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Old 11-23-2009, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
11,246 posts, read 9,579,858 times
Reputation: 10238
I still don't think size is the issue. There are plenty of old houses that are gigantic in porportions but we don't consider them gabage.

The problem is mcmansions are complete dogs of design, mass produced to pander a "luxury lifestyle" to those who don't know any better and make their builders rich. This means they are stamped out with the lowest building cost and highest selling price in mind, not if the home is truly functional, pleasant to look at, long lasting or exceptional and/or artistic in any other way. They are products of consumer culture, just like hummers, McDonald's, Super Walmart and a myriad of other soul sucking instutions that operate purely on profit motives and sell a pre-conceived image, not authenticity, utility or quality.

There are plenty of new homes that are indeed pieces of art, but they are designed by talented architects, are made without the use of real materials instead of cheap, souless faux stuff and cost serious $$$$. Those are the same reasons many love old houses, minus the cost.

So why does it matter? Well, your home is where you live your life. It is your greatest expenditure, your private sanctuary and it says something about who you are to everyone who not only comes in, but who walks past your front door. You deserve better.

At the turn of the century even homes built for poor folk had pleasant porportions and artistic details included as a necessary part of the house, often considered even more important that indoor plumbing and electricity apparently.

Mod Cut... unecessary

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 11-23-2009 at 05:17 PM.. Reason: not constructive
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:08 AM
 
10,048 posts, read 13,819,366 times
Reputation: 10047
I consider a McMansion to be any out-of-scale new house that has at least three if not more descriptors for its "style"- "French Colonial Tuscan Farmhouse." I also loved one ad that proudly touted the house as being "architect-inspired."
One would hope.
I personally don't care if people have larger houses than mine (in fact, most do). I do care if my neighborhood is full of truly ugly houses whose appeal seems to be to the lower part of people's more more more bigger bigger bigger wishes. Plus they're ugly- out of scale, pretentious with the "architectural features" (the more the better!).
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,518 posts, read 3,239,207 times
Reputation: 968
Intersting discussion here. For the record, I really don't care either what size home people live in. My issue with the tract built mcmansion is:

A) they are usually poorly built
B) they are usually poorly designed, if not the interior, then the exterior is usually a hodge podge of materials with a gigantic garage attached to the side. Hello, welcome to my garage...
C) and I know this is not the case everywhere so spare me the not me, not where I live, but at least where I live in CT, there is a certain pretentious element to people who live in some of these subdivisions. "Oh I live in so and so (insert name of fancy development)...where in town do you live...."

Seriously, I am truly not jealous of your really big house. I want something bigger too in the next few years, but I'm talking maybe 2400 max, my wife and I actually won't look at anything much bigger than that.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Palm Coast FL
760 posts, read 1,033,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post
there is a certain pretentious element to people who live in some of these subdivisions.
Yes, I see the mcmansion as serving a useful purpose. It makes it even easier to distinguish between old money and the nouveau riche.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,647 posts, read 20,724,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheepie2000 View Post
It makes it even easier to distinguish between old money and the nouveau riche.
Kindda like knowing the differance between a real Louis Vuitton (old money)and a knock-off (Nouveau riche).
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,493,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidmom View Post
That's my beef. I have no problem with people having large houses with luxurious master suites, wine cellars, gourmet kitchens and three car garages...but for the love of god PLEASE hire an architect!!!

You've got the cash. Sacrifice maybe 500 sq ft and go for some good design and better quality materials!!!

Whew, I feel better now.
Exactly the way I see it. It's why I chose the neighborhood that I'm in. There are probably 70 or 80 builders there, 2,500-4,500 sqft, and architecture and quality building materials used throughout.

That's one of my biggest worries if I have to move from one city to another again - it seems like finding neighborhoods like that can be really hard sometimes!
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Midwest
20,062 posts, read 8,401,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoHoVe View Post
My thought is if you HAVE the money to live in a huge house why not go to the trouble of thoughtfully restoring an older one in a lovely established neighborhood. I am so sickened by the obsession with NEW= the best and old equals the rest in the US and its just absolutely not the case when it comes to housing of McMansion quality (or I should say lack of quality). I really do see the trend either coming to an end or slowing tremendously but unfortunately it won't bring back all those MCM's and lovely bungalows that were bulldozed only to have an unsold McMansion
I moved out of a "budget" built McMansion and bought a split level which was quality built in 1968. I love the design and use of space. I have been upgrading with new windows, electric, plumbing, light fixtures, paint, carpeting, etc..... This home is very energy efficient and is a beautiful work of art inside and out. I love it here!

The McMansion that I left was poorly built with cheap materials. Built in 1991, the hollow doors don't close properly, it is an energy consuming monster, and the rooms are so big, one is left with and empty feeling. So glad I made the move!
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
4,532 posts, read 8,255,556 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoHoVe View Post
My thought is if you HAVE the money to live in a huge house why not go to the trouble of thoughtfully restoring an older one in a lovely established neighborhood.
In many areas historic core city neighborhood= yucktastic urban school system, and you're looking at $40K or more per year to put the kids into the private K-12 system. So I have some sympathy for families with school-age kids in that regard.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,518 posts, read 3,239,207 times
Reputation: 968
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
In many areas historic core city neighborhood= yucktastic urban school system, and you're looking at $40K or more per year to put the kids into the private K-12 system. So I have some sympathy for families with school-age kids in that regard.
This is a great point too. My wife and I have looked at some lovely historic homes, but they are either in a horrible district or, more often the case they are on the edge of a very busy road which is a deal breaker for us. Too bad, there are so many nice, older homes out there.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:39 PM
 
15,968 posts, read 25,397,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryT View Post
Teardowns have become less of a problem thanks to the dwindling economy, but in 2003, I saw *three* Sears Homes being leveled in a Chicago suburb to make way for one plasticine McMansion. Now for those of you prone to think that a Sears Home is a crummy little house, let me tell you, it is NOT.

The framing members of Sears Homes were made from #1 southern yellow pine harvested from first growth forests in Louisiana and Mississippi. Virgin forests - where the trees grow slowly and compete for nutrients, sunlight and space - produce the most dense, high quality lumber. The exteriors of Sears Homes were all cypress. Yes, *all* cypress.

My point is, these are building materials that we will never see again in this country. NEVER. And yet these houses are not being salvaged but destroyed and all that irrecplaceable wood goes off to the landfill.

I'm glad McMansions are DOA. They're made with inferior materials and they suck down more than their share of energy resources. C'mon, how much space do you really need? And don't get me started on the evils of vinyl siding...

Rose
author, The Houses That Sears Built
Thanks Rose - I have one of these: 1916 Bungalow Floor Plans - Sears - Modern Home No. 172, The Hazelton

in the Junius Heights Historic District in East Dallas.
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