A house is a building that functions as a home. They can range from simple dwellings such as rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes and the improvised shacks in shantytowns to complex, fixed structures of wood, brick, concrete or other materials containing plumbing, ventilation, and electrical systems. Houses use a range of different roofing systems to keep precipitation such as rain from getting into the dwelling space. Houses may have doors or locks to secure the dwelling space and protect its inhabitants and contents from burglars or other trespassers. Most conventional modern houses in Western cultures will contain one or more bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen or cooking area, and a living room. A house may have a separate dining room, or the eating area may be integrated into another room. Some large houses in North America have a recreation room. In traditional agriculture-oriented societies, domestic animals such as chickens or larger livestock (like cattle) may share part of the house with humans. The social unit that lives in a house is known as a household. Most commonly, a household is a family unit of some kind, although households may also be other social groups, such as roommates or, in a rooming house, unconnected individuals. Some houses only have a dwelling space for one family or similar-sized group; larger houses called townhouses or row houses may contain numerous family dwellings in the same structure. A house may be accompanied by outbuildings, such as a garage for vehicles or a shed for gardening equipment and tools. A house may have a backyard or frontyard, which serve as additional areas where inhabitants can relax or eat.
1 Etymology 2 Elements
2.1 Layout 2.2 Parts 2.3 History of the interior
2.3.1 Communal rooms
2.3.2 Interconnecting rooms
2.3.4 Employment-free house
3.1 Energy efficiency
4 Found materials 5 Legal issues
5.1 United Kingdom
6 Identifying houses 7 Animal houses 8 Houses and symbolism 9 See also 10 References 11 External links
The English word house derives directly from the Old English hus
meaning "dwelling, shelter, home, house," which in turn derives from
Example of an early Victorian "Gingerbread House" in Connecticut, United States, built in 1855
Ideally, architects of houses design rooms to meet the needs of the
people who will live in the house. Such designing, known as "interior
design", has become a popular subject in universities. Feng shui,
originally a Chinese method of moving houses according to such factors
as rain and micro-climates, has recently expanded its scope to address
the design of interior spaces, with a view to promoting harmonious
effects on the people living inside the house, although no actual
effect has ever been demonstrated.
Little is known about the earliest origin of the house and its interior, however it can be traced back to the simplest form of shelters. Roman architect Vitruvius' theories have claimed the first form of architecture as a frame of timber branches finished in mud, also known as the primitive hut. Philip Tabor later states the contribution of 17th century Dutch houses as the foundation of houses today.
"As far as the idea of the home is concerned, the home of the home is the Netherlands. This idea's crystallization might be dated to the first three-quarters of the 17th century, when the Dutch Netherlands amassed the unprecedented and unrivalled accumulation of capital, and emptied their purses into domestic space.
A traditional Finnish house from the beginning of 20th century in Jyväskylä
Traditional house in Japan
In the Middle Ages, the Manor Houses facilitated different activities
and events. Furthermore, the houses accommodated numerous people,
including family, relatives, employees, servants and their guests.
Their lifestyles were largely communal, as areas such as the Great
"Once inside it is necessary to pass from one room to the next, then to the next to traverse the building. Where passages and staircases are used, as inevitably they are, they nearly always connect just one space to another and never serve as general distributors of movement. Thus, despite the precise architectural containment offered by the addition of room upon room, the villa was, in terms of occupation, an open plan, relatively permeable to the numerous members of the household."
Although very public, the open plan encouraged sociality and
connectivity for all inhabitants.
An early example of the segregation of rooms and consequent
enhancement of privacy may be found in 1597 at the Beaufort House
built in Chelsea. It was designed by English architect
Farmhouse in Bhutan
Khmer house in Cambodia
Traditional house in Colombia
Traditional houses in Faza, Kenya
Traditional village house in Banaue, Philippines
Traditional stone house in Serbia
The introduction of technology and electronic systems within the house has questioned the impressions of privacy as well as the segregation of work from home. Technological advances of surveillance and communications allow insight of personal habits and private lives. As a result, the "private becomes ever more public, [and] the desire for a protective home life increases, fuelled by the very media that undermine it" writes Hill. Work also, has been altered due to the increase of communications. The "deluge of information", has expressed the efforts of work, conveniently gaining access inside the house. Although commuting is reduced, "the desire to separate working and living remains apparent." In Jonathan Hill's book Immature Architecture, he identifies this new invasion of privacy as Electromagnetic Weather. Natural or man-made weather remains concurrent inside or outside the house, yet the electromagnetic weather is able to generate within both positions.[clarification needed] On the other hand, some architects have designed homes in which eating, working and living are brought together. Construction See also: House-building
Some houses are constructed from bricks and wood and are later covered by insulating panels. The roof construction is also seen.
Two baracche(slum in Italian) near Oltre il Colle, Italy. These homes are often illegally built and without electricity, proper sanitation and taps for drinking water.
In the United States, modern house-construction techniques include light-frame construction (in areas with access to supplies of wood) and adobe or sometimes rammed-earth construction (in arid regions with scarce wood-resources). Some areas use brick almost exclusively, and quarried stone has long provided walling. To some extent, aluminum and steel have displaced some traditional building materials. Increasingly popular alternative construction materials include insulating concrete forms (foam forms filled with concrete), structural insulated panels (foam panels faced with oriented strand board or fiber cement), and light-gauge steel framing and heavy-gauge steel framing. More generally, people often build houses out of the nearest available material, and often tradition or culture govern construction-materials, so whole towns, areas, counties or even states/countries may be built out of one main type of material. For example, a large fraction of American houses use wood, while most British and many European houses utilize stone or brick or mud.
In the 1900s (decade), some house designers started using prefabrication. Sears, Roebuck & Co. first marketed their Sears Catalog Homes to the general public in 1908. Prefab techniques became popular after World War II. First small inside rooms framing, then later, whole walls were prefabricated and carried to the construction site. The original impetus was to use the labor force inside a shelter during inclement weather. More recently builders have begun to collaborate with structural engineers who use computers and finite element analysis to design prefabricated steel-framed homes with known resistance to high wind-loads and seismic forces. These newer products provide labor savings, more consistent quality, and possibly accelerated construction processes. Lesser-used construction methods have gained (or regained) popularity in recent years. Though not in wide use, these methods frequently appeal to homeowners who may become actively involved in the construction process. They include:
Cannabrick construction Cordwood construction Geodesic domes Straw-bale construction Wattle and daub Timber framing Framing (construction)
Thermographic comparison of traditional (left) and "passivhaus" (right) buildings
Energy-efficient houses in Amersfoort, Netherlands
In the developed world, energy-conservation has grown in importance in
house-design. Housing produces a major proportion of carbon emissions
(studies have show that it is 30% of the total in the United
Development of a number of low-energy building types and techniques
continues. They include the zero-energy house, the passive solar
house, the autonomous buildings, the superinsulated and houses built
A traditional Kurdish stone house
In many parts of the world, houses are constructed using scavenged
materials. In Manila's
A house in Ontario, Canada
Houses may be repeatedly expanded leading to a complex construction history.
Buildings with historical importance have legal restrictions.
New houses in the UK are not covered by the Sale of Goods Act. When
purchasing a new house the buyer has different legal protection than
when buying other products. New houses in the UK are covered by a
Humans often build houses for domestic or wild animals, often
resembling smaller versions of human domiciles.
House-building Index of construction articles
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD USER Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
List of American houses List of house styles List of house types List of human habitation forms List of real estate topics Open-air museum
^ Schoenauer, Norbert (2000). 6,000 Years of Housing (rev. ed.) (New
York: W.W. Norton & Company).
^ "housing papers" (PDF). clerk.house.gov. Retrieved December 18,
^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved January 4,
^ Sacks, David (2004). Letter perfect: the marvelous history of our
alphabet from A to Z. Random
Housing through the centuries, animation by The Atlantic
v t e
Airport Business park Commercial area Mixed-use development Office building Port
Science / Education
Campus Research park
Satellite campus Science park
Arcology Garden city movement Model village Planned cities Planned community Urban open space
Skyscraper Tower block Villa
Brownfield land Cemetery Cluster development Construction Context theory Eminent domain Greenfield land Greyfield land Land-use planning Park Parking Playground Redevelopment Regional planning Urban design Urban planning Zoning
v t e
Rooms and spaces of a house
Shared residential rooms
Dirty kitchen Kitchenette
Living room Man cave Recreation room Shrine Study Sunroom
Atrium Balcony Breezeway Catio Conversation pit Deck Elevator Entryway / Genkan Foyer Hallway Lanai Loft Loggia Overhang Patio Porch
Ramp Secret passage Stairs Terrace Veranda Vestibule
Utility and storage
Antechamber Ballroom Butler's pantry Buttery Conservatory Courtyard Drawing room Fainting room Great chamber Great hall Long gallery Lumber room Parlour Porte-cochère Saucery Sauna Scullery Servants' hall Servants' quarters Smoking room Solar Spicery State room Still room Swimming pool Undercroft
Arch Baluster Ceiling Colonnade Column Floor Gate Lighting Medallion Ornament Portico Roof Vault
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