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House vocabulary

Unless you live in a block of flats or a bungalow (one-storey house with or without an attic), British houses normally have two or three floors or stories. On the ground floor you're likely to find the living room, kitchen and dining room, while on the first floor you'll pro a ly find edrooms and a athroom. On the second or top floor is the attic, or loft. On the roof of many houses you can still see a chimney and chimney pot - even if the house now enefits from central heating. !he floors of a house are connected y stairs, with a landing (area) on the upper floor which leads to the upstairs rooms. "ost British houses are made of brick and cement. #n a row of terrace houses (houses $oined together), the interconnecting walls are cavity walls% they have a space etween them to allow air to circulate. On the interiors, the walls are covered in plaster, and then either painted or decorated with wallpaper. !he internal walls of a house fall into two categories% load-bearing walls (those that are structural and support the weight of the floors) and partition walls (those walls that divide rooms, ut can e knocked down.) &loors and roofs are supported y strong' eams, which are long, heavy pieces of wood or metal. &loors can e covered in a variety of materials, such as parquet (wooden s(uares), laminate flooring (a type of thin wooden plank), or tiles (either ceramic or vinyl). #n living rooms and edrooms, the floors are generally covered with carpets. )ouses are normally connected to local utilities, such as mains water, electricity and gas supply. #n the countryside, not everyone is connected to mains gas, and some houses have gas tanks in their gardens. !he vast ma$ority of people are connected to the local sewage system (for waste water), ut some people have their own septic tanks in their gardens to treat waste water. )ouses that are connected to utilities have separate meters to show how much they consume. *epresentatives of these utility companies visit houses regularly to take meter readings - with which they can then ill their customers. +ome electrical $o s (such as wiring or rewiring , installing the electrical ca les) should only e done y professional electricians, although you can still change a plug, or change a socket (the hole in the wall where you put the plug in to connect to the electricity supply). &or safety reasons, the wiring in the house is on more than one circuit% lighting usually is on one circuit, and the sockets are on another circuit. +ome plumbing (water piping) $o s should also e done y professional plum ers. &or e-ample, although you can change taps, you should get a professional to install a gas boiler. +ome uilding work can e done without supervision. "any people en$oy doing .#/, such as putting up shelves, fitting cup oards and doors, assembling furniture and so on. )owever, for the ig $o s, such as loft conversions and uilding extensions, you need to first apply for and o tain planning and building permission (from the local authorities) then employ a firm of uilders. #n Britain, damp winter weather causes many pro lems to houses. &or e-ample, some houses can suffer from damp (humidity) or dry rot, caused y water seeping into walls and timber (wood). &or this reason, houses have gutters (tu es attached $ust under the roof that run along the length of the house to catch rain water) and some may need regular damp proof treatment (special chemicals to prevent damp from spreading). 0indow sills (the piece of the wall - internal

or e-ternal - in which the window is set) and window frames (the wood that goes around the window) should e made waterproof (so that water cannot get in), and most people have central heating via radiators to keep the air inside warm and dry. +pecial thermostats set on the wall help to regulate the temperature in the room. #n addition, most people have insulation in the loft to keep warm air in, and cold air out.