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Crank windows, hinged on the top, that open upward.
Trim work at the top of gable end walls below the soffit.
A basement has a slab bottom, and it uses steel or
engineered wood members for floor framing. These
members are stronger and span farther, eliminating the
need for a lot of columns. This in turn opens up the
basement and makes it functional.
A doorway with no door,
shown on the blueprint with
two parallel dashed
Crank windows that are hinged
on one side and open like a door.
In our plans, these windows usually
go over the sink in the kitchen.
Stairs built on a radius.
Crawl Space (Foundation)
A crawl space foundation means an elevated first floor system that is
high enough off of the ground to crawl beneath. Piers are made up of 8” x
16” blocks (typically), and the foundation wall is made up of brick and 8” blocks.
The foundation wall contains foundation vents, which allow air to circulate
throughout the foundation so that moisture does not build up.
Also referred to as dog houses, dormer comes from the French word dormir,
which means “to sleep.” Dormers are located on the second floor, usually
bedrooms or bathrooms, and project through the roof to provide a window in
Double Hung Windows
Both lower and upper sashes can move up or down.
Made up of both the soffit and the fascia. This is the term that is given to
that edge of the overhang beyond the wall.
Runs horizontally across the ends of the roof rafters ends, creating the
“edge” of the roof.
These windows cannot be opened.
Built up on the foundation wall and piers out of 2 x 12 floor joists and
The direction and the length of the framing are shown on the blueprints, and
they typically are placed 16 inches apart.
Footing (Grade Beam)
Trenches of poured concrete around the perimeter of the house and below
each pier or column that supports and distributes the weight of the house to
the ground. Steel rods, known as rebar, run through the trench of the
Technically, the foundation is the part of a building that meets the ground,
where all loads are transferred to the ground.
Trim work that follows the eve horizontally below the soffit on the wall.
A roof that consists of two sloping planes that meet at the ridge (peak).
planes are supported at their ends by triangular, upward extensions of walls
known as gables.
A roof that consists of four sloping planes that meet at the ridge (peak).
roof seems to sit on top of the supporting walls, creating a pyramid shape
when viewed from the side.
Crank windows, hinged on the bottom, that open outward from the top.
Load Bearing Walls
Load bearing walls carry the load from above, down to the foundation. Load
bearing walls brace from the floor to the roof.
Part of the roof that hangs over the wall.
One larger window with a circle top window above and flanked by two
smaller, rectangular windows. These are usually fixed windows.
Refers to the slope of the roof at the end of a gable, where the outside
of the overhang forms an upside down V.
Height of the step, which varies per house (vertical surface).
Also known as U-shaped stairs, scissors stairs reverse direction half way up
to return back the way it started.
A shed is actually a half gable. One slopping plane is supported by walls.
This usually comes off the back side or out of another roof. Shed roofs are
also used over some porches.
Single Hung Windows
Only the bottom sash moves up and down, the top is fixed.
For a slab foundation, the site is leveled off, and a trench is dug around
perimeter of the home site. Gravel is then spread across the site, and
concrete is poured approximately four inches thick over wire mesh and a
moisture barrier. In areas of load bearing walls, trenches need to be dug to
allow for additional thickness at this location. Slab foundations have no
or floor joists, and the concrete slab is the floor system.
Windows that slide open, like sliding glass doors.
The underside of the roof overhang or porch ceiling that covers the rafter
bottoms. This horizontal surface usually has vents to allow air into the
Straight Run (Stairs)
These are just like they sound, they run straight up to the second floor.
Top of the step, usually 10-½ inches to 11 inches deep (horizontal).
Steps that wind around a corner or post, turning 90 degrees from the
direction and typically having several triangular shaped treads at the turn.
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Bungalow (Home Style)
Popular in California, bungalows provide simple and affordable middle class
housing. They are small and easy to build with a square floor plan, gables,
usually one large middle dormer, and porches with big square columns that
are larger on the bottom. Bungalows are usually 1200 square feet or smaller.
Cape Cod (Home Style)
Cape cods are generally symmetrical plans. The front door is in the middle,
and they usually have dormers. There is not a lot of overhang or
ornamentation, and it is typically one or one-and-a-half stories.
Colonial (Home Style)
Dates back to historical New England. Two story home with a symmetrical
façade. The main roof ridge will run parallel to the street. The main entry
door is in the center of the façade, and windows are symmetrically placed on
either side. The second level will have its windows symmetrically placed
around the door as well. Additional wings might be “tacked-on” to the house
proper. Bedrooms are typically on the second level.
Contemporary 70’s (Home Style)
Clerestory windows, roofs that pitch in one direction, large overhangs on
two sides of the home, vertical wood siding and patches of stonework are
the main characteristics. Solar adaptation is also a key feature.
Contemporary 80’s (Home Style)
Trendy details like glass block and pipe railings. Strong geometric forms.
Contemporary Traditional (Home Style)
Traditional homes with modern design elements, particularly open spaces.
Country (Home Style)
Typical country homes have a front porch, dormer(s), and a roof ridge that
runs parallel to the street. The most notable characteristic is a large
porch with an open rail. “Dog-house” dormers are frequently on the roof.
The exterior material is usually clapboard siding. Regardless of the size of
the home, they appear to be small and quaint. Historical country homes had
a fireplace on either side of the home to function as the heat source. The
historical country home also had a “dog trot” hallway, which was one
hallway that runs through the middle of the house, also known as a double
loaded hallway. During warmer months, the front and rear doors can be
opened to allow a breeze to come through and cool the house.
Early American (Home Style)
This is reserved for homes that are replicas of historic American homes. A
true Saltbox, Cape, or Federal home would be grouped together in this
European (Home Style)
These are homes with a lot of visual excitement. There can be many roof
lines and generally many gables. The undulating façade gives it a
feel. The exterior material would be stone, brick, stucco, or a combination
two or more materials.
Farmhouse (Home Style)
This is an adaptation of the “country” home. The main difference between
country house and a farmhouse is that a farmhouse has a wraparound porch.
The porch wraps around the home. The roof ridge runs parallel to the street
with or without dormers. The roof pitch breaks to a shallow pitch at the
porch. One main roof covers the main body of the home. The exterior
material is clapboard siding.
Industrial (Home Style)
- A style
that usually consists of glass and steel and other industrial
Almost always contemporary, with clean hard lines, and little if any
Loft (Home Style)
These are usually very open and spacious with high spaces and
Mediterranean (Home Style)
Warm climate homes with many windows and an open floor plan. The
exterior is usually stucco with a tile roof. A hip roof with large overhangs
most common. Some of these elements are characteristic of the
Southwestern home style also.
Ranch (Home Style)
Single level home with a low pitched roof that runs parallel to the street.
These homes tend to be long and narrow, with the longest dimension facing
front. Porches may or may not be present.
Salt Box (Home Style)
Early American home that is one-and-a-half stories and looks like a
trapezoid when viewed from the side. It is two stories in the front, and the
back slopes down to one story.
Usually a multi-level home that usually does not have a traditional
Many times town houses are build in group with adjoining common walls.
Often the group of town houses will have a common maintenance
among the owners.
Traditional (Home Style)
These homes usually do not have porches, but several will have covered
entryways. They usually have hip main roofs and bold, front facing gables.
There will be several main ridge lines running both parallel and
to the street. The exterior material could be clapboard or masonry (brick,
stucco, stone). These homes strive for a grand appearance.
Vacation (Home Style)
These are usually very open houses that may be elevated off the ground.
They tend to have a modern or cottage feel.
Victorian (Home Style)
Gingerbread detailing is the key element. Most have multiple roof lines with
varying roof pitches. Some have octagonal turrets (towers). The exterior is
always clapboard. Lattice work and decorative railings are often used.
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