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Inside an English house
Hi, my name is Erik.
I live in a semi-detached house. This means that my house is joined to another house. My house is made of bricks. In my house there are three rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs. We have central heating which keeps our house warm. Some houses have an open fire place but we don't.
Kitchen If you come in to my house through the back door, you will find yourself in the kitchen. There is a carpet on the floor.
In my kitchen there is:
The fridge (refrigerator ) - This is the place where mum keeps things cool. There is also a freezer under the fridge where mum freezes things.
Dads computer - Not everyone in England has a computer in their kitchen but my dad has.
Cupboards - We have cupboards for food and for plates etc.
The Cooker - We have an electric cook. It has four rings on top and a grill and oven underneath.
Washing Machine - Mum washes our clothes here and hangs them out in our garden to dry.
Sink - I help my mum wash up the plates in the sink. We wash the dishes in washing up bowl in the sink. We take the bowl out when we wash our hands.
Living Room Some people call this room the lounge. It is where the television is and the comfy chairs. We have a carpet on the floor to keep our feet warm.
In my living room there is:
A table with chairs - to eat our food at
Settee - In America I think they call this a sofa. It is a comfy 2 seater chair.
Two comfy chairs.
Television and Video Recorder - We also have satellite TV.
Bathroom Most houses have a bathroom upstairs but ours is downstairs.
In my bathroom there is:
A bath - We fill the bath up with water and then climb into it to wash ourselves.
A sink with two taps (one for hot water and one for cold) - I clean my teeth at the sink and also wash my hands and face.
Laundry basket - This is where I put my dirty clothes for washing.
Shower - I like having a shower best.
The three rooms upstairs are all bedrooms. They all have carpets on the floor.
In my bedroom I have:
My own computer
Wardrobe - to hang my clothes in
Cupboards with drawers for my other clothes
Cupboards for all my toys.
Bookcase for my books.
My bed. My bed is high up as I have my desk underneath it and my computer.
Outside my House
We have a back garden and a front garden. In the back garden there is a swing and some grass for me to play football on and to ride my bike. Mum likes to grow vegetables in the garden and plant flowers. At the bottom of my garden is a river.
Most people in England live in urban areas. Towns and cities are spreading into their surrounding environment to cope with the increase populations. In England, an average of 7,000 hectares of farmland, countryside and green space were converted to urban use every year between 1985 and 1998. This is almost the equivalent size of 9,600 international football pitches!
Who owns the houses?
More families own their homes than rent them. More people are buying their own homes than in the past. More than a quarter of homes in England are owned outright by their occupiers, while almost another four in 10 are owned with the help of a mortgage or loan.
Types of houses in England
England has many types of homes. In the large cities, people often live in apartments, which are called flats. In most towns, there are streets of houses joined together in long rows. They are called terraced houses.
According to Census 2001, the most popular type of home in England is semi-detached (more than 27% of all homes), closely followed by detached then terraced. Flats (apartments) are the least frequent.
Cost of Houses
A big problem in England is the rising cost of houses. In 1989 first-time buyers paid an average of around £40,000, but by 2001 this had more than doubled to £85,000. The cost of housing also varies dramatically around England from an average of £182,000 in London to £70,000 in the north-east of England.
The cost of housing in England has increased much faster than people's wages. The average annual wage in England in 2003 was around £20,000, whilst the average home was over £120,000.
Why do you give your houses names?
House naming started many years ago with rich people naming their homes. The rich named their Halls, Houses, Manors, Castles, and Lodges according to ancestry, location, and family titles: Norfolk House (Duke of), Belvoir Castle (overlooking the Belvoir Valley); Castle Droge (named after a 13th ancestor) etc. Gradually over the years other people began to give names to their homes too. All houses in towns and cities have a number. Very few have just a name and majority do not have names.
Street numbering was introduced by act of Parliament in 1765. Every house in a town and city has a number followed by the name of the road it is in e.g. 26 Avebury Avenue. The first house in the road is number one and the last house is the number of buildings in the street. The number readily identifies the location of a property in a road and so makes it easier for the emergency services to find houses quickly. Odd numbers are usually assigned to the left side of the street and even numbers to the right, as they head out of Town.
The UK's Top 20 house names from the Halifax House Names Survey 2003
1. The Cottage
2. Rose Cottage
3. The Bungalow
4. The Coach House
5. Orchard House
6. The Lodge
8. The Old School House
9. Ivy Cottage
10. The Willows
11. The Barn
12. The Old Rectory
15. The Croft
16. The Old Vicarage
18. Orchard Cottage
19. Yew Tree Cottage
20. The Laurels
The most Common Themes for House names in Britain
House names today are inspired by a bewildering array of sources: everything from location and local history to literature and legends.
Animals and birds
Favourites include: Badgers Cottage, Cuckoo Cottage, Curlew Cottage, Dolphin Cottage, Fox Hollow, Kestrels, Magpies, Mole End, Nightingale Cottage, Robin Hill, Rookery Nook, Squirrels Leap, Swallow Barn, The Jays and Two Hoots
Favourites include: Orchard House, The Orchard, Woodlands, Treetops, Oaklands, The Willows, Yew Tree Cottage, The Laurels, The Hollies, The Beeches and The Firs.
Plants and flowers
Favourites include: Rose Cottage, Primrose Cottage, Honeysuckle Cottage and Lilac Cottage.
Locations and views
Favourites include: Hillside, Hillcrest, Sunnyside, Woodside, Meadow View and Fairview.
Favourites include: The Coach House, The Old School House, The Old Rectory, The Old Vicarage, The Old Post Office, Mill House, The Granary and The Grange
Fairytales and Old Favourites
Favourites include: : Thimble Cottage, Pippins, The Little House, The Nutshell, Whispers, Wishing Well Cottage and The Nest.
Holidays and beauty spots
Favourites include: Ambleside, Blencathra, Eskdale, Rydal, Tarn Hows, Windermere, Larmona, Tresco and Kynance.