I'm curious what are the Halachic considerations that need to be taken into account when building a house.

A few possibilities that come to mind may include:

What else? Is there a Sefer that goes through the Halachot involved with building a house?


3 Answers 3


Wonderful question, in addition to your list here are things I would think about if space and budget were no issues (practically as much as halachically). The first three are closer to halachic requirements, the others are halachic nice-to-haves

  • a square cubit of wall not finished ("unwhitewashed") in memory of the Temple's destruction (see here)
  • space in the bedroom for movable beds (for niddah times)
  • indent in the pillars of the doors for mezuzot if the normal placement doesn't work (see e.g., bottom of here)
  • a sink near the eating area, outside of a toilet/bathroom (to avoid issues of blessings near a toilet)
  • two sinks in the kitchen, two ovens (for meat and dairy)
  • shabbat timers for lighting / air conditioning / heating / alarm system
  • space for a sukka with open access to the sky and to power (for light and heater or ventilator)
  • (particularly common in Israel): a small opening next to the door leading to the street to put a Hanukkiah during Hanukkah (since the preferred way to light is in the doorway that opens to the street, cf. KSA 139:7)
  • if you have a reaaally big house: a shabbat elevator
  • 2
    We did not talk about the problems that we must avoid causing the neighbors. According to the 3 first chapters of Baba Bathra. windows, noisy or vibratory utensils by or producting odors or heat or moisture, activities that require a lot of people as a trade.
    – kouty
    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:26
  • @kouty you are very right, avoiding nezek reiya (damage due to viewing the neighbor's property) is a very interesting but complex issue. I leave it up to you if you want to write up an answer on it, I think it would be a valuable addition
    – mbloch
    Mar 1, 2016 at 11:27
  • @mbloch This link may be useful but perhaps one can find a fine and clear paper in english.
    – kouty
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:04
  • SA CM 153-156 but it is good to read the Gemara and The Tur is very pleasant to read.
    – kouty
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:10
  • 3
    You should make sure your Sukkah is close enough to your WiFi router too.
    – Double AA
    Mar 1, 2016 at 15:33

A "connected" house, (where there are sensors in every room measuring how many people are there and computers deciding if the lights need to be on, and if the heat should be raised, and should the shades be drawn, and should thesecurity system be on and all kind of other operations of a house), many shailos will have to be asked as to how to program the system for shabbos and yom tov.

If this seems farfetched, in todays houses shabbos problems can include: automatic lights outside and inside, the light in the refridgerator, a filter on the water supply (borer)

Also if you build a deck/porch, care should be taken that it is allowed to carry from the house to the deck. This is applicable to areas that do not have a city/neighborhood eruv.

A place to wash netilas yodayim near/in the dining room and sukka (I believe the shiur is 10 amos) because of shinui makom problems.

If the house is in yerushlayim and you're planning for the future: A large area on ground level - for your pesach seder; separate areas for food that has kedusha (maaser sheni/korbonos); no porches overhanging reshus harabim because of tuma problems


I just found out about a Sefer called "Sefer Habayis", by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Lerner. It is available in both English and Hebrew, and apparently covers the Halachot building a house, and more.

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