Types of Houses by Basic Structure


According to the basic structure, we can divide house into at least 30 structures.

Why we need to know all these types? Well, maybe we want to know what type of our house is.

Maybe some people just know they buy a house or more but never know about the type. Except fot the aesthetic style like wood house, concrete house or glass house.

But, I think it is interesting to know types of houses. The reason? just because we are interested with that.

Single Family ( Detached ) House


In America, 70% of American lives in detached house. This type of house is wanted by much more people than other house’s types.

The reason? Maybe independence. It is a home separated from other home. Built on its own property.

This type of house exploded after WWII. With less than 13% of US people live in suburbs before WWII, in 2010 the number becomes 50%.

However, new generations seem demand for new type of housing. As example, Baby Boomers want Condominium, Apartment or Townhouses.



A Condominium is a home among many homes in one building or a series of buildings. The titleship is for each unit. The building is govern by elected body like HOA in US and Strata Council in Canada.

In other countries, the building can be governed by the developer of the building itself.  The make decisions on behalf of the owners and owns the communal areas and property.

They also make decisions about regulations, maintenance and others.

This condo type of building is divided into single condo, duplex or triplex.

The duplex is a building with 2 stories building built from the beginning or as result of joining 2 buildings together.

The triplex, in the other hand is similar to the duplex. But sure, it has 3 levels.

But, this type of condo is for New York City building only. For other cities or countries, duplex and triplex can be side by side buildings.

So, townhouses or row houses can be considered as condo based on the structure. And, also, because the owner only own the unit and not the entire property.



Apartment is a group of housing unit in one building. The units are for rent for tenants and the titleship belongs to one entity.

The difference between apartment and condo is the ownership. The apartment is rent housing. The condo is owned housing.


Co-op is physically similar to condo and apartment. The difference is the legal and finacial arrangement. Each entity that buys unit(s) actually share a percentage of the bulding. They technically lease their unit from the Co-op.

The main difference would be the Co-op association. The members can reject potential buyer from buying inro the building. Entity can reject on finacial basis or unwilling to follow the rules made bya the association. This is something an HOA can’t do.

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Townhouse /TownHome

A tow home is a series / row homes with shared wall among the units. Each unit has its own interior but shares a wall with its next houses, either to the left or right.

The difference with the condo is, the exterior of the unit is maintaned by the owner. Each owner has responbility for the exterior and interior of the house.

This rowhomes is more like a single family homes. E#xcept, the side wall is attached to other house(s).


A home with square footage, single story and comes with front porch. This bungalow-style house is raised from the ground level. And, can be accessed from steps at the front of the porch.

Also, this home usually has dormer windows for the attic room just under the pitched toof.

This home was popular in 1900 in USA. Such houseis still plenty in number in America. But new houses seems not about to replicate the style.


A rancher is a single floor home. But the size is larger and comes in rectangular footprint. This kind of house was popular in the USA during 1950s. That said, when properties are larger than today.



It can be defined as small vacation home. Bringing back the original word, a cottage was a small, one-room house with thatched roof and thick wall.

But today, the meaning of word cottage is deviated. Sadly no longer reffered to small vacation home.

A large, luxurious vacation home is referred as cottage too. Which is, in opposite to the original definition.



Cabin is a small, rustic vacation house. Cabin is always built in rural areas. It is less finished than a cottage. Maybe, unpainted or can be a log-built homes in the woods.


Chalet originally was a structure to house sheep and goat herders in Switzerland. These days, chalet is a form of a vacation building in the mountain. And, now is associated with ski.

However, there are some technical trait about this chalet. It has steep roof to deal with snow. It also has long overhang.

Multi-Family House

This is a home that has more than 1 using units. It is a general term for condos, apartment, co-op and other similar dwellings.

In-law Suite ( Basement Suite )

Today, some big cities have new homes with in-law suite. The basement is for rent since property price and costs raise pretty significant in those cities.

The basement however, is part of a building and can be considered as single family home.

If you build the house separated from the main building, it falls in carriage house or laneway category.

Barndominium / Barn House


house-types-barn house

It is a barn house. Barn that is converted into a house fully or partially. A barn house can be fitted with metal roof, wall and also large windows. Actually, there are barn houses today that are built originally as a house. But, isnpired by barn design.

Coach House / Carriage House

house-types-classification-carriage coah house

This carriage house is, literally a house for carriage. A horse drawn carriage. Today, carriage house or coach house is a home built for rent.

Tiny Home

house-types-classification-tiny house

The size of tiny home is around 100 tp 400 sq ft. These houses are eficient for design and features. This house becomes popular since people want to mortgate free. The cost to build the house is around $10.000 to $100.000 depending on the design and materials used.

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Mobile Home


It is a home that we can tow and remove to other places. This house usually is made in factory and is transported to the site to be built. A mobile house can be moved but is not for frequent towing like  RV.

Mobile homes are not expensive.And, some home owners also own their own property.



This mansion is a term for large, luxurious home. But, no legal limit on how large a building is to be considered as mansion.



Yurt is actually a home used by traditional Mongols. They are nomadic ad pack their homes whenever they are moving. It is an ideal house for a nomadic  peopl elike them.

Yurt is more like a tent. The wall and the roof is made of waterproff fabric. This house can be fitted with amenities of regular home. And, some people also live in this home for full year.

Floating Home

house-types-floating house

Floating water is a home that floats on a water. It can be found in a city with large lakes or river. Vanscuver is one of the city that has floating homes along river or lakeside.

Basically, there are 2 types of floating homes.

  • Fixed Floating House

It is a house that floats. A house on the water. This house is not meant to be moved along a river. It is designed to be stationary and is built on an artificial platform above water.

  • Mobile Floating House

Mobile floating house can move easy like boat and much more frequently. It is equipped with motor or a boat that is made as a home.

So, what about a boathouse?

building classification type boathouse

Unfortunatelly, a boat house is a house for boat. Or, “garage” for boat. So, it is not a home but part of a home. It is a place for boat and the house is located abobve the boat house ( usually )

Tree House

building classification type tree house

Not so much of us will want to live in a tree house. But some people do it. They built tree house for living.

However, a tree house is a famous type of playhouse for Children.


house-types-castle Alcazar_de_Segovia

Castle is know for its extraordinary size of the properti. Castle can have more than 20 rooms together with lots bathroom.

No wonder, castle was built during middle age. The primary purpose is for dwelling and defend.


Palace is a place as laerge as a castle. But, it is not for defend. Palace is only a residence.

However, palace is a luxury place for royalty and nobility. And for some palace, also is a place for some goverment functio.


Home types-le-chateau-de-chambord-espanol

The France language for palace in the first place. But, a chateau doesnt function as  goverment building. A chateu is only for residential purpoese.


Villa is the Italian language for Chateau. But now, the term villa may not refer to a very large buikding. Villa can be smaller house.


Manor is what an Engilsman would call a chateau. Yes, literally an Englisman but not people who can speak English



It is a military stucture to house military folk and to defend it too.

Underground House

building classification type underground homes

A house built under the surface of the ground. The burried part can be just 3/4 or even half of the structure. But, the roof has to be burried with soils.

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Underground house is a great house in term of heating and cooling. The temperature of the interior is stable and may not need additional cooling or heating.

Today, there are many underground houses. From the one built with traditional design into the ones with modern design and large glass windows and wall.

Cave House

house-types-cave house

Cave house basically is what many of the human have in the early history. Some cave houses are rustic and look as just a crude cave fitted with durniture.

But some others are mode modern and clean to look at.

Container House

building classification type container house

It is a simple yet practical and economical. A container has its age when use for shipping. So, these expired containers can be made as homes with some modifications.

Dome / Round House

building classification type dome house

Round house or dome house also is a unique house type. This round shape distributes power from the outside equally. So, this is the reason for using dome houses in some eartquake prone locations in third world countries. The above dome houses were built to replace normal houses which were damaged by eathquake. in Klaten, Indonesia.

Besides the structure, house types can be classified based on the construction method and the materials of the home is used.

Home classification based on construction method

Site-built home

This home is built on site. Most of the homes are built on the site.

Prefabricated homes

This is a home with shape and materials built in a factory. Assembled on site or in the factory. And, is towed to the site.

Modular Home

It is a factory built home that is made of pods or module. The home can be made larger by adding more modules and locked together on site.

Manufactured homes

It is similar to a mobile homes but looks more like a real traditional home. This home also is built in factory on steel frame. And, is shipped to the site entirely or by sections.

Panel Home

This home is constructed out of panels. The panels are built off stite but is assembled together on site.

However, there’s other classifications for a home, which is by its design and material. This is a common classification of house types in the internet.

Concrete Home

Brick House Design

Corten Steel House / Metal House

Wood House

Stone House

These are the home types and classifications normally used in the internet. However, these classifications  her are quite different from property classification by law.

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