1. Food Gathering

Simple shelters made from branches, thatched with vegetation

2. Agriculture

Size may increase, especially for rulers, shared with animals

3. Simple Technology

Long Halls - larger timber frame and clad buildings. Use of dry stone walling to construct fortified sites, later rulers' homes within them - mixture of stone walling and timber structures. Gradual separation of humans and animals for wealthy, and more privacy in sleeping for head of family. Heating by fire in middle of floor, smoke escaping by hole in roof.

4. City State

Fortified sites expand and encompass more dwellings - cities. Invention of mortar - solid walls of dressed stone. Number of interior rooms expand - more privacy - separation into sleeping, eating, abluting, cooking, entertaining. Plaster and painted interiors.
Non-wealthy at Level 2.

5. Empire (Roman)

Glass and central heating. Luxurious houses for wealthy, who have several. Town houses comfortable, well decorated, privacy for household - but often combined with business - workshops, shops.
Mass produced pottery: bricks, tiles - simplifying house construction.
Luxury dwelling built outside cities as safety improved. Non wealthy people's homes ranged from Levels 3 - 4.

6. Medieval (Europe)

Reversion to Levels 2 - 3. Wooden and vegetation structures, beaten earth floors. Extended family communal living, even for rulers. Towards end of period aristocracy have stone houses. Timber frame wattle and daub gives way to brick infilling. Central open fire becomes enclosed by chimney enabling second story of room, growth of privacy.

7. Industrial Revolution

Construction of brick homes for workers - better housing, less deaths, rise in populations, mainly in cities. Glass windows. Growing middle class develop separate sleeping, living and cooking quarters...

8.Consumer Society

...which is followed by the skilled, and then by the unskilled workers. More wealthy has several homes. Increasing equipment and furnishings in the home. Ceilings.
Break down of extended family living - nuclear family.

9. Mass Production Society

Bedsits and shared flats - communal living for those who have left home

Movement of dwellings out of cities into smaller towns and countryside.

Central heating universal, use of labour saving gadgets. High standard of comfort. Insulation increases. Double glazing.

Housing fashions (c/f Levels 2 - 8 dwellings may be inhabited for centuries). Now homes have a life and then demolished (with access to capital new home more economic than maintenance of old ones).

Second homes become common. Young single people establish their own homes earlier.


People start with simple shelters with few internal divisions which they share communally including animals.

As economic resources and technical capabilities increase, the trend is to increasing privacy, with a slight increase in size. This is the Constant Trend. First animals are separated; then more internal rooms are added for different occupants and activities; later each family member acquires its own home - giving the nuclear family (previously only the inheritor of the family home could marry). When full measure of privacy has been obtained, there may be some enlargement of the dwelling for ostentation, and

There is also a Constant Trend of energy, where insulation and ventilation control is constantly being improved. This makes more efficient use of the energy released inside the dwelling - higher temperatures are achieved for less heat input.


On the general pattern of people seeking to increase their privacy we may expect

In societies where space is no problem (e.g. US) these trends can be seen, together with variants of having ones own motorised mobile home as a norm.

In congested societies like the UK there is more of a space limitation - but a more important influence is the government interference:

  1. by artificially restricting the use of land for dwellings - which causes an artificial scarcity barrier - which causes the rooms and grounds of the dwellings bought by individuals to shrink in size as the scarcity builds up.

  2. Under Town - Country it is concluded that the distinction between town/country will increasingly blur, as the towns thin out and become more spacious, and the country gets more built up. The effect of government is to slow up this process (not stop it). The effect is to reduce the size and increase the cost of housing to the private buyer.

See also Household.

Impacts from Consumer Manufacture - Vehicles

Vehicles can be considered as an extension of the Dwelling, a private space that moves around. To the History might be added the great effect on courtship caused by the motor car in Level 9; and parallel trends in the US towards all members of a family each having their own auto. This too makes the Mobile home very common in the US. In crowed countries like the UK there is more uncertainty of how far such Mobile homes will go - they are likely to provide some, or maybe a lot, of the second homes.


The dwelling energy constant trend gives a reduction of energy for the same ultimate output, and could ultimately result in no energy supplied for heating - as the humans themselves and their equipment supply all the heat required. In fact, energy supplied to dwellings has been at a plateau for several decades, and could quite possibly decline in future periods.

Impacts from Banking Stability

Banks since their origins in Roman times are inherently unstable, a fact never properly learnt. This has been true since their appearance in our Level 7 Industrial Revolution. The causes may be severe jolt in the Business Environment, such as the convulsions of WW1 funded by huge printing of paper money, followed by Governments trying but failing to re-introduce sound valuable gold coin money causing the Great Depression. Or in more recent times from the Banks themselves creating innovations which turn out to be misconceived. Any of these cause Banking Crises, where Governments prop up Banks (though may bankrupt their customers). There was a Banking Crisis in mid 1970s, again in 1980 (caused by Banks lending to Governments while there is no method of enforcing. repayment - a fact re-occurring in the History). About the time this was working itself out we got the Credit Crunch in 2007 (caused by Us Banks innovation in selling mortgage securities which Banks around the world filled their vaults - but proved to contain the so called Sub-Prime which failed causing these securities to become un-saleable - which is still the case)

A Banking Crisis typically causes the Banks to raise their interest rates as they desperately try to re-build their reserves - but has the effect of putting their customers out of business, all of which causes an economic recession or depression. The Construction industry is particularly affected with the values of properties and houses. High interest rates reduces house purchase and house prices. The Banking system relies on putting charges on land - fall in land prices threatens the stability of Banks - and their ability to lend money reduces - the Construction industry relies on this to fund their developments - and they go into severe decline in these Banking Crises. Individual house holders suffer likewise with the Negative Equity - having bough in Boom times with high mortgages, they see the value of their homes fall bellow their loans - and are unable to sell. Crises occur in the home loan markets.

The current Credit Crunch has other ingredients. World wide banks asset base is largely frozen into those US home loan securities which are un-saleable - they have no money to lend. This Crisis was foreseen by Governments around the World and tried to prevent it by stimulating their economies - which made no difference, and we got a recession bigger than the 1930s depression (though few are admitting it). This beat with a major trend from the Government Area Governemt financing problems. Governments have been spending more than they can raise in taxes for several decades - their reaction to the Credit Crunch caused many to become effectively insolvent - typified by the Crisis over Greece, and the stability of the whole new European currency.

Governments brought interest rates down to stimulate their economies - and kept them low when this did not work. The Banks have thus not been able to re-build their reserves by getting interest rates high (as is usually the case in Banking Crises). Instead they have embarked on a series of scams - which have been seen as such by Governments who have fined the Bank huge sums and made them pay compensations - which are preventing the Banks rebuilding their reserves and recovering from the 2007 Crisis.

A further set of Impacts has come from the Holiday Home of the History and Constant Trend, coupled with a growing trend probably triggered by the Credit Crunch of a large investment of oil money in buying up London property and in other cities. The effect is large areas of London are not lived in - but are dead. Much of the leafy villages are not lived in but are holiday homes of the wealthy. No doubt currencies threatened by the Credit Crunch cause rich people to seek what they think are safer homes in our houses - even though they leave them empty. The result is that more and more of the housing stock is not available for Englishmen to live in. It may have tempered the Negative Equity which arose with the Credit Crunch, but has resulted in young people unable to buy homes, with reports of people putting off starting their families until their 30s.

These are very serious developments which no one seems to be doing anything about - except saying we should build more houses. This is not possible as the Credit Crunch prevents their financing, and anyway will not help if the new homes are just bought up for foreign investment.

The Credit Crunch will eventually work itself out, as the problem US Securities are secured on US homes, where the Sub-Prime element will eventually be eliminated - but the Bank recovery may take longer than previous Banking Crises. Unfortunately another Banking Crisis can be expected to surface from a wholly unforecastable source. The Construction Industry and house availability and prices will be affected yet again.

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