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Architecture Terms & Definitions Cornice: The projecting moldings that form the

top band of an entablature or wall.

Balustrade: A railing composition composed of
upper and lower rails, balusters and pedestals. Cresting: A repetitive metal ornament installed
Materials used can range from stone to brick, at a roof ridge or parapet.
wood and sheet metal.
Cupola: A small structure projecting above a
Belt course: Also known as a stringcourse. A roof that provides ventilation and can serve as a
projecting horizontal molding separating parts of look-out.
a wall surface in a faade.
Dependency: A subsidiary building connected to
Design-Build the main building, often one of a symmetrical
Brackets: Applied ornamental elements often
used at a cornice or to flank windows and doors. Doric: The Doric order, the earliest type of
classical Greek architecture, has a simple yet
Brick header: A brick oriented with the smaller powerful capital design.
end exposed on the face of the wall and smaller
dimension vertical; typically placed over Home with Dormers
window and door openings.
Dormer: A small structure that projects from a
Canopy: A projecting roof structure that shelters sloping roof, with a window in the faade face.
an entrance.
Double hung window: A window with top and
Casement: A single window sash hinged on one bottom sashes that slide past each other
side that swings open. vertically.

Chamfer: A 45-degree bevel cut at an outside Eaves: The projecting overhang at the lower
corner of a building element, often seen in edge of a roof.
wood, stone or brick.
Entablature: The horizontal band of elements
Chimney pot: A decorative terra cotta chimney above the column capitals in classical
extension usually placed above a brick or stone architecture.
Faade: The exterior faces of a building often
Clapboard: One of a series of boards used for used to refer to the wall in which the building
siding. It is usually installed horizontally and the entry is located.
board is most often tapered in cross-section.
Frieze: The flat, middle portion of an
Corinthian: The most ornate and recent of the entablature (sometimes decorated).
Greek classical order. The capitals design is
heavily ornamented. Gable: The wall that encloses the end of a gable
roof; triangular gable end below a roof
Gambrel: A roof shape characterized by a pair Pier: A square or rectangular masonry or wood
of shallow pitch slopes above a steeply pitched pier which supports a building and carries the
slope on each side of a center ridge. weight of it down to the ground.

Half-timbered building: A building constructed Post and beam construction: A simple building
with timber frame filled with plaster or brick. framing system that uses a series of vertical
posts and horizontal beams.
Hip roof: A roof that slopes inward from all four
exterior walls. Quoin: A large rectangular block of stone or
brick (sometimes wood) used to accentuate an
Ionic: TheIonic order from the Greek classical outside corner of a building; typically in a
styles distinctive by the volutes (spiral scroll- toothed form with alternate quoins projecting
like ornaments) used in the capitals design. and receding from the corner.

Mansard: A two-pitched roof with a steep lower Rosette: A bas-relief ornament (sometimes
slope that typically rises to a more gently sloped painted) in the form of a stylized flower.
upper portion. The space formed by the mansard
roof allows for additional living space. Rough-hewn: Lumber left exposed in
construction that looks hand-cut and is heavily
Motif: A theme or predominant feature of a textured.
Home Remodeling
Neo-colonial: Residences built after 1955 with
allusions of the colonial revival architectural Sash: The part of a window frame that holds the
style. glazing, usually moveable or fixed.

Ogee cap: A molding with an S-shaped cross Shed roof: A roof with a single slope and rafters
section used on top of a baseboard or other spanning from one wall to the other.
Sidelights: Narrow windows flanking an entry
Oriel: A bay window cantilevered out from a door.
faade that starts above the ground level.
Spandrel panel: The panel formed by the
Palladian: Neo-classical architecture in the style bottom of a window and the head of a lower
modeled after the Italian architect Andrea window.
Palladio aka Andrea di Pietro Della Gondola.
Spire: A cone shaped roof element with a steep
Parapet: The portion of wall that projects above point.
the adjacent roof.
Terracotta: Fired ceramic clay used in
Pediment: The triangular gable end of a architectural wall elements or ornaments.
classical building, or the same form used
elsewhere in the building.
Transom: A small window placed above a door
or window.

Turret: A small tower at the corner of a


Veneer: A thin decorative finish typically made

of brick, stone or stucco.

Verge board: Decorative boarding (also called

bargeboard) along a projecting roof eave. It is
often carved or scrolled, and is highly

Vitrolite: Panels formed of clear glass with color

glass laminated to one side and used as a wall

Window hood: A projecting shelf-like

decorative element over a window.

X bracing: A pair of diagonal braces or struts

from corner to corner forming an X.