Scroll down for a FREE Architectural Design dictionary, outlining architectural styles, Landscaping techniques, tools, textiles, hardware, and more.
This fully illustrated dictionary covers virtually all things related to architecture and home design.
Full color images display beautiful home interiors and outstanding architectural designs.
Once you are armed with basic architectural know-how, you can use your imagination to create your Perfect Dream Home!
Scroll further down for related architectural design links.
Also see links to other Free Books by this author.
by Judee Shipman
BAY WINDOW: A popular architectural design involving a set of attached windows that project outward from the exterior walls of a building.
This creates an interior space that is often used as a small sitting area, but is sometimes large enough to accommodate a day bed.
An unsupported Bay Window should protrude no more than 2 feet from the exterior wall.
Above image credit: windowsourceri.com
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BEADING BIT: A kind of drill bit that is used with a router.
Above image credit: woodcraft.com
BEAM: A strong, horizontally placed piece of wood or metal that spans an opening.
Beams add structural support, can bear weight, and are a crucial component of architectural design.
Above image credit: fhba.com
BEARING HEADER: A structural piece that is placed horizontally across an opening such as a chimney, doorway, or window.
Above image credit: sbcindustry.com
BEARING POINT: Any joined point that supports weight.
Above image credit: odellrealestate.com
BEARING WALL: A wall that supports weight in addition to its own weight. Most architectural design blueprints include a bearing wall.
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BEAVER TAIL: A broad, flat piece that resembles the tail of a beaver.
Shown below, a beavertail lever door handle.
Above image credit: rockymountainhardware.com
BEDROCK: A very hard layer of earth that is suitable to support heavy manmade structures such as buildings. An indispensable component of architectural design.
Above image credit: news.mit.edu
BEDROOM: An interior room where people sleep. In real estate transactions, to be counted as a bedroom, the room must have a closet, and must be large enough to fit a bed.
Above image credit: Pinterest.com
BEECH: A slightly coarse, reddish brown, straight-grained wood with a fine, even texture. Sometimes used for architectural design, especially for veneers, but beech is also an excellent firewood.
Shown below, a beechwood staircase.
Above image credit: jessieadore.com
BELFRY: A small room designed to enclose the bell in a bell tower.
Shown below, an ornate belfry in Bangkok.
Above image credit: 123rf.com
BELT SANDER: A power tool that features a moving belt with sandpaper attached to it.
above image credit: gfycat.com
BEVEL EDGE CHISEL: A chisel with a slanted edge, useful for reaching acute angles.
Above image credit: ebay.org
B-HUT: A temporary enclosure made of mud, bark, straw, cardboard, or whatever can be found nearby for building shelter. Also known as a barracks hut.
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BI FOLD DOOR: A door that is hinged at the center, so it takes up less space when opened.
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BIRCH: A kind of hardwood, typically used for interiors, fine furniture, and home decor, but can also be used in architectural design. Birch comes in two varieties: yellow and white.
Shown below, a room at the Birchwood Lodge in Tennessee's Great Smokey Mountains.
Above image credit: naturalretreats.com
BIT: A piece of metal hardware that fits on the end of a drill or a router. Used for making holes in hard surfaces.
Above image credit: homedepot.com
BLANKETS: Flat sheets of insulation packaged in rolls 1 to 2 feet wide.
Above image credit: toolstation.com
BLOBITECTURE: An architectural movement of the new millennium, with development starting in 2003. Also known as Blobism.
This style or organic architecture is characterized by buildings with a rounded or amoeba-shaped architectural design.
Above image credit: creativetourist.com
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BLOCKING: Small wood pieces that are used for structural support.
above image credit: finehomebuilding.com
BLOCK JOINT: A type of joinery where two planes are attached perpendicularly, and a block is then attached to the inner corner.
above image credit: technologystudent.com
BLOCK OUT: A barrier within a foundation that prevents concrete from entering certain areas. Often used for pipe installation and cellar doors.
above image credit: termitebarrierpokumono.blogspot.com
BLOCK PLANE: A plane designed to smooth the rough edges of planks, but small enough to use with one hand.
above image credit: rockler.com
BLOWER: The ducted fan of an air conditioner.
above image credit: doverbrakeinc.com
BLOW INSULATION: Fiber insulation in loose form, as opposed to sheets.
above image credit: blog.homestars.com
BLUEPRINT: A technical architectural drawing, used as building instructions.
above image credit: universalm.com
BLUE STAKE: Spots of blue paint left on the ground by utility workers to show where recent work was done.
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BOARD FOOT: A unit of measure for lumber, measuring 12 inches long, 12 inches wide, and one inch thick.
Not to be confused with a lineal foot, but often is.
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BOILER: A sealed metal tank in which water is heated, though not necessarily boiled.
above image credit: en.klenzoid.com
BOLT: A screw-like fastener with spiraling ridges along the shaft. Often considered an oversized screw.
However, the chief difference between a bolt and a screw is that a bolt is designed to be used in conjunction with a nut.
above image credit: gfycat.com
Chapter 5 (You Are Here)
Early American Architecture and Vintage Architectural Design