, Newburyport, MA

Real Estate News

August 20, 2012

Basic Home Construction Vocabulary


Syndicated —

I'll cover a few "outside parts" here, and tackle "inside parts" in a future article.

Roof shapes and parts

Basic parts of a gabled roof

Roofs are either flat or not flat. Flat roofs are called - flat roofs. Non-flat roofs are called pitched roofs.

See how easy this is?

Describing pitched roofs gets a little more complicated, but there are two basic kinds: gable and hip. Gabled roofs have a "triangle" at the ends; hipped roofs look more like a pyramid.

There are hybrids and combinations of these two basic types, but they're less common, so I'm not going to bother you with them here.

You know what the peak of a roof is - it's the very top. When the roof peak is a level, horizontal line, it's also called a ridge.

A simple hipped roof

A hipped roof may have a ridge at the top, or may come to a point. But at the corners, there are more ridges, running at an angle, up to the ridge at the top. Those "angled ridges" are called hips. Go figure.

All roofs have some sort of edge at the bottom; when that edge is level, it's called an eave. When the edge is the end of a gable, it's called a rake.

Learn to identify a gable roof, a hip roof and a few roof parts, and your architect will be impressed.

Window styles and parts

Most American homes have one of two basic windows styles; "double-hung" or "casement."

A double-hung window

Double-hung windows are the ones that slide up and down; there's a top half and a bottom half, and both are moveable (if only the bottom half moves, it's a "single-hung" window). Double-hung windows are most often found on houses with an American colonial heritage.

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