ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History Of Housing

Updated on October 22, 2011

A HOUSE is a building that provides shelter, comfort, and protection. It is one of man's three most important necessities. The other two being food and clothing. Shelter protects man from wind and rain, and from hot and cold weather. It shields him against insects and wild animals, and helps protect him from other dangers. Come let's look at the types of housing through the ages.

The first shelters

Before man knew how to build shelters, he lived in trees. The trees kept off some of the rain. They also protected him from some animals (those that could not climb up the tree).

Later, man taught himself to pile branches and make crude shelters to protect himself from the wind and sun. This was followed by living in caves.

Man slowly learned to make simple tools, first of stone and much later of metal. These helped him build better houses. He built his home from the best material he could find around him to suit his needs.

Where there were few trees, man learned to pile stones together to make a shelter. In some places, he found that he could build houses from the earth itself. He learned how to form clay into small blocks that could be dried in the sun. He made his shelter by piling these bricks on top of each other.

Homes in ancient civilizations

The ancient Egyptians began building their flat-topped houses of sun-dried bricks at around 3100BC. In about 2500BC, the Assyrians too adopted this method of building. But they had improved on the techniques. They discovered that baking bricks in fire made them harder and stronger. They also learned how to put a glass coating on to their bricks. We call this glazing.

The ancient Greeks lived in well-made stone houses with slanted roofs; that let the snow and rain slide off. The Romans hackneyed the Greek ideas about building and added a few of their own, such as central heating. They laid rows of earthenware pipes under the roofs and floors and ran hot water or air through them to heat. They built their houses around atriums, or a central court, with rooms off the court. Sometimes they left the court entirely open, but generally they roofed the sides and left the centre open.

Shelter in the middle ages

The Roman Empire collapsed around AD400, and the improvements they had made in housing were lost for several hundreds of years. German and Scandinavian tribes overran Europe. These northern men constructed a set of buildings called a ‘ham', from which the word ‘home' was later derived.

The principal building of the ham was a long hall called the heal. These northern men supported their buildings with frameworks of heavy timber or wood and filled the spaces between the wood with clay.

Some of these houses developed into the fortified castles of the Middle Ages, with thick stonewalls, water filled moats, and drawbridges. Inside the walls, people built stables for horses, barracks for soldiers, shops for making tools and weapons, kitchens, dining halls, and even a prison for captured enemies.

Around the 1400s, Europeans began building half-timbered houses, with stone or brick foundations. They placed a tree trunk at each corner of the house, and set upright wooden beams between the trundle. Then they fastened crossbeams at the top and bottom of the beams and added slanting braces. They covered the walls with lath, or thin wooden strips, plastered with a mixture of clay and straw. By l500s, many more additions were made to such houses.

Red Indian shelter

Before the white men came to North America, the natives built several types of houses from the materials they found in different parts of the continent. The eastern woodland tribes made wigwams by tying together wide strips of bark to frames made of young trees bent to form arches.

The Indian plains had few trees, they lived among herds of buffaloes. These tribes made their teepees by tying a few poles together at the top, spreading them at the bottom like an umbrella, and covering it with buffalo skin.

Before the Spaniards came to Peru, the Incas made unusual stone houses. Every house was made of stone blocks cut by hand with stone tools. The Incas built houses on several levels. Stone stairways connected the levels. Stone aqueducts carried water to the pools outside the houses where people drank and bathed.

Living in the industrial revolution era

During the 1700s, many products including houses became cheaper and more abundant. Homes became more comfortable in the 1800s, as iron stoves replaced the fireplaces. Kerosene lamps took the place of candles, and gaslight later replaced both. Indoor toilets also became common then.

Modern houses

Today a house must supply comfort and satisfaction as well as protection. It has bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a drawing room and of course bathrooms instead of the public bathing places.

Many bungalows have a garden in the front, too. Today people are privileged enough to have washing machines, heating and cooling systems, refrigerators and electricity.

The modern houses are of different shapes, sizes and styles. Also there are apartments of different types, for people to choose from.

Today, houses are made of bricks much similar to those of the Assyrians. These are put together with cement. There are different types of glasses for the windowpanes.

Many people give themes to their homes. Like some have a Mughlai outlook or maybe really modern and state-of-the-art interiors.

All in all, because of increasing discoveries and inventions, the way of living has changed considerably through the ages. These changes have made houses more comfortable and attractive.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      mayor samuel Nigeria 

      8 years ago

      i like the write up and am copying for my project work

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thank you this was helpful

    • profile image

      kankia umar 

      8 years ago

      This help me to enhance my project which iam currently working on but,i need a source of this information please! thank you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Secondary Sources Please! I might use this for my Personal Project, but i need secondary sources!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hey, this is pretty good! But can you tell me where you got your information from? the secondary sources?

    • profile image

      alfa samuel 

      9 years ago

      very helpful in enhancing a project i am currently working on thank you

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i got a plus on my prodject

    • profile image

      Dallas Roberts 

      9 years ago

      This helped me out so much on my social studies project thank you a lot

    • profile image

      I am very coool  

      9 years ago

      This was VERY helpful :D xx

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      well it is not just solar pannels it is the way the house is made and what it is made of

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      There should have been an E-friendly home section ;)

      Solar panels and such

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      yes we do

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      probly already know about modern homes


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)