What qualifies a home as a McMansion?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by flaswampratt, May 15, 2006.

  1. flaswampratt

    flaswampratt Well-Known Member

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    I've heard the term used here and other places, and have a general guess as to what it is, but what is YOUR description?

    Best Regards...

    <///><
     
  2. Dec429

    Dec429 Well-Known Member

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    In my mind's eye, I see the McMansion as the cookie cutter homes being built in the subdivisions popping up just outside the city limits of Anytown, USA.

    3 car garage, mom and dad each drive a brand new SUV, each kid over 16 has a new car. Plus a camper, boat, all the toys needed to be a resident of "suburbia".

    I am so thankful I was smart enough not to buy into that plastic (credit card debt up to your a**hole) world.

    Just one man's opinion! :hobbyhors
     

  3. NCGirl

    NCGirl Well-Known Member

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    My version is a big fancy cookie cutter house where both husband and wife normally have to work long hours to afford the very high morgage payments, and since working full-time have their yard done by a lawn service and a maid service come to clean the house......
    :shrug:
     
  4. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    If its large pretentious and trying to look like something else...its a mcmansion.
    Miniature versions of Versailles, Mount Vernon or Windsor Castle come to mind.

    If the room to person ratio is more than 1:10 its a mcmansion. No family of 2 needs 5 bathrooms or 9 bedrooms.

    If it has more than 4000 sqft, its probably a mcmansion.

    If its got more marble and cut stone than Arlington Cemetery its a Macmansion.

    If anything but the owners front tooth or the frame around his mamas photo is gold, its a macmansion particularly if the gilded items are plumbing fixtures.

    If its got specialty rooms for specialty activities its probably a mcmansion. For example...if the room with the tv is called a media room...its a macmansion.
    If its called the master suite instead of the best bedroom..its a mcmansion.
    If the front hallway has a staircase like Twelve Oaks and looks like the lobby of a hotel...its a macmansion.
    If you cant find the kitchen without packing a lunch for the trip or make a sandwich without rollerskates to get around the kitchen..its a macmansion.
    If the yard cant be mowed and the flower beds tidied by two teenage boys in one afternoon..its a macmansion.
    If the fence along the road and the driveway cost more than your whole house...its a McMansion.
    If the kids that live there would rather stay the night in your home no matter how humble....Its not only a McMansion...its a shame. :rolleyes:
     
  5. dseng

    dseng Member

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    McMansion -

    Often overly large for the lot size or located on a lot of 2-5 acres of grass with nary a grazing animal in sight. McMansions tend to cluster together in groups - like most "herd" types the owners have trouble thinking for themselves and tend to flock together with others of their ilk. (it does tend to contain the problem for the rest of us though!) Often features a two story entry atrium, three car garage, and more gables than you can count on both hands. Big, fancy houses built with the same marginal materials and methods that most tract housing is built with (looks great on the outside - until you know what's in it - kinda like a Big Mac!).

    Publicly viewable exterior walls often finished in masonry or cementitious siding - while the back may be el-cheapo vinyl with almost no windows.

    A house built more for show than for efficient and effective living.

    As a contra to McMansion design - read Sarah Susanka's "The Not So Big House" or Jim Locke's "The Well Built House".
     
  6. Argent Farms

    Argent Farms Pig farmer

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    If the houses are bigger than the yards.

    If there is 20 acres with 20 houses and not one tree.

    If the only difference between the houses are different colored bricks

    Then you've got McMansions
     
  7. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ahhh, but see...you're ASSuming! Maybe the husband and wife DON'T both have to work, maybe not up to their necks in plastic (or other) debit. Maybe that new car the kid has is one he/she EARNED by working and saving their money for 6 years, or longer. Maybe the entire family chips in and takes care of the home so they don't NEED a maid or lawn service!

    And what do you think they're ASSuming about YOUR lifestyle?

    Mon
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Danged if I don't think I'm loosing out on this modern society. Here I thought a McMansion was an outhouse with McDonald carry out sacks for wipeing paper.
     
  9. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Aw comeon! If I used THAT criteria, over 80% of the near north side of St Louis would be McMansions! :)

    Made some good points, though.

    Mon...(sorry guy, couldn't resist!)
     
  10. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    What stands out most to me is oversized 2-story entries, rediculously complicated high pitch roof lines, and a slight variation on the brick or stone the rest of the houses in the development use on the front facade.
     
  11. Dec429

    Dec429 Well-Known Member

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    Ain't it the truth!!! I know the area all too well.....
     
  12. Brighid1971

    Brighid1971 Well-Known Member

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    Cookie cutter monstrosities....
     
  13. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    I think your head is up your ASSumptions....most people in this country are morgaged to death.
     
  14. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know quite a few people who own McMansions free and clear. My best friend does and she and her husband drive older cars and shop at Goodwill stores for their clothing. They do their own yard work and clean the 5000 square foot house themselves too. She wanted a lot of space so that she could keep her elderly aunt and uncle at home till they died. It isn't my style but it works well for them.
     
  15. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    If your house and garage are so prettied up, it's hard for passersby to tell which is which....it's a McMansion.

    If you have 'street lights' (always halogen monstrosities that attract people in uniforms looking for the baseball diamond) leading up the driveway to your house......it's a McMansion.

    If you have a security system (including klaxon horns and outdoor cameras) that rivals Fort Knox.....it's a McMansion.

    If you have service vehicles (lawn care, housekeeping, window cleaners, interior designers, pool care, etc) parked in your driveway more than from friendly visitors, it's a McMansion.

    If your pool not only is made of real tiles, not that cheap wanna-be vinyl patterned liner, but it has any kind of stone 'waterfall' pouring into it, it's a McMansion. Ditto if you have a pool/guest house.

    If when you go on vacation, and have no pets, can't leave the place unattended, and you arrange for a live-in 'housesitter', then it's a McMansion.

    If there is absolutely not one weed on your whole lawn, then it's a McMansion.

    If your house is huge, your garage is huge (and consists of at least 2, but more likely 3 or more bays) but you have a cutesy little 'hobby barn' that is the size of a one-car garage, then it's a McMansion.

    If said hobby farm has no 'regular' animals in it and consists solely of alpacas, emus, and water buffalo, then it's a McMansion. Double McMansion if these animals basically live in a 1/4 acre paddock, eat high-priced feed all day and perform no useful function in life but to garner chuckles from the underworked staff that is overpaid to muck their stalls out.

    If you read this list and say, "Hey, what the ----? That sounds like ME!" then you live in a McMansion and we are all laughing at you behind your back! :p ;)

    DD
     
  16. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    So are all large houses McMansions?
    I grew up in a large, I think classy colonial.


    I have to say, I see a bit of rage aginst larger homes, now thats just lame. But I have to chime in.

    I do think there is a class of large house that diserves a little abuse a.k.a. the McMansion (god will they look dated in a decde or two). They are as follows. Cheeply built, too many peaks and complex rooflines, house takes up most of the lot, and they do only seem to happen in clumps. And yes, I have to laugh...love those ones with the brick on the frront and vinyl on the back.


    But please dont call all large homes McMansions. It just reflects badly.
     
  17. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    You guy knock me out.
    If it is built in a subdivision that is named after what was ruined to built it;
    It's a mcmansion.
    You know like "Whispering Pines", "Meadow at 'insert name here' Creek" etc.

    P.S. Dixy, have you considered a comedy routine,
    "You might have a mcmansion if???"
     
  18. busybee870

    busybee870 Well-Known Member

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    a house stocked with Mc Nuggets?
     
  19. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    I was wondering what it meant exactly. I had never heard the expression "McMansion" until I heard it here on this website.

    Hunter,I think you're right about them being named after what they destroy. I can think of a few divisions around here that have those peaceful,easy,nature sounding names. "River's Bend Estates" comes to mind for some reason. I just didn't know those were McMansions.
     
  20. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    McMansion is a relative term. It often means, “any house bigger, more expensive or fancier than mine”.

    The common house of today would have been a McMansion a few decades ago. In 1970 the average home in the US cost about $26,000. Today it costs over $260,000.

    It is not the same house, of course – it is bigger with more “amenities”. The size of the average new US home increased from 1400 square feet in 1970 to 2200 square feet today. (That represents a 50% increase from the 1970 size).

    The cost per square foot in 1970 was (calculated from above) less than $20. Today it is near $120.