5 unique names for parts of a house

If there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that every trade, profession and technical subject has its own set of unique terms for very specific things. Architecture and house building certainly live up to that standard — most tiny parts of your house have names, even the ones you wouldn't often get the opportunity to name in a practical context. Here are a few of the more interesting terms:

  • Bargeboard: Though it may sound aggressive, a bargeboard is actually quite nice. It's the ornamentally carved or molded board that is found along the edges of gable roofs in many Gothic Revival and Tudor-era homes. Many older homes in the Midwest have elaborately carved bargeboards.
  • Cricket: Perhaps the most practical term on this list, the cricket is the little pointed metal object that connects a chimney to a roof, diverting rainwater from the base of the chimney. This helps prevent leaks and harmful accumulation of moisture.
  • Jetty: A jetty is an upper part of a building that overhangs the lower part — think English Tudor houses, with their visible timbers and second stories that jut out over the first, shading the street. The jetty has also caught on in more modern styles of architecture.
  • Quoin: From the French "coin" for "corner", a quoin is one of the large stones that are sometimes used to accentuate the corners of a building. They are mostly found on stone or brick buildings, and are usually larger and sometimes a different color from the rest of the attached stones or bricks.
  • Scuttle: If you have an attic, you probably have a scuttle — it's the term for the little trap door in the ceiling that opens into an attic.

The next time you schedule a home inspection with Alban Inspections, you might get a chance to use some of this vocabulary! We provide home inspection services in D.C. and parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.