Houses in the Middle Ages comprised a stonework ground floor, wooden beams and a framework of wooden posts, known as 'colombage' (half-timbered). The spaces between the posts were packed with small stones covered with plaster. This gave the city a whitewashed appearance, long-since disappeared. The oldest house in Paris still in existence after Philippe-Auguste's time was probably at the end of the 13th century.
In 1200 the first signs of differences among private houses start to appear.