Glossary of Architectural Terms

Roof Styles

Roof Styles: gable, cambrel, hip, flat, shed, mansard


A railing with supporting balusters Balustrade


Also called Vergeboard
A board, often ornately carved or pierced, fixed to the projecting edge of a gable roof Bargeboard


A part of a building marked off by vertical elements, such as walls or columns.  A main division of a structure. Bay


Also known as bevel siding or lap siding or weather-board, is a board used for horizontal siding that has one edge thicker than the other and where the board above laps over the one below. Clapboard


A dome, usually small, topping a roof or turret Cupola


A window in a sloping roof, usually that of a sleeping-apartment, hence the name Dormer


That part of a sloping roof that overhangs the wall Eave


The upper section of a building, resting on the columns and constituting the architrave, frieze, and cornice. Entablature


The exterior face of a building which is the architectural front Façade


The middle section of the entablature; a horizontal band below the upper molding or cornice.  Sometimes sculptured and/or richly ornamented. Frieze


The triangular portion of the wall, between the enclosing lines of a sloping roof Gable


An exterior space under the main roof of the house. Gallery


Also called Clipped gable, Hipped gable, Shreadhead. A roof having a sloping (hipped) end cutting off a gable. Jerkinhead


A supporting wood or stone beam across the top of an opening, such as that of a window or door or fireplace.  Also called architrave. Lintel

Muntin / Mullion

A strip of wood or metal separating and/or holding panes of glass in a door or window. Mutin / Mullion


A low wall or railing along the edge of a roof. Parapet


A low pitched gable.  Or any similar triangular decorative piece across a door or window. Pediment


An exterior space attached to the house but with a separate roof. Porch


The material used to cover the outside of a building. Siding

ShipLap siding

Shiplap is a term used to describe a type of wooden board with a
¼"-½" rabbet on opposite sides of each end. The rabbet allows the boards to overlap in this area. ShipLap siding


Covered by the main roof.


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