11 House-Shapes Named: Learn The Accurate Terminology

Houses come in many different shapes, but do you know what each house shape is called?

In this article, you’ll learn about the accurate terminology for some of the most common house shapes. Let’s get to it!

What Are L-Shaped Houses Called?

L-shaped houses are called just that: L-shaped houses. These are houses with two main sections that are connected in one corner to form an L.

In this house shape, the long part of the L often has an open floor plan containing the living area, dining area, and kitchen, while the short part of the L is where you’d normally find the bedrooms and other private areas of the house.

However, depending on the design and construction, these may be described using specific terms.

Here are some examples:

  • Ranch-Style L-shaped Houses – These are houses with one story and a low-pitched roof, and often have a rustic design and feel.
  • Contemporary L-Shaped Houses – These L-shaped houses are characterized by their clean lines, large windows, and simple and minimalist look.
  • Prairie-Style L-Shaped Houses – These are L-shaped houses that are inspired by the prairie architectural style which is characterized by their brick exterior walls and low-pitched roofs that extend outside the structure of the house.

Do you want to design your own house? Check out our article about places to design a house for free online. 

What Are Long-Narrow Houses Called?

A long narrow house is often called a “shotgun house.” They can also be referred to as a “railroad apartment” or “row house.”

Because of the shape, this type of house has a linear layout and each room is arranged one after the other. If there’s a back door, it is typically aligned with the front door which gives a clear line of sight through the house.

These houses are quite common in the Creole-influenced and Southern areas of the United States.

What Are U-Shaped Houses Called?

U-shaped houses are simply referred to as “U-shaped houses.” These houses have a layout that resembles the letter U.

In this house shape, the living room, dining room, and kitchen are located in the central part of the house. Meanwhile, the bedrooms and other private areas are located in the wings of the U-shape.

The center of the U-shape often functions as an outdoor living space. Some may use them to build a pool, while some may use them as a courtyard or outdoor deck.

What Are Round Houses Called?

Round houses are often referred to as “round homes” or simply “roundhouses.” Some may also refer to them as “circular houses.”

These houses often feature an open floor plan, with the central area functioning as a space for living and dining. The kitchen is also located here.

Meanwhile, interior walls are created to add some separation and provide some privacy to the bedroom or sleeping areas.

If a roundhouse is basically a tent made of canvas with a wooden frame, then it can be referred to as a “yurt,” which is a form of housing that was traditionally used by nomadic people in Central Asia.

For a more in-depth answer, please read our article all about round houses.

What Are Octagon-Shaped Houses Called?

Octagon houses have an eight-sided shape and are simply called “octagon houses.” This house shape became popular in the U.S. during the mid-19th century, particularly in the midwestern and northeastern regions.

Just like round houses, octagon houses often feature an open floor plan. In some of these houses, there’s a central atrium that allows adequate natural light to enter. This also helps increase ventilation.

What Are Houses With Low-Pitched Roofs Called?

Houses with low-pitched roofs are often referred to as “low-slope roof” houses or “flat roof” houses. These houses have a slight pitch on their roofs, making them appear almost flat.

Houses with low-pitched roofs are quite common in modern or contemporary architectural styles. They are often characterized by clean lines, simple shapes, and minimalist designs.

There are many other terms used for houses with low-pitch roofs based on their design.

Here are some examples:

  • Modernist Houses – Designed with function over form in mind, these houses feature low-pitched roofs, geometric shapes, and clean lines using modern materials like concrete, steel, and glass.
  • Bauhaus-Style Houses – These houses also feature low-pitched roofs and clean lines. The most common materials used for these houses include concrete, steel, and glass, but also wood and stone for a more natural feel.
  • Mid-Century Modern Houses – These houses have a modern look and are constructed using natural materials like wood, stone, and brick to add a lot of texture and warmth.

Please read my article explaining the different styles of flat-roof houses.

What Are A-Frame Houses Called?

A-frame houses are simply called “A-frame houses” or “triangle houses.” These houses resemble the letter A when viewed from the front or back because of their distinctive triangular shape.

These houses are typically made of wood and other natural materials. They often feature an open floor plan with the living areas and dining in one space. A sleeping loft, accessible by a stair or ladder, is added to efficiently make use of the vertical space.

These houses are common in coastal areas and mountain or forested areas.

While some people may use A-frame houses as permanent dwellings, this house shape has become a trendy style for vacation houses or rental villas in resorts and other travel destinations.

What Are T-Shaped Houses Called?

T-shaped houses are simply called as “T-houses” or “T-plan houses.” The shape of this house resembles the letter T.

The longer part of the T contains the living area, dining area, and kitchen, while the shorter part of the T is where you would find the bedrooms and other private areas of the house.

What Are H-Shaped Houses Called?

Houses with an H-shaped floor plan are simply called “H-shaped houses” because of how their shape resembles the letter H.

These houses have two long wings on either side connected by a short central corridor. This central corridor is where you would find the entrance of the house leading to the living area, while the two long wings contain the bedroom and other private areas of the house.

The space on the front between the wings typically functions as a front yard. Meanwhile, the open space on the back is often used as an outdoor living space.

What Are Z-Shaped Houses Called?

Z-shaped houses are simply known as “Z-houses” or “Z-plan houses,” with their shape resembling the letter Z. This house shape is not as common compared to other shapes like the T-shape or H-shape.

In this type of house, the living area, dining area, and kitchen are located in the central part of the Z while the bedrooms and other rooms are in the diagonal sections.

This shape can be found in modern house designs.

Please also read our article, What’s Each House Style Era Called.

What Are Y-Shaped Houses Called?

Y-shaped houses are known as just “Y-houses” or “Y-plan houses” because of their distinctive shape that resembles the letter Y.

This is another uncommon house shape and can be found in modern and contemporary house designs.

The long part of the Y houses the living area, dining area, and kitchen, while the arms of the Y house the bedrooms and other private areas.


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