HOUSING

 

 

Housing in the CR Picture dictionary Projects

Housing in the UK ESC - housing - UK PDF version

American homes ESC - housing - USA Menu Topics

Phrases Exercises

 

 

HOUSING IN THE CR

 

My family and I live in a house in medium sized village of about 1000 people. Most of my friends look down on living in the countryside. They consider village life to be too boring. Personally, I believe that there are positives and negatives to both living in a village and living in a city.

The disadvantage of living in a village is the lack of shopping options, facilities for sports, and other cultural activities. Furthermore, we have to ride the bus to school and work which is not always ideal. And, of course, everyone knows everything about everybody!

The city is only four kilometres from my village, so it's really no problem to go to the cinema, the swimming pool or the tennis courts. In our village, we have a football field, a community cultural house, two shops, a restaurant, and a church. In the cultural house there is a small gym, a library, and a cinema and you can play table tennis there. Sometimes, there is a disco arranged.

As you can see it is not so terrible to live in a village and there are a few other advantages. I would like to mention. The best aspect of life in the countryside is the quiet healthy environment. In addition you have the possibility of growing your own vegetables and fruit and having pets or raising farm animals, such as chickens and geese.

Many people prefer to live in the city. The city, however, has its own disadvantages, such as the hectic atmosphere created by stress, traffic, and noise. There is polluted air and water and often you have to live in apartment blocks. Furthermore, the parks and playgrounds are sometimes very far.

The positive aspects of living in a city are the job opportunities, the housing options, the wide variety of cultural and sport activities, the number of shops and the high quality medical facilities.

Everyone has to decide for himself or herself where they want to live. Personally, I prefer to live in a village. When I want to go to the theatre, the cinema, a concert, a disco, or just go shopping, then I take a trip to the city. I enjoy spending time in the city, but I always look forward to my quiet home in the village.

I will now describe our house. It has a large garden and a garage and is located at the end of the village. There is a small creek just behind the garden, where I often go for walks with my dog.

There are five rooms in our house. We have a living room, two children's rooms, a bedroom, an office, and of course, there is the kitchen, the bathroom and the toilet. All of the rooms are big and bright. The only small room is the one that my parents use as an office. Underneath the house, there is a basement where we store fruits and vegetables from our garden. This is also the place where you can find our laundry room, a sauna, and our stove for central heating. On the ground floor, there is a kitchen with a dining corner, a living room, my parents' bedroom, the bathroom and the toilet. Upstairs in the attic you can find my brother's room, my room, and the office. Now, I will describe a guided tour of the house:

When you come into the house you enter through a small hall with a coat stand, a shoe rack, a bucket for umbrellas, and a mirror. In the corner, there is the staircase to the first floor. From the hall, you enter the kitchen with its kitchen cabinets, cooking range, dishwasher, microwave, coffee machine, and fridge. In the corner, there is a round table and chairs. The dining room is separated from the kitchen by a bar counter. It has wooden floor except for under the table where there is a small carpet. From the kitchen, we enter my parents' bedroom. It contains a double bed with bedside tables and lamps as well as big wooden wardrobes. There is a chest under the mirror where we store the bed sheets. The biggest room is the living room which has a fireplace, large windows and a glass door facing the terrace. Our living room is furnished with a leather couch and chairs, a coffee table, and a TV and stereo. All around the room, there is furniture displaying books and plants. On the terrace we keep a few deck chairs and a lot of flowers and plants. In the bathroom, there are two sinks, a big mirror with lamps on the wall, a shower, a corner bath, and shelves. If we continue our tour upstairs, we first come to the office. It contains a small bookcase and a computer workstation. My father works as an independent businessman and spends a lot of time here. Next to the office you can find my brother's room and across the hall there is my room. The rooms are similar, except for the mess in my brother's room, so I'll only describe my room.


MY ROOM

 

I am happy with my room. In the middle of my room there is a chimney which comes from the fireplace and goes straight through my room. We use the fireplace a lot in the winter, so my room is always nice and warm. There are two skylights on the right under which sit my computer table and chair. On the left, I have my bed and a couple of wardrobes. Across from the door, I have my rocking chair, bookshelves, and stereo. The furniture is made out of light wood and on the walls I have pictures and posters. On the floor, I have a small carpet. Just as in my brother's room, I have a parquet floor.

That was the tour of the house. Let's continue in the garden. The garden surrounds the house and is divided into a working area and a relaxing area. In the working area, we have fruit trees and a vegetable garden. In the other area of our yard, there is a swimming pool and a fire pit where we barbecue in the summer with our friends.

 

 THE HOUSE OF MY DREAMS

 

My dream house is on my own private small island in the Pacific Ocean! The island would be just ten minutes away from a continent and a city. I would have lots of rooms with air conditioning. I would have a swimming pool, a small airport, and an ocean view. All the rooms would be luxurious and comfortable. I would often throw parties with my friends. In a small natural harbour, I would have my yacht and I would live like a new age Robinson Crusoe. Apart from that, I would have other two flats, one in New York which would be practical and modern, and the other in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

 

 

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HOUSING IN THE UK

 

People in Britain prefer houses to flats. Why? Because the British respect privacy and independence. The British pride in ownership is well known. An average Englishman likes to live in his own house. A house, a garden and a place to wash the car are a British ideal. About 64 per cent of houses in Britain are owned by people who live in them; the rest is owned by public authorities and is rented.

A typical English house has a front and a back garden. It has two floors. On the ground floor, there is a hall, a toilet, a kitchen, a dining room and a living room (very often with a bay window). A staircase with a wooden banister and carpeted steps takes us from the hall to the private first floor with bedrooms and a bathroom. The bathroom is very often covered with a carpet. Single-glazed windows are still quite common, so a pair of woollen socks for night might be useful.

The building material varies around the country - red bricks, concrete, stone, wood - but red brick contrast with white window frames is quite usual.

 

TERRACED HOUSES

They are the cheapest ones. It is a style typical for older housing until 1910. These are houses joined together in long rows. They are often tiny and identical. Only the different colours of front doors and window frames can help you to identify each house.

 

          

 

SEMI-DETACHED HOUSES

 It is probably the most popular type of house in Britain. Each one is a part of a pair of houses joined together. They usually have well-kept front and back gardens with enough space for a car. Large areas of these houses can be found in suburbs.

 

DETACHED HOUSES

They are much more expensive than a "semi", standing by themselves usually with a garden all around it. Most detached houses are to be found in affluent suburbs around cities where no industrial development is allowed. These areas, especially around large cities, are quite big and people have to travel to work by train or car every day. But living in a house is more important for them than a short travel distance to work.

 

HALF-TIMBERED COTTAGES

In recent years old cottages have become popular, and not only as second homes. Central heating and other improvements, such as double-glazed windows, have been added to romantic low ceilings, wooden beams, large fireplaces and thatched roofs to create a new style of comfortable but expensive living.

 

BLOCKS OF FLATS

They can be seen in Britain too, but not in such numbers than in our country. From 1945 "council housing", built by local authorities for letting at low rents, was started. During the next twenty years new blocks of flats, tower blocks of 15 or more floors were built quite cheaply, but people did not like them. The entrances were not supervised. There was vandalism, robbery and violence, litter and graffiti. Lifts were damaged. No more tower blocks were built by local authorities after 1970 because of their general unpopularity. The building of private houses started to flourish. And at present about two-thirds of houses in Britain are owned by people who live in them, the rest is owned by public authorities and is rented.

 

 

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AMERICAN HOMES

 

Nearly all Americans live in towns or cities now. American homes are some of the biggest and best in the world. Many of them have a garage for one or two cars, a big modern kitchen, a living room, and a playroom for children on the first floor. Upstairs there are two bathrooms and three or four bedrooms.

Some families have two homes. They have one house or apartment in the city or suburb where they live and work. But they have another home near the sea or in the mountains for weekends and vacations. Seventy per cent of Americans buy the home they live in. The other cannot buy a house or an apartment and some of them rent their home from a landlord. The poorest people live in "public housing" apartments. But people do not like to live in public housing projects; they are afraid of thieves and drug sellers.

Americans who live in towns and cities move often. A family stays in one house for four or five years and then they move again. Some people move because they have found a new job. Other people move because they want a bigger or a smaller house. In American suburbs families come and go all the time.

Americans are always trying to make their homes better. They take a lot of time to buy furniture and make their homes beautiful. They buy books and magazines about houses and furniture. They work hard on their homes in the evenings and on weekends.

 

NATIVE AMERICANS HOMES

Native Americans (Indians) lived in tepees (tall round tents from buffalo skins), some tribes lived in wooden houses and Indians in the South lived in pueblos (houses from stone, wood and dry mud bricks).

 

COLONIAL STYLE IN THE NORTHWEST

The Dutch colonists built tall narrow houses along the Hudson River, the French built fine houses with windows in the roofs and the English built large houses with red-coloured bricks or white painted wood.

Some Americans love eighteenth-century furniture, but they like twentieth-century kitchens and bathrooms. A house can have a nice fireplace in the living room, but there will be a freezer and dishwasher in the kitchen. Americans like beauty but they like to be comfortable too.

 

CALIFORNIA LIFESTYLE

Bungalows come from California - they are simple houses of one story with a yard around it. Californians like the patio - an open place in the middle of the house. They like to have a swimming pool behind their house.

 

SUBURBS

They have grown up very quickly in the past seventy years. Every suburb has its own centre - shopping mall (everything under the same roof). New suburbs are called urban villages. There are new offices, factories, schools, parks, ...  But the houses in suburbs are expensive. Poor people still live in the inner cities. American suburban houses have often big backyards. There are no fences between houses. A lot of houses are "ranch" houses with only one floor and no stairs.

 

TRAILER PARKS

The cheapest and easiest houses of all are "mobile houses" in trailer parks. Modern mobile house can be almost 4 metres wide and 20 metres long. They have kitchens with stoves, refrigerators and running water. They have bathrooms with toilets and baths or showers. Mobile houses are big but they can travel. There are thousands of trailer parks in the USA; some of them are now small suburbs near big cities.

 

 

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PHRASES

 

Dům / byt je na prodej.

The house / flat is for sale.

Je na prodej.

It’s on the market

Je na dobrém místě.

It’s in a good location.

Je na předměstí, kde je hodně zeleně.

It’s in a green suburb.

Je v tiché oblasti.

It’s in a quiet area.

Je v přátelském sousedství.

It’s in a friendly neighbourhood.

Je blízko centra města.

It’s near the town centre.

Je na (o)kraji...

It’s on the edge of...

Je to uprostřed...

It’s in the middle of...

Je to ve spodní části...

It’s at the bottom of...

Je to na konci...

It’s at the end of...

Je v desetipatrovém domě.

It’s in a ten-storey block.

Je na tichém sídlišti.

It’s on a quiet estate.

Je v přízemí.

It’s on the ground floor.

Vpředu / Vzadu má zahradu.

It has got a front / back garden.

Má podkroví.

It has got an attic.

Potřebuje zrekonstruovat.

It’s in need of reconstruction.

Je prodán!

It’s sold!

 

 

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PICTURE DICTIONARY

 

Types of houses Bedroom Kitchen utensils

Hall Bathroom Electrical equipment

Living room Kitchen Storeroom

Dining room

  

 

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