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The Parts of a House Every Homeowner Should Know

Understanding the various parts of a house is an essential step in your homeownership journey. While some of these are basic, each has several components you cannot see and likely haven’t thought about before. So, let’s examine all of the differences between these house parts so you can better understand your home and the home-building process.

A house’s frame has three essential parts–the foundation, walls, and roof. These three parts are what homes are most commonly made up of because they need to support the weight of the house and keep it from falling apart. The frame is also what determines a home’s square footage.



foundation of a home

There are some parts of a house that you can’t see, but they are just as crucial to the structure. One example is the foundation- without it, your home would crumble.

The foundation of a home is an integral part of your home. It supports the parts of the house that are visible to the human eye. The foundation comprises different elements, like steel beams, concrete, concrete blocks, gravel, posts, and footings.

The parts that make up the foundation depend on the type of foundation you have, which can be anything from a crawl space to a full basement. Some will have a footing; others will be resting on piles; it depends on your home’s soil conditions and location. 

Foundations can be a concrete slab on a footing, a foundation that lays flat on the ground. It doesn’t have a basement underneath or a crawl spaces foundation.

footing foundation of a home

Foundations can take the longest part of the time to build. If builders don’t construct it correctly, the foundation could cause parts of your home to become unstable. It can even result in parts of your home cracking or breaking down.

If you are building a home, the foundation often feels like the longest part, but it’s the most crucial to get right because it supports all of the home’s weight and supports the structure.


Framing the Walls

framing of a home

This is where your single-family home starts to take shape and quickly. There are two kinds of walls in a home, the exterior and interior walls. The exterior walls serve to protect the parts of the house that are inside. And this protection is not just for people. It provides other types of weather protection, too.

Contractors usually put moisture barriers and a finishing coat like siding, stucco, or paint on the exterior.

Wood, cinder blocks, bricks, and parts of metal make up the walls in a house. In addition, there are parts in walls made to support aspects of the house that are visible on the outside, so they don’t collapse. For example, windows, doors, roof parts, and foundation parts depend on walls to stay up.

The walls support the floor joists in the house, which the exterior walls also support.

house being framed

The walls of a house also serve as a delivery mechanism for all of the home’s guts. Your electrical wiring, plumbing, ductwork, central vac, and other things all pass through the insides of your interior and exterior walls.

You can see some parts in walls: sheetrock or plasterboard, insulation, venting material, and nails that hold components together. However, there are many parts of a wall you can’t see. These parts include wiring pipes or other pipes.

When contractors frame a house, it’s incredible how quickly the wood framing goes, especially when compared to the foundation. The walls can go up in a day or up to a week, depending on the type of house and the conditions. Once contractors frame the solid wood walls, the roof is next.

Once the electrical, plumbing, and ductwork are in, contractors cover the walls with drywall.

Fun fact, when a house is initially framed, it will feel smaller than it actually is. However, once contractors close off the interior wall, you’ll see more definition on the home’s inside. At that point, the home begins to feel larger.



roof of a house

Walls can hold parts of your roof up, and your foundation helps keep parts from falling apart.

So what does a roof do? First, a roof protects your house from roof leaks. It keeps the rain, snow, storms, and sunlight from entering your home. A roof can also protect you from harmful things like UV rays.

A roof doesn’t only protect you from the harmful elements outside. It can also help keep the interior parts of your house warm.

Roofs include many components like trusses, rafters, plywood decking, or rolled roofing.

Roofs have several purposes other than keeping the rain off your house. They can help to keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Roofs do this by blocking out sun rays in the hot weather and reflecting heat away during cold months.

During summer, roofs can also protect houses by blocking hot sun rays. The roof parts are critical because they protect your home from rain and other elements that can damage it.

Roofs can be asphalt shingles, metal, cedar shakes, wood shakes, concrete tiles, or slate tiles. These shingles and the ceiling joists, roof decking, and roof rafters work together to form a solid roof.

There are lots of benefits to having a solid roof. First, it carries water away from the foundation via the gutters. 



Windows are where natural light comes in through the windowpane. They are placed inside a window frame. They allow natural sunlight to flow through your home. In addition, there are parts of windows made to open up so you can let air in, which can help your house remain cooler during the summertime.



The doors of your house help separate parts inside the house to keep them separate and secure. In addition, most homes require at least two separate entry and exit points as part of the local builder’s code, including the front door. Many houses also have a garage door to consider. 


Exterior (siding materials, shingles, roofing materials)

exterior of a house

A house can have several different types of exterior finishes. These exterior finishes include brick, stone, siding, stucco, and concrete block.

The exterior of a house can also be made up of several different types of siding, including Hardie board, vinyl siding, wood, aluminum, or steel. In addition, some homes have exteriors with stucco or cement-based panels and a house wrap underneath. There are also exterior doors and windows to consider.

Once a contractor completes all of the above, your home is “closed up.” This usually represents a third the steps when building a house.


The Internals of a House


Electrical System

electrical of a house

Most homeowners think of electrical systems in their house consisting of switches, outlets, and light fixtures. But many homeowners are not aware of the electrical components hidden in the walls or ceiling of their home to provide power to these items.

Electricity enters your home through an electrical service panel. This is where all incoming power gets distributed throughout your house. The electric service panel distributes electricity to the main service panel, which in turn distributes electricity to each breaker box.

Usually, there are also sub-service panels in the house where the breakers are divided into sections for outlets and lights.

Contractors construct this while building the house, but you can add wires later if needed.



insulation of a house

The home will also need insulation. A home needs this because insulation helps to keep it warmer in the winter. Insulation is typically fiberglass, cellulose, or foam.

Most houses require contractors to install the insulation between the studs and rafters.


Plumbing System

plumbing inside walls of a house

You can’t see your plumbing system, but it’s another crucial part to a house. The plumbing system provides water to have it available to use in different parts of your house and drains water away from them so they don’t get flooded.

This system is typically pipes made out of PVC, copper, or other types of metals. These attach to parts that attach to the main water supply. A private well or public utility with your local city provides water.


HVAC System (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) and Ductwork

hvac of a house

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This system is part of the parts that are hard to see in your house but necessary to have working properly.

Once the house has been framed and the electrical and plumbing are in, several things happen at once. The next part of the house that gets built is the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. This provides or removes heat from parts of your home as needed during the year to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer.


Finishing Work




Also known as millwork, the kitchen and bathroom cabinets of a house help to provide storage in different parts of the house for things such as dishes, pots, and pans, food from the kitchen, or towels from the bathroom.


Flooring Materials (carpet, tile, wood)

One of the last things to go into a house when building it is flooring materials. The flat surface of the home’s floors provides a nice finishing touch to the design and furnishings of the house. It also protects parts underneath from damage caused by furniture, foot traffic, pets, or just everyday living that can wear down the flooring material over time.

Different kinds of finished flooring for the entire floor can provide different textures and looks to other parts of your house.



Drywall is installed to cover the exposed framework of your house.

It’s usually made up of three or four sheets that are then taped, plastered, and sanded smooth to complete the wall.


Appliances (refrigerator, ovens)

Appliances are interesting because you need to know their dimensions when building a house, but they don’t go in until the very end of home construction. Here are the best places to get appliances.


Interior Design Elements

After all of that is done, there are the interior design elements. These are the finishing touches on your house that make it complete and make you think of it as home!

These interior design elements include pictures, a house plant, paintings, mirrors, curtains, rugs, pillows, light fixtures, and lamps.


Parts of a House FAQ


What are the different parts of the house?

The different parts of a house are the foundation, walls, roof, doors, windows, electrical systems, plumbing system, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, cabinets/millwork, flooring, trim, and paint.

You may also have appliances like refrigerators or ovens in the kitchen and televisions and computers throughout the house. Interior design elements like furniture and rugs will also be placed in different parts of the house.


What is the basic structure of a house?

The basic structure of most houses is to build the foundation, walls, roof, exterior siding materials, waterproof material, and shingles. Depending on the kind of interior design you are going for in different parts of your home, you may have doors or windows that provide access to these other areas.


What are the main rooms in a house?

The seven main rooms in a house are the kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room, bedrooms, laundry room, and den or home office. These rooms can be located on the house’s first floor or in a finished basement, depending on how large your home is built. In all, there are over 70 different types of rooms in a house.


Know you know all the parts of a home

Understanding the different parts of a house from the floor joists up to the roof rafters isn’t taught in school, but we are exposed to these things every day. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to know these different parts and phases of building a home so you can understand the process if you ever go through it. 



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