Types of houses

Before you build a house, there are a number of decisions you need to make and among these is choosing a type that will meet your taste and financial ability.

Carl Marx a scholar once said land lords like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed. In my understanding, he meant the rent collecting at every end of the month.

However, if you have a house of your own, you know you have a keystone of wealth mixed with affluence and emotional security because then, you do not have to worry about the landlord who wants to enjoy that hard earned month’s salary. But before all this falls into place, you need to think of the type of house that will give you the emotional security you need.

There are many kinds but the beauty lies in finding a house that defines who you are and gives you satisfaction.

Only then will you have created a home out of a house. So maybe, before you make a house plan or set out to rent a house, let the type define what you can’t say in a thousand words.

A house can either be attached or semidetached. An attached house is one with many houses sharing a wall and separated by doors like the rentals, while a semidetached house is a house standing on its own, although depending on the purpose.


David Wanangwe, an architect and head of section technical operations, National Housing and Construction Company, highlights some of the house types.


Probably the most common house everyone constructs with their layout on the ground. Wanangwe explains that a bungalow is a detached house and it offers more privacy.

The architect further notes that it is a one-floor house. “It can either be three bedroomed or more but it stands on its own and is usually on a smaller plot.” Usually, bungalows are smaller with limited space and are on a small scale mainly for homes although building depends on how much income or family an individual has and one’s structural desires.

This is probably one house that clearly defines leisure, luxury and comfort since it is typically luxurious and extravagant in nature. However, the term has been misused and misunderstood in today’s society.

It is a semidetached house and it can either be a bungalow or a storied building. Andebirhan Hanna, the managing director Green Top Villas and Condos explains that a villa is private, spacious with extravagant features like a tarmacked road, and facilities such as a swimming pool although usually, it is in a neighbourhood with one common gate and the rest of the villas having separate gates and parking lots.

Villa owners share facilities such as a gym, shopping store, sauna, steam bath and swimming pool.
Wanangwe adds that a villa is bigger and usually has domestic quarters attached to it although they tend to be secluded from the main house.

“There is always a fully furnished room secluded from the main quarters and depending on what a family wants, they can use the room for whatever purpose they deem fit.” Andebirhan explains
“Villa” was first used by the Romans to indicate a self-sufficient country estate that contained luxurious housing, farmlands and vineyards, similar to a wealthy village.

While the “villa” part of villa homes is still occasionally used to indicate luxury and vacation homes, the term has been corrupted from its original usage to encompass a wide variety of residential homes and vacation rental homes.

A villa home can be anything from a simple suburban home to a mansion with expansive grounds.

Apartments have very many owners. They are semidetached houses and either consist of two or more houses or are storied houses with two or more floors.

The first thing that probably comes to mind when you think of an apartment is a residential unit inside a building. It may seem logical to say that an apartment is simply a single living space among others within a building.

An apartment can also be defined as a residential rental of any type or a living space in a residential building or any rented living space. Andebirhan explains that with apartments, tenants usually share facilities such as a utility lounge, garbage and security costs, compounds and a children’s play area and usually contribute a given amount for maintenance.

An apartment is a self-contained, usually private residence. It is almost always in a larger building.


Wanangwe highlights that a condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure where a specified part of a house is individually owned. A condo is a block with about two floors or more but each floor has two or more complete homes thus, each home has a different owner.

Thus, with a condo, two home owners exist on one floor. The condo owners have access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, elevators, and parking lot.

Wanangwe highlights that a condo is a form of ownership where individuals share common facilities. “A condo is a title you hold showing you own part of a house,” Wanangwe explains.

Hanna explains that they give out a condo title and once the person agrees to the conditions, they can then stay in the property since each house has different houses with exclusive owners and their own property title.

“Many different families are living together in the same area but every one owns their space yet there are other utilities they share together,” as explained by Abdallah Kiweewa, a civil engineer and director Kayhad Contractors Limited

Row houses

This is a type of house which is semidetached and on two levels. Row houses are located in one area and are of the same design.
Row houses are often sought because of their similarity to apartment living.
Kiweewa notes that apartments are the houses on high demand today, “because they are residential houses that can accommodate more than four different families in a block.”

Anatoli Kamugisha, the managing director, Akright and president Uganda Property Developers’ Association, explains that the types of houses are classified in four groups which are on demand today, “this is because banks support them and can get collateral out of them.”

Super luxury houses
Dr Kamugisha highlights that these are extremely extravagant houses built with expensive materials. They have luxurious items like a large compound, swimming pool and tennis court. They have a boundary wall, CCTV cameras and houses like a villa are under the super luxury house category.

Luxury houses
This kind comprises luxury and basic. Instead of using granite, one uses normal tiles and instead of a Jacuzzi, a bathtub is used. Luxury houses have a touch of super luxury and basic.

Standard houses
A standard house embraces beauty but with no luxury. “It can be with no boundary wall garage and materials used are not expensive. It is usually a standard house of about three bedrooms.” Kamugisha notes. Houses like apartments, bungalow and condominiums can fall under this category.

Basic house
This is another category and under this, there is a lot of compromise since what an individual is basing on is having the necessities a house needs like rooms. The kitchen, bathroom and toilet maybe put outside and not necessarily a part of the house.
“The type of house, however, varies according to the location, material used and architects employed in constructing it,” Kamugisha notes.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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