Today's dwellings are mostly made of cement, sand, concrete blocks, and steel, but a major portion of the population still employs timber and zinc roofing. Wood is the most common building material, used for fences, bridges, and even vehicles. In Western parishes, large areas of forest land are still available for timber harvesting.
When settlers from the United Kingdom arrived in Jamaica they brought with them an appreciation for the beauty of wood that was not present before. They also introduced some new building materials to the island including brick and tile which were popular back then. As time went on, these materials were adopted by local builders and have become commonplace today. However, if you walk through many neighborhoods in Kingston and other larger cities you will see that a majority of the housing stock remains unmodified from its original design.
Jamaica's climate is generally considered tropical, but due to its geographic location it has a distinct winter season. The average temperature in January ranges from 24 to 32 degrees Celsius (75-90 degrees Fahrenheit) and doesn't drop below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees F). July is the hottest month of the year with an average temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees F). It doesn't rain often but when it does it usually rains for long periods of time.
Most were built with adobe (mud and straw) walls, while stone was used on occasion. The adobe walls were plastered, and the roofs were nearly usually covered with red clay roofing tiles or shingles manufactured from cooked mud. Ceramic shingles were used on certain roofs, although they were not the standard. In La Paz, you will often see wooden houses instead.
The furniture in traditional Bolivian homes was very simple but effective. A bed for sleeping and eating at one time was typical. Chairs were usually made of wood and had four legs. Tables were also usually made of wood and had flat surfaces for eating or displaying items. There were no cabinets nor any other storage facilities in traditional houses.
There were two main entrances into the house. One was through a door which led into the living room area, while the other was a patio entrance that led out to the backyard. If there was no patio, as in most cases, then an alleyway between two buildings served as the entrance/exit path. There were no windows in traditional houses; light came in through the doors and some small holes above them to release air pressure when it rose too high inside the house during storms or similar events.
Traditional houses in Bolivia were always single-story structures with only one floor. Sometimes there would be an attic space where more belongings could be stored, but this was rare. There were no basements in traditional houses.
Grass is also utilized as a construction material in the veld and less-forested regions, where it is commonly used for thatch and mat roof coverings. Hardwoods from forested areas, as well as bamboo and raffia palm, are utilized for construction. Earth and clay are also important construction materials. The most common method of construction is still with sticks and leaves because they are easy to find in many parts of the continent.
In more developed regions, steel and concrete are often used instead. Brick making is popular in warmer climates where wood is scarce or expensive. Tile is another common building material which is available in many colors and styles. It is used in kitchens and bathrooms because of its durable nature.
African homes tend to be smaller than those in Asia or Europe and usually have only one floor. This is because there are not enough resources available on the continent to construct large buildings. People make do with what they have instead focusing on comfort and affordability.
The majority of Africans live in rural areas in small villages built around a central church or sacred site. They grow mostly maize and other grains because this is easier and cheaper to do than buying food imported from abroad. However, many farmers now use pesticides and other chemicals which are sometimes harmful to humans. This leads to some concern about the health of people living in rural areas but there is little anyone can do about it because there are no safer alternatives.