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What is Considered a Mansion? How to Define a Mansion and House that Is

Inside: Are you looking for a luxurious place to call home? If so, learn what is considered a mansion and how to find one that is right for you.

The word mansion is often used to describe a large and luxurious home. But what exactly is considered a mansion? There is no set definition, but there are certain characteristics that are typically associated with mansions.

While the size and location of a mansion are important factors in its overall definition, certain intangible qualities make a house feel like a mansion. These can include things like high-end finishes and furnishings, expansive views, and a sense of grandeur or luxury.

Whether you’re in the market for a mansion or simply curious about what they entail, this guide will help you understand all there is to know about these impressive residences.

Start repeating your money mantras to own one of these!

Are you looking for a luxurious place to call home? If so, you'll want to read this guide. In it, you'll learn what is considered a mansion and how to find one that is right for you. Plus discover the different exterior features and interior design that are common in mansions.

What is the definition of a mansion?

A mansion must meet certain exceptional criteria to be considered a mansion. This includes customized and luxurious building design, exceeds the size of the average home, lavish landscaping, and is meant to entertain.

A mansion is also considered to be imposing due to its size and grandeur; it should be impressive in bearing or dignity.

Typically, a mansion is a large and grandiose house, usually over 7,000 square feet in size. However, in prime real estate locations like New York City or Paris where real estate is a premium, the square feet may be less but the home still needs to be impressive and luxurious.

While there is no set definition of a mansion, many consider the definition of a mansion to include any number of luxurious amenities such as an equally large pool or patio area, as well as Victorian or classical design elements.

What is defined as mansion?

Picture of a fancy mansion for what is defined as a mansion.

The word “mansion” is often used to describe a large and luxurious home. But what exactly defines a mansion?

In this guide, we will explore the different definitions of a mansion and how to properly identify one.

Mansion Definition Size

Mansions are usually quite large, often exceeding 7,000 square feet. Before the introduction of McMansions and traditional homes increasing in size, a house over 5000 square feet was considered to be a mansion.

They may have multiple stories and dozens of rooms, including several bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces, and dining areas. Mansions also tend to be located on sizable pieces of property – sometimes several acres – which allows for plenty of outdoor space, including gardens, pools, and other amenities.

  • In New York City, where lots are smaller, a house with around 8,000 square feet can already be considered as a mansion or a penthouse with over 4,000 square feet.
  • However, in Los Angeles, 20,000+ sq ft is needed for it to qualify as such.

Mansion sizes can be classified based on their square footage and the region they are located in. In general, a mansion is considered to be anything over 7,000 square feet.

Mansion Architecture

Picture of one type of mansion architecture.

Mansion architecture is usually a mix of styles from different periods. The most common are Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian mansions. However, there are also Tudor, Jacobean, Baroque, Renaissance, and Palladian mansions.

Typically, this is the type of architecture you would find:

  • High-quality building materials such as marble, stone, and wood.
  • Expensive designs that showcase luxury and elegance.
  • Stylish works of architectural art custom-made by a team of highly skilled architects from development to design to aesthetics to amenities both indoors and outdoors.

This mansion’s architecture is what sets it apart from other large homes.

Mansion Amenities

Aerial Picture of mansion with all of the mansion amenities.

Mansion amenities are features that are typically found in high-end homes.

Beyond the typical bedrooms, bathrooms, and living space, you will find amenities in a mansion that you won’t find in other places such as:

  • Impressive amenities such as a pool hall, ballroom, or sleeping quarters for live-in staff.
  • Modern amenities such as an indoor tennis and basketball court, spa facilities, or theater room.
  • A luxurious pool was built to serve as an additional entertainment space.
  • An impressive wine cellar.
  • Greenhouses within the landscaping.
  • Custom bars and lounges with bowling alleys or polo fields.

These amenities can make a home more comfortable and convenient for the residents.

Additionally, mansions often have guesthouse or servants’ quarters where guests can be accommodated on a bed and breakfast basis with personalized guest service from professional servants.

What is considered a mini mansion or McMansion?

Picture of a mini mansion.

These are typically large, modern homes that feature a “cookie-cutter” design and cheap building materials. They often have quirky details that do not match the home’s aesthetic and are out of scale with their environment.

A mini mansion is a smaller version of a mansion.

Typically, these types of homes are attempting to be true mansions, yet they lack the authenticity and quality used in building a true mansion.

A McMansion became popular in the 1980s when suburban communities wanted larger homes with the feel of mansions. However, McMansions are mass-produced by builders and are not custom homes.

These cookie-cutter suburban homes are 3000-5000 square feet and have many additional amenities you wouldn’t find in lower-end homes. However, you can spot these communities filled with large, mass-produced homes with poor quality and design.

Other types of houses that can be considered as mansions

A mansion is a word that is often used to describe large and luxurious houses.

However, there are no set guidelines as to what actually qualifies as a mansion. Here are other houses that could be considered mansions.

1. Penthouses

Picture of the inside of a penthouse.

Penthouses are a type of house that is built on top of a tall building. They are usually used for luxury purposes, such as accommodation for the wealthy or as a place to hold a business.

There are many different types of penthouses, including the duplex penthouse, the triplex penthouse, and the penthouse suite.

Penthouses are large opulent apartments or condominiums that are often called “mansion houses”.

2. Mansion Block

Picture of a mansion block.

A mansion block is a type of residential building that features luxury amenities and high-quality construction. It typically consists of several units, each with its own entrance and private balcony or terrace.

The units may be apartments or condominiums, depending on the country, state, or city where it is located.

The characteristics of a mansion block include:

  • High quality building materials such as stone, brickwork, or stucco walls.
  • Expensive designs such as leaded glass windows or decorative door knockers.
  • A high level of security with features like gated entrances, CCTV and on-site concierge or security personnel.
  • High end amenities such as swimming pools, indoor basketball court, spa facilities, and theater rooms.
  • Private entrances for each unit with a balcony or terrace for extra outdoor space; some blocks may also have communal areas like gardens for residents to use together.

3. Palace

Picture of a palace

A palace is a large, luxurious residence that is typically owned by royalty or high-ranking officials. It typically consists of ornate architecture, large gardens, and grounds, as well as numerous amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts.

Some examples of palaces include Versailles Palace in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the Forbidden City in China, the Royal Palace of Madrid in Spain, and the White House in the United States.

Palaces often have impressive architecture with high walls and towers to provide security for their inhabitants. They also feature ornate decorations such as sculptures or mosaics made from precious stones like marble or gold. Additionally, many palaces have extensive gardens surrounding them which can be used for recreation by their inhabitants or visitors alike.

4. Castle

Picture of a castle

A castle is a large, fortified residence built during the medieval period for the purpose of defense against opposing forces. It typically features arched windows, turrets, and watchtowers as well as moats or canals as part of its landscape architecture.

Some common characteristics of castles include:

  • Arched windows
  • Turrets and watchtowers
  • Moats or canals as part of the landscape architecture

5. Hamlets

Picture of a hamlet

A hamlet is considered a small village.

The characteristics of a hamlet as a mansion type include:

  • Large, sprawling estates with multiple buildings.
  • A variety of architectural styles, such as Renaissance, Tudor, and Gothic.
  • Privacy from servants and the ability to live separately from them in airy rooms above ground level.
  • Central points that are no longer used for eating with servants or entertaining guests in a Great hall.
  • Ability to keep in social contact with other powerful families through rounds of visits and entertainment.

Types of Mansion Style Homes

Mansions can be classified based on their architecture, including classical, modern, Victorian, colonial, and McMansion. As well as what kind of interior design is used.

There are several types of mansion style homes in the United States, including:

1. Classical Mansions –

Picture of a classical mansion.

Classical mansions are known for their use of high-quality materials and intricate designs.

These historic gems were built with the best materials and labor available during their time period, often around the 1920s and 1930s. They feature elegant towers and great spacious halls for parties.

Traditional mansions typically used interior designs that were inspired by past architectural styles. They featured fireplaces, window seats, built-in bookshelves, and defined layouts with foyers, living rooms, dining spaces, and separate laundry rooms.

2. Modern Mansion

Picture of a modern mansion

As the term states, a modern mansion is designed based on the modern features of modern architecture.

Modern architecture is characterized by its angular and unusual forms, as well as a lot of glass in the design. These mansions feel very different from their traditional style counterparts.

Modern mansions focus on allowing natural lighting in the interiors instead of using artificial lighting.

They have strong horizontal and vertical lines in furniture designs which highlight the use of reinforced concrete. Furniture placement prioritizes no obstacles between items in the seating area and focal area (e.g., TV) to create a functional space. Natural stones such as marble or granite are often used along with natural woods like ash or oak for an authentic mansion look/feel.

In addition, many modern mansions exceed over 10000 square feet and are built with the sole purpose of an entertainment venue.

They are also very smooth and sleek, which makes them look very modern. Check out these modern mansion floor plans.

3. Victorian Style Mansions –

Picture of a Victorian mansion

Victorian mansions are known for their extravagant designs which were based on European royal residences.

They feature jutting towers, large gathering halls, wrap-around decks, and colorful appeal as well as great spacious halls for parties.

4. Colonial Style Mansions –

Picture of colonial style mansion

Colonial style mansions are heavily influenced by European design with an emphasis on Spanish or Portuguese influences depending on the location.

Now, they reflect more Spanish/Portuguese influence than European architecture.

5. McMansion –

McMansions often feature cheap building materials and quirky details that don’t match the home’s aesthetic as well as being out of scale with their environment compared to other homes in the area.


A mansion is a large and grandiose house, typically around 8,000 square feet.

The definition of a mansion varies depending on the location and lifestyle of the owner. For example, in New York City a 2,000 square foot penthouse may be considered a mansion while in Colorado an 8-bedroom house with multiple living areas and wine cellars could be considered a mansion.

In general, though, mansions are characterized by luxurious amenities such as pools or entertainment features as well as Victorian or classical design elements.

A mansion is a large, luxurious house with a minimum floor space of 5,000 to 8,000 square feet.

The size of a mansion is often determined by location and budget. In areas such as Beverly Hills where real estate serves as a status symbol, mansions can be much larger than 8,000 square feet. In cities like New York where space is limited, even wealthy property owners tend to have smaller abodes than those found in Beverly Hills.

Additionally, there are subcategories such as mega mansion which describe houses that surpass the normal definition of “mansion” by having even more floorspace or luxury features than usual.

Both a mansion and a manor are large houses. The main difference is that a manor is the main house of a country estate while a mansion can be found on expansive private lands.

A mansion typically has high-quality fixtures and covers at least 5000-9000 square feet, whereas an old manor house may have been upgraded with stylish features such as a ballroom, pool hall, and servant’s quarters.

A manor is usually associated with unfertile land owned by knights in medieval times while mansions are often equipped with modern luxury features such as theater rooms, spas, and swimming pools. Additionally, manors typically have smaller villages or no villages at all whereas mansions often have sprawling estates with lush landscaping surrounding them.

Both a mansion and a villa are luxurious, impressive homes that feature spacious floor plans and state-of-the-art facilities.

The main difference between these two types of properties is the size of their land. A mansion is typically built on expansive private lands, while a villa may be built on smaller plots of land or even within an existing urban setting.

Both a mansion and a castle are large, impressive homes. Both feature luxurious interiors and exteriors and may be surrounded by landscaped gardens.

The key difference between a mansion and a castle is the architecture.

Castles were built to prevent attacks from opposing forces during the medieval period and feature arched windows, turrets, and watchtowers as well as moats or canals as part of landscape architecture.

Mansions boast indulgence both with the interior and exterior without these features, but still, have impressive architecture that sets them apart from other homes.

The main difference between a mansion and a house is the size of the land it is built on as well as the materials used in construction.

What type of exterior features are found on a mansion?

Picture of a mansion to show off the exterior features.

Mansions feature a variety of exterior features, including:

  • Color schemes on walls – Neutral colors, such as browns, greys, creams and whites contrast stunningly against brick or stone.
  • Exposed brickwork – To eliminate monotonous brickwork, mansion facades use exposed red brickwork for columns and windows.
  • Timber cladding – Various timber panels are installed vertically or horizontally to create multiple effects.
  • Stone cladding – Stones are used to complete concrete walls or enhance trims and columns in combination with neutral colors for a simple yet modern appearance.
  • Landscaping – Landscaping adds character by mixing plants, grass pebbles rocks tiles which enhance other outdoor features like gardens

How much does a mansion cost?

Graphic of a row of houses that increase in size with a price arrow going up.

The cost of a mansion varies depending on the location, size, and features.

Typically, you can look at the price per square foot as a gauge. The starting point for most mansions costs one million dollars. Ultimately, you would probably pay anywhere from $10 million to $100 million for a mansion.

Interestingly enough, the most expensive mansion in the world is Buckingham Palace, with an estimated value of $4.9 billion (source).

As such, there is no one answer to the question of how much a mansion costs. This is because the cost of a mansion depends on a variety of factors, such as location, size, and features.

What makes a house a Mansion?

Picture of what makes a house a mansion

Mansions are large residential properties that feature high-quality building materials, expensive designs, and impressive amenities. They typically have floors that cover at least 5,000-9000 square feet.

As such, many factors make a house a Mansion.

Usually, a Mansion is a large, expensive home that is decorated in a fancy way.

Some other factors that might make a house a Mansion include having a lot of land, having a big yard, or having a lot of windows.

More importantly, you want to turn your house or mansion into a home.

If a mansion is on your radar, then you need to start manifesting these money affirmations.

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