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Things most American houses have that most British houses don't

Most house/DIY/home decor blogs are American, and I've been struck by the many differences between American houses and British ones. Have any other Brits noticed this too?

Things most American houses have that most British houses don't:
-Closets
-Waste disposals
-Vanities
-Electrical stuff in bathrooms
-Front "porches" (a porch in Britain means something different)
-Mailboxes
-Two sinks in one bathroom
-Air conditioning/ceiling fans

Can anyone think of anything else?
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Comments

  • I don't think we have 'Ranch style' houses. We only have bungalows which are considered more suitable for OAP's! Also from a DIY perspective we don't have pegboard, we just don't! I have been trying to buy some for ages and I can't find it anywhere. I think our living area's tend to be more distinct and less open plan, maybe because of the space issue and maybe because a lot of house's are older and so were designed for heat conservation. We don't really have a lot of car ports either.

    Also we don't tend to go as OTT for holiday decorations as a lot of American bloggers seem to. Honestly I don't know where people find the time to decorate for a different holiday pretty much every month it seems!
  • British houses are a lot smaller in general. The average house size in the UK is 76 square metres, whereas in the US it's 201 square metres!
  • I think that a lot of British (and probably most of Europe) homes have all-in-one washer/dryer units and they keep them in the kitchen - is that right?

    Also, in general your fridges are much smaller than ours. I actually bought a "Euro Size" fridge (10 cubic feet) 5 years ago and I love it! The search for it was taxing though because nobody really carries them unless they are the high-end $3k+ ones. All the sales people would cock their heads to the side and tell me that I was crazy!
  • Washer/dryers do exist but most people have separate machines. And yeah, they're almost always in the kitchen - most people don't have "laundry" rooms.

    And yes American fridges always seem ginormous. But American style fridge/freezers are becoming quite popular over here now. Before, counter-height fridges and freezers were more common.
  • Whenever I watch a show on BBC and I spy the washer in the kitchen, I always start fantasizing about how I could make that work, how brilliant it would be!!
  • aforceinsideaforceinside Kansas or Europe, depending on the day
    When I lived in Spain we had a dishwasher that held 4 plates, 4 cups, and silverware- that's it- lol. Our fridge was tiny. And yes, the clothes washer was in the kitchen... And not everyone had dryers. 95% of people hung their clothes to dry.
    Americans also have yards. ;)
  • My husband - who is English and moved here to the states a little over seven years ago - has the following to add to the list:

    - two cars
    - gas powered lawn equipment
    - guns
    - screens on doors and windows
    - king sized beds
    - Americans
    - dishwashers

    :-)
  • The lawn mower thing is a good one. I can't imagine any self-respecting British person using a ride-on lawnmower! Or even a gas-powered one. Mine is basically a razor on wheels. Oh and lawn sprinklers too! It never occurred to me that anyone would ever need to actually water a lawn. I'm more likely to need a hairdryer for mine.

    Guns! Why didn't I think of that one! I would never feel safe having a gun in my kitchen drawer! I think that's just weird.

    I don't have a drier, I hang clothes up. And as it rains a lot over here, I usually hang things indoors to dry. Can smell bad, but reduces ironing!

    I do have a dishwasher but it only holds four of everything like aforceinside said! It's a countertop model.

    GreeninOC, why don't you think a washer in the kitchen would work? Go ahead and put it there!

    Keep 'em coming!
  • @emloco, I totally would but my one-bum kitchen wouldn't allow it without a major renovation. My wallet can't afford a major renovation without winning the lottery jackpot!

    I have a vision of you now outside trying to blow dry your garden!

    @lizaanne, guns - that cracked me up!

    The Only Way is Essex, which we have too on Hulu but you get to claim that.

    You guys have British humor which wins. Grew up quoting Benny Hill which nobody but my Dad or siblings would laugh at! Probably my favorite ever is The League of Gentlemen which is brilliant on so many levels.

    While we have electric kettles they aren't popular here. Our countertops are too full with toasters, crockpots, deep fryers, quesadilla makers, and more!
  • How does anyone live without an electric kettle?!?!



  • Oh seriously @emloco !!! When my husband came to live here he thought it was insane that I didn't have one! Then I spent some time in England, and the first thing I did when we got back home was to buy a proper electric kettle. :-D Now I could not live without one!! We are even, slowly, convincing our American friends that they need them as well. Not sure how I ever got on without one.
  • @lizaanne, I've been considering getting one - do you have one that you love and would recommend?
  • RuthA said:

    I don't think we have 'Ranch style' houses. We only have bungalows which are considered more suitable for OAP's! Also from a DIY perspective we don't have pegboard, we just don't! I have been trying to buy some for ages and I can't find it anywhere. I think our living area's tend to be more distinct and less open plan, maybe because of the space issue and maybe because a lot of house's are older and so were designed for heat conservation. We don't really have a lot of car ports either.

    Also we don't tend to go as OTT for holiday decorations as a lot of American bloggers seem to. Honestly I don't know where people find the time to decorate for a different holiday pretty much every month it seems!

    If it helps, I have seen pegboards on amazon with all of the bits and bobs to attach stuff to it.

  • emloco said:

    How does anyone live without an electric kettle?!?!

    I had a whistling one once that went on the hob….it took an age to boil so was quickly replaced with an electric one…Tea is how we cope with all that life has to throw at you here in the UK, and waiting 10 minutes just isn't cricket!
  • GreenInOC said:

    @lizaanne, I've been considering getting one - do you have one that you love and would recommend?

    crate and barrel stock kenwood kmix (or they did when I was last in the US) they are really bright and funky, and mine has lasted 3 years so far which is an age with our very hard water…my mam has had three of a different brand in the time I have had one kmix.
  • How about things that British houses have that Americans don't? Airing cupboards! Cupboard under the stairs!!! And I've always found it really weird that everyone has a built-in microwave? There was also another discussion somewhere about having a draining rack to dry your washing up on! If you look at any American blogs, their kitchen sinks don't have a drainer! Weird
  • Americans don't have cupboards under the stairs? But they're brilliant! As a child I almost lived in mine (like Harry Potter).

    I suppose we usually have more period features too, as our houses are older on average. A 1950s house would definitely not be considered old over here! My 1910s house is not what I would consider old either. Bay windows, coving, dado rails, original fireplaces etc are a perk of living in Britain.

    Oh, radiators! Do Americans have radiators?
  • edited January 26
    I'm Irish...the first thing I did when I moved here was buy an electric kettle! At the time, it was tricky to find a decent one....but they are easier to find now!

    @emloco my house has a cupboard under the stairs and the older houses definitely have radiators. Most newer houses have baseboard heaters or central air.

    @robrobrobyn why would you need a drainer when the dishwasher dries the dishes anyway?! I've never needed one!

    @lizanne the screens on doors and windows still bothers me...people freak out if I open the window without the screen on! HOWEVER given the sheer amount of mosquitos and other biting insects here in the summer a screen really is essential! It's also nice to not have to hang up sticky fly traps like I had to in Ireland lol!

    Jenna @ Wife in Progress

  • @robrobrobyn why would you need a drainer when the dishwasher dries the dishes anyway?! I've never needed one!

    Jenna @ Wife in Progress

    I don't have a dishwasher!!!!
  • GreenInOC said:

    @lizaanne, I've been considering getting one - do you have one that you love and would recommend?

    Hello @GreenInOC - we have THIS ONE for about six years now and it's still going strong.

    When it finally dies we will get THIS ONE which is what I wanted in the first place, but it was sold out at the time, and I didn't want to wait for it.
  • Here is the discussion I started last year about How do you do your dishes - washing up

    I love the cultural differences!

    I noticed too when I was in England, that everyone's home I was in, when they were doing the washing up, did not rinse the soap suds entirely off the dishes (hand washing)!! @-) When my husband did this, I think I may have shrieked!! LOL!! You HAVE to rinse the soap off, who wants to eat that!?? Too funny!!!
  • Another non-soap-sud-rinser here. Sorry!
  • I don't understand not rinsing off the suds...

    Dishes are washed to remove food residue & germs. The food residue and germs get pushed off the dish and into the suds. If you don't rinse off the suds, then effectively the residue and germs dry right back onto the dish, no?
  • Meh, a few germs never hurt anyone. Builds up the old immune system! (Maybe I should rinse a bit more lol).

    Like was mentioned near the top of this thread, I also don't have a dryer. My clothes go outside on the line. I'd love to know how much money I save by not having a dishwasher and tumble dryer.
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