The term "McMansion" is highly subjective. Architect and author Sarah Susanka gave us her definition, and we came up with the following test:

YES NO

Was your house built within the past 30 years?

Does it have a lot of vaulted ceilings? "Is it echo-y, and do you live mostly in the kitchen because that feels the most cozy?" Susanka asked.

Do you have a lot of space, but very little architectural detail or decoration?

Are there rooms that rarely get used?

Does the front exterior have a different character than the other three sides, such as a brick facade and vinyl siding on the back and sides?

If you answered "yes" to all five questions, your house probably qualifies as a McMansion. And if you like it, "more power to you," Susanka said. "Obviously, there are people still happy with quantity over quality." If you want to de-McMansion-ize your house and make it more personal and user-friendly, Susanka suggests her books "Home by Design" and "Inside the Not So Big House."

KIM PALMER