When I’m looking at different types of houses, I split them into two categories: different architectural styles and different types of residential building structures.
So, what’s the difference? I know some of you will ask this question. The different types of architectural styles are the fashion you build the home in.
For example, different types of houses can follow a style based on a geographical location or an era in time.
Cape Cod, Mediterranean, Mid-Century Modern, Georgian, Ranch, etc. These are all architectural styles.
On the other hand, we have different types of building structures that make up the house.
For example, “types of houses” based on building structure includes single family, condominium, town-home, bungalow, split-level, castle, etc.
Then, there’s also the different types of sidings that a house can be made of. All these things are things that influence our decision to purchase a house while house hunting.
Types of House by Building Structure Type
Here are the types of houses with pictures and definition to help you choose your own design and more.
Single Family – Detached
When it comes to types of houses in America, the single family house is the most popular.
So, what is a detached house or home? Its just a house that’s not attached to any other house on the block.
It is a house that sits on its own plot of land. If you look at homes in most American suburbs, detached houses are what you see.
Condominiums or condos are homes within a building or a series of buildings. Normally, all the buildings occupy the same plot of land.
As a home owner in a condominium, you get a title to your unit, i.e your home.
I know of two types of condos. A duplex can be two living units attached to each other, either next to each other via townhouses or above each other like apartments.
A triplex is the same with the only difference being that it has three living units instead of just the two.
Unlike condos, you do not have a title to your unit in an apartment. Instead, an apartment is owned by one person or entity.
This person or entity then rents out units to people like you and me for a fixed monthly price.
A co-op is a building that shares similar qualities and features to a condo and an apartment.
However, a co-op is owned by several persons or entities that act as shareholders.
Each entity owns a percentage of the building. The units in a co-op are leased to potential house hunters so long as they meet the financial requirements and agree to follow the rules outlined.
Town homes are normally 2 or 3 stories tall and can be higher. If you buy a unit in a town home then you own both interior and exterior of your unit.
Unlike condos, you take up all financial responsibility for the house. Think of town homes like a single family home but one that’s attached to another home on either or both sides.
You can always tell a bungalow apart from other types of houses because it is a single story home that has a front porch.
The houses are usually square and raised from the ground. There are front steps that lead to the porch.
Ranch Style (not the salad dressing) homes are single story homes as well. You can tell the difference between a ranch and a bungalow because ranches are usually bigger and more rectangular in shape.
I associate cottages with England. You see them in the countryside all the time.
It’s a small home with a thatched roof. It features thick walls and a single room.
You will find a chalet in the mountains. These houses have a steep roof with long overhangs.
Chalets were originally shelters for sheep and goat herders in Switzerland. But, you will find them at Ski resorts these days.
Multi-family homes have two or more units. As the name suggests, it’s perfect for large or extended families.
Of all the different types of houses around the world, the in-law suite is one on the rise.
Why? With real estate prices rising year over year, an in-law suite is a way for you to offset the cost of your new home.
It’s an attachment to your home, often times the basement, that you rent out. It is not a separate structure but one that’s built into the main home.
Carriage houses were traditionally made for housing horse drawn carriages.
But, these stand-alone living units are now rented out or serve as guest quarters.
Tiny homes can be mobile or stationary and they are popular because they are affordable.
The design and layout is beautiful and intricate and I have been inside a few that had spacious insides (much to my surprise).
Don’t confuse a mobile home with a recreational vehicle (RV). Yes, you can tow or move a mobile home but they aren’t built for constant relocating.
So, you can buy a mobile home and have it towed to a plot of land that you own (where it will stay).
Mobile home parks are also a thing. You can purchase a mobile home in a park where you only have to rent the lot (you own the home).
We all know about mansions. To this day, many celebrities own mansions. Its a large and luxurious home on a large plot of land.
Yurts are round structures where the wall and roof are made of waterproof material.
They are easy to build and can be considered as a type of tiny home. They are also affordable.
Thinking about types of houses for kids? Nothing beats the age old tree house.
Even adults live in tree houses. They can be small or large and obviously they are built in trees.
Perhaps one of the most popular types of houses in England back in the 19th century.
Normally reserved for royalty and noblemen, if you have the funds to buy or build one, then go for it.
A chateau is a private residence that’s common in France. It’s like a private palace or mansion.
Think of a villa as the Italian version of a chateau. Though the term is used for luxurious “hotel/resorts”.
And, of course, the English have their own version of the chateau. The manor.
No, your basement does not count as an underground house. The entire home needs to be underground!
Long gone are the days where containers were just for shipping goods. You can actually live in one now.