Terms & Tools: Architectural
Vertical blocks of masonry used at the termination of roof tiles at the eave.
The lower third or support beam or backband for doors and windows in an entablature.
The sharp edge created by the meeting of two surfaces, as in the corner or edge of a brick.
A narrow molding with a semi-circular profile with flat planes (fillets) on either side. Often used as the center member of a double door or at glazing bars on cabinets and bookcases.
A rounded shape cut into the square edge of trim or molding to soften the edge. Can be a smooth round surface or a carved surface.
A wood or masonry band, either projecting or flush with the face of the building. Generally coincides with the masonry pockets of floors higher than the first. Walls usually reduce at belt course where the structural beams are inset; can be both decorative and structural.
Diagonal framing member that provides stiffness to keep plane (wall, table top, etc.) from racking by creating a triangle.
A bevel, made by cutting off the edge of a corner (arris) of wood, masonry or other material.
In wood: a process for joining pieces of wood with intricate profiles, such as cornice moldings. These joints are called "coped joints." In masonry: The masonry course that caps a wall. Masonry units usually have a sloping top in order to shed water.
Most commonly the top section of an entablature; can also be any projecting decorative molding running along the top of a wall or building.
Metal that is anchored into a building and over the flashing coming up from the roof. Helps to prevent water infiltration. Often found where the a vertical face meets the roof.
A row of bricks running horizontally.
A rectangular breakout at the corners of windows, doors and mantles that creates a square which the molding (backband/architrave and in some cases frieze) wraps around.
The highest decorative molding on a door, window, wall, or cabinet.
Window formed of two panels, called sashes, one of which slides up past the other. Double-hung is the most common kind of sash window, comprised of two panels.
A locking structural joint, normally but not necessarily in wood. A wedge-shaped tenon that drops into a wedge-shaped mortise and locks in one direction, but not two.
A horizontal band of layered room decoration, usually supported on columns or pedestals, and made up generally of three parts: architrave, frieze and cornice.
A continuous piece of metal used to prevent water penetration in roofing systems. Usually found at an angle or joint like where the roof meets the chimney, under an expansion joint, and in the valley of a roof. Sometimes covered with "counterflashing" to provide extra protection against water infiltration.
Shallow grooves running vertically along a surface, most commonly a column or pilaster.
A type of roof similar to a gable, but with two slopes on each side, the lower sloping at a steeper angle.
Pieces of stone chips set into pointing at a fairly regular interval. Believed to be a decorative feature but in some cases applied to facilitate stucco application.
Georgian architecture is named for the reign of the British Kings George I-IV (1714-1830) and is recognized by symmetry and based on strict geometry with three-dimensional embellishments modeled on Greek and Roman antiquities.
A structural element in masonry that spans over an opening in the masonry, providing support. Alternate names are "flat arch" and "straight arch."
The horizontal structural member that supports the floor above, traditionally laid full-length with one piece stretching from wall to wall. Its function is to load the walls with weight of the floors, transferring the weight downward. The flooring is typically nailed to the joists on top, and typically lath will be nailed to the bottom side of the joists, onto which the ceiling plaster, or lath is attached.
A support for plaster. Now commonly constructed of expanded metal mesh, it was originally constructed of wood strips nominally a quarter-inch thick by 1.5" wide and in lengths running perpendicular over several floor joists or wall studs with about a fingertips spacing in bewteen for plastering mortar to wrap around and through to provide a "mechanical key," or hook, around the backside of the lath. There are two kinds of historic lath: riven and circular cut. Prior to the 1830s lath was riven from larger pieces of wood. After the 1830s, lath was cut with the circular saw, a new invention. Very useful for dating buildings or renovations.
The structural member that spans an opening, generally doors or windows. In masonry buildings, lintels would have traditionally been wood or stone, but today in masonry buildings they are always steel or steel-reinforced concrete.
mortise and tenon
A method of joining two pieces of wood together. Tenon is the piece that slides into the pocket, or mortise, of the other wood element. Mortise is the pocket created in one piece of wood to receive the tenon from the other piece. Sometimes called a "tenon pocket."
A vertical wood or stone that divides one window from another.
The narrow vertical and horizontal woodwork inside window into which the glass sets.
A wood strip, attached to a surface, used as a base for attaching another material such as roofing material or tread planks.
The base structural post for a staircase. The center pillar for a spiral staircase.
A curved wall recess with arched top used for ornamentation.
A type of molding, rounded convex profile of a quarter section of a circle, sometimes carved with egg-and-dart design. Also called quarter-round.
A metal sheet with hemmed edges that lock together to create a water-shedding. Usually used as roof covering, flashing, or counterflashing.
A stucco interior or exterior treatment installed with the intention of addressing water problems.
A flattened column, attached to the wall.
A metal pin or bolt used as the pivot for a hinge, usually inserted into a gudgeon.
A tooled finishing treatment applied to the mortar joints between brick or stone.
Describes an feature or element that is raised, not flush with the surface.
A brick split in half lengthwise.
Horizontal framing member in a window sash or a door. Used in conjunction with stiles, which are vertical, to complete the frame.
A type of stucco exclusively applied to masonry walls.
A frame of a window or door in which glass or panels are set.
Vertical framing member in a window sash or door. Used in conjunction with rails, which are horizontal, to complete the frame.
A window sash found over a door to let light in.
The horizontal interior-to-exterior number of rows of bricks in a wall. For example, an 18" thick foundation wall would be four thicknesses of approximately 4" bricks with mortar between each. In contrast, the vertical rows of bricks are called courses.