A house is a form of dwelling. It may be as rudimentary as a hut or a complex structure of wood, masonry and concrete outfitted with plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Houses are topped by a roof, which protects the inhabitants and their belongings from precipitation such as rain or snow. A house may be a single-unit building or it may be multi-unit, for example a condominium building. Houses usually contain a number of rooms including bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen or cooking area, living room, and garage or carport.

In English-speaking cultures, a house is typically the private residence of its owners and can be inhabited by a single family or by multiple families. The term is also used for a group of such buildings, especially when referenced as an estate or a community. Houses can be a focal point of community pride and civic participation, such as when residents organize to clean up or restore an historical house in their neighborhood. Houses are a common symbol of personal wealth, status and power in societies that are largely capitalist or democratic in structure.

Houses may be owned by individuals, corporations, or government agencies, and they can be built for sale or rent. They can be constructed to a variety of styles, and they can be furnished to reflect the tastes and preferences of their owners. The term house is also commonly used to refer to a governing body, such as the House of Representatives in the United States or the European Parliament, and may be used to describe a political party.

Among the advantages of houses are that they offer greater privacy than apartments, and they generally have more space to move around in. A house may also have fewer restrictions on pets, such as breed or size, and it may offer free parking, unlike apartment buildings that often charge a monthly fee for guests’ cars. However, a house can require more time and effort to maintain than an apartment because it often has larger rooms and yards.

People can make their house into a home by filling it with the things that are important to them, such as personal possessions, art, and memories. Some people decorate their homes with flowers and other plants, while others like to display photos of their loved ones. Depending on the culture, some people may also choose to use special lighting to create a particular mood or feeling in their homes.

House is also a musical genre that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. It evolved from disco and was influenced by the sound of drum machines such as the Roland TR-808 and TR-909. The genre is associated with dancefloor culture and has a four-on-the-floor beat, synthesizers, and vocal samples. A house music track may have a deep bass, driving beats, and a hypnotic melody. It is also called club house, electro house, or techno house. House music has a wide range of subgenres and continues to be popular with many people worldwide.