Comparison of British and American Housing

Updated on January 18, 2017
Nathanville profile image

My interest in social and cultural politics extends from my interest in genealogy and history, and how they project into today's Societies.

Street where I live in Bristol, showing typical residential city view in England.
Street where I live in Bristol, showing typical residential city view in England.

My Perception

With an interest in history I’ve always had a fascination in trying to understand how and why various social aspects of different cultures diverge and converge overtime. It’s one of my many interests, and to feed this curiosity I often read up about it from some of the more reputable web sources e.g. Wikipedia, but this tends to be a dry source of information. So to put some flesh to the bones I also like to correspond with people from different cultures across the world.

Housing is one indicator which can tell you a lot about the people of a culture, and with my interest in DIY I often watch American DIY programmes on TV, from which I gleam numerous fascinating differences in how (but not why) American homes are built and fitted-out compared with British homes.

Obviously, never having been to America I don’t have any first-hand experience of American housing, but I hope the knowledge I’ve acquired from indirect sources has given me a reasonable understanding of the subject.

If per chance I am off-beam on any aspects covered in this article I would be grateful for constructive feedback in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Confusing Things About British Homes

Timber Frame vs Brick Built

In Britain almost all homes are brick and mortar; even most new homes are constructed from brick. The standard build being a cavity wall construction; with the inner skin being built from either clay bricks or concrete blocks, and the outer skin usually made with bricks. Interior walls dividing rooms are usually brick built, even when they’re not load bearing.

A clay brick is about 8 inches long and 3 inches high, with a concrete block measuring about 18 inches long and 8 inches high. With both being about 4 inches wide. The gap between the inner and outer wall, which these days is filled with insulation is generally about 3 inches wide.

The bricks or concrete blocks on the inside are then plastered, which when dry can be painted and decorated. The outer bricks are either left visible or rendered with cement; and if rendered can be pebble dashed and optionally painted.

In the USA, from what I’ve seen on telly, especially DIY programmes, almost all American homes are timber frame and cladded with wood.

There are pros and cons in both construction methods, and I don’t know which is best.

However, the pros of a brick built home over timber frame are:-

  • It’s a more substantial solid build that can last centuries, and
  • It provides excellent support for fixtures and fittings, including shelves, mirrors and pictures.

The cons are:-

  • It can take a lot longer and more labour intensive to build with brick, and therefore more expensive, and
  • It’s more difficult and time consuming to knock down a non-structural internal brick wall e.g. for open plan.


Almost all British homes are roofed with either clay tiles or slate; most commonly clay tiles in cities.

In watching the American DIY programmes on telly I’m fascinated to observe that almost every American home seems to be roofed with felt tiles (felt roofing shingles). Fascinated in that in Britain felt shingles are only used for light structures such as garden sheds, and never for housing. Apart from which in Britain, it would be difficult to get planning permission from the Local Council (Local Government) to use felt on house roof.

Time-lapse of New Brick Built Homes in the UK

Your Building Preference

Is Timber Frame Better?

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Interior Design and Layout

In most respects, as far as I can see there is little difference between décor, furnishings, fixtures and fittings in American and British homes. However two notable differences are bedrooms and bathrooms.


I understand from watching American TV that a room is only classified as a bedroom if it has a built-in closet; whereas in Britain built-in closets are almost non-existent. The vast majority of British homes have freestanding wardrobes; although some householders do occasionally install a built-in wardrobe in an alcove in the bedroom.

Under British Building Regulations a room can only be classified as a bedroom if it’s not another utility room such as a living room, bathroom or kitchen etc., and you can fit a bed in it. If you can fit a double bed in a spare room then it’s classified as a double bedroom, whereas if it’s only large enough for a single bed then it’s a single bedroom.

The number and type of bedrooms is reflected in the price of the property; the more bedrooms a house have (especially double bedrooms) the more valuable the property is.


Again, from watching TV, I get the distinct impression that in America the bathroom almost always comprises the bath, shower, toilet and sink; and that it’s standard that most bedrooms have their own en-suite bathroom. I also note that the hot and cold water is controlled from a single faucet.

For clarity, in Britain although the bathroom can include the bath, shower, toilet and sink, it’s not always necessarily the case. It’s not unusual in British homes for the toilet and the sink to be in a separate room from the bathroom. En-suite bathrooms are uncommon, most usually the toilet and bathroom (whether they are in the same room or separate rooms) are communal rooms often at the top of the stairs, or sometimes downstairs.

In our house we have the toilet, shower and sink in one room at the top of the stairs with a separate en-suite bathroom adjoining the main bedroom.

In British homes most washbasin, bath and kitchen sink tapes are still separate taps for hot and cold water; although mixer taps are becoming more popular.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Our bathroom, with no toilet as that's in a separate room.Our toilet, which includes shower and sink.
Our bathroom, with no toilet as that's in a separate room.
Our bathroom, with no toilet as that's in a separate room.
Our toilet, which includes shower and sink.
Our toilet, which includes shower and sink.

Appliances and Systems

At first glance, apart from most British homes not having big American style fridges with water and ice dispensers, there seems to be little difference. However, when you look a little closer there are a number of fundamental differences; three that stand out in my mind, these being:

  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Dryers

Air Conditioning

In Britain we don’t have air conditioning (we don’t have the climate for it). If it gets hot in the summer we just open the windows.

Central Heating

In conversation with Americans I get the impression that big complex systems are used to heat the radiators in the house, and that water heating is a completely separate system? It proved difficult to understand each other because we were each trying to describe systems that the other person wasn’t familiar with.

However, in most British homes these days we don’t have any large boxes on the outside or on the roof, we don’t have emersion tanks to keep the water hot and neither do we have cold water storage tanks in the loft anymore.

These days the most common system is the combi-boiler, which is a single small gas boiler; a bit smaller than a dishwasher. The combi-boiler doesn’t need a pilot light and doesn’t store any water. The gas is automatically ignited as soon as the central heating system comes on or you turn a hot water tap on; making it a very compact and efficient system. Central heating in British homes is predominantly gas because currently 45% of our gas comes from the North Sea, making it cheaper than electricity for heating.

Clothes Dryers

On speaking with American friends on social media they’ve all explained how in America the Dryer has to be vented, that there’s a risk of fire and it’s always in a separate room.

In contrast, in British homes the dryer is built into the washer, which is always installed in the kitchen, it doesn’t need an air vent, and there’s no undue risk of fire.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Our washing machine with built-in dryer, in the kitchen next to the cooker; and on the other side of the cooker is the dishwasher.The combi-boiler in a cupboard in our bathroom, which provides all the hot water on demand for the central heating radiators and hot water taps.
Our washing machine with built-in dryer, in the kitchen next to the cooker; and on the other side of the cooker is the dishwasher.
Our washing machine with built-in dryer, in the kitchen next to the cooker; and on the other side of the cooker is the dishwasher.
The combi-boiler in a cupboard in our bathroom, which provides all the hot water on demand for the central heating radiators and hot water taps.
The combi-boiler in a cupboard in our bathroom, which provides all the hot water on demand for the central heating radiators and hot water taps.

House Numbering

I often see on television American homes with four digit house numbers; so I assume (given how big American homes are) that most American roads are very long!

In Britain house numbers rarely pass the 1000 mark; with the normal house numbering pattern being even numbers on one side of the road and odd numbers on the other side.

To find an address in the UK, if you’re using an A to Z rather than a satnav, and you enter a road or street in the middle e.g. from a side road:-

  • Check to see which side of the road the evens and odds are on, and
  • Which direction the numbering is going e.g. up or down the road

Then walk or drive in the appropriate direction as you keep an eye on the house numbers on the appropriate side of the road.


I’ve seen on a few American TV programmes where a Flat (Apartment) is strangely numbered with a ½ e.g. 34 ½.

In Britain, where a large house has been converted into two Flats e.g. one upstairs and the other on the Ground Floor, then they are numbered A & B; the famous Sherlock Holmes address of 221B Baker Street being a prime example.

House numbering in UK much lower than the USA.
House numbering in UK much lower than the USA.

Small and Homely

There’s no doubt that American homes tend to be much bigger than British home; and over the decades British homes have got smaller.

I do watch American DIY programmes with some envy in that just the living room in an American home is often bigger than the entire ground floor in a typical British home.

However size isn’t everything and I am proud of our 1930s three bedroom semi-detached home, which we fully own having paid off the mortgage. Even our first home, a 1950s two bedroom terraced house was large enough for us to make it homely.

The cost of bricks and mortar is a factor in building smaller homes, but the prime factor is land conservation. Britain is only a small island with a large population of 64 million; albeit the population has only increased marginally in the last 50 years due to a declining birth rate.

It’s not that we don’t have the land; in spite of a large population 93% of Britain is rural. The one thing that prevents urban sprawl is the Green Belt policy; and unlike America we don’t build up because high-rise Flats (Apartments) are unpopular in Britain.

Therefore, the most common accepted alternative is to make houses smaller so more can be built on any given area of land.

Differences Between British & American Houses

Green Belt in the UK

The Green Belt is a zone of designated green land surrounding cities and large towns, specifically designed to inhibit urban sprawl by prohibiting development into the countryside.

The Green Belt is a concept, set up by the Socialist Labour government after the Second World War, which has had the full support of all governments since (regardless to their political persuasion) and has proved very effective in restricting development in the countryside.

Although it may restrain urban development, and isn’t something that’s popular with developers, it is an asset that’s treasured by most across the whole of society.

Consequently, with the Green Belt preventing urban sprawl rather than Britain becoming one big metropolis (like New York) we enjoy a green and pleasant land dotted with a few dozen modest sized cities, around 1,000 towns and about 4,000 villages all separated by countryside and all occupying less than 7% of the British landscape.

It means that for cities like Bristol (where I live), with a population of about half a million people, no one is ever more than a few miles from the countryside; something most British people take pride in.

The Green Belt Policy in the UK Explained

High Rise Flats of the 1960s

Flat is the British (English) word for ‘Apartment’.

During the 1960s Local Councils (Local Government) experimented with building high rise residential homes, but this proved a social disaster.

Few people in Britain want to live in high rise flats, so by the 1970s any concept of building upwards (towards the sky) to resolve housing shortages was abandoned; with a number of them having since been demolished to make way for more conventional two storey housing.

Demolition of High Rise Flats Built in the UK in the 1960s

UK Cities Green Skylines

Unlike the American city iconic skyline of skyscrapers, the height of buildings in British cities is more modest. So much so that when a British city is viewed from a distance the trees are often as dominant as the buildings themselves.

For example, in Bristol (where I live) the tallest building is St. Mary Redcliffe church, which was completed in the 15th century, with the tip of its spire being just 89m (292 feet) above ground level.

The short video below of Bristol (which is surrounded by Green Belt) gives a good example of how British cities blend into the surrounding countryside.

Iconic Views of Bristol

Your Comments

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    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 5 weeks ago from England

      Thanks for your feedback Sarah. I agree that I don’t know about housing in the USA other than what Americans have told me and from what I’ve seen on TV e.g. American DIY programmes. However, having lived all my life in the UK I am more than familiar on how British homes are built and furnished.

      I agree that combined washer dryers are not generally found in the USA and that in the USA dryers have to be vented; and for the reasons you give.

      However, in the UK combined washer dryers as a single appliance is the norm, and not only are they quite effective and safe, they don’t need venting. I can only assume that there is a divergence of technology between the UK and USA; presumably to meet different housing needs e.g. American homes are bigger and generally have the space for a separate laundry room; whereas British homes are smaller and there just isn’t the space to fit a separate dryer in the kitchen.

      In fact if you go to any major retail outlet in the UK that sales household appliances you will see a wide range of washer dryers on display. At this point I would like to reiterate that combined washer dryers sold in the UK are convenient and safe, as demonstrated in the video below.

      Samsung WD80K5410OW washer dryer:-

      A lot of confusion about air vents, which are common for dryers in America, but not in the UK, is that in the UK our machines uses ‘condensation drying’ technology that condenses the moisture so that it can be drained away through the water waste pipe rather than an air vent; as this video briefly explains:-

      From speaking with Americans on this subject and from the American TV DIY programmes I understand that there are brick built homes in the USA; but my understanding is that it’s only the outer wall that is a single thickness brick, supported by a timber frame on the inside which is insulated and then clad with plasterboard (drywall). Whereas in the UK there is no timber frame e.g. the wall being two bricks thick, with a 3 inch gap between the inner and outer wall. These days concrete blocks are generally used for the inner wall because they are cheaper, and quicker to lay, and not visible on completion because they will be skinned with plaster.

      This video show the construction of a brick cavity wall extension (using house bricks for the exterior skin and concrete blocks for the inner skin, and then roofed with clay tiles:

      Correct to a point Sarah, under the current UK building regulations there must be at least one window on the upper floor with a large enough opening for emergency exit in the event of fire; but it’s not a requirement for all bedrooms have fully opening windows. Although I do disagree with you about air conditioning and American sized fridge freezers being common in British homes; I’ve yet to see any British home with air conditioning, and although you can now by American sized fridges in the UK the more compact fridge freezers (as demonstrated in the video below) are far more common in British homes.

      Typical British Fridge Freezer:-

      Also, you seem to have over simplified ‘new house’ builds in the UK. Generally these days, a developer (who has to get planning consent from the local authority) usually has a mixed build of housing stock to cater for a wide range of social and budget restraints e.g. mixture of social housing and private housing with a range of housing from two to five bedrooms. The smaller houses suit first time buyers and people looking to downsize while the larger houses appeal more to young couples with a growing family.

      This video below is typical of the type of modern housing estates being built across the UK:-

      New Housing Estate of Two, Three and Four Bedroom Houses being built in Bristol:-

      • Aerial View: -

      • Amenities and Show Home:-

    • profile image

      Sarah 5 weeks ago

      You must live in the dark ages! As a Brit who has lived on and off in the states, lots of wrong info here. Plus I don’t know anyone who has a washer/ dryer in one as they are useless. And the dryer usually will be vented. Although in new builds the developers are not putting in vents and are Making homeowners buy a condenser dryer. Lots of homes have en suites plus a wc downstairs. Also in Scotland we have much less terraced house than in middle England. Rarely do we see this ‘back to back ‘ style.

      There’s more land mass in USA than UK therefore houses can be bigger. I have lived in different states and in different styles of houses in the US, so lots of brick built, especially in the east coast north/ mid, due to the weather.

      Especially with newer built houses, in the uk you find air con, larger fridge freezers, depending on the developer the size of the house is either far larger than previous houses or way smaller ( greedy greedy developers) . Some so small you can barely fit a double bed in them! Also in the Uk a bedroom must have a fire escape window to be legally a bedroom.

    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 2 months ago from England

      Thanks Dan for your feedback.

      Yes, I’ve often seen massive round (foil coated) ducting being installed in the roof space of American homes on American makeover programmes on TV; which I assume is either the hot air heating system and or the air conditioning system.

      Your description of heating in your mother’s house brings back memories. In the UK, prior to the 1980s few homes had central heating; most typical would be a coal fire in the living room, which if you were lucky had a back boiler for hot water, and when you went to bed you took a hot water bottle with you because there was no heating upstairs, and no double glazing. Those were the days when ‘Jack Frost’ would visit your bedroom window during the night e.g. a thick layer of crazed ice on the inside of the window from the condensation. Most people started double glazing their homes in the 1980s, which was about the same time when people started to install central heating.

      The early central heating systems introduced in the 1980s (primitive by today’s standards) consisted of a gas fire with back boiler in the living room (where the coal fire used to be); the back boiler would heat an emersion tank upstairs, and a ‘cold water’ (feeder tank) in the loft would gravity feed the emersion tank. The emersion tank (which held sufficient hot water to fill a bath) could also be heated by electric (for the summer months), and would be connected to a pump to feed the radiators with hot water. Costly to run by today’s standards but at least you could heat every room in the house; and with double glazing, no more ‘Jack Frost’.

      Then about 15 years ago all this was replaced with the combi-boiler, which does away with the gas fire, back boiler, emersion tank, and cold water tank in the loft; just one small box (about the size of a small kitchen cabinet) that does it all. The combi-boiler doesn’t store any hot water, it heats it up from the mains cold water on demand e.g. if you turn the hot water tap on you get instant hot water coming out of the tap within less than 30 seconds e.g. the time it takes the water to get from the combi-boiler to the tap; and when you turn on the central heating the radiators start getting hot within a couple of minutes. How hot you have the water is entirely up to you. If you turn the thermostat to maximum the radiators do get too hot to touch, and if you can ignore the pain and keep your hand on a radiator for more than a few seconds you will get burnt. However, I tend to keep the water temperature quite low so that the radiators only get warm (rather than hot) to allow the air to gently circulate throughout the rooms (convection), to create a nice even temperature throughout the whole house; usually a constant 22c (70f).

      I didn’t realise American clothes dryers could be gas fired; all our kitchen appliances (except optionally the cooker) are electric. 5 hours per week sounds reasonable; we tend to set our washer/dryer to automatically start in the early hours of the morning so that the clothes are ready first thing in the morning (when we get up) to hang-out, hang-up or put in the washing basket for ironing. During the summer we tend not to bother with the dryer option as my wife prefers to hang out the clothes in the garden (old habits die hard); but during the winter months when it’s too cold and damp to hang clothes out in the garden the dryer cycle is a bonus.

      This video gives a good overview of the versatility of British Washer Dryers:-

      I’m a DIY enthusiast so I do find the brick walls a right pain when it comes to remodelling our home; which I do quite regularly e.g. this year it was the dining room and kitchen, last year the living room, and after Christmas it’ll be my son’s bedroom.

      We don’t have ducting to worry about because we don’t have air conditioning or hot air heating; just the gas central heating for the water filled radiators around the home. All the water pipes and the gas pipe between the upper and lower floor are boxed-in and out of sight, but easily accessible if needed.

      The real pain is the electric cables, especially if I decide to relocate electric sockets or add new sockets; which I invariably do when remodelling a room. You can use plastic ducting that sticks onto the surface of the wall for new cabling, but I think it always looks so ugly. So whenever I do any rewiring I prefer to chisel out a channel in the brickwork, deep enough for the cable and then plaster over afterwards to make good; albeit, it’s very dusty and time consuming job chiselling a channel in the brickwork, and its hard work (heavy labour).

      Because interior walls in British homes are brick (and usually load bearing) we seldom knock them down to change the layout of the floor space (as seems common in America); we generally make do with the walls where they are. Albeit I have made some structural alterations over the years, for example:-

      • When I first renovated our kitchen we bricked up the old kitchen backdoor and I hired an angle grinder to cut a 4 foot wide opening in the side of the house to fit a new ‘French Door’ on the other side of the kitchen. Once I cut the opening I used a couple of ‘Acrow Props’ to support the exterior house wall overnight, and the following day fitted a lintel so that we could then safely fit the new door.

      • Although when it came to demolishing part of the brick wall at the back of our living room to open up the space under the stairs and make the living room bigger, I did it all by hand to limit the dust. Doing it by hand was slow hard work, that took me a couple of days, but I was glad when the Acrow Props were replaced by the lintel; because I had visions of the bedroom collapsing into the living room, but the Acrow Props did their job.

      Because the interior walls are brick in British homes, when renovating a house (or just a room) we don’t take the plaster off the wall, we just repair any damage with a bit of fresh plaster and sand back smooth when dry. All the plaster in our house is original and dates back to the 1930s (when the house was built).

      However, the big bonus of British homes being all brick is that they’re solid and potentially last for centuries. Plus the wall will structurally support any heavy object you fix to them e.g. shelfing, wall cupboards etc., and you don’t have to worry about trying to find a stud to make a secure fixing, albeit you do need to ensure there are no electrical cables buried in the wall where you’re drilling to make the screws holes.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 2 months ago from Boise, Idaho

      Most interesting. A few comments, though, on American styles:

      Walls are not typically "wood clad". Exterior surfaces have a wood cladding of plywood sheets, to provide "racking" strength, but the interior very seldom does. Instead, sheets of paper covered plaster, factory manufactured, are applied.

      Most bathrooms have either a tub or a shower, not both unless the shower is part of the bath tub. That's probably the most common arrangement. In addition, while it is common for the "master" bedroom (largest, intended for the home owner, not guests or children) to have a separate bath, other bedrooms seldom do. My own home has a bath that opens to both the master bedroom and the hallway to other bedrooms, and a second bath at the other end of the home.

      The vast majority of heating systems is hot air, where air is heated and then ducted to the rest of the home. Radiators are something seen only very rarely. My mother's house, built in 1920, has a boiler with radiators, but the radiators do not get hot - just warm. You can sit on them. This means that the boiler is not getting hot enough to provide hot water for bathing or washing.

      Instead of surrounding greenbelts, cities have smaller parks and walkways inside the city. But American cities are primarily built around automobile roads, not pathways to walk on. It was really nice to see Edinburgh streets with foot traffic only on the shopping district.

      Clothes dryers are either electric (no vent) or gas fired. If gas, a vent is necessary to vent combustion gases away from the living areas; this is usually accomplished via plastic pipe as the exhaust is not hot enough to burn the plastic. That England uses single units instead of a washer and dryer makes me wonder if Americans wash far more clothes. Or perhaps your washer runs far more hours: we will have one load washing while the other is drying and for two people the system runs perhaps 5 hours per week.

      I also wonder if part of the basic construction (wood studs vs brick) isn't because Americans remodel their homes far more often. With wiring, plumbing and ducting inside the walls it would be quite difficult to remodel a wall of two brick layers and a cavity between them. And of course removing or adding a stud wall is far quicker and cheaper than a brick one. I hadn't realized that interior British walls were brick - remodeling must be a very seldom thing there.

    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 3 months ago from England

      Thanks for your comprehensive feedback Amber, most enlightening.

      Likewise, across Europe there are significant variants in climate from the cold wet windswept north of Scotland to the dry hot sunny regions of Spain in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, there are lots of similarities in house constructions across Europe including:-

      • Use of water for heating our homes rather than air.

      • Use of clay tiles for roofing.

      • Brick or stone built rather than timber frame.

      Although there are also differences:-

      • DPC (Damp Proof Course) has to be at least six inches above ground level for houses built in the UK because of our damp climate, whereas in southern France and in Spain the ground floor doesn’t have to be built above ground level because they don’t suffer from rising damp in these regions.

      • Cavity walls aren’t necessary in southern Europe, for the same reason that damp isn’t an issue, and

      • Pitched roofs in southern Europe are less critical because of the dryer climate.

      As regards ‘zoning regulations’ each European country has its own building regulations (some quite bizarre) but generally, other than style, there isn’t a huge difference across Europe e.g. unlike America, Europeans don’t tend to build skyscrapers everywhere; and the importance of ‘green space’ is recognised so urban sprawl across Europe isn’t as rife as in America.

      Terraced and semi-detached housing isn’t just in Britain, its common throughout Europe; so is ‘normal’ to me and therefore something I’ve never thought about before. Being a DIY enthusiast I enjoy watching the American ‘Flip’ programmes on TV with my wife e.g. ‘Vegas Flip’, ‘Boston Flip’ and ‘Masters of Flip’ etc. These are American TV series where property speculators buy houses cheaply, renovate them and sale them on for huge profits within a matter of weeks. The strange thing is, it’s only now just dawned on me (after reading your comments) that almost all the houses they flip are detached.

      What fascinates us about these programmes is the speed and ability to just gut these homes, knock down walls to make rooms bigger, build-up and build-out to make the house bigger, slap up new plasterboard (dry wall in American) and make as good as new all within just a matter of weeks. It’s something you just can’t do with British homes because they’re all brick and mortar (including the internal walls). Knocking down a brick wall takes a lot longer than a timber frame wall, and patching up a plastered brick wall to make good any damage takes a lot longer than just sticking up new plasterboard. Therefore, renovations in the UK take months rather than weeks.

      In Britain (and across Europe) terraced houses are often either two or three bedroom with their own back garden, and often a front garden. Semi-detached houses are usually three bedrooms, although sometimes four or five; and they all have their own front and back gardens with either a small strip of land (access) or a garden on one side. An end-terrace is very much like a semi-detached.

      A newly married couple will often buy a terraced house to get their foot on the first rung of the property ladder, and in later years move up the property ladder by buying a semi-detached. Terraced houses (and bungalows) are also popular with elderly couples wishing to down-size. Of course in the UK you can by detached houses, but they are less common, and more expensive. Generally, most British people are happy living in adjoined properties with a bit of garden, but few like living in high-rise flats (Apartments in American).

      Aerial view of a new housing estate (of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes) being built on ‘brownfield’ land in Lyde Green, Bristol (gives a good perspective of the layout of housing in the UK):

    • profile image

      Amber 3 months ago

      Very interesting article explaining some of the differences I was trying to understand about British houses!

      From an American perspective I would just like to add a couple of things

      - many of your observations about buildings here are true for newly built middle-to-high-end houses, but not for older houses. For example the idea of each bedroom having an ensuite is recent. So in a new suburban development you would find houses with tons of bathrooms, but in older established neighborhoods & cities, maybe there would be 1 or 2 bathrooms.

      - there are huge regional differences in American construction style and housing because different parts of the country have totally different climates and conditions. They will also have different needs for heating. From Alaska to Florida we won’t be talking about the same thing. So you can’t really say “American roofs are like this” etc.

      Zoning regulations like the green belt is also a local issue and different places will have different character as far as heights of buildings and sprawl.

      - a British concept you didn’t mention that I had trouble understanding is terraced and semi-detached houses. In America a house is a freestanding building with a lawn around it! Even a tiny, old 1 bedroom cottage would have its own space around it. Streets of houses all right next to each other is only for very dense urban centers. A home attached to another would be a townhouse or a duplex. And that is much less common than a regular house.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 12 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very interesting comparison.

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