Author Topic: McMansion comedy / tragedy  (Read 71571 times)

justajane

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #50 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!

human

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2016, 06:44:52 AM »
Just wanted to say thanms for posting this. That blog is great!

meghan88

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2016, 01:28:26 PM »

rothnroll

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #53 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!

Chris22

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #54 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. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #55 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 :-)

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #56 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.

BFGirl

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #57 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.

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.

eljefe-speaks

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #58 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.

LeRainDrop

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #59 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.

Dr. A

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #60 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.

dcheesi

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #61 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.

Dezrah

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #62 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.

Alex321

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #63 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.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #64 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.

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #65 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.




Alex321

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #66 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.

Jack

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #67 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 -- 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.)

Alex321

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #68 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 -- 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.

Chris22

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #69 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 -- 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. 

kitkat

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #70 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 -- 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.

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #71 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.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 01:10:36 PM by iris lily »

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #72 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.

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #73 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
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 01:33:20 PM by iris lily »

Jack

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #74 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) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #75 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) with the prefab square tapered columns on the porch installed upside-down ( \/ instead of /\ ).
Which slide? I could not see whatbyou were talking about.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 02:04:09 PM by iris lily »

Chris22

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #76 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) 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.


Jack

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #77 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) 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.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 02:16:21 PM by Jack »

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #78 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) 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.



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.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 02:17:07 PM by iris lily »

Jack

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #79 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):



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.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #80 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) 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.



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.

Chris22

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #81 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.

Inaya

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #82 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.

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #83 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.

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #84 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 -- 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!)

meghan88

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #85 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.

dragoncar

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #86 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.


BlueHouse

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #87 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/

LeRainDrop

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #88 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!

Zamboni

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #89 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.

iris lily

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #90 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.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 09:54:46 PM by iris lily »

Chris22

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #91 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 -- 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.

SweetTPi

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #92 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. 

Dancing Fool

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #93 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) 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.



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.

TexasRunner

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #94 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?


Making Cookies

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #95 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/

Goldielocks

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #96 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... 

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #97 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 -- 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!

Goldielocks

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #98 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?

PloddingInsight

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Re: McMansion comedy / tragedy
« Reply #99 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.