McMansions entered our vocabulary in the 1980’s. Wikipedia defines the housing term McMansion as:

both large like a mansion and as culturally ubiquitous as McDonald’s fast food restaurants

As seen in the Smithsonian!

A typical McMansion as depicted by the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

Caption reads on image:
Coming into popular use in the 1980’s, the term “McMansion” refers to suburban homes that are almost, but not quite, mansions. They typically make a show of pretentious ornament and grandiose interior spaces. Windows are distinctly shaped and highly decorative creating historical allusions. The style’s name pokes fun at its reliance on mass produced components to achieve an architectural statement.”

It has the connotation of a large bland structure, generally found on a small lot.

MacMansion homes are increasing becoming an issue with many communities and is one of the reasons the average size of houses are increasing.

Average Home Size (NAHB) Is Growing:

1950: 963
1970: 1,500
2005: 2,400

Average Lot Size (NAHB) Is Shrinking

1980: 9,000
2005: 8,000

McMansions have become an issue with zoning due to excess lot coverage, the are often the only one of their kind on a street and are usually out of scale and inconsistent with the architecture of the existing housing stock.

See: [Supersized Housing With More Amenties]


3 Responses to “McMansions: All The Beef(s)”

  1. Cheryl says:

    So I guess the definition of a newly constructed, ornate, mansion on a small lot complete with pool and matching shed out back would be a “MacMansion with a drink and fries on the side!”

  2. Lea says:

    Is there a definition for Supersized McMansions?

  3. Miles says:

    “McMansion” reminds me of the humorous definitions in the margin of Generation X, luckily someone compiled them into a handy list. I bet these kinds of homes inspire equal amounts of homeowner envy and architectural indigestion.