When a McMansion feels more like an estate

Defining a McMansion is doable. But, at what point does a McMansion become an estate?

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He liked how certain details — the neighborhood of manses behind gates and shrouded with trees; the house’s circular drive and imposing view — gave the ordinary McMansion an estate feel. He eventually dotted the lawn with gargoyles and Renaissance-style statues.

In this example, a McMansion feels more like an estate when it has added levels of privacy (gates, lots of trees blocking views of houses), a particular kind of driveway, and a particular view. Presumably, normal McMansions do not have these features or have imitations of these features. The suburban subdivision of McMansions offers limited privacy. The straight driveway leads to a big garage. The view is not imposing.

Is there a market for upselling McMansions? Take your typical newer McMansion, whether in a new development or in a teardown setting. What small features would differentiate it from similar homes and translate to a higher value? At the same time, adding special touches to McMansions goes against the mass-produced image of such homes.

Are the boundaries between McMansion and estate different than those between McMansions and mansions? In this second comparison, the size of the home itself seems to matter. The McMansion is roughly 3,000 to 10,000 square feet while the McMansion is larger.