Traditional construction of single-family homes


The traditional construction of single-family homes has many aspects to take into account. Starting because it is carried out “in situ” and because at the same time it involves a series of very complex and specific.

Although industrialized construction has revolutionized the field of architecture in recent decades, there is still much to thank traditional construction for.

This type of construction has unique and distinctive featuresand their work execution systems are also peculiar.

On this occasion, we will delve into the traditional construction from the approach of single-family homes.

We will tell you what their relationship is, what their main characteristics are and their most notable elements.


A traditional construction uses practically manual methods. Likewise, the structures are made up of beams and column bases, which support the entire weight of the construction.

Previously, the vast majority of single-family homes were of this type of construction, both in Spain and in many other countries on the continent.

Therefore, it was common to use natural, transformed and less processed materials. The most effective were lime, stone, wood, earth and manually made bricks.

Single-family homes

For its part, a single-family home must be correctly defined. Basically, it is a property inhabited by a single family.

This means that they differ from multi-family or collective houses. In other words, they do not refer to urban properties, much less to residential complexes.

Furthermore, it is important to highlight that There are several types of single-family homes (depending on the development of each construction).

Some can be semi-detached and have contact from the outside, while others can be isolated (avoiding contact with other homes).

At the same time, there are semi-detached single-family homes. In simple words, they are those that have a single-family house on each side.


Traditional construction has very imposing and defined characteristics, such as the ones we share with you below:

1. The materials used from the beginning of the construction work are more ecological or friendly to the environment. (Unlike modern, industrialized construction).

2. The works are capable of overcoming the attacks of time with robustness and effectiveness. In fact, single-family homes built under a traditional system are completely durable.

3. Since brick is often used, it is common for spaces to have an optimal insulation from the outside.

4. Single-family homes that adhere to traditional construction are easier to reform.

5. The durability and nobility of the resulting buildings has never been in doubt.

6. In some countries, traditional construction is also known as “wet construction”.

7. It is a construction system made up of load-bearing walls or a reinforced concrete structure.

8. Masonry walls tend to be made of load-bearing brick, stone or blocks.

9. Traditional single-family homes also have interior plastering, sheets, flat slabs, ceramic tile roofs and plastic or metal pipe installations.


At this point you should already be clear that the traditional construction system has very resistant structures.

Likewise, we just told you that its walls are made of masonry. But it must be added that traditionally built single-family homes also have:

1. Walls

These are built with various materials. Generally, a cement and sand mixture to ensure that they stick or compact correctly.

The walls transmit the load from the slabs, or beams, to the foundation and the interior floors of the home.

These can be hollow or solid, and it is necessary to flatten them to improve their appearance.

An important aspect that you should know is that the walls cannot be moistened before coming into contact with the mortar mixture. (Otherwise they may contract or expand.)

Additionally, it is feasible to use polystyrene panels with a type of reinforcement coupled with meshes and steel bars.

These facilitate the erection of partition walls, ceilings, slabs and walls. As if that were not enough, they are excellent thermal and acoustic insulators.

Likewise, partitions are very common in this type of construction. These are clay, or annealed, bricks that are joined with a mixture of mortar, sand and cement.

traditional housing construction

However, they must be saturated with water so that the mixture does not lose its moisture. (And ideally they should be placed in horizontal rows).

2. Slabs

They are flat horizontal structures made of reinforced concrete. Serving to separate one level from another in a traditional construction.

In other words, the slabs are responsible for supporting the construction and can be:

In this case, they contain armed steel rods and a concrete mixture. Furthermore, their ends rest on the finishing chains, which in turn rest on walls, columns or castles.

These elements are prefabricated. That is, their cost is low, which makes them a great option for single-family homes.

A joist must rest on the beams or walls, while the vaults rest on the joists to relieve weight.

And above the joists and vaults, a layer of reinforced concrete must be poured, as a reinforcement.

3. Foundation

The foundation serves the structural part of traditional construction and is responsible for transmitting the load to the ground.

Choosing the type of foundation depends on the soil in which the single-family home will be built. Therefore, it can admit variations even in its depth.

The foundation is crucial, since guarantees the stability of the constructionand also prevents structural and non-structural elements from being damaged.

It can be made of concrete or fathom stone (the latter is of volcanic origin and is characterized by optimally resisting weight and tension).


According to European Statistical Officein 2021, 35.1% of the Spanish population resided in single-family homes.

Without a doubt, these can offer you great comforts, benefits and advantages. These are the most notable:

1. You can choose the style of home that you like the most. Especially if the construction is carried out on a plot or land.

2. Single-family homes are 100% customizable. Literally, freedom of choice is unlimited.

3. Its distribution usually adjusts to the needs of each owner.

4. Outdoor space is not overrated. On the contrary, it is highly demanded and well used. (From the gardens, to the pool or barbecue).

5. These homes tend to be more intimate and quiet for the owners, compared to other types of constructions.

6. Reforms are easier to carry out, since It is not necessary to obtain a permit from the community of owners.


Typically, the traditional construction of a single-family home in Spain is estimated at a six-figure budget.

Consequently, if you want to invest in a 150 m2 house in Madrid, you would need almost 300,000 euros.

However, it is important to note that these prices are illustrative, as many aspects or factors can significantly reduce or inflate them.

Therefore, the ideal is that you receive comprehensive and up-to-date advice on this issue before making any money disbursement.

In that case we invite you to contact to CMYK Architects. Their team will listen to your needs and help you make the best decision.

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