Buildings in Blackfen are typically made from either stone or wood and are generally compact affairs, with very little space for privacy. Roofs are generally tiled, though some still remain wooden. The majority of wooden buildings are located outside of Old Palisade Town, as various floods and fires have meant that the old wooden buildings inside the palisade have been replaced with stone ones. The stone buildings tend to be plastered inside and out.
To reflect the premium on space inside the palisade, a good many of the buildings there are two-stories and packed close together, while in North Blackfen the vast majority are single story buildings and are often set in a very small plot of land. The homes are simple affairs that generally accommodate a single family. Two-story buildings almost always consist of two separate households, one of the ground floor and one on the first floor, which is usually accessed via external steps.
Families are generally quite large and often include several generations living under one roof. A standard home often has only a single room, which acts as kitchen, communal and sleeping area, though some have a central communal room (which also acts as the kitchen), off which are the bedrooms. Bedrooms are often very cramped, housing four or five at a time, despite being quite small. Whether a house with one room or more, privacy is at a premium.
It is common for those who live in properties with land, no matter how small, to run their businesses from there, often using outbuildings or permanent wooden awnings attached to the side of the house. Whether they run their own business or not, nearly everyone with any amount of land keeps livestock, typically goats, pigs and chickens.
Very few people actually own their properties, with most of the houses owned by the aristocratic families who charge a rent for tenancy. Generally, the fee is reasonable and within the means of the majority to pay. This has less to do with landlord largesse and more to do with the fact that entire streets have been known to riot when the rent levied becomes too steep, with houses destroyed and attacks even made on the landlords themselves. The City Council also puts pressure on the landlords to maintain an affordable price structure for the citizens of Blackfen, which, they argue, is in the benefit of everyone.
Those that can afford to typically live in larger properties, which allow them more space and privacy. These buildings more often than not come with a separate kitchen area and often a small, private courtyard, as well as additional rooms which act as bedrooms, studies, bathrooms and so forth. These buildings tend to come in a mix of single and two-story structures. The latter are especially prevalent in Old Palisade Town.
As with almost anyone with any amount of land, many run their businesses from their home, though these are usually located in sturdier outbuildings that are better equipped. Although these families are far wealthier, they nonetheless pay a rent for their tenancy, as very few are able to afford the necessary funds to purchase a property for themselves.
Of course, the wealthiest of Blackfen's citizens live in luxury, with much larger houses that they nearly always own. They can be either single or two-story buildings and are typically built around a large courtyard and set in a generous plot of land. Only those of enormous wealth can afford the largest houses in Blackfen. These are enormous mansions set in a large plot of land, where those who work on the estate are often housed. These buildings are the height of luxury and splendor and are almost always owned the aristocracy.