There are so many different types of houses around the world that resonate with culture, life, resources and history.
Here in the UK, we have become so familiar with the sight of traditional brick and mortar, it’s almost exotic and shocking to see other types of homely structures planted around the world. From the mud house to the shack house and all the way through to the underground house.
And these are only accounting for the houses that are still in use today. For example, there’s Turkish rock houses, the pueblo houses of Southern USA, Indonesia’s spiked rumah gadang houses and so many more that no longer stand as inhabited homes.
Here at The Hobby Kraze, we bring adventures around the globe, with new sights, smells and sensations around every corner. We also bring you everything there is to know about – well, as much as we can think of – so you’re kept informed about our great world. With that, we’ve selected 26 of the most commonly seen houses around the world where people still settle under one roof today.
Let’s get building:
First on the list is the American colonial house dating back to 17th century America under British colonial rule.
These houses were reminiscent of the houses seen back in Britain at the time. They were symmetrical, had the door in the middle, had side-gabled rooves (i.e., you can only see the triangle from the side of the house), had one or two large fireplaces, were one-room in depth, were two stories tall and had single-pane hung windows for each room.
The reason these types of houses still exist in the US and not so much in the UK is that they have been kept as an architectural ornament detailing history and culture. However, some are associated with controversial plantations such as the grandeur colonial homes in the South East.
Arguably one of the most common homes around the world for those living in cities, the apartment and flat are just that: flat.
These one-storey living arrangements can come in all shapes and sizes from the high rise to the condo and from the conversion to the self-contained village. The idea is that large buildings have a multitude of flats for people to rent or buy and live in. There are often communal areas such as a gym, a garden, a reception area, a security suite, parking and sometimes even a recreational area.
As well as this, they can come in all shapes and sizes from the one or two-bed split-storey maisonette to the four-bedroom suite. One of the best features of deciding to settle under one roof with many others is the communal repairs and maintenance of the building that you wouldn’t get with your typical detached house.
Then again, if your budget stretches, we’re sure it’ll be the views, space and privacy of the penthouse suite that is the best part to apartment living.
Much like the apartment and flat, the bungalow is a single-story house. However, they’re detached and single-standing rather within a complex.
In our hub of interesting facts about houses is the history of bungalows. They’re somewhat common throughout the UK and were built after the war as a very cheap and fast way to create new housing. Many of which are still standing today.
Despite this, and the common association between the bungalow and old British living, they did not originate from our little island; they actually came from India. It was a Bengali style of home typically featuring one floor and a large shading veranda.
We always hear about individuals somewhere in the world (mainly in the US) taking the whole ‘doomsday’ thing a little too seriously. With this, many have dug-out underground living arrangements with a hoard of cans just in case.
Despite this, the bunker house is not only native to those looking to flee impending doom. They’re also used by entire villages from the church to the pub in Australia. The difference being that Australian towns like Coober Pedy migrated below ground to escape the hot sun and cool down.
Characteristically though, the discerning factor of a bunker is that it can be quite bleak as no natural sunlight can come through.
Think ‘Cabin in the Woods’ but less dangerous. The cabin is actually the quintessential escape hut for many woodland and lakeside areas.
Mainly one of those types of houses you’d see in the US rather than the UK, the cabin is an environmentally friendly hut built using local materials of wood with log panelling, thatched rooves and heavy wooden doors.
Strangely enough, they’re often confused with the cottage, although the cottage is much more of an urban house in comparison. The cabin is perfect for weekend holidays with the family and those just wanting to get off the grid (because you’re not really connected to anything in a cabin).
Also called a houseboat, a narrowboat and a barge, these floating homes have been floating down the British canal system since the 18th century.
When it comes to thinking about different house types, it doesn’t come any much more unique than the canal boat; for one, all other types of houses are on land. However, the basics are that these seemingly small and narrow homes are a Tardis if there ever was one.
There’s room to fit every household amenity plus the worldly possessions. Yet, the clincher is that (depending on your mooring membership and license) you simply have to float along the canals of the beautiful British countryside and live somewhere new every two weeks.
Oh, it’s also much cheaper and a better footprint for the environment, too.
Castles are an ancient type of home dotted around Europe dating all the way back to the 10th century where Normans would construct large castles to symbolise their power after conquering land.
Castles have been built as homes around the world up until the 19th century, but their main purpose was to always protect and defend. Which is something you can’t really complain about.
Here at The Hobby Kraze, this is a favourite; the historic stone walls, the lives once lived and the large quarters to explore for hidden rooms.
In fact, it’s not actually impossible. Sites like Savills often have castles listed throughout the UK for sale. For example, at the time of writing, the Pitadie Castle ruins are up for sale as well as Seton Castle in East Lothian.
Interesting facts about houses all stem from cave dwellings. Actually, all types of houses stem from cave dwellings. From our neanderthal ancestors choosing to settle under one roof of a cave to hide from predators, they have adapted over the centuries.
Cave dwellings, surprisingly, are more common than cottage homes around the world. This is because they really are everywhere being used by a breadth of cultures. For example, Grenada, Spain, Indonesia, Turkey, Tunisia, Georgia, Iran, China, Afghanistan and more.
Today, many of them are still in use; they are easy to heat in the Winter and easy to cool in the Summer due to the lack of light penetration and the make-up of the dwelling. They don’t collapse in an earthquake or set alight in a fire which makes them pretty safe types of houses to have.
Plus, your real estate depends on how much you want to carve out, so an 8-bedroom home isn’t off the cards in your new rural village.
The chalet begun life as housing for farmers keeping cows, sheep and other livestock. Today, it is the pinnacle for the Winter getaway to the slopes for a skiing adventure with family and friends.
To learn more about the ins and outs of skiing as a hobby when you’re staying in an Alpen chalet, feast your eyes on our article “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Skiing”.
Back to the chalet of it all: they’re typically featured in the Swiss and French Alps with dark wooden walls and a steep overhanging roof to bear the weight of fresh powder fall. They are the epitome of a cosy night by the fire with furs after a long day on the slopes.
These properties blew-up in the noughties and are still being built today. However, they’re typically custom builds and you won’t find them on your average estate. Contemporary homes around the world all have their unique twist, but they still feature similar characteristics.
For example, they all tend to have modern and neutral colour schemes with flat top rooves, a lot of right angles and protruding modules.
However, it’s not always about the aesthetics to these houses; they’re much like eco-homes in the fact that they’re built for people to settle under one roof without a large footprint on the environment through solar panel usage, evergreen plants and more.
A typical conversion is anything but typical. Conversion houses can be anything from a barn in the US to a chapel in the UK. And vice versa, too.
They may harbour unique character, historic charm and a personalised touch. In fact, they can be so different between each conversion, we can’t pin-point any typical or matching features. Only that they are built from extraordinary structures.
Some of the most well-known (and strange) conversion properties and homes around the world include a water tower in Warwickshire, a train station in New York, a garage in New York, a courthouse in Essex, a schoolhouse in Leiden, a bank in Washington and a grain silo in Arizona.
If you’ve ever watched the classic Christmas staple movie, The Holiday, with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, you know the quintessentially British cottage.
It’s the small gate with a front lawn, the door in the middle of the house, the wonky build, the small chimney, the exposed stone walls and – who could forget – the thatched roof.
A cottage is cosy, quaint and filled with enough character to get you through your late years sat in front of the fire with everyone you love. In fact, one of the interesting facts about houses from the team here at The Hobby Kraze is that the cottage originates from right here in the UK.
And, while the definition has remained true to this day for us, many of our cousins from across the pond associate a cottage with a holiday home.
We’ve hit the ultimate British dwelling in our types of houses. It is the detached. Typically, it’s home to the family of four, a few bedrooms, a garage, a garden at the back and a few more cookie-cutter features that help you feel right at home.
These different house types have their four walls without sharing any from another house, building or structure. With this, they tend to be a little bigger than the other classic and modern British properties like the semi-detached (two detached houses attached) or terraced house in all aspects; from the garden to the mortgage.
Either way, a detached house can be the cookie-cutter house on the estate that we mentioned, but it does also describe any house that is free standing. For example, the cottage, the bungalow, the tiny house, the eco-home, the conversion, the contemporary, the chalet and so on can all be considered detached types of houses.
The eco-home (A.K.A. a turf house) was once a singular decision by homeowners and landowners looking to make a positive change for themselves and the land they live on. However, recent years have seen more government bodies around the world bringing in new sustainable and eco-friendly housing initiatives and promises.
With this, the eco-home will typically have grass growing on the roof, sustainable electricity sources such as solar, reclaimed building materials, organic insulation and other technological features that lower energy consumption and loss.
In the UK, there has been a goal set in place for 2025 to see no new build homes, conversions or renovations take place with a gas boiler. Instead, all new homes will feature clean energy sources to cut overall emissions by 80%!
A farmhouse, as you may have guessed, is one of those types of houses situated in the middle of a large agricultural plain. In fact, any farm where the farmer lives in their own detached house on the land is called a farmhouse regardless of what it looks like or what it is made out of.
So, if it was built using sustainable materials it could be an eco-home. If it was built in Switzerland, it could also be a chalet. If it was built with contemporary design in mind, we’ll let you fill in the blanks.
The idea is to settle under one roof with family while surrounded by the land you work on. P.S. a bonus here is that there are also some houses that have land but are directly attached to a barn for fast access; these are called housebarns and are typically seen in the equestrian ring.
Favelas are a cultural and geographical name given to the rising slums that house the biggest population in South America. While Brazil isn’t the only country home to these types of houses, they have one of the most famous examples.
Here at The Hobby Kraze, we bring information. This means allowing real-world considerations into an article talking about all the extravagant and interesting different house types around the world. We’re also here to open your eyes to lives lived around the world.
Favelas are a community of tightly packed shacks providing crude shelter to families, a lack of safe drinking water, no plumbing solutions and a vulnerability to gang violence and natural landslides.
So, while thinking about the various types of houses you could one day see yourself in, think about how you could also make a difference to the lives in the Brazilian Favelas.
Walking through a slightly lighter threshold, we’re whisked away to the traditional Korean house.
Originating in the 14th century, the architects behind these stunning structures of living designed them in a way that included so much more than the structure, itself. For example, they would traditionally have the mountains visible in the back with a flowing river at the front.
The curved roof reveals an ornate oriental design, the house is heated through the Winter months using smoking systems under the floor and they are built entirely using locally sourced materials and natural woods.
Despite the architecture stemming from the Joseon Dynasty, they are still a popular cultural home today. In fact, Seoul is home to the lasting Hanok villages of Bukchon Namsagol and Ikseon-dong.
An Igloo is a dome-structured house made entirely out of snow. It was traditionally a home made by the Inuit and Eskimo people situated across Canada and Greenland and is still used today as an insulating home for those living in Canada’s Central Arctic.
Another of our interesting facts about houses is that many feel they should have permanence. When, in reality, they can be temporary. Igloos can last for days or weeks depending on size; while it’s being slept in, body heat causes the walls to melt. But when inhabitants are out, the ice will re-freeze.
However, as with any different house types, the building blocks are different. Sloping snowbricks are stacked on top of each other in a spiral to eventually meet at the top. Small air pockets in the snowbrick make for good insulation, rising the overall temperature by over 45°C with body heat alone.
Both the manor house and the chateau are one in the same entity; both are very large private palaces that serve no purpose other than to be a large house for someone. However, one is in the UK and the other is in France.
Traditionally, some were once home to farmers and others were the holiday houses of the Royals. With this, there are so many manor houses dotted throughout the English countryside that have historical architecture and design such as the Tudor manor halls often used as spa hotels. As well as this, there are 3-storey Victorian manor homes and Georgian halls that have all had their limelight as a hosting manor house.
Today, famous examples include royalty such as Prince Charles living in Highgrove House and Prince Andrew living in the Royal Lodge.
A mansion is, by Latin and Old-French, the name for a very large dwelling. Some of the Victorian houses we mentioned earlier (depending on the size) can often be considered mansions if not a regular detached house or a manor house.
However, what classes as a mansion can often be dictated by estate agents who need a way to distinguish properties. More often than not, a mansion is classified as having a 5,000 to 8,000 square foot living space. Then, it needs to be able to cater to extravagance and luxury.
Many mansions around the world will have their own feat of luxury, as seen throughout celebrity homes. Whether it’s multiple pools, games rooms, a personal spa, rolling hills, a private cinema, a secret garden, a library, a gym or even a ballroom, it should bring that level of ‘extra’ comfort.
Also called static caravans (ironically), motorhomes, RVs and trailers, the mobile home is a form of container-style house kitted out with the tools for living and the equipment for hauling.
So, you can live wherever the wind takes you simply by trucking your motorhome up the M1 or hooking it onto the tow for an overseas adventure on the continent.
They’re cheaper than larger homes, they’re much cosier, they’re more personal, they’re far quicker to clean, they’re big enough for everything you need and they’re pretty flexible when looking to relocate (without wanting to go through the hassle of moving to a new house much like the canal boat).
A round house characteristically, is a single storey dwelling with a circular floorplan and a conical roof.
There is a dark children’s tale behind the use of round houses in many cultures. It is said that the dark corners of a room were the perfect place for demons to lurk and attack. However, this really is just a story and the reality is that round homes offer more resistance to the elements and control of the inside temperature.
Examples of roundhouse homes around the world include the Celtic roundhouse, the Indonesian honai home, the Mongolian travelling yurt, the contemporary roundhouse, the silo conversion, the Spanish pallozas, the Papa New Guinean raun haus and the igloo.
Here in the UK, you’ll know them as the classic terraced property. Especially when it comes to the more general city areas up North such as Manchester and Liverpool. However, when it comes to the height of London living and, in the US, these different house types are called townhouses.
Despite this, the characteristics of the terraced and townhouse types of houses are that they are attached to more houses on either side. The front and back are free for both the entrance and the doorway to the garden.
This means many terraced properties could share a chimney, share a roof, share an attic space and even share a garden space. Rather unsurprisingly, these houses are built closer to the cities due to the dwindling space, so it was a case of budling up instead of out. This is why you can find many 3 and 4-storey terraced homes.
The tiny house is another trend emerging in the noughties and remaining strong through to the modern twenties.
The tiny house movement is a way of elaborating on minimalism and maximising the way small spaces of 60 to 400 square feet can be used. Many, of which, also feature eco-friendly design such as special water pumps and solar panels for power.
In fact, there has been a recent surge in the demand for self-designed and unique tiny homes enough to lead multiple documentaries and competition shows such as Tiny House Nation.
While they’re not technically types of houses people will settle under one roof for, they have ‘house’ in the name and the typical features such as a roof.
These wooden houses are an ode to nature as they have very minimalistic features; being built entirely out of the wood that surrounds them, featuring no plumbing facilities and only the space to roam around in nature. They’re effectively a cabin in the treetops.
These days, the traditional treehouse has evolved from being the kids toy room built by dads on a bank holiday Monday all the way to 1,000 square foot tree-mansions made for the nomad explorer to enjoy while escaping the 9-5.
Finally, we have the villa. These are traditional Mediterranean homes standing in the temperate regions of Europe such as Southern France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Monaco, Greece and so on.
One of the interesting facts about houses as villas is that they originated with the Romans who would use villas in the hills as the upper-class holiday home. Cue the gallons of wine, palm leaf fanning and eloquent banquets.
Today, character of the villa includes the iconic rusted orange tiled roof, the white sandstone and stucco-patterned walls, the floral iron gates, the shallow steeped rooving, large archways, airy rooms and tiled flooring. They let the light in, keep the rooms cool and let you take a breath of relaxing fresh air.
So, that’s the final brick in this construction of the different types of houses and homes around the world.
Let us know where you are, which of the different house types you’ve lived in and which you see yourself living in the future! Our team here at The Hobby Kraze love to hear from you and it’s always fun to discover the new adventures, experiences and aspirations that you want to read.
But, if you’re not quite ready to say “hi” yet, we think you might also like to have a read of our other articles:
- 17 Different Types of Resort and Finding the Holiday to Suit You
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Backpacking
- The 31 Types of Melon Around the World
- Uncorking an Unwinding in the 26 Novel Types of Bar
- The 21 Different Types of Firework Bringing an Explosive Sight of Awe