A Quick Guide to Different Houses Structure with Pictures

Different from architectural styles, houses structure refers to different types of buildings that include something like a townhouse, single-family, bungalow, and others.

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Architectural styles, on the other hand, indicate the fashion on how you build the house. These include Mediterranean, Georgian, Mid-Century Modern, Ranch, and so on.

This article will focus more on a variety of building structures instead of architectural styles. If you are calling for it, let’s check them out!

Single-Family House



Most people in the US live in single-family homes. The case is more likely to be similar in many other countries since these types of houses structure are very well-liked.

It sites on individually instead of attaches to another house structure. As a result, you will have a home that stays apart from other buildings.

You can find a lot of detached single-family houses in outer edges throughout North America.

These kinds of houses structure are getting more popular after World War II when people start to migrate to the suburbs.

Nowadays, people still prefer to live in these types of houses even though there is downsizing in baby boomer generations.

However, the demand for alternative houses is now growing, especially for urban dwellers.




Apartments have become one of the most popular alternatives to single-family houses. This building structure refers to a collection of housing units owned by one entity.

While all the units in apartments are typically acquired by one entity, others can rent out as a tenant. This system is what makes these houses structure different from condominiums.

In condominiums, a person or corporation owns each unit individually. On the other hand, the owner of apartments is more likely to be one entity only.




As mentioned above, the different proprietors own each unit in a condominium. However, in terms of structure, this is a kind of building series on a single land.

Generally, an elected body governs these houses’ structure. For example, in the USA, there is HOA while Canada has the Strata Council that authorizes such buildings.

The chosen body is responsible to decide everything on behalf of all tenants and acquires the public areas as well as the land.

Making decisions related to the building regulations and maintenance is among the responsibilities of the elected body.

When it comes to a condo, you should know the popular terms: duplex and triplex as well. These two refer to the number of floors that the building has.

A duplex condominium is a two-story unit while a triplex condo has three levels. However, in other cities, the terms may have a slightly different meaning.

For instance, in other cities than New York, duplex and triplex indicate two or three units of the building that stay side-by-side.

Some houses’ structure of a condo may also appear like townhouses with row house designs. However, if the proprietors only own the unit instead of the shared space, they are technically a condominium.




For other types of alternative housing, you should not forget townhomes. This refers to a row home that is sharing one or two walls.

Most townhomes are two or three stories tall, but some others may get even higher.

Different from a condominium, the holder of a townhome acquires neither the interior nor the exterior of the unit.

Moreover, the owner of each unit is financially liable for exterior maintenance as well. When it comes to a condo, the regulatory body is the one who will maintain the outdoor spaces.

It is safe to say that these houses structure are similar to single-family homes apart from being connected to another unit.

Co-op Houses Structure



In physical function and appearance, you can conclude that a co-op is identical to both an apartment and a condominium. However, the legal arrangement as well as the financial agreement is nothing similar.

When buying a co-op, you will acquire a percentage of the building instead of owning a specific unit.

As an owner, you are like a shareholder of the entire property and theoretically rent your unit from the co-op.

Then, what makes it more beneficial than a condominium? With a co-op, the members can reject a potential buyer from purchasing into the building.

In this case, the co-op association can only decline on reluctance to follow the set rules and/or due to a financial basis.

With a condominium, the regulatory cannot reject potential buyers as long as they meet the requirement, such as age restrictions.

Ranch Style



Also known as a rancher, these houses structure is typically a single-story home with a bigger, rectangular footprint than a bungalow.

This house design is gaining its popularity in the 1950s since immense land tracts were transformed into suburbs with bigger plots compared to the usual urban plans.

You can find plenty of open spaces in a ranch-style house even though it needs bigger lots than ordinary structures.




The term bungalow has a connection with the ‘Bengali house’ that refers to small houses in India. This building structure was previously an alternative to the cottage style home before being popular all around the world.

In India, the famous cottage style house did not do well with its chunky walls, so people develop the bungalow instead.

Nowadays, a bungalow refers to a tiny, square, one-level house with a front veranda. These types of houses structure also feature elevated facade steps that lead to the porch.

It is pretty common for a bungalow to have a solitary dormer window applied to an inclined roof in the attic.

Thanks to the availability of computer-aided drawing, you do not need to stick to simple designs to keep the cost as lower as possible.




Historically, the term cottage indicates a tiny house that features a single room, a high thatched roof, and thick walls.

However, nowadays, people refer to a small vacation home when talking about the cottage. Even a very luxurious building for holiday is often called a cottage.

Of course, such a luxurious vacation home does not point out the traditional definition of a cottage house.




As the name suggests, a multi-family house consists of two or more dwelling units. These kinds of houses structure may refer to a detached home with a condominium, apartment, townhome development, and a basement suite.




The chalet is one of the house structure types that has transformed in meaning because of the way people take advantage of this building lately.

Traditionally, chalet refers to a building structure that homes goat herders and sheep in Switzerland. However, people start to use it as a vacation sanctuary, especially in the mountains.

Since skiing is growing famous around the world, the chalet is getting more recognized as a holiday house with its access to this winter sport.

Despite its meaning development, a chalet still has particular design characteristics that set it apart from other houses’ structure.

For instance, a chalet tends to have a steep roof and extended overhangs. This certain design allows the home to deal with piles of snow more properly.




A barndominium is pretty popular despite its new trend. This house structure allows you to convert a barn into a fully functional living space.

With a barndominium, you do not always need to start building from the beginning. There are pre-assembled kits available for a cheap way to create this dream house.




It is pretty difficult to determine the differences between a cottage and a cabin since there is no actual agreement related to this case.

However, a cabin typically indicates a simple, minimalist, rustic house while today’s cottage is more likely to be an upscale vacation gateway.

Unlike most cottages, cabins are less finished since you do not tend to paint and adorn them for an aesthetic building.

These houses structure always have a rural vibe while cottages can be either urban or pastoral. Some people also consider cabins as a log-built construction.

In-law Suite



An in-law, as known as a basement suite, is a new trend in houses structure. Nowadays, many new homes in big cities include this one.

Numerous older houses have incorporated a basement suite as well. The reason is no other than the increase of real estate prices that force many homeowners to rent out a part of their home to meet the expense of a proper place to live.

This in-law suite itself refers to a separate unit attached to a single-family house. In this case, the basement becomes one of the most used spaces out of the other rooms.

Instead of being a completely separate structure, an in-law suite is a division of the single-family structure.

Another term is available for a separate structure that is built for rent or guests such as a laneway and carriage house.

Carriage/Coach House



A carriage or coach is somewhat a new house category created due to the need for additional revenue.

Aside from seeking extra revenue, many homeowners build this structure on their property for guest accommodations.

You can find a carriage that is built on a property with office and retail units. These houses structure makes an ideal choice for newlyweds before having a kid or two.

Historically, the purpose of this structure is for housing horse-drawn carriages. However, many start to transform it into a separate living unit.




If you are looking for a huge, striking houses structure with a lot of magnificent perks and features, a mansion should be on the list.

Interestingly, you will not find any legal definition for a house’s structure to be considered as a mansion.

However, some believe that a mansion should be at least 12,500 sq. ft. in size. In other words, this super big house is a few times larger than the average home.

On the other hand, many suggest that home of 5,000 square feet size is a mansion.

While there is no definite agreement on this case, you may believe that a mansion is a house structure design that is luxurious and several times larger than the average dwelling.




People tend to call a poorly designed, huge home a McMansion. Nowadays, it is pretty common to find such houses structure in large suburbs.

These individual buildings come with miscellany architectural features and services. Since most of them do not also serve any function, they end up looking unnecessary or silly.

Even though it is not an official or technical kind of building structure, you better know the term before proceeding with buying any property.

Mobile Home



If you ever wish to have your home towed to other places without any hurdle, this home structure can be the solution.

A mobile home, as the name suggests, is a portable building structure. However, you should not tow it too often since the design does not support such practices.

When buying these houses structure, a factory will build and tow it for you, especially to where the home park is prepared.

What makes a mobile home more fascinating is that the price is not expensive and you have an option to rent the property as well.

Tiny Home



The size of this building structure typically ranges from 100 to 400 square feet. If your dream home is the one with an exceptionally efficient layout and design, the tiny home is probably of interest.

Tiny homes gain more popularity as people aim to live mortgage-free. Depending on how you build these houses structure, the cost may vary from $10,000 to $100,000.




Among different types of houses around the world, a yurt is pretty promising if you consider being mortgage-free.

This is originally from Mongolia as the Mongols have used them as a primary housing structure for years.

A yurt becomes an ideal type of home for nomadic people since the owner can pack and move it easily to anywhere.

Featuring a round design and a waterproof wall as well as a roof, a yurt looks exceptional in many ways.

Traditionally, these house structures come with a rustic vibe and you can furnish them with a variety of vanities that a regular home has.

Some people in North America have this kind of home to live all year round while others use it as a vacation dwelling only.

The size of the yurts usually ranges from 115 to 706 square feet. Moreover, you can expect to build this housing structure without too much budget too.

Tree House



Even though very few people decide to live in a tree house, this home structure is pretty popular because of its fun-like look.

With this house, there is no need to nail the structure of your building into the tree. Instead, you should build the construction and the stilts around it and elevate the same.

While you probably do not want to live year-round in a tree house, consider building it around your backyard as a place to retreat and unwind.

Floating Home



Numerous cities around the world have floating residences where people tend to live in a houseboat instead of the usual house’s structure.

Vancouver is one of the cities with such residences. Meanwhile, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle are the other urban areas that acquire these options.

Since this type of home has a wide range of moorage arrangements, you better find an experienced real estate agent when getting interested in purchasing such houses.

Every city may practice different regulations as well, so make sure you make each decision carefully.




The French term chateau refers to a private palace that does not have any state purpose. This kind of luxury mansion is typically very secretive and the residence is highly grand too.




Despite the term palace is often used interchangeably with a castle, both of these houses structure serve different functions.

Different from a castle, the main function of a palace is for residence only. People do not build this building to defend.

Furthermore, a palace typically has a luxurious structure since it homes for the nobility and royalty. Besides, the residences tend to serve a government function as well.

Container Home



The development of home design and construction has created different kinds of dwellings, including the emergence of container homes.

For a small house, you can utilize one container only while a larger home may require multiple of them to appear proper.

What makes a container home interesting is the fact that you can customize the design in various configurations.

Additionally, you can also find some companies that specialize in building and designing container homes.

Cave House



It is no secret that many people in the old times use a cave as their primary dwelling. If you wonder whether the same is still available today, the answer is yes.

Although a lot of cave houses are rough, some cultures have a collection of stunning houses structure in this type.

Underground House



While it seems very extraordinary, some people do live in an underground home.

Also known as a bunker, some people use this kind of an underground building as a protective shelter from a bomb and other destructive things.

Finally, you have known a series of different houses structure around the world. Now, it is your choice to pick the best type of home to live in.