March 5, 2009 -- When a McMansion goes up, neighbors are often unhappy, and a new study attempts to explain why.
People tend to dislike a new house when it is twice as tall as surrounding homes or out of architectural synch with the neighborhood, found Jack Nasar, an environmental psychologist and city planner at Ohio State University in Columbus.
By getting into people's heads, his study suggests ways to balance the desires of both developers and community members.
McMansions -- also called monster houses, starter castles, tract mansions, garage Mahals and worse -- are becoming increasingly common around the United States.
In earlier work, Nasar and colleagues found that houses bigger than 3,000 square feet had popped up in place of smaller, older homes in a majority of America's largest cities. Many communities have created regulations about the construction of such homes.