Almost all the buildings have a gable end facing northwest and the harshest weather. The majority dates from the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, but most of them don't look like they did when first built as they have been changed over the generations by alterations and extensions. This is the case for both houses and work buildings.

To the right on the picture is a fairly typical barn with two storeys and a cellar for manure. The livestock would be kept on the ground floor and fodder on the second floor. This is a model first introduced in the second half of the 19th century.

The oldest surviving kettle barn in Unstad has just one storey, unpainted walls and a corrugated fibre cement roof, though this would originally have been a bark and turf roof. The foundations were made of local rock and daylight was let in through tiny windows. The muck was shovelled out through a hatch in the wall. The word goes that sometimes the heaps of manure outside this kind of kettle barn might get very big. With lack of fields to spread it on the manure would sometimes just be dumped on the beach. The next step of barn improvement brought cellars under the cattle room so that the muck could be shovelled into a hole in the floor. A ramp would lead down to the cellar so that the manure could be brought by horse and wagon before being spread on the fields. After this came the next development with animals and fodder under the same roof where a ramp and bridge allowed a horse and a hay wagon up to the first floor. The roof was often lifted just in the middle to allow sufficient height for the horse and a tall hay wagon to get in.