Housing comes in many shapes and sizes around the world. But some of them are truly bizarre indeed.
What types of dwellings are there?
Around the world, there are various types of dwellings. This is a product of the varied cultures and histories of each particular culture as well as external influences from others.
But, while the terminology does vary around the world, the basic types of dwellings tend to be more or less the same - with some exceptions of course.
In North America, the basic forms of dwelling tend to fall into one of the following types.
These are a building, or complex of buildings, that contain a number of individually owned apartments or houses. This term is not common in other parts of the world, like the UK, where they are normally called blocks of flats.
"Condominiums are generally found in apartment buildings, other types of properties, for example, townhouses, may also have a condo ownership model." - homeownership.ca.
2. Detached houses
Detached houses, as the name suggests, are dwellings, usually at least two-stories, that stand on their own. These types of dwelling typically have their own surrounding grounds and are usually, but not always, the most expensive form of dwelling.
They may even have a series of ancillary structures like a garage or series of sheds and stores etc.
Townhouses tend to be characterized as tall, narrow dwellings that usually run over several floors. They tend to be terraced and can have three or more floors.
Each dwelling shares at least one wall with an adjacent house. In some circumstances, they may also have separate dwellings above, or below them too. However, in places like the UK these tend to be called maisonettes.
4. Semi-detached house
In contrast to detached houses, semi-detached houses share a party wall with an adjacent property. Like detached houses, they tend to come with some land and may, or may not, have an ancillary structure like a garage, shed(s) or stores.
5. Duplex or Triplex dwelling
As the names suggest, these are dwellings that spread over several floors within a building that is divided into multiple units.
"In dense areas like Manhattan and downtown Chicago, a duplex or duplex apartment refers to a maisonette, a single dwelling unit spread over two floors connected by an indoor staircase. Similarly, a triplex apartment refers to an apartment spread out over three floors." - Wikipedia.
Like townhouses, these are also called maisonettes in places like the UK.
Bungalows are low profiles types of housing, as are a lot of cottages, but the distinction comes between the style, and history. They tend to only consists of single-story but can have converted roof spaces to form dormer bedrooms and other living spaces.
What are the types of houses in the USA?
According to sites like nimvo.com, houses in the US tend to fall into one of the following types: -
- Ranch - Ranches are pretty popular in the US, and are considered perfect for families. They come in a range of architectural styles.
- Bungalow or Craftsman - These types of homes tend to focus on the use of natural building materials. "This style of homes started popping up after the Arts and Crafts Movement that boomed in Britain from about 1880 to 1920." - nimvo.com.
- "Cape Cod" - These properties have their origins in the 1600s, and are typically styled on traditional British thatched-roofed properties.
- Victorian - As the name suggests, these types of houses hail from the Victorian Age (1830 to 1910). They are specifically designed to be more regal looking than functional, but are very impressive looking buildings.
- Contemporary - Contemporary and modern are often interchanged and used in this style of home.
- Colonial - This style of house also dates back the 1600s and are often associated with the first American settlers.
- English Tudor - Ostensibly similar to traditional Tudor period British build forms, the English Tudor are beautiful homes indeed.
- Log Home/cabin - These were originally small wooden cabins and were typically just one-room affairs. However, the style has exploded in size over the years.
- The Mediterranean - These homes derived from the old Hacienda style from Mediterranean countries, and the characteristics are typically the same from home-to-home.
- "Tiny home" - Tiny homes have really boomed over recent years and were created for people who have decided to adopt the minimalist type of lifestyle." - nimvo.com.
What are the different types of houses in the UK?
House types are generally the same as those in the United States but there are some important differences. The terminology can also vary, as you might expect.
The main types of houses in the UK are as follows: -
- Two-level flat (sometimes called a maisonette)
- Studio flats/Bedsits- typically very small with a combined bedroom, lounge, and kitchen
- Detached house
- Semi-Detached house
- Mid-Terraced house
- End-Terraced house
- HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation - typically for students)
- Non-Traditional properties - These were either prefab or mass-produced housing units of various forms built after WW2.
5 bizarre examples of houses
1. The Upside Down House in Trassenheide, Germany
Built-in 2008 by Polish architects Klaudiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk, The Upside Down House is actually a tourist attraction rather than a house, per se. The house can be found in Trassenheide, Germany.
2. Hobbit House in Pembrokeshire, Wales
Constructed in the early 2000s, The Hobbit House in Pembrokeshire, Wales is a very bizarre house indeed. The brainchild of Simon Dale, it was envisaged as a low impact house for him and his family.
3. Domes For The World in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Designed as emergency disaster relief housing for many locations around the globe, Domes For The World are very bizarre looking indeed. Each pod can withstand around 190 km/h wind speeds and can house a single-family.
4. Egg House in Beijing, China
Costing around $960 to build, The Egg House was the brainchild of Beijing-based architect Dai Haifei. Apparently, he built the tiny home to bypass the rising cost of property in the city.
5. The Heliodome in Cosswiller, eastern France
The Heliodome in Cosswiller, France is a bioclimatic solar house that was built in 2011. The house is designed as a giant three-dimensional sundial, set on a fixed angle in relationship to the sun's movements.