Unit 8.1

Housing: Characteristics and types of houses


Types of House in Cities and Towns

  • There are several types of houses in the United Kingdom. The main types of housing are:
    • Mansions and Conservation Properties are the most luxurious. They have a lot of space, but they have historical value so it is really hard to change things in them.
    • Cottages are traditional types of homes. They can be found in rural areas of the country. They often have strong construction, thick walls and access to the garden.
    • Detached houses are free-standing buildings. They are also called single-family houses. They usually are provided with a garden but its size may vary.
    • Semi-detached houses are connected to other separate houses only by one wall.
    • Bungalows are small houses with one story. Sometimes the second story is built into the sloping roof. They have wide verandas.
    • Terrace house is connected to separate houses by two walls located on the opposite side. This type of housing is the most iconic for the United Kingdom.
    • Flats (apartments) are only a part of a much bigger building. There are a lot of different types of flats, for example, studio flats with open-air design or converted flats which are flats created of splitting the house into top and bottom flat.

Regarding Structure

  • There are several options for houses in terms of structure. Most common are:
    • flats,
    • houses with the garden or patio,
    • low rise houses,
    • attached houses.

Divisions and Rooms in the Home

  • The design and structure of houses are quickly changing because of globalization, urbanization and other social, economic, demographic, and technological factors.
  • Most conventional modern houses have one or more bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen or cooking area, and a living room.
  • House may have a separate dining room, or the eating area may be integrated into another room.
  • Most of the British houses have a garden.

The average size of housing and their different rooms

  • The average size of houses in the United Kingdoms depending on the type of house.
Type of house Average size The average number of bedrooms
Detached house 146.97 mfor floor 3
Semi-detached house 95.97 mfor floor 4
Bungalow 76.92 m2 1 or 2
Apartment 60.94 m2 1 or 2

Source: dwh.co.uk

  • The average size of the usable floor area in houses and flats in England.
Type of house The average size of the usable floor area (post-2002)
Terrace house 83 m2
Semi-detached house 85 m2
Detached house 192 m2
Bungalow 69 m2
Converted flats 57 m2
Flats 60 m2

Source: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk

  • It is worth noticing that currently, homes and flats are built smaller than they used to be.

Installations and services which can be found in houses in the United Kingdom

  • From 2017 buildings are required to have access to high-speed Internet.
  • House must have a bath or shower with the ability to heat hot water.
  • Houses in multiple occupations, which are houses which are subdivided from larger houses to provide housing for more than one family, are required to provide fire doors in certain areas.
  • Renting properties have to provide Gas Safety Certificate if they have any kind of gas device, from central heating boilers to gas fires.
  • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. In Scotland, you must display the EPC somewhere in the property. It contains:
    • Information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs,
    • recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.
  • If the house has electrical equipment or electrical systems they should have portable appliance testing, known also as PAT testing, under which electrical equipment is routinely checked for safety. Landlords which maintain legal requirements do not have to have all devices tested, but they have to show a “duty of care” but it is still recommended that a test certificate is obtained.
  • Houses should be also equipped in the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Equipment in rented flats or houses can vary.


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