Should you buy a Detached, Semi-detached, or Terraced house?

The type of house to buy depends on your budget, preferences for privacy and space, and location. Detached houses offer the most privacy and space but are most expensive; semi-detached homes offer moderate privacy and space for a mid-range price, while terraced houses are cheaper than semi-detached houses but offer the least private space. 

Consider your unique needs and finances to decide if a detached, semi-detached, or terraced house is the best option for you. Terraced homes, semi-detached, and detached houses each have their own pros and cons. 

As an interior designer with over 15 years of experience helping real estate agents stage and sell dwellings, I’ve outlined key factors to weigh when choosing between terraced, semi-detached and detached homes.

Key Factors per Type of Property

  • Budget – Detached are most expensive, terraced are cheapest
  • Location – Terraced in cities, detached in rural areas
  • Space – Detached offer most space, terraced least
  • Privacy – Detached most private, terraced least
  • Renovations – Terraced have most restrictions

“When choosing between terraced, semi-detached and detached houses, consider your budget, location needs, desired space and privacy, as well as flexibility for future renovations.”

Terraced or Semi-Detached for Singles and Couples?

Choosing between terraced and semi-detached houses as a single or couple depends on priorities.

Terraced Houses

  • More affordable price suits singles and couples on a budget.
  • Walkable urban locations provide easy access to social spots and amenities.
  • Smaller space may feel cramped over time and limit storage options.

Terraced houses offer affordability and location benefits for singles and couples but less space and privacy.”

Semi-Detached Houses

  • Added living area provides room to grow over time as a couple.
  • Get more peace and privacy from only sharing one wall with a neighbor.
  • Higher price may stretch budget for singles or newly paired couples.

“With extra room and privacy, semi-detached houses appeal more to established couples, though at a higher cost.”

Terraced or Semi-Detached for Families?

When choosing a home for a growing family, there are tradeoffs between terraced and semi-detached houses.

Terraced Houses

A row of red brick terraced houses on a residential street.
A row of red brick terraced houses on a residential street.
  • The budget price appeals to young families without large savings.
  • Close proximity to schools, parks, and kid-friendly amenities saves commute time.
  • Limited living space and outdoor areas pose challenges as the family expands.

“Affordability and location near schools and parks are terraced house benefits for urban families, but limited space is a drawback.”

A mid-terraced house is located in the middle of a continuous row of identical or mirrored terraced homes that are attached on both sides. Mid-terraces share party walls with neighboring properties on either side. Key features of mid-terraced houses include:

  • Located in the middle of a terrace row
  • Attached to houses on both left and right sides
  • Limited natural light from one front and one back window
  • Reduced ventilation with no exterior side access
  • More potential for noise transmission through two shared walls
  • Typically smaller rooms and footprint than end-terraced or semi-detached homes

In summary, a mid-terraced house is situated in the interior of a terraced row, sandwiched between two adjoining properties which can limit sunlight, ventilation, and privacy compared to end-terraced or semi-detached alternatives.

Corner and end terraced houses have distinct locations at the ends of a terraced row that provide advantages over mid-terrace homes:

End Terraced House:

  • Located on one end of a terrace row
  • Only shares one party wall with neighbor
  • Gets more natural light on exposed side
  • Added ventilation with one exterior wall
  • Less noise from only having one attached home

Corner Terraced House:

  • Positioned on an exposed corner of a terrace
  • Has two exterior sides with no shared walls
  • Receives the most sunlight with two open sides
  • Maximum ventilation with dual outside access
  • Easy vehicle access for parking from side road

In summary, end and corner terraced houses enjoy prime positions at the boundaries of a terraced row, gaining sunlight, outside access, and reduced noise compared to mid-terrace options.

Semi-Detached Houses

A semi-detached house in with front garden.
A semi-detached house in with front garden.
  • Added indoor and yard space give kids room to play and grow.
  • Get more peace and quiet in family-friendly suburban locales.
  • The higher price tag may limit options for cost-conscious larger families.

“Semi-detached houses offer extra room and a private garden for families, though at a higher price than terraced options.”

A semi-detached house is one of two homes joined together side-by-side that share a common wall in between. Key features of semi-detached houses include:

  • Paired double houses built together
  • Typically two to three storeys
  • Share only one party wall with neighbor
  • Own separate façade and roofline
  • Outdoor yard or garden on exposed sides
  • Driveway access without joined garages
  • More private than terraced houses
  • Larger floorplan than most terraced homes
  • Common in suburbs versus terraced in urban areas

In summary, semi-detached houses offer more privacy and space than terraced houses, while being more affordable than fully detached homes. Their paired design shares one wall with a neighbor but also provides individual outdoor areas.

Terraced or Semi-Detached for Extended Families?

When choosing a home to accommodate an extended family, terraced and semi-detached houses both have advantages.

Terraced Houses

  • Multi-level floorplans allow generations to reside together under one roof affordably.
  • Close-knit family bonds form from urban proximity enabling frequent visits.
  • Limited private space means tighter quarters and less separation within the home.

“The compact size and affordability of terraced houses support extended families living together, though space is constrained.”

Semi-Detached Houses

  • Added living area across floors provides needed room for multiple generations.
  • Get more quiet and separation in suburban locales.
  • Higher costs can limit options for large extended families.

“Semi-detached houses offer abundant space and privacy for extended families, though the higher price tag may pose challenges.”

What to Expect with Terraced Houses

A row of terraced houses on a street.
A row of terraced houses on a street.

Terraced houses are properties joined together in a row that share side walls with neighbors.

Terraced House Locations

There are a few main types of terraced house based on location within the row.

Mid-Terrace

  • Mid-terraces are in the middle of a terrace row with houses on both sides.
  • They experience less light and ventilation without exterior side access.
  • More potential for noise from having two attached neighbors.

“Mid-terraced houses offer affordability but limited light and the most noise from shared walls on both sides.

End-Terrace

  • End-terraces are on the end of a terrace row with one exposed side.
  • Benefits from additional natural light on exposed side.
  • Only one attached neighbor results in less noise transmission.

“Located on the terrace ends, end-terraced houses enjoy extra sunlight and reduced noise from only having one shared wall.”

A row of terraced houses in a residential area.
A row of terraced houses in a residential area.

Corner-Terrace

  • Corner-terraces have two exposed sides at terrace row intersections.
  • Get the most sunlight with fewer obstructed views.
  • Exterior side access and off-street parking are often available.

“With two exposed sides, corner-terraced houses receive the best light and allow for exterior access and parking.”

Terraced House Considerations

A view of a row of terraced houses.
A view of a row of terraced houses.
  • Most affordable option
  • Located in urban areas
  • Compact size and limited privacy
  • Restrictions on renovations
  • Access to amenities nearby

“Terraced houses offer an affordable option but have limited space, restricted renovations, and less privacy compared to semi-detached and detached homes.”

What to Expect with Semi-Detached Houses

Semi-detached houses are paired properties that share one side wall.

Semi-Detached House Considerations

A row of semi-detached townhouses on a street.
A row of semi-detached townhouses on a street.
  • Moderate budget choice
  • Suburban locations
  • More space and privacy than terraced
  • Private garden
  • Flexibility in renovations

“With more privacy than terraced houses but less space than detached, semi-detached offer a middle-ground choice for location, budget and renovations.”

What to Expect with Detached Houses

Detached houses sit independently on their own plot of land.

British detached house ready for sale
British detached house ready for sale

Detached House Considerations

  • Most expensive option
  • Rural, countryside locations
  • Maximum space and privacy
  • Private garden
  • Greatest renovation flexibility

“Detached houses provide the most space and privacy, with full flexibility for renovations, but have higher costs and countryside locations.”

Budget

Large and luxury detached house
Large and luxury detached house

When choosing between terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses, budget is often a primary factor to consider.

Cost Comparison

  • Terraced houses are typically the most affordable option. Their small size and shared walls reduce building costs.
  • Semi-detached houses offer a middle-ground price point. Their paired design is cheaper than detached homes.
  • Detached houses are the most expensive type due to their independent structure and large plot sizes.
  •  

“Detached houses cost the most, while terraced houses are usually the most budget-friendly due to their compact shared-wall design.”

Budget-Friendly Tips

Insider Tip: Terraced houses in up-and-coming neighborhoods can provide value as the area improves over time.

Top Priority: Focus your property search on lower priced areas and smaller home sizes to find options that fit your budget.

Location

Location is a major difference between terraced, semi-detached, and detached homes.

Where Each Type Is Found

  • Terraced houses are usually located in urban areas like cities and towns. Their compact row design suits smaller building plots.
  • Semi-detached houses are commonly found in the suburbs with moderately sized paired lots.
  • Detached houses are most often in rural locations and the countryside where larger land plots are available.

“Terraced houses are in cities, semi-detached in suburbs, and detached in rural/countryside locations.”

Transportation Factors

  • Terraced houses allow walking to shops and amenities nearby.
  • Semi-detached may require a short drive to access conveniences.
  • Detached houses are car-dependent given their remote locations.

“Consider commute needs, as terraced houses have amenities nearby, while detached require driving to shops and conveniences.”

Renovations

The flexibility and ease of renovating terraced, semi-detached, and detached homes varies.

Structural Considerations

  • Terraced houses have the most renovation restrictions due to shared walls and close neighbor proximity.
  • Semi-detached houses offer some flexibility but renovations impact the adjoining property.
  • Detached houses provide the greatest renovation freedom given complete structural independence.

“Detached houses have full flexibility for renovations, while terraced houses face the most structural restrictions.”

Typical Renovation Projects

  • Terraced house renovations tend toward interiors like kitchens, bathrooms, and floorplan changes.
  • Semi-detached accommodate indoor updates plus moderate exterior projects.
  • Detached support extensive renovations from layout changes to large additions.

“The practical scope of renovations ranges from limited interior updates in terraced houses to major additions for detached homes.”

Architectural Style

There are defining architectural features of terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses.

Facade and Roofline

  • Terraced houses often have identical or mirrored facades in a unified row with common roof heights.
  • Semi-detached houses display two distinct but paired designs and split rooflines.
  • Detached houses each have a unique facade and individual roof shape.

“Terraced houses have consistent facades while detached houses vary in their architectural style and roof design.”

Building Materials

  • Terraced houses tend to use brick, stone, or pebbledash with timber doors/windows.
  • Semi-detached may mix materials like brick, stone, and rendering with uPVC windows.
  • Detached encompass a wide array of materials from brick to timber with various window types.

“The broad range of materials and detailing give each detached house its own unique character compared to uniform terraced houses.”

If you are into DIY we have entire page how to learn virtual staging software

Privacy

Privacy levels vary significantly between terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses.

Noise and Proximity

  • Terraced houses offer the least privacy with neighbors on both sides. Noise and activities can be heard through shared walls.
  • Semi-detached houses have moderate privacy with only one shared wall. Less noise passes between just two homes.
  • Detached houses provide the most privacy given complete separation from neighbors. Activities are rarely noticed.

“Detached houses offer the highest privacy, while terraced houses with two shared walls have the least noise separation.”

Outdoor Space

  • Terraced houses often lack private outdoor areas.
  • Semi-detached may have small back gardens.
  • Detached homes usually have spacious private yards.

“Larger grounds and distance from neighbors increases privacy levels in detached houses.”

Yard Space

A semi-detached house with solar panels on the roof.
A semi-detached house with solar panels on the roof.

Outdoor yard size and usage is impacted by house type.

Yard Size

  • Terraced houses typically have no yard or very small outdoor spaces. Their compact row design limits land around the home.
  • Semi-detached houses usually have a moderate backyard. Their paired design allows for some outdoor area.
  • Detached houses often have expansive yard space given their independent plot size and land availability.

“Detached and semi-detached houses generally have larger yards than terraced houses joined in a continuous row.”

Yard Usage

  • Terraced houses may use outdoor space for bin storage or bike racks due to limited area.
  • Semi-detached can accommodate playsets, garden plots, or entertaining in backyard.
  • Detached support extensive landscaping, pools, outbuildings, and more yard uses.

“Limited outdoor area in terraced houses restricts yard usages compared to the possibilities in detached homes.”

Noise

Noise levels can vary greatly depending on whether you choose a terraced, semi-detached, or detached house.

Shared Walls

  • Terraced houses with two attached neighbors experience the most noise through shared walls.
  • Semi-detached houses only share one wall, so have moderate noise transmission.
  • Detached houses are fully separate, limiting surrounding sounds.

Shared party walls in terraced houses increase noise from neighbors compared to detached homes.”

Household Sounds

  • Sounds of daily living resonate more in terraced homes.
  • Next door noises in semi-detached are lessened by insulation.
  • Detached home layouts further reduce internal household noises.

“Detached and semi-detached house design helps block household sounds compared to open floorplans in terraced homes.

Choosing Between Terraced and Semi-Detached Houses

Deciding between a terraced or semi-detached house depends on weighing your unique needs.

Key Differences

  • Terraced offer affordability while semi-detached provide more space.
  • Terraced have urban access as semi-detached offer more privacy.
  • Terraced face renovation restrictions but semi-detached allow flexibility.

“The main tradeoffs are affordability vs space, location vs privacy, and renovation flexibility when choosing terraced or semi-detached houses.”

Consider Individual Needs

Your stage of life impacts whether terraced or semi-detached better suits your budget, space needs, and lifestyle priorities. Assess your personal situation.

“Think about your current life stage and future plans to determine whether a terraced or semi-detached house is the optimal choice for you.”