McMansion Hell

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RFS
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McMansion Hell

Post by RFS » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:29 pm

I first heard of this gem on The KunstlerCast, James Kunstler's podcast. It roasts America's fugliest mcmansions and is an incredible resource for learning about architecture. Just check out this post about acoustics in architecture.

Did
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by Did » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:48 pm

We are still living in our small, 100 year old plus stone cottage in rural Ireland. Our bedroom is so narrow only one of us can shuffle down the side of our bed comfortably. But the strange thing is, when back in my parent's normal sort of suburban house in Australia earlier in the year, I got a bit panicked when I spoke my wife's name in one room and she didn't reply. She couldn't hear me.

We see larger houses and pretty well always say "we wouldn't swap". Too much feckin' cleaning. And the heating. Who needs it? I really don't get it. For a second.

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RFS
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by RFS » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:25 pm

Your home sounds incredible. I bet it's comfy as hell. Do you have a lot of maintenance issues with old stone cottages? What's that like?

I don't get the suburban stuff either. My mother told me recently that she "needs, at the absolute minimum, 800 square feet to live comfortably." My initial reaction was "hot damn! The ADU I fashion for you will be like going to hell." But I asked questions and listened to the reasoning. There was none. You could have a 600 sq. ft house made entirely out of high-quality gold from King Tut's tomb, but most Americans would still deem it as squalor.
Last edited by RFS on Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Did
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by Did » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:24 am

I wouldn't recommend an old stone cottage. Well, we love it. But old stone things in a place like Ireland are prone to smelling like old stone things. Like a castle ruin. Damp and the like. And there is dust, and if you are unlucky, mold. I'm not sure where the dust comes from. The roof maybe. Perhaps the walls shed or something. We are working on it all, but it's taken more time than I would have liked.

I think Jacob mentioned it once and I agree: owning a house isn't the party it's made out to be. If you are a male and not particularly interested, there are too many bloody chores. They never stop. Gardens. Painting. This that and the other. It's worse if your partner is nesting, even if you aren't having kids. They want you to be busy doing this shit. If you are renting or travelling you don't do it.

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Astra
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by Astra » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:18 am

Thanks for that link!
I legitimately LOL'd (and I rarely LOL).

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TheWanderingScholar
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by TheWanderingScholar » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:56 am

I think I can do 300 sq/mt^2, alone.

PS! Also, who the fuck paints a foyer onto the wall? That's trashy af.

Also does purple ever work in a house? Ever?

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RFS
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by RFS » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:07 pm

^ It is indeed extra as hell. Foyer-painters are in the same group of people who buy bowls of fake grapes.

@Did - Damn. That certainly doesn't sound good for the faint-of-hearted! What do you love about it? Is it a cost-effective option for Irish housing? Also, are you having to renovate it totally for heating, electricity, etc? I am curious. That's a unique housing setup.

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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by Jason » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:56 pm

Did wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:24 am

I think Jacob mentioned it once and I agree: owning a house isn't the party it's made out to be.
I don't know much about Irish history with regard to property ownership, but in the U.S. its woven into the fabric of our country. In the early stages of U.S. history, property ownership was required in order to experience a fulfilled citizenship i.e. only property owners could vote. Liberty at that time being pretty defined as the ability to participate in the political process, freedom was (paradoxically) dependent on settling down. As the rules of suffrage changed, and the country's idea moved from freedom to participate in the political process to freedom to participate in the market place, we transitioned to the idea home ownership as necessary to being recognized as a participating member in the consumer economy (the American Dream).

I think the US is still conflicted over it. The only places where it seems "respectable" not to own is in urban areas where ownership is limited and oftentimes out of reach even for high earners because they are international markets. Even if one agrees with the financial benefits of not owning, renting still seems to be something that could be viewed as suspect. It seems that its only with the current generation that not owning has been accepted as a status that does not provoke feelings of economic or cultural unworthiness as they lived through and saw their parents suffer through the housing crisis.

Did
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by Did » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:14 am

RFS wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:07 pm
@Did - Damn. That certainly doesn't sound good for the faint-of-hearted! What do you love about it? Is it a cost-effective option for Irish housing? Also, are you having to renovate it totally for heating, electricity, etc? I am curious. That's a unique housing setup.
Do not think I am some master renovator. Perhaps that's the point. But we have been here (in the cottage) for almost three years and there is still work to be done. Yesterday I moved 1000kg of stones. Big deal. Well, shovel by shovel, in an Irish winter, is not really my idea of fun.

I do prefer it to work however.

We put in a stove for heat and replaced the old open fireplace, which we ripped out. There is oil heating also but we mainly burn coal. New floors were put in. We painted everything. I pulled the ceiling down in one room - very dusty. We (tradies) put in a kitchen. We have repainted the piggery, planted trees, cleared long grass, put in herb and vegetable gardens, planted fruit trees, installed a brew shed (yay....). That sort of thing.

Cost effective I don't mind disclosing we paid 61K euro for the cottage and 1 acre. To us (Australians) that is cheap. But there isn't a load of high paying work around so you need to keep that in mind.

What do I enjoy? It's cute. It's cozy now we have done some work. You get left alone in the country. It took me a long time to work out that's what good about living there. By and large you get left to your own devices. It's quiet, except for the animals at different times of year (other people's). I like we don't have a mortgage (we are around 40). I like it's small. A lot of people like facebook pages on tiny houses, but who actually lives in one?

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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by jacob » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:51 pm

https://www.curbed.com/2018/3/7/1708758 ... ell-wagner - straight from Ronald Reagan herself!

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RFS
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by RFS » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:38 am

@jacob- That is an interesting read. She is, logistically, completely right. Unfortunately most Americans see their shelters as pathways to conveying the aesthetic ideal of financial security and social success.

The latest post, "Looking Around: All Buildings Are Interesting" got me incredibly excited to learn more about architecture. Check out this opener:

"Botanists bemoan what is called "tree blindness." A phenomenon where, for most people, trees are only a green background for literally whatever else is going on. Tree Blindness keeps people from understanding the world they live in on another level, from having a personal connection to the environment. Knowing the names of the trees on my street makes each of them special and memorable. If one of them were to be lost - like the hemlock, which is being tragically eviscerated by the wooly hemlock adelgid - it would be like losing a friend, something that was a part of my world rather than an another alarming headline, lost in an endless sea of other alarming headlines.

I would say that we also suffer from building blindness, which is ostensibly not as serious as Tree Blindness, as the consequences of building blindness are much less dire. Still, being blind to buildings robs us of a deeper level of understanding and interaction with the world around us."

It's awesome. I've been completely unaware of a history that constantly surrounds me.

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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by jacob » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:26 am


ZAFCorrection
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Re: McMansion Hell

Post by ZAFCorrection » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:24 am

Saw this thread get updated and was like "It must be the Vox piece." Sure enough. I'm glad she is getting more exposure; though, it's unfortunate it is partially in the format of schlocky political tirades.

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