2000 124th Ave NE B109, Bellevue 98005


Architectural Terms


Abacus: flat slab under entablature which forms the top of the capital of a column, which supports a beam. -

Aedicule: Frames which surround a classical doorway/window, flanked by columns and topped by a pediment. -

A-Frame: Roof that forms an "A" shape. -

Air Space: Space made in exterior construction that supplies a way for moisture to escape and the walls to dry. -

Aisle: Part of church flanking the nave and separated by rows of columns/piers (space between arcade and outer wall). -

Align: Faces of objects are in line with one another, or if their center-lines lie on the same axis. -

Aluminum Siding: Lightweight that's usually painted; not left in natural color. -

Alterpiece: Panel (painted or sculptured) behind and above the altar. -

Anchor Bolt: Bolt or threaded rod that secures the sill to the wall. -

Apron: Under the stool or inside sill of a window; horizontal. -

Arcade: Series of arches that are supported by piers/columns. -

Arch: Curved structure; often over a doorway (used as support). -

Area wall: Retaining wall surrounding a basement window, below ground level. -

Asbestos: Used to be used in building construction. Not allowed anymore because of health risks. -

Asbestos Shingles: Shingles made of asbestos, which is a fireproof, fibrous material that's no longer used due to health risks. -

Atrium: Indoor rooms with glass roofs; often hotels and high-rise office buildings will have them. - Balcony: Platform on upper stories of house with a railing. -

Baluster: Small posts/columns that make up a railing on a staircase; plain, turned, or pierced. -

Balustrade: Combination of railings supported by balusters. -

Barge Board: Exterior board which spans the roof ridge to the cornice return. -

Baseboard: Trim where floor and walls meet. -

Base Molding: Decorative strip around top edge of baseboard. -

Base Shoe: Strip along bottom of baseboard at floor level. - Batt: Precut insulation designed to fit between studs. -

Batten Board: Small wood strip used to cover joints between vertical siding. - Batter: Inclined wall face. -

Bay window: 2 or more windows that stick out from wall. -

Bead Molding: Small, circular "beads" of molding – decorative. -

Beam: Horizontal structure that forms the principal, loading-bearing part of said structure; usually timber, steel, wood, or concrete. -

Bearing Partition: Interior wall that support an above weight. -

Bed Board/Soffit: Thin board (i.e., usually plywood) that is nailed to the underside of the return and spans the distance from the face board to the frieze. -

Beveled Wood Ridge: Wood strip that covers ridge pole. -

Black Asphaltum: Bituminous substance that is applied to the outside foundations of walls beneath the ground as a form of waterproofing walls. -

Blind Stop: Strip of material fastened to inside perimeter of a window frame to hold sash in place. -

Board and Batten: Vertical siding where wood strips hide the seams where other boards are joined together. -

Board Feet: Unit of measurement. E.g., 144 cubic inches of wood = 1 board foot. -

Bottom Rail: Lower rail of the bottom sash of a double-hung window. -

Building Code: Set of laws that controls building construction. -

Canopy: Hood over door, window, niche, etc. -

Casement window: Window that swings in or out like a door (usually vertical, but can be grouped in bands). -

Casing: Inside or outside; trim surrounding a window. -

Caulking: Seals joints against weather damage (looks like putty). -

Cedar Shingle: Roof material made of plywood. -

Cement Plaster: Mixture of sand and cement applied to outside foundation wall beneath ground level; aids waterproofing. -

Chair-rail molding: Wooden molding placed along lower wall; it's purpose is to prevent damage from chairs being pushed back against it – can be decorative. -

Chimney: What smoke escapes through. -

Cladding: Protective covering on the outside of a building. -

Clapboard: Horizontal, tapered beams used as siding (thickest on bottom edge). Each clapboard overlaps the one below it. Known as weatherboard or siding. -

Collar Beam: Horizontal beams that span roof rafters as added roof strength; they also form ceiling joist in half-story construction. -

Column: Usually a vertical supporting member of a building. Can be freestanding or self-supporting; made of stone, steel, brick, concrete, or wood. -

Concrete: Mixture of sand, cement, and aggregate -

Concrete Blocks: Used for foundation and backing walls. -

Contractor: commits to piece of work, employs a workforce, and contracts out specialist work as well as works with the architect and his design. -

Cornice: a decorative piece of framework that conceals curtain fixtures at the top of a window casing. -

Cornice Return: Short continuation of face board at the gable end of a home. -

Crown molding: Molding where wall and ceiling meet. -

Dado: panel that forms the lower part of a wall between the sill and the baseboard. -

Dental: Molding motif that sticks out from the edge of the roof line or cornice. -

Dormer: Setting for vertical window in a roof. -

Double-hung Window: A window that uses two vertical sashes that slide past each other. -

Down spout: Metal/plastic tubing connected to the gutter for runoff. -

Drain Title: Title pipe along the outside of the footings; its job is to carry off excess water. -

Drip cap: Projection found along the top edge of exterior windows/doors which helps water fall directly onto the ground. -

Duct: Sheet metal enclosure which allows warm or cool air to enter. -

Dutch Door: A door that is divided horizontally in half. -

Eave: A projecting lower edge of a roof. -

Elevation: a vertical feature of a house (front, side, rear, interior elevation). -

Entablature: Area above an entryway. -

Exterior wall: A wall on the outside. -

Façade: One of the exterior faces of a building. -

Face Board: Finished, non-defective brick. -

Fanlight: a window above a door that is hinged. -

Fascia: Horizontal board or band, which can be used to conceal rafters' ends; the front of an object (same as a face board). -

Finish Floor: Finished walking surface. -

Fish scale shingles: A shingle with straight sides and a round bottom. -

Flashing: Sheet metal around valleys, drip caps, chimneys, etc. – it seals out moisture. -

Flat roof: Favored in dry climates – pitchless roof. -

Fleche: Small wooden spire. -

Floor plan: Intended floor layout – cutting plane passes through windows and doors. -

Footer: A concrete slab that supports all foundation walls. -

Foundation: Providing stability and rigidness; it is the base of a house. -

Foundation Wall: A masonry wall that rests on the footer. -

Foyer: Area just inside the main door. -

Frame: Wood construction. -

French drain: Basement floor drain that has water seep into the ground instead of being carried off by pipes. -

Gable: Created by two sloping roofs; triangular area of an exterior wall. -

Gambrel: Roof that has two slopes on each side – a steeper lower slope and a flatter upper one ("barn roof," or "Dutch" style). -

Girder: Spans foundation walls (wooden) and supports joist ends. -

Grounds: Found behind window, door casings, and baseboards; provides nailing surface; wooden strips. -

Gutter: Metal or plastic trough along roof edge -

Hip rafter: Rafter at the corner of a hip roof. -

Hipped roof: A roof with slopes on all four sides. -

Insulation: Material inside a house that controls the temperature and the passage of sounds. -

Jamb: Vertical supporters of window/door frames. -

Keystone: Top, central part of the arch. -

Lally column: A post that supports an I-beam or girder. -

Lattice: A grille created by criss-crossing strips of material. - Leader: Sam as a down spout.