Did You Know? Architecture Terms

As a REALTOR®, you’ll get asked all kinds of questions about the structure of a home. To help you explain the design of a home better, we’ve compiled a list of common features found in homes around North Texas.

Balustrade: a railing supported by balusters, especially on a balcony, bridge, or terrace.

Bay Window: three or more windows that project out away from the building

Casement Windows: windows that are hinged and open from one side

Colonnade: a row of pillars joined at the top

Double Hung Windows: windows that slide vertically over each other

Gable: a peak at a roof

Lintel: the supportive structure over a window or doorway

Lunette: a half:moon shaped window

Corbel: a supportive bracket under a projecting surface, as in a mantle or countertop

Victorian: home built during the reign of Queen Victoria, essentially from the 1830s until 1901. Victorian homes are characterized by lots of color and decorative moldings

Craftsman or American Arts and Crafts: style of home built in America from late 1800s to about 1930s characterized by cleaner lines and an emphasis on the use of local wood, metal and glass

Mid-Century Modern: homes built from the 1930s to mid 1960s characterized by minimalist, clean lines

Federal: A style of home popularized in the late 18th century, Federal style homes feature a symmetrical façade, typically in a simple box shape with a symmetrical arrangement of doors and windows, and a centered gable.

Beadboard is a row of narrow wood planks lined up vertically. In between each wood plank is a small ridge known as a “bead”. These days most beadboard comes in long sheets that are easy to install and imitate the look of narrow vertical planks. Beadboard can cover an entire surface or used a wainscoting.

Dentil Moulding: A dentil is one of a series of closely spaced, rectangular blocks that form a molding. The finished product resembles a series of teeth.

Dormer Windows: a window that projects vertically from a sloping roof.

Gingerbreading: on Victorian House scalloped or zig-zag-edged clapboards, often painted in contrasting colors. Gingerbreading can be characterized by use of frills and curlicues.

Muntins: dividing bars between panes of glass.

Window Apron: a raised panel below a window

Balconet: A false balcony or railing outside of a window

Bargeboard: a trim board running along the edge of the roofline at the gables

Barrel Vault: an arched ceiling formed by one or more cruves

Cantilever: an unsupported overhang, often used to provide shade or dramatic effect

Coffered ceiling: a ceiling featuring sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon that serves as a decorative device

Coping: the top or finishing row of brick or tile work. For example, the edge or a pool or shower

Window Cornice : a projecting shelf or molding along the top of a window

Cornice: more commonly known as crown molding, a cornice is ceiling trim.