Materials | Need For Shelter | Pros And Cons | Types Of Houses | Kutcha And Pucca | FAQ

Have you heard of the kutcha house? These are temporary houses that were once very common all over the country. There are different types of materials that are used for the sake of making such houses. These houses are not designed to be very sturdy and are often termed need-based houses. These houses are a little temporary but if needed and with a little work, they can be upgraded to stronger and more permanent structures.

kutcha homes village
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The Construction Materials

As the name symbolizes, this sort of temporary house makes use of natural materials. So, they don’t offer extreme protection but, in the end, they will offer the right shelter to those who live in such houses.

The naturally found materials are often used for constructing these houses. This is why they are cheap and are also eco-friendly at the same time. Most of the materials are such that they will help in keeping the insides cool during summer and warm during winter. This is a great aid because most people who live in kutcha houses are not able to afford AC or heaters. So, natural means allow them to regulate the temperature as per need. Some of the common materials that are used for making these houses include

kutcha house
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  • Mud
  • Stones
  • Straw
  • Bamboo
  • Reed
  • Leaves
  • Grass
  • Thatch
  • Unburnt bricks

Most villages have such houses as a lot of rural areas have an abundance of kutcha homes. You may find these in the cities also where the concentration of workers is more as they may choose to build such makeshift homes.

The Need For Shelter

We do understand that kutcha homes are more of a temporary structure and don’t offer a great deal of protection. Yet, as per the UN guidelines, these still categorize as shelters. So, this brings us to the question- why do you need shelter? Let us address this question right away.

  • You need to protect yourself from the different wild animals
  • You need to keep the kids safe and have a roof over their head
  • You need to feel safe and comfortable
  • You need to protect yourself from the adverse weather conditions

So, all of us need shelter. It doesn’t matter how basic the home may be, but having a home comes with a great deal of perks.

The Pros And Cons Of Kutcha Houses

We will also like you to check out the details of the pros and cons associated with kutcha houses. This is important to give you a clear picture of what to expect out of such homes.

The Merits

Here are some of the merits that the kutcha homes have. Of course, the pucca homes are always better but for those who cannot afford pucca homes, they have to do with the kutcha ones.

  • The kutcha houses are very cost-effective. They don’t entail a fortune when they are being made and are thus affordable for all
  • They are made up of easily available natural materials. One doesn’t need expensive metals or bricks to make them. Most of the raw materials can be sourced from nature
  • The kutcha homes are biodegradable and eco-friendly as they are made of naturally available materials.
  • These homes don’t add to the pollution as they are made of simple materials derived from nature. No artificial items are used in making such houses
  • They offer great insulation as such homes tend to remain cool during the summers and warm during the winters

So, these are the obvious advantages that these homes have to offer. There is no denying the fact that the economically weaker section of society always prefers such homes as it is a means to get the right shelter.

The Demerits Of Kutcha Homes

  • The kutcha houses are unstable and they are not likely to stay in place for a long time. They are prone to wear and tear
  • They are likely to entail frequent repairs as no concrete or metal is used for making such houses
  • They are likely to get destroyed easily in wake of a natural calamity or torrential rain and fierce winds

So, now that you know the pros and cons associated with each of them, it is going to be easier to decide what to expect out of a kutcha house.

The Types Of Kutcha Houses

Kutcha houses can be segregated on the basis of the materials used. Some of them can be semi-temporary, others can be semi-permanent and so on. Of course, these houses have the risk of being ruined owing to natural calamities but regardless they serve as a means of housing and shelter.

Let us see some of the different types that are commonly found.

1. The caravans

This was mainly used back in the old times. Here, people used to move from one place to the other in big groups. They used to find markets wherein they could sell their products. These people did not have a home of their own. So, they carried their stuff in moving houses that were called a caravan.

So, a caravan was like moving home.

2. Stilt houses

stilt house
Cora Unk Photo / Shutterstock

These houses are also called pile dwellings. They are made on piles of soil or water. You will find such homes in abundance in areas where floods are frequent and common.

3. Houseboat

Ozerkizildag / Shutterstock

If you have been to Kashmir, you would know the popularity of houseboats that are found in abundance in the Dal Lake and Kerala. They have almost all the facilities of a house.

4. Igloo

Flystock / Shutterstock

The igloo is also referred to as a snow hut or snow house. You will find them in abundance in the North Pole, the Greenland area, the Arctic region and even parts of Canada that tend to get too cold.

Snow and ice blocks are used for the sake of making the igloos. They are made of ice, but they are pretty warm on the inside and thereby help people regulate their temperature.

So, these are the different types of kutcha houses and you can choose the ones you like to have. You can also check other types of houses in India.

The Kutcha And Pucca House

While the difference is pretty evident between the two, here are some of the key differences that are present between a pucca and a kutcha house.

kutcha hpmes in rural india
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The materials

While the kutcha house is made of easily available raw materials that are eco-friendly and cheap, the pucca house makes use of materials like iron, cement, steel, and bricks. They’re not naturally available in nature and are also expensive in comparison.

The owners

Usually, the kutcha house is owned by people belonging to economically weaker segments and those living under the poverty line. The pucca homes on the other hand are not owned by such poor people. People with better finances own pucca homes.


The kutcha home doesn’t come with any amenities or facilities. There may not be any room demarcation. They are the simplest form of house you can imagine. The pucca homes, on the other hand, come with different amenities and facilities. Based on the category of house you have, you will have clear and different bedrooms and kitchens and other units. You may have a very luxurious and stylish design of homes too.


Kutcha homes are not durable and are pretty unstable. Heavy torrential rains or fierce cycles can easily uproot homes and render people homeless. As they don’t use any concrete or steel to make strong ties, they can be uprooted easily in face of natural calamity. The pucca homes, on the other hand, cannot be broken down easily and are pretty stable. They are also likely to succeed in battling adverse climatic and weather conditions with ease.

Permanent option

The kutcha homes are usually a makeshift option. A lot of workers choose to build kutcha homes as temporary accommodations. The pucca homes on the other hand offer permanent accommodation. 

So, these are the key differences that exist. The main thing is that those who can afford it will always choose pucca homes. Kutcha homes are for those who can’t afford to get a pucca one.


Do you find kutcha homes in Indian cities?

Mostly, these homes are found in villages but you may find a few of them in some cities where the concentration of workers is high or there are a lot of slum dwellers.

Are kutcha houses environment-friendly?

Yes, as they are made of natural and biodegradable materials, these houses are environmentally friendly but they are not very durable.

Can people living in kutcha homes opt for houses under the PMAY Gramin scheme?

Yes, if the kutcha home comes with little or no privilege, people can choose to apply for the PMAY gamin scheme and they may be eligible to obtain a new home from the government.

Feel free to check out the house design options.