8 Residential Architecture Terms Every Homeowner Should Know


A small dome-like structure atop a building, cupolas serve various purposes, from providing ventilation to offering a lookout. Commonly found on barns and sheds, they add visual interest to the roofline.


Unlike a typical porch, a veranda is an open-air hallway with a roof, often extending along the entire front or back of a house and wrapping around the sides. Ideal for outdoor living, it provides a space for relaxation.


The eave is the part of the roof that overhangs the building's walls, helping to direct water away from the structure's foundation. Essential for preventing water damage, eaves contribute to the longevity of a house.

Bay Window

Bay windows project outward from a building's exterior, offering a cozy reading nook and allowing extra light into the interior. Typically consisting of a large central window flanked by smaller ones, bay windows enhance the aesthetic.


Unlike a hip roof, a gable roof features two sloped sides meeting at a peak, forming a triangular wall section known as a gable. This design allows for more attic space and efficient rain and snow shedding.

Board and Batten

Adding visual interest to walls, board and batten siding features vertical strips of molding (battens) over wide boards. This style lends a rustic charm to both interior and exterior surfaces, especially when painted in a cohesive.


Inspired by medieval architecture, turrets are tower-like structures protruding from a house. Often found in Victorian-style homes, they can serve as cozy rooms and add character to the exterior.


A small roofed porch near a home's entrance, supported by columns or brackets, a portico offers a classical architectural element while providing shelter from the elements for guests.