The exterior of a house includes all the outer surfaces and structural elements that envelope the interior living spaces. This section focuses on the different exterior parts of a typical single-family suburban home.
The roof protects the interior from the elements and sheds rain, snow, and other precipitation. Typical roofing materials include asphalt shingles, clay tiles, slate, metal panels or wooden shakes. The shape and slope of the roof also varies, from simple gabled or hipped roofs to more complex mansard or gambrel designs. Proper roof maintenance is crucial to prevent leaks.
Windows allow natural light into the home and provide views of the outdoors. Common window types include double hung, casement, sliding, awning and bay windows. Window materials include wood, vinyl and aluminum. Newer energy-efficient windows have Low-E coatings and argon gas fills to reduce heat transfer. Windows should be cleaned and caulked regularly.
Doors provide access, security and architectural interest. Front doors are often decorative with sidelights and transoms. Back doors leading to decks and patios are frequently French or sliding glass doors. Storm doors offer extra weather protection. Garage doors can be sectional, roller or swing-up designs. Doors should seal tightly and have proper locks.
Siding forms the exterior cladding or skin of the house. Popular siding materials include vinyl, wood, stucco, brick, stone and fiber cement. Each option has pros and cons in terms of appearance, durability, maintenance and cost. Siding requires occasional power washing and painting or staining.
The foundation supports the entire structure. It distributes the building loads into the earth and elevates the home above grade. Common foundations are concrete slabs, crawlspaces, or full basements made of poured concrete or concrete masonry units. Waterproofing protects the foundation from moisture damage.
Landscaping refers to the plants, trees, shrubs, walkways, retaining walls and other exterior decor around the home. It enhances curb appeal and provides privacy. Softscaping uses living plants while hardscaping utilizes non-living materials. The yard needs regular mowing, pruning, weeding and watering.
The Interior Spaces
The interior of a home contains all the rooms and functional areas for living, sleeping, cooking, bathing and storage. Interior design combines aesthetics and functionality for a comfortable, attractive living environment.
The entryway or foyer is the transition zone between the outside and inside. It provides space to remove coats and shoes and set down keys or packages when first entering the home. Tables, benches, storage and decorative touches make it welcoming.
The living room is the main gathering place for relaxing, conversation and entertainment. Typical features are comfortable seating, media centers, a fireplace and decorative items like plants, artwork and rugs. Many open to the kitchen or dining room.
The kitchen is where meals are prepared and often eaten. Key elements are the cabinetry, countertops, sink, appliances and tablespace. Sufficient storage, work triangles and lighting allow for smooth cooking flows. Islands and eat-in kitchens are popular.
A separate dining room provides dedicated space for eating meals and entertaining guests. Beyond the dining table and chairs, buffets, china cabinets, chandeliers and wall art finish the room. Some homes combine the kitchen and dining areas.
Bedrooms are private spaces for sleeping and dressing. Master bedrooms have en-suite baths and walk-in closets. Extra rooms can serve as bedrooms, offices or nurseries. Bedrooms commonly have dressers, nightstands, beds and sitting areas.
Bathrooms contain sinks, toilets and bathtubs or showers. They should have proper ventilation and durable, water-resistant surfaces. Storage, mirrors and lighting heighten functionality. Powder rooms provide basic facilities for guests.
Laundry rooms hold washers, dryers and laundry sinks. They may have cabinetry for storage and countertops for folding clothes. Locating near secondary entrances or in utility rooms is common. Some laundry is done in basements or closets.
Attached garages provide under-roof parking and storage. They contain large vehicle doors and may have workshop areas. Garage doors open to the driveway and can be automated. Some garages are detached from the home.
Hallways & Stairs
Hallways and stairs circulate through the interior and connect the levels. Halls lead to different rooms while stairs allow access to upper or lower floors. Railings provide safety and architectural accents. Hallways should stay uncluttered.
Mechanical Systems & Utilities
The inner workings of a house enable basic functions like electricity, heating/cooling, and plumbing. These important but often hidden systems must be properly maintained and upgraded over time.
The electrical system distributes power for lighting, appliances and devices. Key components are the utility service panel, subpanels, wiring, switches, outlets and grounding. Sufficient amperage and circuits should serve all needs. Follow codes and use a licensed electrician.
The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems control indoor temperatures, air quality and humidity. Forced air furnaces, boilers, central air conditioners, heat pumps and ductwork distribute heated and cooled air. Good filtration and regular service ensure efficiency.
Plumbing carries potable water throughout the home and removes wastewater through drainage pipes. Supply lines feed faucets, toilets and appliances while drain/vent stacks remove sewage. A main water shutoff valve is critical. Clogs or leaks need immediate attention.
Natural gas is piped to power furnaces, water heaters, stoves, fireplaces and outdoor features. Gas has a distinctive odor added to alert homeowners to potentially dangerous leaks. The local gas company monitors pressures and performs safety inspections.
Security systems deter intruders and protect families. Components include control panels, sensors, motion detectors, cameras and keypads. Systems can dial emergency responders when triggered. Many systems integrate with smart home technology and phones.
Outdoor Living Areas
Outdoor living areas extend the home’s usable square footage for recreation, entertaining and appreciating nature. Patios, decks and yards enhance quality of life when thoughtfully designed, built and maintained.
Backyards offer multipurpose outdoor space. Typical uses include play areas, gardening, cooking, dining, relaxing in conversation areas or enjoying views from a patio or deck. Well-kept lawns and landscaping elevate the backyard experience.
Patios create a hardscaped oasis right outside the home’s rear entry. Materials like stone, brick and concrete are durable and decorative. Patios integrate seamlessly with decks and yards. They provide space for outdoor furniture, cooking and entertaining.
Front porches welcome guests with charm and curb appeal. Their roof covers a landing and seating. Style options range from quaint country to grand wraparound verandas. Porches encourage neighborly interactions. Rocking chairs and swings enhance coziness.
Decks extend living areas outdoors. Built from weather-resistant woods like cedar or pressure-treated pine, they provide flat surfaces for furniture that seamlessly adjoin the home. Multi-level decks work nicely on slopes. Correct installation is crucial.
Pools offer homeowners a refreshing oasis for swimming, play and relaxation. In-ground concrete or vinyl-lined pools have greater capacity but higher costs than above-ground types. Safety fencing, proper chemicals and regular cleaning are musts.
Additional Interior Spaces
Extra rooms expand a home’s functionality for storage, work, hobbies or guests. These auxiliary spaces allow homeowners to customize their houses to match their needs and desires.
Basements provide versatile square footage below grade. Unfinished basements store seasonal items and house mechanical equipment. Finished basements add recreational rooms, home gyms, home theaters, kitchenettes, offices and more. Dehumidification and drainage are key.
Attics furnish space to store infrequently used possessions. Some become finished living areas like bedrooms or game rooms. Proper insulation, ventilation and access are important. Pull-down ladders or staircases provide access from below. Dormers can add light.
Mudrooms give a spot to leave boots, coats, umbrellas and outdoor gear when coming inside. They prevent dirt from entering other rooms. Built-in storage cubbies and benches optimize organization and functionality. Mudrooms are often off garage or utility room entries.
Home offices support working from home. They should have strong WiFi signals, ample outlets and comfortable desks. Natural light and noise separation aid focus. Some offices reside in guest bedrooms or basements while others occupy dedicated rooms.
Workshops allow space for hobbies, repairs and crafts. Key features are storage, workbenches, power tools and ventilation. Shelving, cabinets, pegboards and other organizational elements keep supplies accessible but tidy. Workshops are typically garage or basement rooms.
FAQs about Areas of the House
What are the main areas of a house?
The main areas of a typical house are the living spaces like the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, dining room and family room. It also includes functional spaces like the laundry room, mudroom and garage. Outside areas consist of the yard, porch, patio and deck.
What parts make up the exterior of a house?
The exterior consists of the roof, siding, windows, doors, shutters, trim, foundation, front porch and driveway. Landscaping like gardens, trees and fencing also contribute to the home’s outside appearance.
What areas are considered private spaces in a home?
Bedrooms, bathrooms and studies or offices are considered private personal spaces in a home. These rooms are used by individuals for sleeping, dressing, bathing and work. Doors allow the occupants to have solitude and quiet when needed.
What makes a good open floor plan?
A good open floor plan seamlessly connects the kitchen, living room and dining room. This creates an airy, uninterrupted feel for entertaining and family time. But private spaces like bedrooms should remain separate for noise control.
What are essential things to have in a kitchen?
Essential kitchen features include cabinetry, countertops, kitchen sink, oven, stovetop, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, small appliances and storage for dishes. Lots of counter space and natural light also improve kitchen functionality.