Glossary of Terms P-Z


Palladian Window- A window composed of a central arched sash flanked on either side by small rectangular windows.

Parapet- A low wall or railing, as along the top of a building or balcony.

PDF Files- Files written to convert AutoCAD files to readable and printable files. These files can be printed on large and small scale printers, and can be viewed on your computer.

Pediment- A triangular section used as a crowning element over doors, windows, entryways, etc.

Piazza- A veranda or open space.

Plot Files – The conversion of AutoCAD files to printable files by a large scale printer. These files cannot be opened or viewed.

Porte-Cochere- A covered entrance or gateway extending across a driveway or entrance road through which vehicles may drive.

Portico- A large roofed porch or walkway, with a pedimented roof supported by columns.

Purlin- A horizontal beam used to support roof rafters between the roof ridge and the eave.

Quoin- A large stone, brick, stucco, or wood block laid in vertical series to decorate the corners of a building.

Rafter- A structural wooden board extended from the ridge of a roof to the eaves, serving as support.

Rendering – An artist rendition of your home. An artist will use the construction documents to create a portrait of your project. There are several types of renderings: 3-D, 1-Point perspectives, 2-Point perspectives, or a Front Elevation. A rendering can be done using many different mediums and can be done using a computer or drawn by hand. If you are interested, please ask to see examples of our work.

Retainer – A percentage of the proposed costs and fees for a project that engages the professional services of the Designer and the firm’s staff who support the process to design your home or remodel.

Setbacks - A “setback” (front, sides and rear) is the allowable distance from the property line to any structure or site improvement, (See Building Envelope).

Sidelight- A narrow vertical window, usually flanking a door. Site Plan -A site plan is a bird’s eye view showing everything that will be on your property. This includes the footprint of any buildings (home, garage, decks or patios) and any other improvements such as driveway,walkways, fences, swimming pool, etc. on the property.

Site Survey - It provides definitive physical proof of property lines and sometimes shows contour lines that represent the shapes, slopes and elevations of the land. A Legal Description will also be included.

Spindle- A short decorative turned piece, such as a balluster or newel, often used around porches and railings.

Topographical Survey- A survey that includes the same information as the Lot Survey, but also shows the slope of the property with indicated contours. A topographical survey should also show the location, size, and type of trees.

Transom- A horizontal glass opening above a door or window.

Veranda- An open space attached to the exterior wall of a building, usually with a roof supported by columns, posts or brackets.

Volute- A spiral scroll-like ornament commonly found on Ionic or Composite capitals.

Wainscoting- A wood lining or paneling on the walls of a room, ususally at the lower end of a wall, especially when the upper part is a different finish.

Widow’s Walk- An observation platform, usually with a railing, built on the roof of a house, especially found on coastal houses for their great views.

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