Most of the Miao people live in mountainous areas. Due to the diversity of various natural environments, the residential forms and customs differ often. In southern Guizhou Province and western Hunan the people live in stilted buildings. Some people in western Hunan live in stone based houses. In the western regions, Miao people live in adobes or stone houses. Most people use thatched weeds, bark and stones for the roof on their homes. Today, tile-roofed houses are common. Some people in extreme poverty house shelves or Chacha houses (made by branches which are shabby). Over the past decade the housing conditions of the Miao have greatly improved.
Stilted buildings are a traditional architecture of ethnic groups in Western Hunan which is called Diao Louzi. The balcony is special. The eaves and roofs curve with ventilation and sunny exposure, which are called cornice. Also, there are eaves of linear shape with the main house often perpendicular to a 90°angle. There is a corridor outside the stilted building. The balustrade has flower designs. Also, the pillars are curved dragons and phoenixes, magpies, flowers and so on. Upstairs there are boudoirs, bedrooms or rooms for brocading, and downstairs there are barns and woodsheds. Some downstairs areas are near steams and spring water is tinkling, which is interesting. In the mountainous areas, stilted buildings are hidden among trees and bamboos that fill the beauty of natural scenery. In some towns of Western Hunan, there are stilted buildings, such as Donghe Street of Jishou, the littoral of Tuojiang River in Phoenix County, Ancient Town of Wangcun, Biancheng of Chadong Town, War Wash River of Longshan County. These areas attract visitors abroad and domestically.