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A few questions about British homes

A few questions about British homes

Old Nov 24th 2012, 8:59 pm
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Default A few questions about British homes

I am an American who has not been to Britain.

Please forgive my ignorance...I imagine some will find these questions amusing.

I wonder about a few things regarding homes there that perhaps someone could address:

Are the following things easily available?

- wall to wall carpeting
-air conditioning
- attached garage and garage door openers
- dishwashers (installed)

Do you have screens on your windows?

Basements?

Why are the washing machines in the kitchens and where do you put the dryers?

Thanks in advance
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Originally Posted by sile View Post
Are the following things easily available?

wall to wall carpeting
Yes
Originally Posted by sile View Post
air conditioning
For cooling this is rarely needed, even in the south - though sometimes it would be nice summers in general are not that hot, and even if it does manage to get above 30 (86 F) it doesn't last long (usually it's in the low-mid 20s).

For heating houses usually have a central heating system with radiators, though some places have storage heaters (which are horrible things to use).
Originally Posted by sile View Post
attached garage and garage door openers
This one depends on type of house - terraced houses generally don't have a garage. Semi-detached and detached houses usually have a garage and mostly they're attached, but can also be away from the house a little.
Originally Posted by sile View Post
dishwashers (installed)
Available yes, common maybe.
Originally Posted by sile View Post
Do you have screens on your windows?
No
Originally Posted by sile View Post
Basements?
Generally not, though some older houses may have a small basement (but often not much use except for storage)
Originally Posted by sile View Post
Why are the washing machines in the kitchens and where do you put the dryers?
Houses in the UK are generally on the smaller side, so the washers end up in the kitchen where there's plumbing. Some houses may have laundry rooms (usually called utility rooms in the UK) but definitely not the norm. Houses with large enough kitchens may have the dryer in there as well.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Turns out fly screens on the windows have been introduced, they are an add on so not the kind you are thinking of like in the US,
http://www.ukflyscreens.co.uk/
http://www.flyscreenuk.com/
I've had homes with and without garages and one had an attached, but it was not accessible directly from the house, it had a door to the backyard so you could enter the house through the kitchen.
Lots of people seem to be having ceiling fans installed now too, A/C isn't really needed, but on those rare occasions when i'ts hot and muggy the ceiling fans seem to do the trick.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Not only do we have wall-to-wall carpeting, but we used to have wall-to-wall carpeting in the bathroom too! In fact, many houses still have that.

If you have a look at www.rightmove.co.uk you can see the interiors of many British houses.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Originally Posted by sile View Post
Are the following things easily available?

- wall to wall carpeting
Easy to find! In all rooms - including bathrooms, many of which are carpeted, IME.
-air conditioning
Impossible to difficult to find. We lived in southern England and I never saw an air conditioner of any kind in anyone's house. There's usually no need. You buy a fan if the summer's exceptionally hot, but we never needed one. (Global warming might change this.... )
- attached garage and garage door openers
Attached garages sometimes, as Roaringmouse says, especially for detached or semi-detached houses, but not for smaller houses/bungalows or flats/terraced. Usually no garage entry to the house.
- dishwashers (installed)
More now than in previous generations, but still not (IMO) common.
Do you have screens on your windows?
No, didn't know anyone who had these, but again didn't need them for the most part.
Basements?
Very uncommon.
Why are the washing machines in the kitchens and where do you put the dryers?
Washing machines go where ever they can fit. All room sizes are significantly smaller in the UK, so it's not always easy to find room. I've experienced a washing machine in the bathroom, in the garage, & in the kitchen under the counter - and in the kitchen was nicest. I never had a dryer, but tumble dryers also are becoming more common, and also must fit in where ever they can go.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

The reason that most houses do NOT have an entrance from the garage to the house is that, in most cases, the garage is detached from the house, some of the modern more expensive houses will have them. Electric garage doors are becoming more popular, and you can get them fitted if you want one. Larger modern houses will often have a utility room with the clothes washer and dryer in there, in most houses they are plumbed into the kitchen.
A/C not usually needed, it rarely gets hot enough more than a few days in summer, fly screens, there isn't the problem with nasty flies, midges and mosquitoes here.

Wall to Wall carpeting is the norm, but is getting less fashionable in bathrooms and kitchens.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Thanks for these replies. I wonder how you could be comfortable without screens on your windows...don't bugs get in? The wonderful thing is that you don't have mosquitoes there, right? How fabulous.
Carpeting in the bathroom sounds grand. I have always thought it's a bit risky to have tile anywhere where there is likely to be water or any liquid on the floor. I lived in a condo once that had carpeting in the kitchen..made specifically for that room. I loved it.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
Wall to Wall carpeting is the norm, but is getting less fashionable in bathrooms and kitchens.
Kitchens!!! I forgot about that one! What were they thinking.

I wouldn't say W2W is the norm anymore, at least not down south, it's probably equally split between W2W and wood floors (real/painted floorboards/synthetic).
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

So you open the windows and nothing flies in??? Wow!
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Originally Posted by sile View Post
So you open the windows and nothing flies in??? Wow!
I had a bee fly in this summer. Several times in fact. They usually fly back out after a few minutes. There are not that many bugs flying about outside though. We never wear mosquito repellant for example. Might be different in the Scottish countryside.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Originally Posted by sile View Post
Thanks for these replies. I wonder how you could be comfortable without screens on your windows...don't bugs get in? The wonderful thing is that you don't have mosquitoes there, right? How fabulous.
Carpeting in the bathroom sounds grand. I have always thought it's a bit risky to have tile anywhere where there is likely to be water or any liquid on the floor. I lived in a condo once that had carpeting in the kitchen..made specifically for that room. I loved it.
We've just had the W2W carpets removed from the kitchen and bathroom and replaced them with heavy duty vinyl, the kitchen does have a rug where the sink etc are so that if there is a water spill it won't make the floor slippery. Vinyl is so much more hygienic in the bathroom, we just have small mats in there that can be washed in the washing machine, if the rug in the kitchen gets a major spill then it will be thrown out and replaced, much cheaper than replacing the whole carpet. We also have a small steam cleaner for use on the carpets and vinyl floors.

We don't get big flying bugs, or even any flying bugs really, so no need to guard against them.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Could someone explain the different types of houses? I know a detached house is a freestanding home, al flat is an apartment, but I am not clear on what a terraced house or a bungalow is.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Terraced is a row house (other houses on either side)
Semi-detached is a duplex.
Bungalow is a one floor house.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Mike,
That sounds so unbelievably wonderful to have no flying insects. OMG, we are tormented by mosquitoes which now carry the potentially deadly West Nile Virus. We have to use repellent and try not to go out from dusk to dawn, wear protective clothing even when it's hot as he-- and if they get in the house, which they DO, you're petrified until you find and destroy them. And wasps are terrible! I have had to have an exterminator come to remove nests of them around my deck and windows and they have also gotten in the house. And then there are flies, too.
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Old Nov 24th 2012, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: A few questions about British homes

Originally Posted by Shard View Post
Terraced is a row house (other houses on either side)
Semi-detached is a duplex.
Bungalow is a one floor house.
Thanks, Shard.
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