Stone, plaster, and brick were used to construct fine Roman dwellings. Their roofs were tiled. Wooden beams supported the floors and walls.
The Romans made use of the local stone supply, but also built using other materials when necessary. For example, when wood is too scarce or expensive to use as a building material, it is replaced with clay bricks. The walls of Roman buildings ranged in thickness from between 3 and 8 feet (1-2 m).
Public buildings such as temples and basilicas were usually made out of stone, but private homes were mostly made of wood. They usually had three floors: ground level, first floor and second floor. Public toilets were usually located outside cities at places where people could go to use them. These toilets usually consisted of a small room with a hole in the roof for releasing any waste.
In ancient Rome, most houses were owned by someone who rented them from the government. This person was called a "resident owner". If you wanted to live in a house, you would go to the resident owner and pay him or her some money so you could live there. If you were a famous person or someone rich, you might be given a house completely free of charge.
They were single-story residences that were built around an atrium courtyard. Atriums had chambers that opened off of them, but no roofs. A wealthy Roman home contained several rooms, including a kitchen, bath, dining room, bedrooms, and slave quarters. Water was delivered to the wealthy's homes via lead pipes. The Romans invented many things: music, theater, law, medicine, and architecture. But it was their understanding of how to use concrete that made them so successful as builders.
Concrete has been used by humans since ancient times for building roads, pyramids, and temples. But it wasn't until the Romans that it became important for construction. They used it for buildings, statues, and even as a pigment. Concrete is any mixture of water and cement that can be hardened into a solid substance. When mixed with sand and gravel, cement produces a hard material that can withstand weathering and wear-and-tear. Cement also helps concrete resist damage from chemicals and heat during construction.
In its purest form, concrete consists of 20% cement, 70% water, and 10% aggregate (sand or gravel). For most concrete structures, 3/8" to 1" diameter stones or gravel are used as aggregate. This allows the structure to have sufficient strength while still being aesthetically pleasing. Concrete is easy to work with and durable; it can last for thousands of years without significant deterioration.
The materials used by Roman builders were mostly natural, such as stone, wood, and marble. Manufactured materials included brick and glass, while composite elements included concrete. In areas that were well watered, such as the Roman Empire's heartland in Italy, buildings were usually made of cement, which is much more durable than other materials used at that time.
In areas that were not well watered, such as most of Europe, buildings tended to be constructed with timber, which does not last over time. However, trees were often grown specifically for building purposes, so they could be preserved after their use as fuel had finished them off otherwise.
Roman buildings were typically built without any special insulation, so they would not be considered energy efficient today. However, because they were only used for a few decades before being replaced, they did not need to be very durable. Therefore, most of them still stand today, despite having been built over two thousand years ago.
Some examples of notable buildings from Ancient Rome include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and Caesar's Palace.
The Colosseum was used for many things including basketball games, musical performances, and even hangings. It was also where people went to watch chariot races.
Caecilius' dwelling, for example, was fairly prevalent in Roman times. Apartment buildings were frequently many floors tall. The first and second stories were used for housing, while the third story or higher were usually made up of rooms where goods were stored. These upper levels would have had windows but no outside walls - the rooms were open to the air.
In addition to apartments, there were also large three-story townhouses built for the rich. These too were easy to find in Rome because they were used by the government officials who lived there. The Romans also used their houses as offices - their emperor's throne was located in the atrium (inner room) of their house. A servant would bring him a towel after he took a shower.
The poor lived in small one- or two-room houses. They often had grass instead of carpeting on the floor and no running water inside the house. There might be a well outside the door for drinking water. People used whatever space could be found indoors for storing food - jars on shelves, for example. They would use any free wall space to hang clothes. If there were no hooks or other means of hanging items, then people just used ropes to drag things across the floor.
Some people built or renovated their houses using a timber frame filled with bricks in the late 16th century. Roofs were mostly thatched, however some wealthy individuals had tiles. (Because of the dread of fire, all residences in London had tiles.) The frame was made of wood and covered in plaster; there were no nails used in its construction.
The house was divided into several rooms, which would have had floorboards made of wood or stone. There might also be furniture such as tables and chairs. In wealthier homes, these items could be made of wood or metal. In fact, many things found in modern homes were not invented yet, including the light bulb, radio, and refrigerator.
Houses like this one would have been common in London, England. It is on the University of Cambridge's Senate House site, which is being restored for use by the university. The building dates from 1716-1724 and is based on an Italian design.
In France, Germany, and the Netherlands, houses were built with walls of brick or stone. A mansion built during this time period might have had hundreds of rooms!
In North America, houses were built with walls of wood. They often had flat roofs to keep water out of the house. Windows were usually made of glass.