House Types

The type of house that people live in says many things about the landscape around them, the amount of money they have and what they do with their time. If you want to understand how people live now, or how they lived in the past, the house is a good place to begin.

Things to Do If You Live in Newfoundland and Labrador or the Atlantic Canada

1. Look at the photograph of a saltbox house on the What is a Saltbox House? page of this web site. Are there any saltbox houses where you live now?
Ask some of the older people in your community if they remember a time when there were more saltbox houses. If they do, ask them what happened to those houses. Sometimes, houses are rebuilt into a completely different type of house as newer house types come into style.

2. If you can find pictures of your community from the past, see if you see any saltbox houses. 
 

Things to Do If You Live Anywhere (including Newfoundland and Labrador)

3. How many different kinds of houses can you find in your community? Ask people who live in the houses if there is a name for the type of house they live in.

When were different types of houses built? Were certain types more popular at different times?

Can anyone tell you why one type of house is more popular than another? 

Who made the houses? Did the people who were going to live in the house make them, or were there trades people, carpenters for example, who made the houses for them? Did this change over time?

Did people pick the shape of the house just because they liked the way it looked, or was there a practical reason why they thought this type of house better?

Have houses gotten bigger or smaller in your community over the years?

At the same time, did families get bigger or smaller?

How did the way that houses are heated change?

Why did people change the size of the houses they lived in?

Are all the houses in your community made of the same building materials?

If the materials used to build houses changed, try to find out when this changed.

Why did people change the materials that they used to make their houses?
 

To Find Out More 

The article "Architecture" in the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador contains information about historical house types in the province and many photographs.

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