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Have you ever wondered what the " Balustrade" or " Imbrication" terms refer to? The most common working terms are presented here to help you enjoy and understand the terms used in this industry.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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A top of page
APRON
Panel or wide trim under a windowsill.

ARCHITRAVE
Beam running on top of a row of columns; also, moldings around doors and windows.

B top of page
BAKERS RACK
Piece of furniture used for display originally used by Baker's or Pastry Chefs to cool bread on the shelves.

BALCONET
Decorative railing that runs across the lower portion of a window.

BALUSTER
Vertical element - wood or masonry -runs under a handrail.

BALUSTRADE
Assembly of balusters and handrail.

BAND
Horizontal decorative element, often used to indicate floor levels.

BARGE BOARD
Decorative or plain trim attached to the eaves of a gable.

BELCAST EAVES
Slight curvature or flaring, near the bottom of a roof slope.

BELVEDERE
Open rooftop pavilion.

BOLLARD
Large strong post used to anchor an object or obstruct a passageway.

BRACKET
Supporting brace under eaves or other projecting elements.

BRICK
A substance made from clay molded and fired in a kiln or baked in the sun, used in building, paving, etc.

BROWNSTONE
A reddish-brown sandstone, used for building.

BULL'S EYE
Oval or round window opening.

C top of page
CAPITAL
Top part of a column or pilaster.

CAST IRON
Molten Iron that is poured into a mold to achieve a design.

COLONETTE
Short, slender and usually decorative column.

CONCRETE
A building material made of sand and gravel, bonded together with cement into a hard compact substance.

CONICAL ROOF
Cone-shaped structure over a round tower or turret.

CONSOLE
Piece of furniture that stands against a wall with the decorative features on the front and sides. Ex: sideboards, buffet servers, breakfronts, etc.

CORBEL
Ornamental bracket that supports a beam or other element.

CORBELLING
Masonry course that steps out farther than the one below.

CORNER BOARDS
Mitered or butted vertical trims at the junction of two walls.

CORNICE
Moldings along the top of a wall.

COUPLED WINDOWS
Matched pair of windows separated by a mullion.

D top of page
DENTIL
Molding composed of equally spaced rectangular blocks; from the French for tooth.

E top of page
EAVES
Part of a roof that extends beyond the plane of the wall.

ENGAGED COLUMN
Partial column connected to a wall.

EYEBROW
Dormer-like roof projection with a window or vent and a curved top.

F top of page
FANLIGHT
Semicircular window with radiating muntins, often placed over a door or window.

FASCIA BOARD
Trim covering rafter ends at the end of a roof pitch.

FENCING
A barrier as of wooden or metal posts and rails used as a boundary.

FINIAL
Pointed wood or metal ornament at the peak of a roof. A decorative, terminal part of a spire, gable, etc., or projecting upward from the top of a cabinet, breakfront, etc.

FRENCH DOORS
Pair of identical glass-paned doors.

FRENCH WINDOW
Pair of identical casement windows with no dividing mullion.

FRETWORK
Intricate cutouts in a panel or other decorative element.

FRIEZE
Decorative band or board between a cornice and an architrave.

G top of page
GABLE DORMER
Gable-ended structure with a window that projects from a roof.

GABLE VENT
Louvered opening at or near the peak of a gable.

GABLET
Roof of a small gable dormer.

GATES
A moveable framework or solid structure especially one that swings on hinges, controlling entrance or exit through an opening in a fence or wall.

GRANITE
A very hard crystalline rock.

GREEN TERMS - CLICK HERE
Supplied by American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

GUILLOCHE
A design formed by two or more bands twisted over each other in a continuous series, leaving circular openings.

H top of page
HIP KNOB
Decorative element on a roof peak; similar to a finial, but topped with a spherical pineapple shape.

HOOD
Shallow overhang above a door or window.

I top of page
IMBRICATION
Decorative patterns in wall or roof shingles.

K top of page
KEY BLOCK
Tapered decorative element in a round or oval frame; also, central structural piece of a masonry arch (keystone).

L top of page
LANCET WINDOW
Sash with a pointed, arched top.

LATTICE WINDOW
Sash divided diagonally into diamond-shaped panes.

LIGHT
Transparent portion of a window; also, single pane of glass.

LIGHTING - CEILING
Lighting fixtures such as chandeliers that hang from the ceiling with several arms to hold candles or electric bulbs.

LIGHTING - LAMPS
Lighting fixtures that usually rest on tables with light coming from an electric bulb with a shade on top for directing the light.

LIGHTING - LIGHTPOST
A large exterior post used to support a light illuminating fixture.

LIGHTING - WALL
Lighting fixtures such as sconces which attach to the wall for holding a candle or electric bulb.

LIMESTONE
Rock consisting mainly of calcium carbonate, often composed of the organic remains of sea animals, as mollusks, corals, etc., and used as building stone.

M top of page
MANTLES
The facing of stone, marble, wood, etc. around a fireplace including a projection type shelf or slab above it.

MARBLE
A hard, crystalline or granular, metamorphic limestone white or variously colored and sometimes streaked or mottled, which can take a high polish.

MEETING RAIL
Top member of lower sash and bottom member of upper sash in double-hung window.

MODILLION
Horizontal, often scroll-shaped bracket placed under eaves and other overhangs.

MULLION
Vertical structural element between two windows.

MUNTIN
Wooden bar that separates window panes.

N top of page
NEWEL
Decorative structural post at either end of a stair rail. The post at the top or bottom of a flight of stairs, supporting the handrail.

NEWEL CAP
Decorative element atop a newel.

O top of page
ORIEL
Curved or faceted projection from a wall;often incorporates a bay window.

OVERDOOR
Fixed window or panel above a door.

P top of page
PALLADIAN WINDOW
Assembly of windows in which two lights flank one with an arched top.

PARAPET
Low wall or barrier railing at a balcony or roof edge.

PEDESTAL
Support block under the base of a column.

PEDIMENT
Triangular projection from a roof or from the top of a door or window.

PENDANT
Ornament that drops below an overhang or projection.

PIER
Load-bearing element that rises from a footing.

PLASTER
A pasty mixture of lime, sand, and water which hardens upon drying that can be carved.

PORTICO
Small porch with a roof supported by columns or projections.

Q top of page
QUOINS
Decorative corner treatment made of wood or veneer masonry that simulates large rectangular stones.

R top of page
RAFTER TAIL
Part of the rafter that extends beyond the wall.

RAIL
Horizontal structural member of a door or sash.

RAILING
A fence or balustrade made of rails and posts with no protruding finials.

RAINWATER HEAD
Basin at the top of a downspout that collects water from a gutter.

RAKING CORNICE
Molding that follows the slope of a pediment or gable.

RIDGE CRESTING
Ornament along a roof ridge.

RISER
Vertical part of a stair step.

ROOM SCREENS
Objects used to create an obstruction in a room to either divide into smaller areas or block off something unpleasant to the eye.

S top of page
SASH
Window element consisting of glass in a wood or metal frame.

SOFFIT
Exposed surface under a roof overhang or other element.

SPINDLED FRIEZE
Band of spindles attached under the eaves of a porch.

STATUARY
The form of an animal or person carved in wood, stone, etc.

STILE
Vertical structural member of a door or sash.

STONE
A piece of rock shaped or finished for some purpose.

STOOP
Platform or landing of a portico.

STRINGCOURSE
Masonry or wood band along a wall or around a column or chimney.

SUNBURST
Wooden ornament resembling rays radiating from the sun.

T top of page
TABLE - COFFEE
Tables with a range of dimensions suitable to be used in front of chairs or sofas as a coffee table.

TABLE - DINING / KITCHEN
Tables large enough to seat four and high enough for eating height.

TABLE - SIDE
Tables with the range of proportions to be used at the end a sofa or side of a bed.

TABLE - SOFA
Tables with the range of dimensions suitable to be used behind a sofa.

TERRACOTTA
Clay pressed into a mold and baked at extreme temperatures. A variety of finishes are achieved by different glazing techniques. Seen on decorative building ornaments such as cornices, moldings, and plaques.

TIN
A soft silver-white, crystalline, metallic chemical element, malleable at ordinary temperatures, capable of a high polish.

TRANSOM
Windows or panels, usually operable, above a window or door.

TREAD
Horizontal part of a stair step.

TURRET
Curved projection with windows, often topped by a conical roof.

TYMPANUM
Recessed, triangular face of a pediment.

U top of page
URNS
A vase or pot especially with one foot or pedestal.

W top of page
WATER TABLE
Horizontal drip-edge that prevents water from running down a wall.

WROUGHT IRON
Heating iron until it can be hand beaten and twisted into a design.

Z top of page
ZINC
A blush-white, metallic chemical element, usually found in combination, used as a protective coating for iron.

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