15 different types of houses in India

[] India, as a country, is largely divided into urban, semi-urban and rural areas with various types of houses in every part. Here we have listed the 15 most popular types of houses found in India.

Types of houses

India has various types of houses, which vary according to the geographical location, the climate of the region, building materials, architectural influence, lifestyle and financial status of the people. India has diverse architectural styles for houses that have evolved with trends, cultures and evolving needs, resulting in various types of house designs. Here are some common types of houses that are found across India.

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Types of houses in India #1: Flats or apartments

Types of houses in India

A flat, or an apartment, is a type of house that has all the basic amenities needed for comfortable living and is part of a building that has several other houses. The limited supply of land has led to vertical housing developments. Metros and cities have witnessed the rise of flat or apartment-type houses. The flats can be 1/2/3 BHK and at times even bigger. Developers also offer flats with several additional amenities that suit the requirements of modern home buyers. Apartments have increasingly become the most popular type of house across cities in India and remain affordable for the middle-class and the upper-middle-class urban population.

Types of houses in India #2: RK or studio room

Types of houses in India

RK is the short form for room-kitchen, and is also known as a studio apartment. These houses, mostly seen in metro cities, do not have a separate bedroom or a living room. Studio rooms are compact and efficient, and preferred by working individuals and students.

[] What is a BHK?

Types of houses in India #3: Penthouse

Types of houses in India

A penthouse is a luxury house on the top floor of a premium building. Penthouses in India are associated with exclusivity and status symbol. These types of houses have lavish features that are not present in the other apartments of the building. Penthouses have a lot of natural light and ventilation and an unobstructed view of the surroundings. Although penthouses are located in multi-residential complexes, they give a sense of independence that is similar that offered by villas and bungalows. These types of houses may have multiple levels within the same house, which suits joint families. Compared with a regular flat, the ceiling is higher in a penthouse. It has unique layout plans and luxury amenities like personal terraces, and private elevators.

[] What is studio apartment

Types of houses in India #4: Bungalow

Types of houses in India

Bungalow type of houses have a large veranda, a low-pitched roof and a single-storey or one-and-a-half-storey design. A bungalow is usually surrounded by a garden and a parking area and stand at a distance from other houses. Bungalows are more expensive than flats as they occupy more living space, often spread across a single level. There are various styles of bungalow designs in India, traditional as well as contemporary. As the pandemic transformed our homes into multi-functional spaces, there was a rise in the popularity of bungalows as they provide outdoor spaces to enjoy. Also, as most of India has tropical weather, indoor and outdoor spaces are often integrated into well-designed bungalows.

Types of houses in India #5: Villa

Types of houses in India

A villa type of house in India is like a luxury home that boasts of all the state-of-the-art amenities. Villa usually has an expansive area with a lawn and backyard and many other facilities. Villas in the same locality foster a sense of togetherness that building flats provide, yet they give the owner the privacy of a bungalow. Villas are preferred by those who want the privacy of an independent unit but not the hassle of constructing a home. The outskirts of cities provide ample space for constructing these villas within gated communities. A villa in a gated community offers recreation with a clubhouse, swimming pool and theatre.

Types of houses in India #6: Condominium

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Types of houses in India : Condominium

Types of houses in India : Condominium

Condominiums, in recent times, have become popular in a few cities in India. A condo is a type of house seen in a building complex that has a large number of individually owned apartments. A condominium or a condo that is bought by an entity, is either managed individually by the owner or under the umbrella of the homeowners’ association of the condo group depending on the assistance of a property management firm. A condominium is a building that is divided into smaller units that are individually owned, but common areas are jointly owned. Shared use of garden, terrace, and other amenities is legally allowed as part of the property and each owner is authorised to pay their taxes, mortgage, and maintenance and repair of the property.

Types of houses in India #7: Cottage

Types of houses in India : Cottage

Types of houses in India : Cottage

Types of houses in India : Cottage

The cottage is a small single-storey house of any architectural style. A cottage tends to be a small, cozy home in the countryside boasting of a rustic but comfortable feel, often a summer home or vacation home. Cottages usually have an old-world charm about them and may be made of stone, wood, thatched roofs, stucco walls, a small porch, etc., according to the climate of the region. The cottage house plan designs are popular as vacation homes near beaches (in Goa) lakes or mountains such as places in Himachal Pradesh, Nainital (Uttrakhand) or Ooty, etc.

Types of houses in India #8: Row houses in India

Types of houses in India

A row house is an independent type of house built inside a gated community. The architectural treatment for all row houses is identical. A row house design combines the designs and benefits of a bungalow and a flat. One can renovate a row house without any interference from the builder. Row houses provide the benefits of independent living while staying in a community. In India, row houses are commonly seen in Noida, Gurugram, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

Types of houses in India #9: Duplex house

Types of houses in India : Duplex house

Types of houses in India : Duplex house

A duplex house in India is a type of house that has two residential units one above the other. A duplex house has residential units covering two floors with a kitchen and a common area. These floors are connected by a staircase. Many builders also modify the layout of the duplex apartment as per the needs of a buyer. The duplex house is a stylish, upmarket independent house type in India with the benefits of an apartment. The duplex house is ideal for joint families where everyone lives under one roof and also enjoys their privacy.

Types of houses in India #10: Farmhouse

Types of houses in India

 A farmhouse is a type of house surrounded by a farm or a well-landscaped garden. Farmhouses can be traditional to modern and are preferred by people looking for holiday homes or second homes. Families prefer farmhouses as it allows them more space for a better lifestyle to grow vegetables, relax, have space for fitness, host parties without disturbing residents of other houses and time in the lap of nature. In Mumbai, farmhouses are found around Lonavala, Karjat, and Alibaug. In Delhi, Chhatarpur, Westend Greens, Mehrauli, Rajokri, and Sultanpur have farmhouses.

Types of houses in India #11: Stilt house

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Types of houses in India

The stilt type of house is designed with bamboo and is found in flood-prone areas such as Assam. They are raised from the ground for protection against flooding. The raised structure prevents water from entering the house.

Types of houses in India #12: Treehouse

Types of houses in India

Treehouse types of houses are commonly found in the forest areas of India. They are a major attraction for weekend getaways. High above the ground on treetops, surrounded by a canopy of leaves, treehouses are furnished with modern facilities.

Types of houses in India #13: Hut

Types of houses in India

A hut is a small, basic type of house made with various local materials such as wood, stone, grass, palm leaves, branches, or mud, using techniques passed down through the generations. These are one of the simplest and cost-effective houses built for years in India.

[] What is a kutcha house?

Types of houses in India #14: Eco-friendly house

Types of houses in India : Eco-friendly house

Types of houses in India : Eco-friendly house

Many homeowners in India try to minimise environmental impacts when designing their houses with sustainable technologies. Nowadays, eco-friendly types of houses in India are becoming a common choice. An eco-friendly house is designed keeping in mind the environment, with non-toxic materials and is energy-efficient both, in its construction and use. Also, eco-friendly homes have thermal insulation to reduce electricity consumption and bring down carbon emissions. Water conservation is an important feature of an eco-friendly home. Rainwater harvesting, low-flow taps and water-efficient appliances help to conserve water in such green homes.  Such houses in India have ample natural light and ventilation and even the décor is of eco-friendly material. In an eco-friendly home, solar panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps are used to generate energy cost-effectively, to reduce the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy.

Other types of houses in India #15: Palace

India also has magnificent palaces – the palatial homes of erstwhile Indian maharajas. Today, most of these houses have been transformed into heritage hotels. The lavish and opulent lifestyles of the maharajas are evident in the architecture and splendour of the palaces found in various states of India.

Materials for different types of houses in India

The material used for the construction of different types of houses in India varies as per the region. It can be categorised into two – natural and synthetic. Wood, cement, metal, bricks, concrete, marble, stone, and clay are the most common type of building materials used in the construction of houses in India. The choice of these is based on their cost-effectiveness, type of house, design, and climatic conditions. Natural materials such as mud, clay, sand, timber wood, bamboo and rocks, stone, even twigs and leaves have been used to construct houses. People in rural India traditionally live in mud houses made of a blend of clay, sand and silt. Also, with the awareness of eco-friendly homes, sustainable materials are in demand. Locally produced materials are sought after as they go well with the local design aesthetic and can be more durable in the local climate. In recent times in India, modern homes are extensively using glass as a façade or ceiling as they provide additional sunlight and reduce energy consumption. Aluminium and steel alloys also form a big part of the construction industry and are the framework for big housing structures.

Types of traditional houses in India

Traditional types of houses have evolved over the years in response to the local climate, topography, and culture. Traditional Indian houses differ in each state as they are made from locally found material, employing indigenous construction techniques. Stone, bricks, mud, wood, lime, and thatch are the most widely used materials. Most of the traditional types of houses in India have an internal courtyard as an integral part of a layout. It provides ample natural light and ventilation to the interiors. Some of the other features include a spacious veranda, sloping roof, jaalis or lattice screens, chajjas over the windows, and doors. Let us look at a few examples of traditional houses in India.

  • The traditional big houses of Kerala, called the nalukettu, has four blocks that are linked together by an open courtyard, while ettukkettu is an eight-block structure. The traditional houses in Kerala are usually designed with clay, timber wood and palm leaves stone and are in harmony with nature. These houses were built according to the principles of the traditional Thachu Sasthra (the science of architecture) as well as Vastu Shastra.
  • The guttu house of Karnataka is a traditional house of the bunt community. These houses with steeply pitched roofs combine double-storeyed blocks around a courtyard and have a lot of woodwork in the form of wooden swings, wooden ceilings, intricate pillars, and carved doors. The design is adapted to withstand the extreme summer climate and heavy rainfall. Clay and hardwood are used in the construction. Guttu houses are surrounded by paddy fields and plenty of palm trees.
  • Rajasthan’s traditional house design reflects craftsmanship inspired by the Mughal, Persian and Indian architecture. The traditional type of house, havelis, boasts of beautiful courtyards and intricately designed jharokhas, patterned floors, and carved pillars. Havelis are made of sandstone, marble, wood, plaster, or granite.
  • Bhungas, the traditional type of house in Kutch, is the result of topography and extreme climate. These mud houses in Gujarat are round in shape with a thatched roof. They are known for their structural stability during earthquakes, and for being climate-resistant.
  • Bungalows, the one-storeyed houses with veranda, are a saviour from the humidity of the Bengal summers. Bungalows typically feature sloped roofs, open floor plans, large windows, and broad front porches. The name ‘bungalow’ originated from a Hindi word, meaning ‘a house in the Bengali style,’ and came into English during British rule in India.
  • The concept of chang ghar (an Assamese term), built on bamboo stilts or wooden poles, is an adaptation of the houses of the indigenous tribes of upper Assam. These houses keep the occupants safe from floods and wild animals. Traditionally, people of the Mising community of Assam live in houses on stilts.


What is a kutcha house?

A type of house, with walls made up of bamboo, mud, grass, reed, stones, thatch, straw, leaves, and unburnt bricks, is known as a kutcha house. These houses are usually found in rural areas or in cities where workers build make-shift homes.

Where are houseboats found in India?

Houseboats are found in Kerala and Kashmir. Kettuvallam is the traditional houseboat of Kerala, found in Alappuzha, Kollam and Kumarakom. In Kashmir, traditional houseboats are found in Dal Lake, Srinagar. All houseboats have basic amenities such as rooms, a kitchen, and a balcony.

Why are houses in gated communities in demand in India?

A housing society is a gated society with flats, or even villas, with community facilities such as swimming pools, parks and gyms. In cities, houses in gated communities are in demand as the gated community offers a quality lifestyle and security.

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Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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