A house is a building that acts as a home. These can range from simple dwellings such as primitive nomadic tribal huts and makeshift shacks in shantytowns to large buildings made from, fixed timber, cement, concrete or other materials including utilities such as plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems. Houses may have doors or locks to secure the living space and protect their occupants and contents from burglars or trespassers. Throughout Western cultures, most traditional modern houses will have one or more bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen or dining area, and a living room. A house may have a separate dining room, or another space may include the dining area. Domestic animals such as chickens or larger livestock (like cattle) can share part of the house with humans in more traditional, farm-oriented societies. The home-living social group is known as a household.

Most generally, a household is some kind of family unit, but households may also be other social groups, such as roommates or unconnected individuals in a rooming house. Most houses have only one dwelling space for a single-family or similar group; larger houses called townhouses or row houses that have multiple family dwellings in the same building. Other buildings such as a garage for vehicles or a shed for gardening equipment and tools can accompany a home. A house may have a back-garden or front-garden that acts as additional places for people to relax or cook.

A house vs a home

A home is a living space that is used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence in a tribe for a person, parents, household or several families. Often it is a house, apartment, or other structure, or a mobile home, houseboat, yurt, or any other portable shelter. In many countries, a rule of constitutional law relating to the right to privacy enshrined in Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the inviolability of the home as the place of shelter and refuge for a person.

Homes usually have sleeping, food preparation, dining, and hygiene areas and services. Larger groups may live in a nursing home, a home for children, a convent or other similar institution. Homesteads also often include the addition of livestock and land for them. Where more secure housing is not available, people can stay in the slums and shanty towns in informal, and occasionally illegal, shacks. More broadly, home can be viewed as a geographical area, such as a neighbourhood, country village, suburb, or city.