Are You Building a Monster Home?

There’s no doubt about it. Home building and renovation is a booming industry in Canada. The Atlas Group said that the industry has been steadily growing since 2013, and it’s been outperforming the entire economy.

Canadians spent 68 billion dollars on renovations and home builds in 2014. It was predicted that Canadians were going to spend 53 billion dollars on home renovations alone. Despite these astonishing numbers, Canadians are still dissatisfied with the square footage of existing large homes in the country.

The solution for some Canadians is to build ‘monster homes’ in mature or small home neighbourhoods. Monster homes can be in excess of 5,000 square feet amongst properties that are one-third (or less) their size. This activity has become much more satisfying than renovating a 3,000 square foot home.

The desire to add massive home extensions or build gigantic houses is taking a toll on cities, and their residents. For most communities, monster homes are a monster sized problem.

Some argue that monster homes are problematic because their size and style destroys the character of old neighbourhoods. They can also overshadow neighbouring homes, gentrify neighbourhoods, push residents out, force real estate prices to skyrocket, and drop neighbouring property value.

Most of all, their monster name refers to their size. Yet, a definite size threshold remains vague for these homes. For example, one can find monster homes scaling 6,600 square feet, while one West Vancouver home sprawls 17,000 square feet, and another huge build in West Vancouver consolidated two lots to make room for a 26,000 square foot home.

Image of one West Vancouver monster home plot courtesy of Vancity Buzz.

Since there is no definite size threshold for monster homes set, one could say that their size is relative to some extent. But if that’s true, how do you know if you’re about to build, or renovate your home and create one?

Check the neighbouring houses before you build or remodel

The TrustedPros Team advises you to think about size relativity. Since there is no official size for a monster home, a good measure to follow is your neighbourhood’s scale.

For example, think about a mature neighbourhood with large lots and small bungalows. A two-storey mansion that covers the entire lot on the street might be considered a monster home in comparison to its neighbours.

Monster houses are huge. They can stick out like sore thumbs if they are poorly planned. Consider finding a cozy lot or home in a high-end developing residential area. Your new build or home addition will fit in nicely there because the existing big homes will compliment its size.