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The illustrations shown on this page demonstrate the most common types of house structure. Variations to these basic categories often arise from architectural innovation, using new materials or using established materials in different ways. While wood frame walls are most common across the US, concrete and steel, for instance, are often used in hurricane-prone regions. Details for identification, construction, or repair of individual elements can be found in the relevant subsections.
LOADBEARING AND NON-LOADBEARING WALLS
The walls in any house can be divided into loadbearing or non-loadbearing. Loadbearing walls, as well as supporting their own weight, carry some of the load of other parts of the building, such as the roof and floors. Non-loadbearing walls support only their own weight, and aren't structural components of the house. Always assume that all exterior walls are loadbearing (even though, in the majority of cases, it's only the internal leaf of a cavity wall that's loadbearing). It can be difficult to identify the other loadbearing walls in a house, but establishing whether a particular wall is loadbearing or not is vital when planning renovation work. The subject is discussed in more detail here.
TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION
Three main types of roof, four types of wall, and four types of foundation are shown here. They may be used in any combination so different foundations, walls, and roofs can appear together.
Types of Foundation
Foundations are the supportive structures on which all houses are built. The type used depends on a property’s age, local codes, and the type of ground on which it stands.
Types of Wall
The four main types of house construction are generally defined by the way in which the exterior walls have been built. Much more detail about the many variations on these basic categories can be found over the next few pages.
Types of Roof
Most roofs are angled to divert rainwater away from a house. The internal supporting frame is usually constructed of wood studs. The intersection between separate pitched roofs is achieved by forming valleys between each structure. Pitched roofs are commonly covered in asphalt, although other roofing materials may be used. Flat roofs are uncommon and are never exactly flat, as there needs to be a slope to shed water. Valleys require some form of flashing to create a waterproof seam.
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Thursday, January 26, 2017 19:52 PST