Not sure if I mentioned this but we are all currently living in a "McMansion" and will be for at least 6 months. The house is roughly 4000 sq. foot, 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths including a monstrous master bath, huge kitchen and eating area, "Great room", dining room and some little room I could only describe as a parlor or sitting room....it's pointless room no one ever goes in off the side of the front door. The foyer itself is huge with a big chandelier. This is roughly the size of our old house however are old house was technically two houses since it was double block or as some would know it a duplex.
I can see why these types of homes are such energy eaters. Lot's of wasted space, one example is the mater bedroom entrance. It has it's own foyer. Off to the right is steps... yeas there are steps that go down into the bedroom from this little mini foyer. On the level with the foyer is a huge master bath complete with jacuzzi and walk in closet my mother is trying to fill up.
Probably the largest energy waster so far is the hot water, the house has one of those instant gas hot water heaters which from my understanding are quite efficient but two faucets including the kitchen(2 sinks plus the dishwasher) and the master bath are at the other end of the house. They have 3/4 inch copper pipe that goes the length of the house. You have to run gallons of water to get hot water. There's no insulation on the pipe and since the house is ten years old I'd imagine the amount of water and heat that's been wasted over the years is substantial. By the time it's get warm you just want to shut the damn thing off before it even gets hot... I'd imagine most of the hot water actually gets left in the pipe. The other two baths are not that bad as it's much smaller run and they mostly go through half inch. It has gas heat and when it gets down to 40 it seems like the furnace never stops. Can't wait to see the gas bill and it's been warm this month. Other energy issues revolve around the lights.... they are everywhere and when you flip a switch it turns on banks of them. Other than the main lights in the bathrooms I can think of only one switch that turns on one light. Most of them turn on 6 or more.
As far as construction quality goes it's a mixed bag. The tile work in this house is perfect, there's a lot of tile
. Haven't seen a single cracked piece, grout is really good. Whoever put in really knew what they were doing and did a great job.
Onto the bad construction, probably the biggest problem is the basement leaks. There's two sections where it leaks, it's substantial as it appears there is permanent puddle in one section. Other problems include two doors that don't close and some other minor problems with folding closet doors. Closet doors could probably easily be fixed but it's not my problem. There's actually a lot of things in this house that just need some TLC and I know it's driving my Father nuts, he wants to fix them but doesn't....
One other major thing I noticed were the cabinets which really look good but are either veneer or fake. It's peeling off in some places and there is also problems with some of the hinges. Rplacing or fixing them would be a huge expense because of the quantity.
Overall I'd have to say I would never purchase a house like this for the money involved. The space is nice but it seems a lot of it was just slapped together as fast as they can.