8 Residential Architecture Terms Every Homeowner Should Know

Floor Plan

This is a bird's-eye view of a building, showing the layout of rooms, walls, and other features. It helps homeowners visualize the spatial organization of their home.


The exterior face or front of a building. It includes elements like windows, doors, and architectural details that define the building's aesthetic.


The base on which a building stands. It supports the structure above and transfers its load to the ground. Different types include slab, crawl space, and basement foundations.

Roof Pitch

The steepness or slope of a roof. It affects the roof's appearance, drainage, and attic space. Common pitches range from flat or low slope (nearly flat) to steep (high slope).


A scaled drawing of the exterior of a building, showing its height, materials, and design features from different angles. Useful for visualizing how a home will look from outside.


Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems. These systems control indoor climate, providing heating and cooling, as well as maintaining air quality and humidity levels.

Load-Bearing Wall

A wall that supports the weight of a structure above it. Knowing which walls are load-bearing is crucial for renovations and structural modifications.

Zoning Laws

Regulations that govern land use and construction within a municipality or area. They specify where residential, commercial, and industrial buildings can be located and what size and height they can be.