The Typical British House
The typical British home is semi-detached, which means it is attached to one other house. They are usually built with stone or brick. However, there are many other types of housing too: detached (a single-standing house), terraced (several houses joined together), flats/apartments (individual single-floor apartments in one building block) and bungalows (single-storey houses). You may also find mansions or stately homes nestled in the British countryside. These tend to be owned by wealthy individuals or run in the family and they’re often associated with luxury and affluence. Mansions and stately homes are often shown in British TV series and films and look beautiful but they cost an awful lot of money to run and residents often open up the rooms and gardens to the public in order to recoup some of the costs.
British homes tend to be two storeys high. Unlike in many European countries and America, the floor at street level is called the ground floor. You’d generally find a kitchen, dining room, sitting room and downstairs toilet. Many houses have one combined dining/sitting room and the kitchen is often referred to as “the heart of the home”, where family entertainment and drinks events take place. Another typical British feature is a conservatory leading into a back garden. Conservatories are made up of windows and attract the sun, keeping them very warm in the summer months.
Upstairs on the first floor, you’ll find the bedrooms and family bathroom. Many bedrooms now have en-suites, which are private bathrooms making the family bathroom less popular.
Typical features you’ll find in a British home include old fireplaces with a chimney, radiators in each room, carpets, window sills and exposed brick walls. Depending on the size of the house, you may also find a cellar, a basement and an attic space in the roof.
Given the density of houses in big cosmopolitan cities, not many have big gardens and, instead, have allotments, which are small areas in the suburbs where you can grow fruits and vegetables. Many communities may group together to create a local allotment and some councils may offer them to local residents. For houses that do offer garden space, an outdoor office has become increasingly popular off the back of needing to work from home. This is often in the form of a converted garden shed or garage.
British houses are some of the oldest in Europe and, despite the picturesque view on the outside, they often fall victim to damp and mould on the inside due to outdated heating systems and lack of insulation.