exteriors, but I'm curious what she thinks good interior design is.  Like, the view out the great room seems lovely to me but she mocks it as "lawn viewing apparatus?"  As a mustachian, I much prefer to use neutral tones for basic building blocks and then add cheap color accents (e.g., a beige couch / carpet with red throw pillows / rugs instead of the other way around, minimizing the cost of changing my color scheme).

She also need higher resolution photos!  I can't even tell what the "oops" is about in the first photo.

My take on her interior decorating commentary is that most of the stuff is staged rather than having ever belonged to anyone. Plus, they use furniture to fill space rather than in any way that might be functional (spectator chairs in dining room and bedroom.)

Like all the ridiculous secondary masses, they're trying to conceal and apologize for the big box that live inside. But all the stock furniture in the world doesn't stop it from being a crappy box.

Most of the oops are moulding not aligning, from what I can tell.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 10, 2016, 02:19:04 PM
I would also like an art for my house
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Wexler on September 12, 2016, 12:00:07 PM
I would also like an art for my house

lol forever at an art.

I was impressed by her identification of the Thomasville whatever collection from 2005.  That is some serious depth of knowledge for someone who is, what, like 23?  Also big thumbs up for the public service of telling people that buying furniture as a set is tacky.  I couldn't express these opinions in real life for fear of offending just about everyone, so I'm glad someone else is a crusader.

God, reading those posts and looking at those terrible houses is just exhausting.  People actually buy those places.  For money. On purpose.  Presumably because they need somewhere to live, but do they actually like them?  Do they sit in their echoing living rooms with 25 ft. ceilings, the sun beating down on their tile floors from a collection of oversized and uncovered windows, and think "Yeah-I've made it."??

I'm now so immersed in the truth of McMansion Hell that I'd like to go deeper.  WHY are houses like this?  What is the origin of the double height entry?  The not-that-great room?  Are these building styles a way to hide cost savings?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 12, 2016, 12:14:39 PM
I would also like an art for my house

lol forever at an art.

(https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/71666779.jpg)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 12, 2016, 12:35:40 PM
What I don't understand, in the context of modern architecture, is the complete breakdown of the traditional distinction between public and private space. It's one of the things I dislike about the open floor plan concept.

In a two story house, what is the purpose of having a master bedroom on the bottom floor? I understand an extra bedroom (staff, etc.) being on the ground floor or perhaps in the basement, and it makes sense to put laundry facilities near the bedrooms because that's where most of the laundry comes from. But why would the master bedroom be adjacent to the kitchen, foyer, or dining room?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Wexler on September 12, 2016, 12:55:28 PM
What I don't understand, in the context of modern architecture, is the complete breakdown of the traditional distinction between public and private space. It's one of the things I dislike about the open floor plan concept.

In a two story house, what is the purpose of having a master bedroom on the bottom floor? I understand an extra bedroom (staff, etc.) being on the ground floor or perhaps in the basement, and it makes sense to put laundry facilities near the bedrooms because that's where most of the laundry comes from. But why would the master bedroom be adjacent to the kitchen, foyer, or dining room?

I have also wondered about this.  People will often say it's so that the owners can age in place, but most owners I know are families with young kids who are decades away from that kind of aging.  I most frequently see the floor plan with the master off of the great room, but I've also seen it tucked by the dining room.  It's really the most inconvenient floor plan for parents with young children, which is so odd considering that these houses are heavily marketed to families.

Another wtf element of these houses: the 2nd floor giant landing that is open to the great room via balconies and is often used as the media room so that you can have two TVs blaring in opposition to one another. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mm1970 on September 12, 2016, 01:01:17 PM
What I don't understand, in the context of modern architecture, is the complete breakdown of the traditional distinction between public and private space. It's one of the things I dislike about the open floor plan concept.

In a two story house, what is the purpose of having a master bedroom on the bottom floor? I understand an extra bedroom (staff, etc.) being on the ground floor or perhaps in the basement, and it makes sense to put laundry facilities near the bedrooms because that's where most of the laundry comes from. But why would the master bedroom be adjacent to the kitchen, foyer, or dining room?
Both aging in place, and having a place for family who visit.  My old boss has a large home, with a master suite on the ground floor.  It is where his parents and in-laws stay when the come.  (They are from India, so when they come, they come for months).  Their health is such that they cannot climb stairs all that well.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 12, 2016, 01:16:15 PM
Another wtf element of these houses: the 2nd floor giant landing that is open to the great room via balconies and is often used as the media room so that you can have two TVs blaring in opposition to one another.

That's not something that started with McMansions; there's a lot of '70s ranch/split-level/split-entry houses that do that sort of thing too. When I was little, the house my parents owned was like that, a ranch except for one upstairs room at the back half of the house, and a corresponding vaulted ceiling at the front half. Looking at it on Street View now, it's kind of funny-looking from the outside (with dormers to nowhere, etc). If I had to draw it from memory, I would have assumed it had clerestory windows instead.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Spork on September 12, 2016, 03:11:28 PM
What I don't understand, in the context of modern architecture, is the complete breakdown of the traditional distinction between public and private space. It's one of the things I dislike about the open floor plan concept.

In a two story house, what is the purpose of having a master bedroom on the bottom floor? I understand an extra bedroom (staff, etc.) being on the ground floor or perhaps in the basement, and it makes sense to put laundry facilities near the bedrooms because that's where most of the laundry comes from. But why would the master bedroom be adjacent to the kitchen, foyer, or dining room?

Well, we just sold my parents' home -- one of those "undesirables" with the master upstairs -- and we were told the same story by the realtor.  We asked and she said that folks want the master downstairs in an area where they can hear the kids sneaking in and out.  Whether that is actually true or not... dunno. 

I never put a thought to where it was.  I still don't.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on September 12, 2016, 11:02:52 PM
  Do they sit in their echoing living rooms with 25 ft. ceilings, the sun beating down on their tile floors from a collection of oversized and uncovered windows, and think "Yeah-I've made it."??


No, 

They sit in those living rooms and think ..."I need new furniture"...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 13, 2016, 01:10:40 AM

  Do they sit in their echoing living rooms with 25 ft. ceilings, the sun beating down on their tile floors from a collection of oversized and uncovered windows, and think "Yeah-I've made it."??


That actually sounds great to me.  If I didn't have to worry about heating/cooling costs, you can bet your sweet ass I'd have higher ceilings and more windows.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Dezrah on September 13, 2016, 08:08:49 AM
What I don't understand, in the context of modern architecture, is the complete breakdown of the traditional distinction between public and private space. It's one of the things I dislike about the open floor plan concept.

For me, open floor plans have always been about facilitating togetherness.  In the evening, one of us is usually cooking or cleaning in the kitchen while the other in relaxing in the living/dining room.  If those are completely separate spaces, it cuts off a significant amount of family socializing.  Plus, in a closed off kitchen I feel like I'm just there as a servant to cook and clean in the dungeon.  In the open floor, I'm chatting, watching the same shows as everyone else, casually minding the cooking, and chiming in for help when I need it.

Obviously these are common feelings since it's pretty standard to see a modified traditional floorplan with space for a TV and dining nook in the kitchen.  Personally I'd much rather have just one living room and dining room and just let it all flow together.  I guess I just don't care if my guests see the dirty pots and pans from the dinner I cooked them.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Jack on September 13, 2016, 08:31:31 AM
  Do they sit in their echoing living rooms with 25 ft. ceilings, the sun beating down on their tile floors from a collection of oversized and uncovered windows, and think "Yeah-I've made it."??

That actually sounds great to me.  If I didn't have to worry about heating/cooling costs, you can bet your sweet ass I'd have higher ceilings and more windows.

I wish I had higher ceilings and more windows because I worry about heating/cooling costs.

Of course, I'm not talking about a modern McMansion great room with 25 ft ceilings; I'm talking about something more like a Victorian with 10-12 ft ceilings. They weren't that high just for looks; they were that high in order to take advantage of the stack effect and get the heat away from the room's occupants. Combining that with a bunch of windows that actually open and you got a house that could be tolerably cool before AC was invented.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: joleran on September 13, 2016, 09:27:32 AM
We asked and she said that folks want the master downstairs in an area where they can hear the kids sneaking in and out.  Whether that is actually true or not... dunno. 

My parents moved into a place like that because the upstairs is really just for visiting guests and family, and they don't like climbing stairs if they can avoid it at their age with replacement hips all around.  It's not great with money, but it's theirs.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache on September 13, 2016, 02:34:41 PM
What I don't understand, in the context of modern architecture, is the complete breakdown of the traditional distinction between public and private space. It's one of the things I dislike about the open floor plan concept.

For me, open floor plans have always been about facilitating togetherness.  In the evening, one of us is usually cooking or cleaning in the kitchen while the other in relaxing in the living/dining room.  If those are completely separate spaces, it cuts off a significant amount of family socializing.  Plus, in a closed off kitchen I feel like I'm just there as a servant to cook and clean in the dungeon.  In the open floor, I'm chatting, watching the same shows as everyone else, casually minding the cooking, and chiming in for help when I need it.

Obviously these are common feelings since it's pretty standard to see a modified traditional floorplan with space for a TV and dining nook in the kitchen.  Personally I'd much rather have just one living room and dining room and just let it all flow together.  I guess I just don't care if my guests see the dirty pots and pans from the dinner I cooked them.

I had to chime in to say: I agree completely with this. We currently live in a 1970s ranch where the living room and kitchen are separated not just by a wall, but a hallway as well. It sucks. When someone is cooking, there's not enough room in the kitchen for the rest of the family without tripping over one another, so the cook either ends up feeling like a servant, or more frequently, we all sit in the kitchen an get on each other's nerves because someone is always in the way. I much prefer a home with combined kitchen/dining/living space.

Also, I don't imagine I'll ever live in a home big enough that it will matter where the master bedroom is located. As long as it has a door, that's private enough for me.

On another note, that website that starting this thread is freaking fantastic.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: pdxbator on September 13, 2016, 03:10:24 PM
I live in a 1800 square foot house in an older section of town. There are many houses similarly sized or smaller. With housing prices going through the roof and city living more desirable, houses are getting bought up by developers, and then they are torn down for the new 4000 square foot house on a small lot. The new urban Mcmansions.

Anyhow, some friends lived with their two children in an older house similar to mine. They went ahead and bought a new urban Mcmansion, unfortunately without thinking things through. They love the house and having more space for their family, however new development is taxed on the purchase price. Older homes are capped tax-wise and it can only increase a certain percentage a year. They were probably paying about $3000 in annual property taxes, but with the new house they are probably paying closer to $8-9K. They were sort of shocked.

Over their lives the taxes on that new house will add up to be quite high. Meanwhile I'm staying put in my house built in 1913 with much lower property taxes (albeit many more repairs).
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat on September 13, 2016, 04:05:07 PM
Another wtf element of these houses: the 2nd floor giant landing that is open to the great room via balconies and is often used as the media room so that you can have two TVs blaring in opposition to one another.

That's not something that started with McMansions; there's a lot of '70s ranch/split-level/split-entry houses that do that sort of thing too. When I was little, the house my parents owned was like that, a ranch except for one upstairs room at the back half of the house, and a corresponding vaulted ceiling at the front half. Looking at it on Street View now, it's kind of funny-looking from the outside (with dormers to nowhere, etc). If I had to draw it from memory, I would have assumed it had clerestory windows instead.

Whoever framed that needed a good beating, and should of lost their framing square, for life, LOL.  That's one screwed up mess, well worth clicking on, just to take in the schizophrenic second floor, front elevation. My favorite is a basic 1970s ranch in a nearby neighborhood. The thing was about 50' long, with a five pitch roof, and nothing fancy. Some chucklenut added a two story piece on the end. The front elevation, roofline and siding match. It's just 20 lineal foot of a ranch house that happens to be 9' taller. I laugh every time I go by, because it has the silhouette of a freighter ship.  I only wish they had put a few picture windows in the second floor wall, overlooking the long ranch roof. At that point it would look like it's ready to sail the great lakes.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: whiskeyjack on September 14, 2016, 12:34:59 AM

Another wtf element of these houses: the 2nd floor giant landing that is open to the great room via balconies and is often used as the media room so that you can have two TVs blaring in opposition to one another.

I thought the balconies were so that your wee children could hurl projectiles, legos, phones, and each other off of them from above.  Or at least that is the scenario I envision every time I see one.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Inaya on September 14, 2016, 11:41:14 AM

Another wtf element of these houses: the 2nd floor giant landing that is open to the great room via balconies and is often used as the media room so that you can have two TVs blaring in opposition to one another.

I thought the balconies were so that your wee children could hurl projectiles, legos, phones, and each other off of them from above.  Or at least that is the scenario I envision every time I see one.
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 14, 2016, 11:55:57 AM
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.
FWIW, the other houses in the neighborhood don't exactly look like tract homes, either...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: With This Herring on September 14, 2016, 12:32:23 PM

Another wtf element of these houses: the 2nd floor giant landing that is open to the great room via balconies and is often used as the media room so that you can have two TVs blaring in opposition to one another.

I thought the balconies were so that your wee children could hurl projectiles, legos, phones, and each other off of them from above.  Or at least that is the scenario I envision every time I see one.
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.

The dead spot is where the bodies are buried.

If anyone wants a treat, look at it from above (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.1587448,-106.658067,226a,20y,213.62h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa).

I love your balcony-jumping story, and I'm glad all of you survived it.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 14, 2016, 12:59:46 PM
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.
FWIW, the other houses in the neighborhood don't exactly look like tract homes, either...

They look like tract homes to me. They aren't custom
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Inaya on September 14, 2016, 01:17:59 PM

Another wtf element of these houses: the 2nd floor giant landing that is open to the great room via balconies and is often used as the media room so that you can have two TVs blaring in opposition to one another.

I thought the balconies were so that your wee children could hurl projectiles, legos, phones, and each other off of them from above.  Or at least that is the scenario I envision every time I see one.
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.

The dead spot is where the bodies are buried.

If anyone wants a treat, look at it from above (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.1587448,-106.658067,226a,20y,213.62h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa).

I love your balcony-jumping story, and I'm glad all of you survived it.
So same neighborhood (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.1586971,-106.66088,114a,20y,6.7h,45.02t/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa)--my dad lived in this one for a while after step-mom left him.

1 master bed/bath and one mother-in-law suite. 2 bathrooms total. The rest is all kitchen, dining rooms, living rooms, a study, and a "wine cellar" (it was a closet with wine fridges). Oh and that long narrow part on the left? That is a 6-car garage. But the garage door was on the end facing the street... so if you had all 6 cars in there, you had to move 4 of them to get the innermost 2 out. (It looks like subsequent owners remodeled it with sensible doors.)

But the real winner was the carport it had when my dad bought it. It legitimately looked like a huge ugly beige-adobe gas station--that house was known in the neighborhood as the gas station house. It was taller than the house itself. My dad bought the place super cheap because 1) nobody else would buy it for obvious reasons, and 2) some HOA bylaw made it so whoever bought it had to tear down the carport. ETA: Oh and there was a very large black fungus growing beneath the master shower--somewhat problematic.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 14, 2016, 01:52:07 PM
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.
FWIW, the other houses in the neighborhood don't exactly look like tract homes, either...

They look like tract homes to me. They aren't custom
Maybe I'm looking a different neighborhood than you are.  The home in question is bottom center in the attached picture.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Making Cookies on September 14, 2016, 01:56:08 PM
Before you wrote gas station I was thinking "commercial property" aka office of some sort. Long ways from a quaint cottage in the woods...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 14, 2016, 02:04:30 PM
What I don't understand, in the context of modern architecture, is the complete breakdown of the traditional distinction between public and private space. It's one of the things I dislike about the open floor plan concept.

For me, open floor plans have always been about facilitating togetherness.  In the evening, one of us is usually cooking or cleaning in the kitchen while the other in relaxing in the living/dining room.  If those are completely separate spaces, it cuts off a significant amount of family socializing.  Plus, in a closed off kitchen I feel like I'm just there as a servant to cook and clean in the dungeon.  In the open floor, I'm chatting, watching the same shows as everyone else, casually minding the cooking, and chiming in for help when I need it.

Obviously these are common feelings since it's pretty standard to see a modified traditional floorplan with space for a TV and dining nook in the kitchen.  Personally I'd much rather have just one living room and dining room and just let it all flow together.  I guess I just don't care if my guests see the dirty pots and pans from the dinner I cooked them.

I suffer from an open floor plan in my house. At some point in the future I plan to close off the kitchen, workroom, and laundry areas, which are contiguous and attached to the back entrance, so that there's more peace and quiet. All I'll have to do is wall off the area above the kitchen counter so that it's not visible from the living room. That way, all I have to do to spare my guests the sight of dinner preparations in progress (or unwashed dishes afterwards) is to turn off the light in the kitchen. The public areas (living and dining room, halls, foyer, and access to a bathroom) are also contiguous, which is good for entertaining.

Open floor plan + high ceiling = noise. It's fine if you live alone, but if you have two or more adults it becomes a problem unless you want to live Abbey-Of-Theleme style in which everybody participates in every activity, all the time. That's how it has to be in the public parts of the house. Nobody can study or read in the living room with pots and pans clanging in the kitchen, and the only way to have a private conversation is to withdraw to one of the private rooms in the house. My daughter may eventually have a television, but if so it's got to be in her room. I wouldn't want it in the living or dining area. Her (bleeping) phone and tablet are already enough of a distraction during mealtimes. I do not care to compete with even one more electronic gadget.

When I have guests, the purpose behind entertaining them in my home (as opposed to a restaurant) is because we want to interact with each other. We want to socialize without having to shout over background noise. Some of my friends or family are elderly and have hearing aids. Loud music, electronic yammering, and high levels of background noise cause them to be unable to hear what is being said by the person across from them at the table. That's what makes it difficult or even impossible to dine with, say, my parents in most mainstream restaurants. Everything has to be noisy, clanging, and echoing as much as possible in order to be "hip".

I do like one aspect of the open floor plan: it makes it easier for my mobility impaired friends to get around. My house is wheelchair friendly since it's all on one floor.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: LeRainDrop on September 14, 2016, 06:14:02 PM
Mansion:  http://www.11alive.com/news/atlantas-great-gatsby-house-villa-juanita-sells-for-72m/318898169
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BlueHouse on September 14, 2016, 07:42:56 PM
Mansion:  http://www.11alive.com/news/atlantas-great-gatsby-house-villa-juanita-sells-for-72m/318898169
I love that house! 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: whiskeyjack on September 14, 2016, 08:29:12 PM
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.

Small world:  while you were jumping off balconies, I was shoveling horse poop about a mile north of there.

A big offender in the McMansion category from that era in Albuquerque was "Tanoan Estates".   I can't speak to the construction quality, but huge houses on tiny lots.  I did some contract archaeology in the surrounding area where we noticed that a big natural wash came out of the mountains, right up to the wall around the place and then just... stopped.    We expected all the houses to float away one day. 

note:  I'm not positive it was Tanoan that had the wash but it was either that one, or another walled community near it.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 14, 2016, 08:47:22 PM
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.

Small world:  while you were jumping off balconies, I was shoveling horse poop about a mile north of there.

A big offender in the McMansion category from that era in Albuquerque was "Tanoan Estates".   I can't speak to the construction quality, but huge houses on tiny lots.  I did some contract archaeology in the surrounding area where we noticed that a big natural wash came out of the mountains, right up to the wall around the place and then just... stopped.    We expected all the houses to float away one day. 

note:  I'm not positive it was Tanoan that had the wash but it was either that one, or another walled community near it.

Los Ranchos is a weird little corner of reality. You get some very nice, opulent estates and farms that have obviously been around a long time, some gigantic houses on tiny lots, and some stuff that ought to be condemned. And everything in between, all taxed at farm rates. There are even what look like some family compounds.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on September 15, 2016, 12:23:03 PM
My step-brothers would gather every pillow and blanket in the house into a pile below the balcony, then jump into the pile from said balcony.

5900 sq ft, built in 1994. Master bedroom/bath on the first floor, along with two "office" spaces (one for the adults to work, one for the kids to fart around on the computer), formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, pantry, breakfast nook, living room, guest bedroom, mudroom, and 4 car garage. Upstairs were 6 bedrooms (1 for each kid and one for grandma), 3 bathrooms, game room, laundry room.

Here's the Google street view. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/5701+tinnin+road+los+ranchos/@35.157228,-106.658954,3a,75y,253.76h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m4!1smtGkqByWzSP1fcfmK7KGxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x12db4eb219b6dbaa!6m1!1e1) Looks like they grew some trees to spare the rest of the neighborhood. Couldn't hide that car port though! And that dead spot in the grass was there even back when we moved out in 1996.
FWIW, the other houses in the neighborhood don't exactly look like tract homes, either...

They look like tract homes to me. They aren't custom
Maybe I'm looking a different neighborhood than you are.  The home in question is bottom center in the attached picture.

True, I was browsing street view where they seemed more identical (the mailboxes/address markers are the same) and they have one of those little "welcome to the subdivision" signs at the entrance.  But the satellite makes it clear there is variation. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Astatine on September 17, 2016, 03:58:10 AM
Posting to follow! I love that blog :)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: meghan88 on September 17, 2016, 07:30:44 PM
Thank you!!  I'm glad the link provided some amusement.  Here's the actual listing:

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mc-Lean-VA/51726927_zpid/46465_rid/1690000-1700000_price/5926-5961_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/38.999909,-77.137242,38.91234,-77.247277_rect/12_zm/

Taxes are $23,406 / year!!  *gulp*

I encourage you all to plug that address into Google Maps. That $1.7 mil gets you a house that is not 100' from a gas station. No wonder the windows in that bathroom are frosted.

Slight correction:  it's right beside TWO gas stations.  So you can easily send the nanny over with a gas can if you forgot to fill up the Hummers.

It still strikes me as incredible that they can ask 1.7M for the monstrosity in the original post given its location right next to a gas station, and only Dr. A called it out.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: LeRainDrop on September 17, 2016, 10:04:58 PM
Thank you!!  I'm glad the link provided some amusement.  Here's the actual listing:

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Mc-Lean-VA/51726927_zpid/46465_rid/1690000-1700000_price/5926-5961_mp/globalrelevanceex_sort/38.999909,-77.137242,38.91234,-77.247277_rect/12_zm/

Taxes are $23,406 / year!!  *gulp*

I encourage you all to plug that address into Google Maps. That $1.7 mil gets you a house that is not 100' from a gas station. No wonder the windows in that bathroom are frosted.

Slight correction:  it's right beside TWO gas stations.  So you can easily send the nanny over with a gas can if you forgot to fill up the Hummers.

It still strikes me as incredible that they can ask 1.7M for the monstrosity in the original post given its location right next to a gas station, and only Dr. A called it out.

Oh no, being right next to the gas station is a major selling point -- that way you can conveniently refuel your SUVs/pimped-out pick-up trucks every time you leave/come home!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Dicey on September 18, 2016, 10:27:45 AM
Following...because I just can't look away...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Mel70 on October 27, 2016, 01:22:07 PM
Creepy...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: former player on October 27, 2016, 02:04:56 PM
Creepy...
Yes.  I can't understand how today's entry on Cobb County GA missed an arrow to the giant many-legged insect holding up the coffee table in the sitting room.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zolotiyeruki on October 27, 2016, 02:30:48 PM
I dunno--the Cobb house critique seemed to be 95% about the decor.  Bad decor isn't exclusive to McMansions, that's for sure!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BlueHouse on October 27, 2016, 08:02:44 PM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on October 27, 2016, 11:09:37 PM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

(https://media.giphy.com/media/Dz62ImmWRzAkw/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BlueHouse on October 28, 2016, 06:20:13 AM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

(https://media.giphy.com/media/Dz62ImmWRzAkw/giphy.gif)
Excellent point, Dragoncar!  :)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Making Cookies on October 28, 2016, 07:15:23 AM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

Gingham Style!!!

Wonder what that music video would look like?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: zephyr911 on October 28, 2016, 01:31:33 PM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?
Troling is A Art. (it's almost a cliche' at this point)
No idea about the Gagham Style....
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: my2c+61 on October 29, 2016, 08:54:12 PM
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/46-Secluded-Trl_The-Woodlands_TX_77380_M75483-57342

I just don't even know what to say. It's a McMansion duplex. Woodlands gonna wood.

The first thing that came to mind when seeing the exterior is Mexican /South American drug lords. The only thing missing is the armed bandidos.

The kitchen tiling messes with my head, when I was a kid we had that same pattern lino in our house.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Abe on October 29, 2016, 09:10:10 PM
They interviewed her on a podcast I listen to, and she sounds as catty as she writes. That being said, her points are valid...
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: human on October 30, 2016, 01:34:18 PM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham (http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: crispy on October 30, 2016, 02:48:12 PM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham (http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham)

Point being that your google search autocorrected to "gingham" which is a well known fabric pattern. "Gigham" is not a thing. Blogger was being snarky about the dated look of the house while repeatedly spelling a common word wrong. Wonder if she knows how to spell hubris?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Sdsailing on October 30, 2016, 03:47:09 PM


Can anyone explain what her definition is of the word "dank" ?   I presume it is some kind of hipster neologism.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Bracken_Joy on October 30, 2016, 11:48:10 PM


Can anyone explain what her definition is of the word "dank" ?   I presume it is some kind of hipster neologism.

Okay, so I'm not quite as young as her, so maybe that's my confusion, but she seems to be using dank as a negative, but in a hip sense? My knowledge of dank:
literature, old definition: similar to musty
hip version bandied about by other millennial: cool, but in a chill sense, as used by stoners, particularly to describe good weed

She seems to be using it in a negative way but not meaning something musty. So I am confused by this as well.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: gooki on October 31, 2016, 01:17:42 AM
Dank = musty, dark, uninviting.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 31, 2016, 02:53:44 AM
 http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action   (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action)

Pretty sure she's using it in this sense, but sarcastically.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: human on October 31, 2016, 04:58:17 AM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham (http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham)

Point being that your google search autocorrected to "gingham" which is a well known fabric pattern. "Gigham" is not a thing. Blogger was being snarky about the dated look of the house while repeatedly spelling a common word wrong. Wonder if she knows how to spell hubris?

Really? It's a tumbler blog probably using ms paint to make those images I bet she had one text box copied everyone and didn't bother fixing it. I doubt she's makng 400k a year off of that thing.

For the record I think the cattiness is what makes it awesome.

Most of this forum is all about being catty and criticising all the life choices of family and coworkers.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BlueHouse on October 31, 2016, 06:51:11 AM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham (http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham)

Point being that your google search autocorrected to "gingham" which is a well known fabric pattern. "Gigham" is not a thing. Blogger was being snarky about the dated look of the house while repeatedly spelling a common word wrong. Wonder if she knows how to spell hubris?

Really? It's a tumbler blog probably using ms paint to make those images I bet she had one text box copied everyone and didn't bother fixing it. I doubt she's makng 400k a year off of that thing.

For the record I think the cattiness is what makes it awesome.

Most of this forum is all about being catty and criticising all the life choices of family and coworkers.

Yeah, I'm not actually criticizing the cattiness on its own. But when you're catty, you have an obligation to be superior in your words, otherwise, you're just stupid. It's the whole glass houses thing.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: LeRainDrop on October 31, 2016, 09:39:47 AM
Re Gingham -- On her facebook post linking to the Cobb County, Georgia home, someone pointed out her misspelling of the word gingham.  Her reply was, "I can't edit the images after I've saved them (it's a long story) but at least now I've been informed."
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on October 31, 2016, 11:00:46 AM
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action   (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action)

Pretty sure she's using it in this sense, but sarcastically.

She's definitely making fun of people who use "dank" to mean "Incredibly good, awesome."  It's also become a meme in and of itself:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/dank-memes

(http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/875/511/a69.png)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: crispy on October 31, 2016, 11:10:58 AM
It bothers me that she is so friggin' catty and yet cannot spell or doesn't know the proper words.  I realize some of it is ironic (I hope) as in when she points out "A Art", but how do you not know what gingham is.  There are at least 10 instances of calling it gigham.  What is Gigham?

http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham (http://lmgtfy.com/?t=i&q=gigham)

Point being that your google search autocorrected to "gingham" which is a well known fabric pattern. "Gigham" is not a thing. Blogger was being snarky about the dated look of the house while repeatedly spelling a common word wrong. Wonder if she knows how to spell hubris?

Really? It's a tumbler blog probably using ms paint to make those images I bet she had one text box copied everyone and didn't bother fixing it. I doubt she's makng 400k a year off of that thing.

For the record I think the cattiness is what makes it awesome.

Most of this forum is all about being catty and criticising all the life choices of family and coworkers.

Yeah, I'm not actually criticizing the cattiness on its own. But when you're catty, you have an obligation to be superior in your words, otherwise, you're just stupid. It's the whole glass houses thing.

Exactly. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Goldielocks on October 31, 2016, 07:24:57 PM
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action   (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action)

Pretty sure she's using it in this sense, but sarcastically.

GAH!!!  my work firewall has now included urban dictionary in their blocked websites.... when will the madness end??!
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: mtn on November 01, 2016, 08:05:39 AM
Interesting thread.

My in-laws live in what I would consider a McMansion--a big house with a poorly designed (but large) kitchen, poorly designed family room, too small living room, useless wet bar, and inefficient heating/cooling. Oh, and it is ugly as hell. Built in about 1993-94. Poorly constructed IMHO as well.

My parents live in a very well constructed 1970's colonial. Having grown up in that house, I absolutely hate my in-laws. My wife hates it as well, mostly just for the aesthetics.

My wife and I just bought a 1920's bungalow. Overall, it is pretty good, other than some furniture placement being difficult because nobody thought of a TV back in 1927. Our house will likely be torn down if we sell it, or we'll renovate it. I will say though, despite the architectural downfalls of having an attached garage leading to the street, I would love to have one. I consider myself to be a good driver with decent precision skills. I usually have to pull forward and try again when backing out of our driveway; it is either that our hit our house or go on our neighbors lawn. And both our houses were from a similar time, so it isn't like the "too close together" thing is anything new.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Making Cookies on November 01, 2016, 10:24:27 AM
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action   (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action)

Pretty sure she's using it in this sense, but sarcastically.

But isn't the definition already sarcastic? Do two sacarasms make a sincerity? ;)

No way am I going to call good food "dank". A wet basement is dank.

This is just like "bad" or "heavy" when it clearly isn't either of those things.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on November 01, 2016, 12:47:37 PM
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action   (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action)

Pretty sure she's using it in this sense, but sarcastically.

But isn't the definition already sarcastic? Do two sacarasms make a sincerity? ;)

No way am I going to call good food "dank". A wet basement is dank.

This is just like "bad" or "heavy" when it clearly isn't either of those things.

No, even if used ironically it still usually means "good".  I suppose good weed really is dank like a wet basement?
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: BlueHouse on November 01, 2016, 01:33:13 PM
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action   (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank&utm_source=search-action)

Pretty sure she's using it in this sense, but sarcastically.

But isn't the definition already sarcastic? Do two sacarasms make a sincerity? ;)

No way am I going to call good food "dank". A wet basement is dank.

This is just like "bad" or "heavy" when it clearly isn't either of those things.

No, even if used ironically it still usually means "good".  I suppose good weed really is dank like a wet basement?
I suspect she means "rank" 
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rank

That's the only thing that made sense in the context and it's what immediately came to mind.  However, I am definitely much older than she is, so maybe it's "opposite year" and all the cool kids know it, but I'm not clued in yet. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on November 02, 2016, 12:36:33 PM
I suspect she means "rank" 
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rank

That's the only thing that made sense in the context and it's what immediately came to mind.  However, I am definitely much older than she is, so maybe it's "opposite year" and all the cool kids know it, but I'm not clued in yet.
"dank" is slang for shitty.

e.g. "Iíve been bugged for a while to do a house in Marietta, Georgia, which is a goldmine of shitty McMansions." source (http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/152386117186/cobb-county-ga)

For fuck's sake, people, no it's not.  Dank isn't slang for shitty any more than cool is "slang for shitty" in the following context:

"Iíve been bugged for a while to do a house in Marietta, Georgia, which is a goldmine of super cool neato nifty McMansions"

Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: blackhart on November 02, 2016, 01:29:44 PM
Oh god is this what my life has come to? Registering to a forum just to explain the context of the word dank? Oh well :).

Anyways, in this case she is using it in the same context that it is used to describe "dank memes" (as another poster above mentioned). It is basically a sarcastic way of referring to something overused/overdone, or in some cases done with low quality (memes are basically the fast food of humor). This is the context that makes the most sense.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on November 02, 2016, 02:27:11 PM
For fuck's sake, people, no it's not.  Dank isn't slang for shitty any more than cool is "slang for shitty" in the following context:

"Iíve been bugged for a while to do a house in Marietta, Georgia, which is a goldmine of super cool neato nifty McMansions"
Well if we want to be fucking technical about it, it's a regional slang the same way that "coke" doesn't mean "Coke" in Texas. The kids on campus use "dank" to mean shitty and nobody wants to smoke any dank-ass weed.

Also, FFS, don't swap in "super cool neato nifty" if you are just going to say that dank isn't slang for cool. Just use the singular word "cool" as per your claim. KTHXBAI.

Thanks for your super cool neat nifty reply.  It may be regional slang, but she's using it in a certain way, calling the McMansions cool in an ironic manner.  There is a difference between saying something is shitty and saying it's cool sarcastically. 

BTW, the kids on campus are using it wrong AS USUAL
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: obstinate on November 04, 2016, 06:12:30 PM
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dank

She's saying it ironically, but the word *definitely* does not mean "shitty." I really doubt radicaledward knows how the kids on campus are using the word, by virtue of how he called them "the kids on campus."
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Frankies Girl on November 04, 2016, 07:25:15 PM
And now we need An Art of a crotchety old man, shaking his cane at the college kids and yelling about them getting off his dank/cool/shitty lawn.

That's dank, y'all.

And now up to you to figure out how I'm using that word here. :)

Super cool beans nifty neato keen. Yo.

*Mic drop*
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Fomerly known as something on November 05, 2016, 05:23:27 PM
I actually think the red white and blue cottage is cute. Painting concrete bright red is not the style choice I would have made, but the overall home has a certain charm to it. So there you go . . . there's a house for everyone.

It has some appeal to me, as well. But when I look closer, I'm frustrated by the siding (especially when you have so little exterior wall, you could do so much better) and the tiny tiny porch.

As to those close-packed houses in the other image, they also appeal to me, but I really don't like the driveways. Considering that the whole block was built at once, it would have been so easy to put an alley in the back, and then you'd be spared all that wasted concrete that could have been porch or garden or grass or anything else.

I have to correct this about the 3 house, nope you couldn't alley.  They were built as infills.  There are no alleys in the entire town.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Zamboni on July 04, 2017, 05:25:02 AM
Necroposting as I just came across this new gem of a video showing some particularly odd McMansions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4)
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Dicey on July 04, 2017, 08:39:34 AM
Have y'all seen this? LMAO. BTW, Zillow has really gone to shit lately. Perhaps they need to spend more time minding the store than threatening frivolous lawsuits.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/06/mcmansion-hell-responds-zillows-unfounded-legal-claims
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: dragoncar on July 04, 2017, 05:21:14 PM
Necroposting as I just came across this new gem of a video showing some particularly odd McMansions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4)

wow

Have y'all seen this? LMAO. BTW, Zillow has really gone to shit lately. Perhaps they need to spend more time minding the store than threatening frivolous lawsuits.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/06/mcmansion-hell-responds-zillows-unfounded-legal-claims

just wow
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: Spiffsome on July 04, 2017, 07:14:03 PM
As a lawyer, the EFF's response was a thing of fucking beauty. Someone had a lot of fun composing that.

"Dear Zillow: First, not your pictures. Either the photographer's or the real estate agent's. Second, fair use exists. Look it up, shitheads, because my client's work fits ALL THREE categories. Third: even ignoring the above, you haven't proved that my client's work has affected sales of your shitty houses. So no damages for you. Finally, have half a page of footnotes from previous shitheads who have been spanked in court for pulling the same shit you're trying on. Yours faithfully."

Did they mention SLAPP in there? I can't remember.
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: paddedhat on July 04, 2017, 07:55:40 PM
Necroposting as I just came across this new gem of a video showing some particularly odd McMansions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4)

Thanks for the link. I stumbled into this cluster-f a short distance from Branson, Missouri. It was two summers ago, and it was a train wreck to see in person. First, it's in a bowl, off the edge of a less than impressive commercial stretch of a typical rural southern highway. You know the kind, lots of billboards, Baptist churches, shady car repair places, etc.....Second, if they really were marketed as million dollar homes, their target demographic would be limited to mobile home dwelling, Trans-Am driving, powerball winners who were dreaming of getting their GED one day. Since, nobody with money and taste would of ever bought one of these. If it wasn't a scam from the start, it would of failed quickly, even if the great recession hadn't killed it. The whole valley would of made a better site for a landfill than executive level housing. 
Title: Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
Post by: slugline on July 05, 2017, 08:38:36 AM
Necroposting as I just came across this new gem of a video showing some particularly odd McMansions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcwy_njB4)

I've seen subdivisions of streets abandoned before any houses were built, but I've never seen a subdivision of houses abandoned before the street/sewer network was constructed. Weird!