A house is a structure that serves as the primary living quarters of a human family. It may also contain a garage or shed for vehicles or tools, and a front or backyard to serve as recreation space. Houses may be built on a single lot, or they may be built in rows and joined by walkways. Houses vary in size, from tiny huts to large mansions. Houses are most often inhabited by one or more families, but they may also be occupied by unrelated individuals as in a rooming house.
A house can be constructed in many ways and from various materials, depending on the culture and economic conditions of the people who build them and live in them. In modern society, houses are often built on concrete slabs with a stucco exterior or in the form of bricks, and may be adorned with various decorations and landscaping.
House can be a symbol of status, as in the case of mansions or castles, or it may express political opinions and views, as is evident from the way some houses are decorated with flags or other emblems. Some houses may be designated as historic sites and protected by law, as is the case of the ruins of ancient Babylon.
In the United States, a house is typically measured in square feet (or square metres in Europe) of living space, not including garages or other non-living spaces. A home may also be referred to by the number of rooms, or by the number of stories it has.
A home is a place that makes a person feel safe and secure, and it is generally a comfortable environment in which to live. The design of a home usually reflects the style and preferences of its inhabitants, and it may include furniture and decorative items which are chosen for their aesthetic value. In addition to providing a sense of security and comfort, a home is often a financial asset, since it can increase in value over time and provide a source of income if sold.
The term house is used in the names of organizations and businesses that sell homes, such as real estate companies or mortgage banks. The word is also used in the name of government institutions, such as the House of Representatives or the Senate. It is also commonly used in the names of sports teams and schools, such as a house team or a schoolhouse.
Historically, the word house has been a synonym for domicile, although it is now less common to use this meaning of the word in everyday speech. Other words for a place to live, such as dwelling or residence, have also gained popularity. The word house is derived from the Old English word hus, which means a shelter or refuge. The word is also related to the verb house, which means to protect and care for someone. Other related words are homely, hygienic, and hospitable.