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Without hallways, chandeliers and central heating: 10 everyday oddities of American homes


A source: RBC

From the side, American apartments and cottages look very cozy, spacious and comfortable. But, in addition to the obvious advantages, this housing is fraught with many "oddities", notes RBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

Typical American homes and apartments are very different from ours. Moreover, Russians who emigrated cannot get used to some local peculiarities even after long years of life in the United States. For example, some are not ready to put up with the lack of ceiling chandeliers. Others complain about the small thickness of the walls and the fragility of the houses. And others refuse to use American plumbing.

We talk about ten household features that distinguish typical American housing from Russian.

Lack of central heating

Central heating is an unprecedented luxury in the United States. And this despite the fact that it was the Americans who were the first to test system heating. Apartment buildings here are equipped with their own boilers, and private cottages are “warmed up” by air conditioners, fireplaces, electric ceiling panels and gas heaters. The relatively mild climate in most of the country allows Americans to do without expensive central heating and use energy resources rationally. The temperature in houses usually does not exceed 18-20 degrees. By the way, there is no centralized hot water supply here either. It is heated in electric or gas boilers, and it lasts for 10-15 minutes.

Street shoes instead of slippers

As in several other countries, it is considered normal in the United States to walk around the house in street shoes. It’s hard to find slippers so familiar to us or a school “shift”. It is not only a matter of tradition - people have almost no contact with sources of dirt. Residents of small towns move by personal car or taxi (one of the doors in the house usually leads directly to the garage). And in megacities there is a well-designed drainage system. In addition, sidewalks and roads are regularly cleaned with environmentally friendly cleaners. If we walk in the boots further down the corridor is considered bad form, then the Americans without any extra ceremony climb into them directly on the bed. They remove street shoes only when they go to the shower.

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Houses without a hallway

Most American homes have a solid area. There is room for several bedrooms, bathrooms and spacious dressing rooms. But Americans don’t recognize halls and corridors near the front door that are familiar to Russians. Instead of a traditional entrance hall, the houses have a living room with a dining area and a staircase leading to the second floor. At the same time, street doors in some private American homes have large glass inserts and are more reminiscent of Russian interior doors. According to local residents, at the entrance to the house it is enough to put a roomy shelf for shoes and a wardrobe for outerwear. By the way, they prefer stylish and practical built-in closet - built-in storage systems.

Deep "farmer" sinks

Traditional American sinks resemble small bathtubs. They are about twice as wide and three times deeper than a typical Russian car wash. Thanks to this feature, you can arrange mountains of dirty dishes left over after a family feast throughout the kitchen. In the "farm" sink, you can put everything at a time. In addition, all American sinks are equipped with a disposer - a household waste shredder. This appliance is installed in the sink drain and, in seconds, grinds food debris into a powdery mass, which is washed off into the sewer with water. Firstly, it is convenient - there is no unpleasant smell of the bin in the house. Secondly, it’s very environmentally friendly. Up to 80% of household waste is food hazardous to nature.

Sash windows

It seems that US residents are not at all concerned about the fact that passers-by can watch their lives from the side of the street. On the windows here you can hardly find tulle or curtains. And if they still hang in the house, they perform an exclusively decorative function. To hide from bright sunshine, plastic blinds are enough for people. Another feature of American life is single-layer windows of a different design. The flaps here do not open wide, like the Russians, but rise up. In addition, they do not have protruding handles. On the one hand, it saves space, and the windows do not slam from the wind. On the other hand, they are harder to wash. And if you want to look outside, you have to stick your head between the wings.

Thin plywood walls

Windows in American homes do not have window sills. Therefore, to put a couple of flower pots at the window, even with a great desire, will not work. This is due to the small thickness of the walls: as a rule, it does not exceed 20-30 cm. Most of the cottages are built of plywood and boards, between which a heater is laid. Inside the walls are covered with drywall and covered with textured plaster, replacing the wallpaper. Such housing is cheaper, and construction is several times faster - it is assembled as a designer. However, frame-plywood cottages cannot be called durable. Their average service life is 30–40 years. Another unpleasant factor is high audibility. On the other hand, such houses are safer during hurricanes and earthquakes.

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Combined bath and toilet

American tourists who come to Russia are usually perplexed by our separate bathrooms. Their bathroom always includes three essential components: a toilet, a washbasin and a bathtub (shower). In large private houses there are usually several bathrooms. And in the American bathrooms it is customary to store medicine. At the same time, they never put a washing machine there. If the house is multi-unit, there is a common laundry room in the basement. Each wash costs $ 3-4. Large electric clothes dryers are also installed there - the Americans do not recognize machines with built-in drying. In private cottages all this equipment is located in the basement.

Fixed shower without hose

Many Europeans and Russians cannot get used to the American soul. This is a short motionless "flyer" firmly mounted on the wall. Quickly take a shower without wetting your hair, you will not succeed. In addition, with such plumbing it is problematic to wash the bath, and for bathing kids buy buckets. According to emigrated compatriots, they really lack a removable shower with a flexible hose. When building their own housing, visitors are asked to install European plumbing. Although in local hardware stores you can sometimes find special screwed hoses. Another complication is that the pressure and temperature of the water are regulated by one knob. The stronger you open the tap, the hotter the water will be.

The difference in the calculation of rooms

American ideas about large and small houses are very different from Russian. Do not try to explain to a resident of the United States how many rooms are in your apartment. It is customary to describe real estate here by the number of bedrooms - the rest of the common rooms are not taken into account. This is because the living room in American homes is most often not separated from the kitchen and dining area. If the family has “three-bedroom apartments”, then, in addition to three separate bedrooms, this apartment will have at least a living-dining room. So, a Russian one-bedroom apartment in the USA would be considered “one-bedroom” (one-bedroom apartment), three-room apartment - “two-bedroom” (one-bedroom), and odnushka - a studio.

Ceilings without chandeliers

American homes have a different approach to home lighting. Locals love when there is a lot of light around. At the same time, there may not be a single chandelier in the whole house. The space is illuminated with a multitude of table and wall lights. In addition, floor lamps-floor lamps are very popular. But the light under the ceiling is very rare here. As a rule, only in bathrooms or in the living room, above the dining table. Installation of ceiling wiring under the chandelier is an additional feature that can be ordered from the developer if desired. True, this will have to pay a lot. And to find a specialist who would be able to carefully mount such wiring in the United States is not always easy.

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