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McMansion v. Ranch


GMoxley

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I've been hearing a lot of negative talk about "McMansion" for a while now. But in response to all this criticism, I'd just like to say, "thank God, people aren't still building ranch style houses." What do y'all think? Which do y'all prefer?

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Both are undesirable, IMO, because they lack any way to interact with your neighbors and neighborhood. Thank God for the neo-traditionalist movement, which is bringing back front porches, smaller front yards, and less emphasis on the automobile!

The best house style, IMO, is the classic airplane bungalow with its low-slung roofline, horizontal plane, nooks and crannies everywhere, and loads of outdoor living space facing the street. So bright and airy, too, with all the windows.

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I've been hearing a lot of negative talk about "McMansion" for a while now. But in response to all this criticism, I'd just like to say, "thank God, people aren't still building ranch style houses." What do y'all think? Which do y'all prefer?

The original template for the ranch house was the Gamble House in Pasadena, by Greene & Greene, and some of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie homes. These are masterpieces of design. The postwar ranch house was built in the millions at low cost to satisfy the huge demand for housing after WWII. Unfortunately, most were very poor examples. With 8-foot ceilings, narrow hallways ,small closets and bathrooms, these have not aged well with the demands of modern consumer society.

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As much as I hate the concept but I would take a mc mansion on the outskirts of a major metro (ie with enough land on my property not to have to look directly into my neighbors living room). I love the space of mc mansions but loathe how they are built and what they cost given the crap they are made of. So that's my delima?

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, "thank God, people aren't still building ranch style houses."

They're building ranches everywhere. :rofl: Especially in Florida and the Southwest, but also all over the Midwest and Northeast. Many people prefer all their living space on one floor, especially baby boomers.

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I offer you the best of both worlds, in the best possible setting:

Acadia

I fell in love upon first reading about it. :wub: This is becoming a national trend.

While the concept sounds good, I have yet to find a recently-built "new urbanist" subdivision that works like it claims to. We are slaves to the automobile, and putting garages in the backs of homes won't change that. In order to get a town center to really work, you need economic diversity, something new urbanist settings rarely have. While there are some exceptions, non-residential uses rarely employ residents of the local community... and those residents generally commute, by car, elsehwere to work.

While I do believe these subdivisions are better than the typical subdivision, especially for a family, I don't think they are doing much to quell our obsession with the automobile.

edit: typo

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I agree breed, however it is a great step in the right direction. People (myself, at least) will be less inclined to drive out with so much to do in the neighborhood. They've already cleared and graded the roads and the open portion near the Village. It's coming along very well now. :thumbsup:

I recall reading about a similar development coming to Simpsonville, but can;t remember the name or location. Is it going on West Georgia Road?

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I recall reading about a similar development coming to Simpsonville, but can;t remember the name or location. Is it going on West Georgia Road?

Yes. I have hear alot about this place, but I have yet to learn its actual name. Its a new urbanist development developed by DPZ that is going to be at the SE corner of W Georgia and Fork Shoals Rd.

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Like mcashlv said, the original concept of the ranch house was a great architectural achievement... Open kitchens, open floor plans, taking advantage of new materials... These were all part of the original concept of ranch houses. In Forest Acres there are a few examples of ranch houses that live up to the ideal. I was friends with one couple that had a great house, with brick floors, a courtyard in the middle, lots of modern styling (i.e. different colors of brick, walls and other features to help the house blend in with the natural environment, which is on a large lot). Even the mass-marketing of the ranch style house wasn't necessarily the failure of the style, I think, but it certainly was a factor... Architects dumbed down to the clientele, adding features like columns and colonial-styling in an attempt to appeal to mainstream tastes. Combined with the bad tastes of the late 60's to mid-70's it just created architectural nightmares - it seems like people never thought why harvest gold and avocado green colors and cheap colonial-rip off-styling just didn't go together at all... That and the cheap-ass materials they were experimenting with post-WWII just haven't held up, but the kind of artisans who would have been affordable to do unique things in homes were no longer affordable laborwise to a lot of builders after the war.

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I live in a classic mid-century mod ranch (1954). I love it. Would rather live in this than a faux chateau any day of the week. Not an ounce of synthetic stucco anywhere on the property.

Miesian, I do too! My ranch was also built in 1954 and the floor plan is phenomenal. If I had gotten a bungalow I never would have had the huge living room, dining room and kitchen that I've been blessed with. Ranches may have a somewhat boring exterior, but the floorplans are so much better than 20's and 30's bungalows.

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