The information that follows is an overview of the construction of a home. This is not an in-depth study. It is not designed to talk about building codes. It is not designed to educate the licensed electrician, plumber or building contractor. Rather, it is to help lay people increase their knowledge of some of the major components of a house and how they work. There will be, but a brief explanation of how the systems are installed.


Since the time the first settlers moved to our shores, in the 1600’s, our homes have evolved. They have developed from mere shelters, which kept out the elements, to mansions with indoor pools and bowling alleys. Currently, there are houses of all shapes and sizes. They vary from capes to colonials to modern day palaces. Our homes are considered an extension of our personalities.

In centuries past, building construction trade was passed down from generation to generation and attested to your professional name, i.e. mason or carpenter. Today, there are publicly traded corporations--multi million dollar firms--with hundreds of preplanned models, which include every detail of home construction.

Along with these changes, has come increased regulations and building codes designed to provide uniformity and protection for the consumer. The following explanation will not focus on code regulations. Instead, it will highlight the basic components of house construction, attempting to provide a broader understanding of how a house is assembled, or the theory behind it. In addition, it will clarify some of the larger historical changes that have occurred in the building industry.

The multiple components that are needed to assemble the modern home are analogous to the human body. In both cases, the systems need to be integrated and operate correctly, in order for them to function.

The human skeletal system and the house frame operate on the principal of inter-connected support. A break at a certain point in the skeletal member or house frame causes problems someplace else in the system. Skeletons and frames protect the other systems, which operate in their interiors. An electrical system in a house is much like a nervous system coursing through the body. A pinched nerve in the human body is could be compared to a shorted a wire in an electrical system. Both feed through other portions of the system.

Theoretically, a house’s plumbing system works on the same way as the mouth and digestive system. They have supply intakes that feed the structure and at a certain point, they turn into waste systems. Both waste systems are separate from the supply systems.

The heat and air conditioning systems keep the house at comfortable temperature. Similarly, the heart pumps blood through the body and to regulate its temperature. If there is a problem with the heating system of the house, it could be caused by a lack or shortage of electricity. Problems with the human or the house frame can lead to pinched nervous or electrical systems.


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