Now I could go on and on about how awful a set this is, including the fact that the garage opens directly into the living room where a kitchen should exist, but I have a different point to make.
The standard for lego houses could be so much better. Take the modular buildings for example.
The 10218-1: Pet Shop has neat techniques and lots of space for it's size. If you haven't seen this model displayed before, it's HUGE! So, why aren't Lego houses this good?
The two reasons I figure are:
1. challenging build,
The creator houses are designed for a younger skill level so they are fun for little kids.
Puny creator houses are cheaper to manufacture than fancy buildings that make comfy homes.
In the real world I call houses like these "stick houses" or "clone homes".
Because of this, builders have to either, buy their own pieces to build a neat house or buy a load of "stick houses" to create a beautiful property. This is sad though because then you are just galling for the marketing agenda that Lego designed in the first place.
However, if you are going to fall for this, fall for it the right way. My consideration would be, "If you build a house, make sure YOU would enjoy living in it!" With that said i will make clear that I would NOT enjoy living in that "family house" mainly because cars aren't meant to be parked in your living room! So, here are a few tips iv'e come up with to help others build their own houses...
Use a firm foundation.
I, of course, would not build a house on a few flimsy plates shoved together. The Lego base plates are the best thing to use when it comes to foundations. The one i recommend is the large green plate that is 32x32 and $5.00 at the U.S. Lego stores. They are a little pricey but important. To build an accurate sized house you will need three or four, this will leave some space for a small back yard!
Interlock your bricks!
This is a no brainer from the first day. Interlocking or staggering the bricks that make up your wall is as important as the bread on a PB&J sandwich!
Don't forget windows.
A house without windows is like a Jedi without a light-saber. It won't look right without windows! BUT! Don't use too many windows and forget the walls!
Build a multi-floored house.
Every lego house has what is considered a second story but really they are all just like lofts and upstairs closets. Only the hillside house had a spacious upstairs. Having full second stories is a good idea, however, don't forget to make the levels "lift off" like they do int the modular buildings.
I suggest for the lift off feature you should have about a ratio of four studs holing down a 12x12m surface. this makes one stud in each corner. for a 24x24m surface have 8 studs (2 in each corner) and for a 36x36 have 12 studs... etc.
The model must be believable. Use image references to see the common house model. Never build something intending to make it "iconic" if it's structure doesn't match the real thing. For example, a house isn't built with siding on the lower level and bricks on the upper level. Details like these are important. Pay attention!!!
So, wether you're building a beautiful country home, or a fancy city house, keep this in mind and you will be off to a great start.
As for the lego creator houses. I would not buy them, they are a waste of money. Ordering elements on Bricklink is cheaper and you can get virtually ANY piece ever molded!
Check that out for your building needs.
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