COMMON ARCHITECTURAL TERMS
BAY - a section of a structure usually containing a door or a window
BARGEBOARDS -see vergeboards
BAY WINDOW - a projection from a wall containing a window
BELLCAST - an eave or roof that flares out and is bell-shaped
BELT COURSE - decorative horizontal band on building, usually composed of projecting and/or contrasting stone or brick
BOOMTOWN ARCHITECTURE - style of architecture characteristic of frontier towns that were built quickly. A typical feature is the false front which conceals a more modest structure
BRACKET - ornamental support for roof cornice, or arch or entablature
BUTTRESS - a vertical structure of heavy masonry or wood applied as reinforcement to the wall of a building. Can serve a structural or decorative purpose
CAPITAL - the decorative head of a vertical support such as a column or pilaster
CHANCEL -the sanctuary area in a church, near the altar, used by the clergy and choir
CLAPBOARD -thin wood plank siding applied horizontally, one overlapping the next
COLONNADE -a row of columns usually supporting the base of the roof structure
CORNICE -a moulded projection at the top of the wall (interior or exterior) of a building, or arch or window
CUPOLA -small domed windowed structure on top of a roof or dome, sometimes lantern-shaped
DENTILS -tooth-like projections in a cornice
DORMERS -window set in a gable projecting from sloping roof. Frequently admits light into bedroom; the word "dormer" is derived from the French verb meaning "to sleep".
DRIP MOULDING -a projecting moulding, usually above a window, that is designed to allow rainwater to "drip"
EAVES -underside of roof projection
ELL -an extension usually at right angles to one end of a building
ENTABLATURE -a horizontal component usually decorated that lies directly above a column or other support
FACADE -front of a building
FANLIGHT -fan-shaped (semi-circular or elliptical) window which usually forms part of door unit
FASCIA -a plain horizontal band
FINIAL -a vertical ornament usually applied to the peak of dormer
GABLE -triangular top portion of an end wall where there is a sloping roof
GABLED ROOF -a roof that slopes on two sides
GALLERY – long porch across a facade
GINGERBREAD -decorative woodwork
HIPPED ROOF -a roof that slopes on four sides
HOOD -a moulding located above a window or door to deflect rainwater
LANCET -a sharply pointed Gothic arch or window
LINTEL -horizontal support at top of door or window
MANSARD ROOF -a roof with double slopes; the lower part is nearly vertical and the upper part has a very low pitch. Named after the 17th-century French architect François Mansart.
MULLION -thin divisions that demarcate panes in windows or doors
NAVE -the section of church that accommodates the congregation
OGEE -a double curve, usually used to describe an arch, window or moulding
ORIEL -a rounded or multi-sided projecting window
PARAPET -a portion of the wall that projects above a roof
PEDIMENT -triangular component, inspired by classical temples, used above doors and/or windows, or on gable ends or building facades
PILASTERS -flattened column-like feature set against corners of house for stability or decoration. Also called cornerboards.
PORTICO -porch with columns and pediment
QUOIN -a protruding stone or brick that accentuates an exterior corner. Sometimes simulated on frame structures to look like stone.
RUSTICATED -heavily textured or rough-surfaced stone-work
RETURN EAVES -a moulding, which extends from eaves and continues around the corner of the house to simulate a partial pediment
ROUNDEL -a circular component usually applied to windows or panels
SASH -the frame that holds the glass in a window
SHUTTER -solid or slatted window cover located on building interior or exterior
SIDELIGHT -a window beside the door, forming part of the door unit
STRING COURSE -see Belt Course
TRANSOM - a horizontal window above doorway
TREILLAGE -a lattice or trellis, often used for growing vines and climbing plants
TURRET -an ornamental tower projecting from a larger structure
VERANDAH -covered porch
VERGEBOARDS -decorative trim along gable ends of a roof or dormer. Sometimes called "bargeboards".
VERNACULAR -structures, built without the help of a professional architect, which reflect regional and cultural adaptations of architectural fashions.