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What is a Residential Property and Building Your Own House

There are a number of different types of residential buildings. Each one with its own purpose and so all designed to fulfill that purpose. While also changing in materials used and the budget of the build affecting the finished product. There are some similarities and certain elements that are always part of a build, while others are design choices based on things like landscape and aesthetics. In this article, we are going to take a look at what a residential property is, the typical intended uses and the possibilities of building your own house.

What is a residential property?

Simply put, a residential property is land that has been designated or zoned for residential use. This means that its intended use is for the purpose of living and not for the purposes of business or agriculture. In many countries you cannot live on agricultural land. This means that properties are often divided into the residential section and the agricultural section, thus creating a farm as we know it. This is most often in the case of commercial farms while having a homestead is different as you are using the land for your own purposes. Be sure to check your specific area for the local laws that apply. Just note that residential land is for the purpose of inhabiting.

Types of Properties or Dwellings on a Residential Property

So what kind of dwellings can you have on a residential property? I guess the obvious would be a home, but that is not quite the whole story. Much like a commercial property, there are different types of buildings that can be used for residential purposes. They all fall under the classification of a home. It is more about the intended purpose of the development of the building by the land owner(s).

When you purchase a property for residential use you will want to ask yourself: “who will be living here?”. Is the property for you and your family, are you a group of friends creating a community, or do you want to build apartments to rent out? This question will ultimately decide what kind of building you will need and how to best utilize the space for that purpose.

Hut – a type of building that usually has one room and one story in height, they are often round in shape. The materials vary from country to country.
Bungalow – this is a house that has a low-pitched roof and more than one room, though still on the smaller side. In some cases they have a loft area for sleeping.
Cottage – similar to the previous two structures being on one story but with a high roof, often in an A-frame style. Though sometimes a loft or mezzanine area is added to the high rough for more space. These dwellings are often associated with being in a picturesque garden.
Gable Front – these are houses with a gable front facing the access road of the property. The most common being an A-frame house that has a roof line near or on the ground making the A shape. Many chalets also use this style to frame the facade.
Tower – a tower house is usually two more stories with each level being the same dimensions. They are often fortified buildings, particularly the much older versions made from stone.
Longhouse – this is a house on one story that is often rectangular in shape. They typically would house a family group, especially the first of these houses that were found in places like Denmark and Germany. Today some people have adapted the idea for modern housing.
Tiny House – this is a newer form of living or making a home. These are houses that can be moved and are very small. Fitting on a large trailer. They typically have a loft area and a tiny living area. Many young people have taken to this kind of living as the construction and maintenance is often cheaper than your standard house.
Bi-family House – these are homes made for multiple family groups. Creating apartments within one large house to accommodate the larger family group. Unlike the longhouse, these all have separate kitchens and dining areas. Quite common in areas such as Italy where space is limited.
Row House – seen in England and other parts of the UK, these are homes that are attached to each other. Either side has a neighbour with a house that has the exact same dimensions.
Mobile dwellings – like the tiny house these are homes that can be moved and are generally made from lighter materials. Some are moved as an entire unit like the mobile homes seen in North America while others can be taken apart and reconstructed at the next venue such as the yurts of Mongolia.
Earthship – first made popular in the USA, they are homes made to be entirely self-sustaining. From recycling the water, growing plants all the way to producing power. They are also made out of reclaimed materials and have become popular in certain areas that allow them to be built. They have also sparked a movement into sustainable living housing practices.

This is not an exhaustive list of housing types for residential purposes. I chose the most popular homes and ones that I found interesting. Whatever situation you might be in, there is a house style or type out there to suit your needs and wants. All it takes is some research and to know more or less in which direction you want to go.

Building Your Own Home

Building your own home can be quite the challenge. But it is not impossible. Before going into the journey of building or reconstructing a home, be sure to plan carefully. Take into account the land you’re working with, the materials that are accessible and the budget you have available.

Some building styles are easier to build on a DIY basis while others are best done by professionals. A few different factors influence the cost of the build and for the current housing style that most people have with concrete walls and such, it is easier to work with a professional for better deals and getting the right permits in a timely fashion. Though this can be more costly and might not fit the budget you have available. Research the styles and find out what the challenges are with those types of builds before embarking on the DIY home project.