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#121 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Of course, the huge old homes people love now were the McMansions of their day.
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A very good point.
I thought so.
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#122 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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No. Our home is a new house. It's 1500sqft 2 story with a basement(unfinished) with a 3 car garage(2 bays but it's deep). We have utilized every inch of space planning on how it can be used right up until we are seniors.
We have no raised ceilings, no wasted space.

It's more like a McHappymeal house than a McMansion and I wouldn't want it any other way. Because we custom designed it to suit our family it seems bigger than it is.

I also will never ever ever move into an old house again if I can help it. There are so many problems that you encounter if you have a hundred years of everybody doing things shabbily. Our previous house was built in 1840. It was a sweet little house with silver fish bigger than we were and nice hiding places for mice and other things. It was also cold and drafty with low ceilings. Nope..wouldn't go that route again either.

We have a nice home now. I hope we can raise our family in it, maintain some nice equity and eventually retire in it. I also love the little neighbour hood we are in(planned in a very small town).

and no matter how big my house is I only ever will clean 1200 sqft. Which is unfortunate since mine is 1500
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#123 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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EFMom, I think I know some of how you feel. I am reasonably happy with our house in a vacuum, but when I take my kids to visit friends in manicured neighborhoods with beautiful houses, it is hard not to feel a bit envious.

On the other hand, the obstacle for my kids is not so much that other kids' houses are cooler and newer, but that kids from school don't live close by. We live on five acres and rarely see any "neighbors." We have to make an effort, by scheduling playdates or planned activities such as sports, for them to see their friends/classmates. Our invitations are rarely reciprocated, probably because the other kids live in neighborhoods with tons of nearby playmates. I'm guessing that other parents let their kids outside to play on the cul-de-sac with whoever happens to be out, rather than making arrangements to play with a particular kid. If I had that option, I'd do it, too.

People tell me that I'll be glad when my kids are older and we aren't in a neighborhood full of other teens, presumably lying in wait to drag our kids into things they shouldn't be doing.

Right now, not having neighbors sucks. If it took living in a McMansiony neighborhood to have some playmates for my kids, I'd do it.
I guess the grass is always greener...we have lots of neighbors with small kids and I STILL have to go a ways to find people who are actually NICE...our neighborhood is pretty snooty. I'd LOVE to have no neighbors at all--and I know that the friends that I do have (who are much more like we are) would LOVE to come out to an area where nature is your neighbor. Sign me up.
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#124 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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I think large houses add to the growing disconnect in families today.
ita. we built our dream 2000 sq ft house when preg with ds2. i felt horrible about it and missed our little apt so bad very quickly. now our fam of 5 is in a 2 bd townhouse built in the 60's that i adore. we have so much less room but i feel much more peace about our home in terms of environmental conscienceness and togetherness!!

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#125 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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No way! From an enviornmental standpoint is a major reason why I wouldn't live in one. I hate to clean too. Also, smaller houses have more of a cozy and warm feel to it.
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#126 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 11:07 PM
 
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Totally...

If I could build it Green from the ground up

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#127 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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i disagree that the older homes that we all love now were the mcmansions of their time.
my old house is built solid... no plastic parts or things that will need to be replaced in 2 years. my house is over 50 years old and is in better condition than most mcmansions that are a tenth of the age.

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#128 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Of course, the huge old homes people love now were the McMansions of their day.
No... they were not mass produced. They were not produced by the dozen or hundreds identically... they almost always used the most local materials available and usually several old trees on the lot were preserved through the construction process and there was quite a bit of attention paid to the proportion of land versus structure. Compare that to the current trend of developers razing every blade of grass for miles, building houses that practically touch the property line on all sides, erecting ant farms and going through the planets resources like they were cheap toilet paper. And a still greater difference is awareness.

100 years ago there was very little concern (aside from cost) about resources (building material, etc) and energy consumption and there wasn't much technology to do better than what they did had they worried about such things. To build the same way now is to say "Yup... there's a huge problem and I choose to flip it the bird. Screw the environment, I want an 8 foot long, three foot deep tub with 6 jacuzzi jets in three of the six bathrooms in my home!"
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#129 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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I'd prefer not to, but if it was the best choice for our family's needs in our price range, I would.
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#130 of 136 Old 04-06-2008, 11:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Of course, the huge old homes people love now were the McMansions of their day.
I would actually say the 1000SF ranchers that went up side by side, row by row were yesteryears McMansions. Very cookie cutter and very poorly constructed. All the negative comments I've read here concerning McMansions have been applicable to all the rancher developments I've seen that were built around the 1940's/1950's.

Overall I'm most unimpressed with American building standards. Then again I was used to living in a 200 yr old farmhouse (my parents) and a 250 yr old row house in London. Solid as a rock!
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#131 of 136 Old 04-07-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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No no no no no no no. No.

I live in 1000 sf with a family of 5 and I'm trying to downsize. To an RV. Whole nother thread tho.
well, not really. size-wise i suppose but not the "builders-special" quality materials, workmanship and overall approach.

there are definite styles to each period but not 3 choices like new developments now (choose house style A, B, C).
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#132 of 136 Old 04-07-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kama'aina mama View Post
No... they were not mass produced. They were not produced by the dozen or hundreds identically... they almost always used the most local materials available and usually several old trees on the lot were preserved through the construction process and there was quite a bit of attention paid to the proportion of land versus structure. Compare that to the current trend of developers razing every blade of grass for miles, building houses that practically touch the property line on all sides, erecting ant farms and going through the planets resources like they were cheap toilet paper. And a still greater difference is awareness.

100 years ago there was very little concern (aside from cost) about resources (building material, etc) and energy consumption and there wasn't much technology to do better than what they did had they worried about such things. To build the same way now is to say "Yup... there's a huge problem and I choose to flip it the bird. Screw the environment, I want an 8 foot long, three foot deep tub with 6 jacuzzi jets in three of the six bathrooms in my home!"
she said it better than i did but ditto that.

also, noted in the other thread. older houses (even our 1970s built house) were built according to local weather/layout. stuff like north/south facing windows, doorways, room placement, large porches/decks. those things are not factored into McHouses.
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#133 of 136 Old 04-07-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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Totally...

If I could build it Green from the ground up
OK, I just looked up the definition of a McMansion on Wikipedia..

I wouldn't choose to live in one, but if it were given to us, and we didn't have to pay a mortgage on one, I would, and I would "green" it up as much as possible.

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#134 of 136 Old 04-07-2008, 05:56 AM
 
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Nope, I hate those houses. Hate all slap together homes, planned communities etc. I've only ever been interested in older homes with lots of character.

I love craftsman and victorian styled homes.

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#135 of 136 Old 04-07-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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OK, I just looked up the definition of a McMansion on Wikipedia..

.
This is interesting - from that link:

Quote:
The following features are commonly found in many McMansions:

Brick or stone veneer façade: A common design element of many a McMansion is a masonry veneer facade located on front side of the house, with the other sides being covered with a less expensive material, often vinyl siding. Presumably, this is done to give the impression to outsiders that the house is a "quality" house built of brick.

Multiple roof line façades: As per the previous example, builders eschew multiple roof lines as being too costly and instead add dormers and other decorative roof features that are intended to appear as multiple roof lines.
Lack of mature trees: Unlike older neighborhoods dominated by large, mature trees, many McMansions have only younger, recently planted trees. In many instances it is less expensive for a developer to clear cut the entire subdivision and plant immature trees in strategic locations. Ironically, mature trees generally greatly add to the value of a home and provide reduced cooling costs in summer months by providing shade to the home. However, keeping these mature trees in place would require the developer to expend more capital when siting the location of each house on each lot.

Lack of porches: Housing from prior generations, when air conditioning was less common, often had a large porch to escape the daytime heat. Most McMansions eschew porches as being too costly to add because they increase the lot footprint without adding to the total square footage of the house.

Large, unfinished attics: Many larger McMansions have full height attics that are designed to be converted into living space at a later time. In these cases, the unfinished areas have heat, A/C, electrical and other utilities laid out to allow a quick construction of new living space. The dormers and other roof line additions usually have pre-framed cutouts to allow for the addition of windows with minimal work.
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#136 of 136 Old 04-07-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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No I would not live in a McMansion. Even if someone gave us one free, I would turn around and sell it. It would drive me nuts.

We are planning on building a house on the land we are on now in a few years. We will be able to think about and plan how to face the house and which mature trees to leave. I'm lucky though because my grandfather and father are both builders so I've seen first hand the difference between crappy thrown together construction and well built houses.
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