McMansion or not?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Kent Wang, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. CDFS

    CDFS Senior member

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    It certainly said, "Rich guy's house," to me just from one shot. I confirmed it by back tracking the URL. That's a little over $380 a sq foot on a 1/4 acre lot in a lesser city. That be rich, IMO.

    Or is it high income?
     
  2. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    Quality issues aside, the biggest problem with McMansions is that they are trying to be something they aren't. They take all these different cool features from other eras and then jumble them together with unskilled workers who can't possibly come close to recreating the original detail. They are the hipsters of the architectural world.

    Not justifying anything, but quality materials are incredibly difficult to find, and finding the labor or workmanship to apply the materials is near impossible in this day and age.

    I'm going to have to disagree about the cement board siding. My house originally had shiplap wood siding but the previous owners messed it up so bad, it was unsalvagable (God knows I tried). While I think the original siding is preferable, I put Hardie Board on my house for a couple of reasons and I really struggled with the decision.

    1) It is fire and termite resistant and in the hot summers aids in insulation.

    2) This was my biggest reason. The wood of today is not the same as the wood from before. Wood from 75 years ago is much more dense. A stud in my house has about 33 rings that can be counted from the 2" side of a 2x4. A stud bought from Home Depot has about 7 and weighs about the same as balsa wood [​IMG]

    I did get some real wood shiplap siding to put in one small place that isn't even exposed directly to rain and the wood warped. I remember reading that cement board has actually been around for a while (~100 years). It used to be used with asbestos and now uses cellulose fibers to hold it together.

    3) It holds paint very well. Paint today is also not the same as from before. Formulations have made it less "toxic" but you need much of it to make it last as long. If you want to properly re-prep your house every 5 years to repaint it, a newly painted surface should look brand new still.

    4) It doesn't have to look bad just because it isn't wood, but for the love of God don't try to pretend it's wood. I ordered the smooth cement board and actually had to special order from the factory because it was such an "unusual" request.

    5) This is more of a side note, but the cost is actually a little bit more than actual wood.

    Not all newer materials are bad, just 95% of them. I'd say the following are okay to use and have a purpose (off the top of my head):

    1) Insulation
    2) Vapor barriers
    3) Cement board, you can also use it under bathroom floors and shower stalls behind the tile. The bathroom in my house when I bought it had dryrot all around.
    4) Paralam for large spanning joists
    5) Plywood
    6) Electrical wiring
    7) Some types of caulking, putty, sealers, etc.

    Personally, I love linoleum!

    Yeah, the really old, thick stuff is really neat. The newer stuff they call linoleum at places like Home Depot really isn't the same thing. If you want the same type of stuff from back in the day look into a product called Marmoleum, which is actually more costly than real wood flooring.
     
  3. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Honestly I have very little concern with someone displaying wealth, so long as they do so with good taste.
     
  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Or is it high income?

    With a return to standard lending practices? That's 200k down (or more, as that's double a "conforming" mortgage) and an income requirement of about 350k with little to know other debt. You decide.
     
  5. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Yeah, the really old, thick stuff is really neat. The newer stuff they call linoleum at places like Home Depot really isn't the same thing. If you want the same type of stuff from back in the day look into a product called Marmoleum, which is actually more costly than real wood flooring.
    Not to worry ... I've never been to Home Depot, Lowes, etc. I did recently visit a Wal-Mart for the first (and last) time.
     
  6. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I imagine under the "authentic," natural materials, etc. construction imperatives being espoused, this house must reign supreme?

    [​IMG]

    Hard to get more natural than straw bale construction.
     
  7. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Not justifying anything, but quality materials are incredibly difficult to find, and finding the labor or workmanship to apply the materials is near impossible in this day and age.

    I can find an excellent cabinet maker who is within a stones throw of my location, but he doesnt work for the same price that a typical framer works for.

    Materials on the other hand, it depends. I've found a great deal of nice materials online, but you have to know what you are looking for and read through the BS.

    Most people just dont care enough to spend 3X the cost and most builders want to maximize their margins and/or arent capable of selling on quality.

    I personally dont mind spending more, but I do all of my own work so the labor is free.
     
  8. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    I imagine under the "authentic," natural materials, etc. construction imperatives being espoused, this house must reign supreme?

    [​IMG]

    Hard to get more natural than straw bale construction.


    I know you weren't talking to me but I really don't know what you're attempting to prove (IBOhIwasnttryingtoproveanythingIwasjusttryingtoblahblahblahImgoingtotryandpretendlikeimnotsmartwithbadselfdepricatinghumour).

    Part of SH's critiques of McMansions are aesthetic. The houses you posted fail the aesthetic test too.
     
  9. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    I can find an excellent cabinet maker who is within a stones throw of my location, but he doesnt work for the same price that a typical framer works for.

    Materials on the other hand, it depends. I've found a great deal of nice materials online, but you have to know what you are looking for and read through the BS.

    Most people just dont care enough to spend 3X the cost and most builders want to maximize their margins and/or arent capable of selling on quality.

    I personally dont mind spending more, but I do all of my own work so the labor is free.


    It is still possible, but you really have to search and it really shouldn't be that difficult. I had to go about 5 hours away to have mine made. Most people would definitely not search as long and as hard as I did.
     
  10. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    but you're arguing geography against materials. i don't think SH is hung up on geography. i'm not really either, although i think it would also be silly if someone tried to build a vernacular southwestern style home in chicago, or a shaker farmhouse in los angeles (not that the latter hasn't been tried)
     
  11. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    Really? According to SH, you shoud feel relaxed and see improved brain activity from a nice wood and adobe house.
    I was lying. You know why people go to places like Bora Bora and Chamonix to spend their vacation time? It's so they can see how difficult life is for people that don't get to live in houses with crown molding and gas fireplaces. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. CDFS

    CDFS Senior member

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    With a return to standard lending practices? That's 200k down (or more, as that's double a "conforming" mortgage) and an income requirement of about 350k with little to know other debt. You decide.

    Ah, isn't that the new SF fallback salery? I stand corrected.
     
  13. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I imagine under the "authentic," natural materials, etc. construction imperatives being espoused, this house must reign supreme?
    I will always remember the architectural comment, "You really tried to do something here."
     
  14. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I was lying. You know why people go to places like Bora Bora and Chamonix to spend their vacation time? It's so they can see how difficult life is for people that don't get to live in houses with crown molding and gas fireplaces.

    eat, love, prey?

    I know you weren't talking to me but I really don't know what you're attempting to prove (IBOhIwasnttryingtoproveanythingIwasjusttryingtoblahblahblahImgoingtotryandpretendlikeimnotsmartwithbadselfdepricatinghumour).

    Part of SH's critiques of McMansions are aesthetic. The houses you posted fail the aesthetic test too.


    I'm not proving anything. I'm bored and killing time before a dinner meeting.

    Also, Santa Fe done right doesn't fail any aesthetic test, IMO. There are McMansion Santa Fes too, but IMO, the style itself is quite pleasing and blends in well with the geography. This must surely count towards this authentic aesthetic?
     
  15. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    I will always remember the architectural comment, "You really tried to do something here."

    that's great
     

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