PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:37 am

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'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. :P 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.... :lol: 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.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: McMansions

PostBy: cokehead On: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:47 am

When I was in Amish country driving around I noticed clusters of McMansions mixed in with the farm land. They looked like a blight not that my house is beautiful. They just seemed out of place to me. Talk about a clash of cultures. :shock:
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502

Re: McMansions

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:50 am

We have a lot of these types of houses showing up in the older neighborhoods throughout the DC area. People buy up the old WWII salt box houses for the 1 or 1/2 acres and either incorporate the old house into the new or tear it down and start over from scratch. I suppose that eventually, all the small houses will be replaced with the McMasions but for now it looks like crap. Fortunately, in my neighborhood, - the houses are a little bigger with 3 or 4 bedrooms - a room or two is usually all that families are doing and they have taken care to not overextend the improvements so they don't look out of place. Another issue we have is that a lot of the McMansion owners are under water on their mortgages so those houses are empty. I understand we are about to undergo another wave of foreclosures so it's not going to get any better anytime soon. Lisa
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: McMansions

PostBy: CoalHeat On: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:07 am

We have them around here as well, not that much in Stillwater but in surrounding towns. As far as the quality of construction and energy efficiency I have to agree with you, Richard.
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: McMansions

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:20 am

Those houses have become as common as democrats around these parts. My hometown is now overrun with them -- my parents' property taxes are astronomical! And these yuppies keep voting in new schools, gigantic police & fire departments ( I'm all for police & fire ... but you gotta see how big & fancy these places are!! Total waste of money on a town of 15,000 with hardly any crime ), & paving all the yuppies roads, while theirs turns to *censored*.

Status symbols -- that's all they are. The woods I used to play in as a kid have sprouted an an entire neighborhood of these places. What struck me first is the attitudes of these people. In my 20's, I started using the road as a shortcut, as our road was a dead end. These jackasses thought it was their duty to be the police! :lol: :roll: Because my truck was loud, these no-common-sense morons used to yell "slow down!"every time I went by. So I decided to go through there 20mph faster the next time. *censored* from Metro-Boston!! So typical.

Half the houses have no furniture in most of the rooms because it cost too much! :lol: Every one of them has 2 spankin' new cars out front. Strange how things have changed around there.

When the wife & I were house hunting, we found that my hometown had become "Untouchable" to us former normal working class stiffs. By going west, I got 10 times the land, & a house I really didn't need to fix up to be inhabitable.

MA makes me sick. :sick:
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: McMansions

PostBy: gaw On: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:58 am

A lot of the McMansions or practically all of the newer houses built by the big developers are built rather cheaply. I know many builders use cheap single hung windows and often they are not even energy star rated unless mandated by code. When you build a McMansion you have to put in lots of glass. A lot of glass looks nice and shows everyone that you can afford to pay to heat the outside as well as the inside.

One of the best things I recall seeing was in the basement of a house, I believe they were quads or something like that, multi unit buildings, anyway I looked up at the floor joists and for about half the joists and about half the run of the joist the nails for the sub floor were coming down along the joist, holding on to nothing! I hope that someone noticed this and re-nailed it but I was never upstairs to see if it was re-nailed.

Richard, the sub contractor who did the tile work must have been a good one or else so bad that all the tile work was re-done. The builder was so cheap that rather than install a second instant hot water heater on the other side of the house they just pipe from the one unit all the way over, makes no sense. An instant hot water heater for the master bath should pay for itself in energy savings as well as water and sewer savings. It probably would have cost $1,000 more at the time of construction. As far as the concrete work I have seen a lot of shitty looking cement floors. They don’t take the time to finish them nicely and they usually pour them early in the project when it is easier to access and also to have a flat level work platform. I know years ago the smaller builders around here would wait to pour the basement floor until the framing was done and under roof and when they could let it cure for several days before working on it. It is a little more work involved but it gives a nice basement floor.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Re: McMansions

PostBy: Dann757 On: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:53 pm

There's McMansions and there's Mansions. This is the house my previous employers built for their daughter on seven acres of choice real estate in swanky exclusive Basking Ridge, NJ. I worked for this family for seven years. They were self-made, semi-retired mortgage bankers. The daughter and her husband rented an apartment on Park Ave. while the place was being built. Their servants had big mouths, I found out they rented the Park Ave. apt. to the tune of $18,000/month.
This is Grandview Farm, it was supposed to cost 3mil., ended up costing 4mil. You can't see the garage and apartment to the left, I couldn't stand back far enough.
They designed and built the place, and the mom is a prominent decorator in NY and NJ, decorated the whole place.
After about a year in the place, the daughter wanted to move back to Manhattan. They put the place on the market for 7.4mil. After a few months, they sold it for 6.4. Money goes to money! I met the people that bought it, it was the wife that had the big bucks, owned a few TV stations I heard. The place was finished, the new owners changed everything and put on a lot more square footage from what I heard.
I did a huge amount of punch list work at this place, it was absolutely freaking exquisite. Antique heart pine floors all over the place. 8500 sq.ft. 50' swimming pool in the back with an electric sliding cover, 8" thick bluestone patio, the bluestones were like 8'x8'. This is why I like Republicans, they give me work.
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Park Ave.
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Not too shabby
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Antique French fireplace

Re: McMansions

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:12 pm

$7.6 Million would have bought you this...
The BIL's family is friends with the ship’s owners and helped with the interior design...
Much better than a McMansion because you take the home with you...
But the upkeep is killer...
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove