List of house types

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Houses can be built in a large variety of configurations. A basic division is between free-standing or Single-family houses and various types of attached or multi-user dwellings. Both sorts may vary greatly in scale and amount of accommodation provided. Although there appear to be many different types, many of the variations listed below are purely matters of style rather than spatial arrangement or scale. Some of the terms listed are only used in some parts of the English-speaking world.

Detached single-unit housing[edit]

The interior of an Iraqi mudhif
Example of an early Victorian "Gingerbread House" in the USA, built in 1855.

Semi-detached dwellings[edit]

Main article: Semi-detached

Attached Single-unit housing[edit]

Attached Multi-unit housing[edit]

Specific terms under various American federal, state, or local laws dealing with fair housing, truth in advertising, and so forth, have been prescribed and engender specific legal meanings. For example, in American housing codes, all "apartments" must contain a kitchen, bathing facilities, and a sleeping area, or else that term may not be used. This generates various differences within the English-speaking world, and the terms such as "single-family", "two-family", or "three-family" building, residence, house, home, or property can be generic and thus convey little or no building plan (style of building) information. Such terminology is most common in advertising and real-estate markets that offer leasing of such units, or sales of such buildings.

Example of late Victorian terrace in Moss Side, Manchester, UK.

Multifamily home features
  • Tenants usually have some portion of the basement and/or common attic.
  • Fire regulations strictly require a separate emergency egress for all apartments under U.S. laws and national fire codes.
  • Utilities are either paid as part of the rent, or (now predominant) the units have separately provided heat, air conditioning, electrical distribution panels and meters, and sometimes (uncommonly) water metering, separating all secondary housing costs by rental unit. Common lighting may or may not be off a separate meter and circuitry in subdivided former single-family dwellings.
  • Leasehold documents will specify other common factors such as specific parking rights, rights to common spaces such as lawn and gardens on the premises, storage or garage (usually a detached unit, that cannot economically be converted into an additional housing unit) facilities and details such as who has responsibility for upkeep, snow removal, lawn care, and so forth.

Movable dwellings[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 6172 - Investigation of Non-Traditional Concrete and Timber-Framed Properties - Structural Survey Report, South Cambridgeshire District Council [1]
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ridge Historical Society
  4. ^ West Central Neighborhood Association
  5. ^ Shotgun houses.<>
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Cluster House", English Heritage Online Thesaurus, accessed 2011-12-07
  8. ^
  9. ^ Four Plus One info on Forgotten Chicago, retrieved 2010-04-20

External links[edit]