Home Architecture Terms Defined in Pittsburgh

When buying or selling a house, you are likely to come across many architectural terms. While you might be familiar with some, others may seem like a different language. In our latest post, we break down some of the home architecture terms you might hear during your search for a house in Pittsburgh!

Baluster – This is a short pillar or column, which is often decorative and used for support. They are often made of stone, iron or wood. The pillars used in stair railings are a great example of Balusters.

Balustrade – Often used with “Balusters,” a Balustrade is when a group of Balusters are spaced evenly, and connected with a railing.

Bay Window – A window that projects from the side of a wall on all four sides.

Cantilever – This term refers to any type of beam that’s only anchored at one end. You will see this term used for decks and overhangs.

Casement Window – A window frame that is hinged on one of its vertical sides, allowing it to swing open.Casement windows often come in pairs.

Cladding – Building cladding is an extra layer added to a building. It can approve the appearance and help protect against wind and other environmental issues.

Clapboard – One of many boards used in the siding of a home. Typically they lay horizontally.

Corbel – A piece of stone, wood, brick or any other building material that projects from the face of a wall.

Cricket – A peaked or pointed part of a roof that diverts rainwater around a chimney or other object on the roof.

Cupola – A small dome-like structure projecting above a roof. It can be used for decoration, ventilation and can also serve as a “look-out.”

Double Hung Window – A window with top and bottom panels, or sashes, that slide past each other vertically. The window can be opened on the top or the bottom.

Efflorescence – It’s a word for the white stuff on bricks. It occurs from weathering when natural minerals seep out and crystalize.

Gable –Triangular or pointed part of a roof, often found over a window.

Gambrel Roof – A ridged roof with two slopes at each sideThe lower slopes are steeper than the upper slopes. This is often the type of roof used on a barn.

Hood Molding – A molding that projects above a door, window, or archway to defer rainwater.

Pergola – A garden structure built using columns, which support beams and rafters. Can be used to give shade over a seating area or other part of the yard.

Post and Beam Construction – A simple and traditional building framing system that uses a series of vertical posts and horizontal beams.

Scuttle – A ceiling opening with a cover or hatchway that allows for access to the roof.

Transom –  A small window, often decorative, placed above a door or another window.

Truss – The framework that’s composed of beams usually made from steel or wood. Its shape usually looks like the triangle, as it’s the frame that supports the building’s roof.

X bracing – A pair of diagonal braces or struts from corner to corner forming an “X.”

Curious about more terms? Or do you want to buy or sell a house in Pittsburgh? We would love to help! Send us a message

Looking For Investment Properties?

Fill out the form below to join our "Preferred Property Buyers" list and for local real estate updates too!

Enter Your Information Below To Get Immediate Access

... to our HANDYMAN specials. *These are not on the MLS - Many are below $100k. Available properties on the next page.
  • We operate in Detroit MI and Pittsburgh PA so please specify.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.