Stilt homes are built on stilts (legs) above the soil's surface to keep flood water out. This sort of dwelling is particularly common in areas prone to severe rain and flooding. This kind of dwelling is popular in South East Asia and West Africa. There are several varieties of stilt houses including plank houses, bamboo houses, mud houses, thatch houses and wood houses.
Plank houses are the simplest type of stilt house to build. They usually consist of a single layer of large planks supported by the legs attached to a framework of poles or trees. The walls of the house will be made of closely spaced horizontal boards held up by the posts inside the room. A floor of beaten earth may be put down inside the house for warmth in cold climates or if it is to be used as a dairy or poultry shed.
Bamboo houses are also called "lalang" or "jungle houses". They are built using similar materials and techniques as plank houses but instead of wood, bamboo is used instead. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant and can be found near all major rivers and lakes. It is easy to work with and many parts of the bamboo plant can be used: the shoots for food, the leaves for weaving into baskets and mats, and the fibers from the center stem of the plant for making rope.
Stilt homes (also known as pile dwellings or lake dwellings) are structures built on stilts (or piles) above the level of the ground or a body of water. Stilt homes are created largely to defend against flooding, but they also keep pests out. In addition, the views from a stilt home are stunning.
Stilts can be made of wood, bamboo, steel, or concrete. The most common materials used for stilts today are timber because it is affordable and easy to find in the right size and shape for building stilts. Wood that is grown for construction rather than forestry is called building wood. Trees that are harvested specifically for their wood are called industrial wood. Building wood that comes from abandoned buildings or landfills is called scavenged wood. Scavenged wood should not be used as fuel because it may contain substances that can cause serious fires.
Timber stilts must be strong to support a house above major flood levels. This means that they can't be made of thin wood, which would be damaged by even moderate floods. Instead, they use heavy timbers that are braced together with crutches - horizontal poles tied at regular intervals with rope or wire - and connected to the top of each timber with a diagonal strut. The weight of the house is spread over a large area, so there is very little strain on any one part of the stilt.
Stilt homes are often built over water, although they may also be made on sand or dry land. The most typical purpose for constructing a stilt house is to avoid floods or pests. Stilt homes are considered environmentally friendly since they may be quickly constructed without causing major damage to the landscape. They can also be moved easily if the need arises.
Stilts are long legs attached to a base structure. The term comes from a Scandinavian word meaning "to stand on." Since their introduction into the American South around 1750, these one-story dwellings have become an integral part of the flood-prone landscape in regions such as Mississippi and Louisiana. A stilt house uses its stilts to get above high water marks on its foundations. This allows homeowners to live in their houses while they are being washed away during floods.
There are several reasons why people build stilt houses in flooded areas. First of all, flooding is common in many parts of the world where there are no safe places to go because all of your neighbors were not able to escape the flood. So if you are trapped inside your home with the rising water, you might as well stay and wait for help instead of trying to fight the current and risk being swept away from your house.
Secondly, people build stilt houses in order to protect their property from animals that would otherwise find it easy to break into the house.
Stilt homes are structures built on piles above marshy terrain or bodies of water, particularly in locations with a lot of rain. In Brazil, particularly in the north, exemplars of this type are numerous. Keep this image! Shacks in Sao Paulo's Paraisopolis. Image credit: Fernando Stankuns/Visual Hunt/CC BY-NC-SA.
In most cases, they were built by local residents who could not afford to pay construction fees or obtain building licenses. Thus, they fall under an illegal subdivision and are considered "dwellings without title". Although these buildings are usually only one story high, some have more than one floor due to their location near rivers or lakes that overflow during heavy rains, revealing any floors not protected by soil.
The typical stilt house has a thatched roof and is made up of wood beams supported by vertical posts set into the ground or sunk into the water itself. The walls are typically less than six feet tall but can be as high as 12 feet if necessary. A porch or balcony often runs the length of the house and acts as both living and sleeping quarters for its occupants.
In addition to being inexpensive to build, stilt houses are easy to move if need be. If the owner decides to leave his home town, he or she can simply take the house with them. This is why they are common among fishermen and farmers who may have to relocate every few years as part of their job.
During heavy rain, stilts save houses from flooding. In mountainous places, houses feature sloping roofs to prevent snow and water from pooling on the roof. This can cause problems such as erosion and increased risk of fire.
Stilts are tall legs with a base plate at the bottom that supports the floor of the house. The stilts are often made of wood but can also be made of steel or concrete. The height of the stilts depends on how deep you want the house to go into the ground. The deeper the house, the higher the stilts need to be. A common mistake is to use too many stilts when building a small house. It is better to use few large stilts than many small stilts.
There are two types of roofs used in stilt houses: flat and sloped. With a flat roof, the walls are straight up and down, without any slope. This type of roof is used for houses where no water is expected to drain away from the center of the house. If water does manage to get onto the roof, it will just run off into puddles that cannot be drained. Flat roofs are easy to clean and maintain, but they collect heat very poorly.
A sloped roof has one side which is lower than the other.
Stilt homes are constructed from wood, bamboo, cane, or rattan. Traditionally, a specific chamber for drying rice is located one or two levels below the main floor of a stilt house. Because the houses are built on stilts, there is an open area beneath the house that is normally kept unoccupied or used to house livestock.
Stilts are used because land is scarce in some parts of the world where they are built. In Indonesia, people build their homes on stilts because the soil is soft and can be easily damaged by heavy equipment. In addition, floods often destroy entire neighborhoods of low-lying buildings so building homes on stilts is an effective way to protect your belongings.
There are several different types of stilts used around the world. Chinese farmers use a type of stilt called a "chang-yi," which consists of a wooden base about 1 meter (3 feet) high with metal legs attached to it. The farmer then plants rice in trenches dug in the field and when the crops are ready to be harvested, the farmer climbs into the chang-yi and lifts it off the ground, allowing him or her to harvest the rice without having to reach too far under the stilt house.
In Africa, villagers build their stilt houses from mud bricks or concrete blocks. They usually contain only one room but sometimes have another added on top.