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perforated brick

Small brick with vertical holes, whose dimensions are usually no greater than 40% of the
brick.
firebrick
Brick that can withstand very high temperatures without deforming.
brick wall,solid brick
Small brick, not perforated, used especially in building or covering various types of walls.
hollow brick
Large brick, over 40% of which is composed of horizontal cells.
partition tile
Hollow brick, usually worked with the help of plaster, used to build or line partitions.
concrete
Material composed of aggregates (pebbles, gravel, sand) and water mixed together by a binder
(cement or lime) that, after hardening in a mold, forms a substance that is resistant to
compression.
prestressed concrete
Concrete whose steel bars are stretched before cooling, creating a highly resistant and durable
material; it is used to manufacture beams with long spans.
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reinforced concrete
Concrete reinforced by steel bars, often used in the manufacture of load-bearing units in a
building.
concrete block
Concrete component, solid or hollow, used mainly in the construction of masonry as a
substitute for brick.

stone wall, flagstone


Flat stone of irregular shape, used to cover floors and walls.
cut stone

Stone cut in regular shapes so that it can be fitted without a joint or with very thin joints.
rubble
Small block of rough or crudely carved stone, usually assembled with the help of
mortar to build a wall.
steel
Iron- and carbon-based metal, very durable, frequently used in structures.

Covering materials [1]


Materials covering a surface, usually for the purpose of protecting or decorating it.
asphalt shingle Roof-covering material, made with a framework (fiberglass, felt) coated with
bitumen and covered with fine aggregate.
tar paper
Paper usually stapled directly to the roof or exterior walls, under the covering, in order to
enhance impermeability.
tile
Hard surface, usually made of baked molded clay, used as a covering for roofs.

covering materials [2]


Materials covering a surface, usually for the purpose of protecting or decorating it.

gypsum tile Small molded-plaster component, solid or hollow, with holes on the sides; it is
used to construct and repair walls.
gypsum board Large panel made of a layer of plaster covered with paperboard, usually used
as a finishing material on a dwellings interior walls.
floor tile
Small flat component of regular shape, made from various materials and used for covering
floors and walls.
shingle
Small wooden plank used to cover roofs and walls that are especially exposed to inclement
weather.
diamond mesh metal lath
Metal grid used as a framework or support for plaster and other coatings.

insulating materials [1]


Materials impeding the transfer of heat to the outside, or cold to the inside, of a building or a
duct.

caulking gun
Instrument using a piston mechanism for applying caulking to seal joints and openings.
nozzle
Conical nozzle forming the end of the cartridge. gun
Open cylindrical instrument supporting a cartridge.
piston lever
Trigger controlling the forward motion of the cartridge.
piston release Elbow-shaped shaft with a push stick (piston) that compresses the contents of
the cartridge or releases the gun.
cartridge
Small replaceable reservoir, fitted with a nozzle and containing a malleable, adhesive
caulking.
tip End of the nozzle through which the caulking is applied.

elevation
Vertical representation of the projection of the house.

First
Part of the
ground
glassed

floor
house closest to
level.
roof Large

glassed surface forming the walls and roof.


guard
Set of bars and a handrail bordering the stairs or the open side of a landing.
half bath
Small room consisting of a toilet and a sink.
hall
Corridor or passage providing access to other rooms.
steps
Outdoor staircase ending in a landing that leads to the house entrance.
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fireplace
Decorative brick installation for burning fires.
living room
Room designed and furnished for receiving visitors.
dining room
Room designed and furnished for eating meals and receiving dinner guests.
pantry
Storage place for food not needing refrigeration.
kitchen
Room where meals are prepared.
dinette
Part of a kitchen reserved for eating meals.
patio door
Window at ground level whose sliding panel serves as a door.
sitting room
Room in which various activities take place, such as reading and watching television.
vestibule
Entry room for the house.
closet
Space designated for storing clothes, hats, umbrellas and so forth.
stairs
Structural component enabling movement between floors of a house or other
structure.
laundry room Room where laundry is washed and dried.

second floor
Part of the house defined by a floor and a ceiling; it is located above the first floor.
stairwell Space designed to accommodate stairs.
toilet Sanitary fixture for disposing of bodily waste; it comprises a toilet bowl and a tank.
balcony Platform protruding from a house and opening onto a room by a door or a balcony
window; it is bordered by a handrail.
guard Set of bars and a handrail bordering the stairs or the open side of a landing.
railing Handrail at support level bordering the open side of a room.
balcony window Window at floor level whose sliding panel serves as a door.
walk-in wardrobe Large closet for storing clothes; it is big enough to enter.
walk-in closet Closet for storing clothes.
wardrobe

Closet for storing clothes.


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bedroom

Room for sleeping.

window

Opening in a wall fitted with glass to let in light and air.

bathroom Room designed for personal hygiene; it is equipped with running water and
sanitary fixtures.
master bedroom, cathedral ceiling The largest room for sleeping. This one is enclosed by
a high ceiling having two slopes.
bathtub Sanitary fixture for taking baths; it is shaped like a deep, elongated basin.
shower Sanitary fixture for washing the body under a spray of water.
bathroom Room designed for personal hygiene; it is equipped with running water and
sanitary fixtures.
landing Platform at the top of a set of stairs providing access to rooms on that floor.
bedroom Room for sleeping.

loft
An
room or
immediately the roof.

upper
space

master bedroom, cathedral roof


The largest room for sleeping. This one is enclosed by a high ceiling having two slopes.
railing
Handrail at support level bordering the open side of a room.
study
Room intended for intellectual work; it usually contains a worktable.
stairwell skylight
Window protruding though a roof to ventilate and illuminate the stairwell.

bathroom skylight
Window protruding though a roof to ventilate and illuminate the bathroom.

frame
Assembly of members that consists of the load-bearing structure of a building and that
provides stability to it.

window sill

Level member at the bottom of a window opening.


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stud Vertical member used in walls to support the double plate and to which the wall
covering is attached.
girder

Especially strong level member transferring the load above it to its supporting wall.

ledger
Level member located along a girder and supporting the ends of the floor joists.
brace Vertical or diagonal member used to strengthen the studs and to keep them from
deforming.
bridging Structure composed of two members forming an X and placed between the joists
to reinforce them and keep them from deforming.
floor joist
Level member resting on a ledger and a sill plate and intended to support the floor.

end joist
Member perpendicular and attached to the floor joists at their ends to form the exterior
framework.
corner stud Strong stud located at the corner of the frame.
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footing Spread-footing section supporting the foundation wall; it is usually made of cement.
foundation Part of the wall located below ground level and wider than the wall itself, which
it supports; it is usually made of cement.
sill plate Member anchored to the top of the foundation wall; the floor joists and the end
joists rest on it.
strut Member placed between two studs to keep them evenly spaced and to increase
stability and strength.
subfloor
Planks or plywood laid on floor joists; the floor covering is in turn laid on it.
sheathing
Wall covering attached directly to the frame serving as a base or support upon which to nail
other facings.
rafter Diagonal frame member of a sloped roof resting against the tie beam and the double
plate; it supports the roof.
tie beam

Beam forming the hip of a sloped roof and against which the rafters rest.

header Level member at the top of a window opening; it also transfers the vertical loads it
supports to the contiguous gable studs.
gable stud

Vertical member of a frame transferring the roofs load to the double plate.

double plate Level double member attached to the top ends of the studs; it also supports
ceiling joists and rafters.
ceiling joist
Level member to which the ceiling sheathing is attached; for a sloped ceiling, it is usually
attached to the rafters.
Foundation Work done on-site in cement or masonry; it supports a structures load and
transfers it to the ground, thus providing stability.
baseboard Plank of wood protruding from the base of a wall; it covers the joint between the
floor and the wall.
molding Finishing molding attached to the baseboard where it meets the floor; its crosssection is a quarter circle.
wood flooring A rooms decorative floor covering made of wooden squares or strips of wood.
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floor joist Level member resting on a ledger and a sill plate and intended to support the floor.
end joist Member perpendicular and attached to the floor joists at their ends to form the
exterior framework.
sill plate Member anchored to the top of the foundation wall; the floor joists and the end
joists rest on it.
footing Spread-footing section supporting the foundation wall; it is usually made of cement.
drain tile Perforated pipe draining water from the soil; it also protects the foundation from
frost and pressure caused by wet soil.
gravel Bed of small stones absorbing smaller particles found in water to prevent them from
blocking the drain; it also keeps the drain in place.
foundation Part of the wall located below ground level and wider than the wall itself, which
it supports; it is usually made of cement.
sill Level member to which the bottom ends of the studs are attached.
wall stud Vertical member used in walls to support the double plate; the facing is attached to
it.
subfloor Planks or plywood laid on floor joists; the floor covering is in turn laid on it.
sheathing Wall covering attached directly to the frame serving as a base or support upon
which to nail other facings.

roof truss
Assembly of members composed of a triangular substructure to form the frame of a sloped
roof; it supports the roof.

strut

Diagonal member supporting the principal rafter, joining it to the junction of the king post and
the ridge beam.
ridge beam Level member at the base of a truss upon which the side posts and the king post
rest; these in turn support the principal rafters.
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side post Small vertical member supporting the principal rafter.


king post Vertical member supporting the tie beam and joining the principal rafters to the
ridge beam.
principal rafter

Diagonal member of a roof truss; it functions as a rafter.

wood flooring on cement screed


Wood flooring that is supported by a layer of cement.

cement screed
Cement layer ensuring the evenness of the rooms floor.
glue
Adhesive used to fix the wood flooring to the cement screed.
insulating material
Layer under the cement screed that dampens impact noises; it is usually made of felt or cork.
floorboard
Small piece of wood that forms decorative panels when assembled with others of the same
type.

wood flooring on wooden structure


Wood flooring that is supported by a subfloor made of wood.

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Joist

Member resting on a ledger and a sill plate and intended to support the floor.

subfloor

Planks or plywood laid on floor joists; the floor covering is in turn laid on it.

floorboard

Strip of wood that forms a pattern when assembled with others.

Textile floor coverings


Textile floor coverings, such as rugs and pile carpets, are comfortable and attractive, and
dampen impact noise.

rug Piece of thick heavy fabric usually having a nap and covering a section of the floor; it is
removable.
pile carpet

Piece of thick heavy fabric attached to and covering the entire floor of a room.

tackless strip Small strip of wood covered with tacks and nailed or glued to the perimeter of
the room; the pile carpet is fastened to it.

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underlay Covering placed beneath the pile carpet to make walking more comfortable and to
dampen noise.
pile

Visible surface of a carpet made of raised fibers that are cut or looped.

stairs
Structural component enabling movement between floors of a house or other structure.

starting step Bottom step in a flight of stairs.


step groove Width of the staircase.
newel post Strong post at the top or bottom of a staircase supporting the handrail.
baseboard Plank of wood protruding from the base of a wall; it hides the joint between the
floor and the wall.
banister Small piece of wood supporting the handrail and providing safety.
run Width of a step as measured between two successive risers, excluding the nosing.
open stringer Diagonal piece of wood cut to fit the steps and risers and supporting the ends
of the steps at the banister.
flight of stairs Set of steps lying between two floors, two landings or a floor and a landing.
closed stringer Diagonal piece of notched wood supporting steps and risers and enclosing
their ends.
landing Platform between two flights of stairs or at the top of a staircase.
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handrail Top part of a guard for gripping when climbing or descending a staircase.
goose-neck Decorative detail at the end of a handrail.
cap Adornment for the top of a newel post.
guard Set of bars and a handrail bordering the stairs or the open side of a landing.

step
Part of a staircase composed of a tread and a riser.

tread

Level part where the foot is placed in climbing or descending.

riser

Vertical surface beneath a tread and forming its front.

rise

Vertical length between two consecutive treads.

nosing

End of a tread that juts out over the riser below it.

fireplace
Masonry structure topped with a chimney and open in front; burning wood emits heat that is
reflected from the inner hearth.

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woodbox
Part of the fireplace where wood is stored.
mantel shelf
Level top part of a fireplaces mantel.
base
Pedestal protecting a rooms floor from the heat produced by the fireplace.
frame
Metal piece around the edge of the fireplace opening.
lintel
Horizontal crosspiece above the hearth and supporting the mantel.
mantel
Part of the fireplace protruding over the hearth.
hood
Part of a fireplace located above the mantel; it hides the chimney and allows the smoke to
escape to the outdoors.
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inner hearth
Part of a fireplace where combustion takes place.
jamb
Vertical facing making up the side of the hearth and supporting the upper parts of the
fireplace.
firebrick back
Vertical facing making up the back of the hearth.
corbel piece
Piece protruding from a jamb or wall; it supports the mantel of a fireplace.
ELEMENTS OF A HOUSE

exterior door
The exterior door comprises a moving part, the leaf, plus a frame. It provides access to and
egress from the house.

threshold
Surface forming the bottom part of the door opening.

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weather strip
Sloped strip of wood allowing water to flow away from the door.
entablature
Level set of woodwork covering the doorway.
top rail
Level piece of wood at the top of the door.
panel
Flat surface bordered by molding; it is often recessed.
shutting stile
Vertical part of the door on which the lock and doorknob are mounted.
lock
Device mounted on the door allowing it to lock by using a key.
doorknob
Device mounted on the door allowing it to open.
bottom rail
Level piece of wood at the bottom of the door.
hinge
Cylindrical metal part bent at an angle; it supports the door and allows it to swing.
hanging stile
Vertical part of the door to which the hinges are attached.
middle panel
Long narrow panel placed horizontally.
lock rail
Level piece of wood in the middle of the door.
mullion
Vertical piece of wood joining the top and lock rails.
jamb
Protruding part of a doors framework on each side of the opening.
header
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Level frame part enclosing the upper part of a doors opening.


cornice
Protruding molding that rests horizontally across the entablature, protecting the parts beneath
it from the rain.
doorknob
Knob in the form of a lever used only for latch bolt locks.
rose
Decorative plaque with an opening in the center allowing the doorknob to turn.
latch bolt
Part whose beveled end is activated by a doorknob; it catches automatically in a strike plate
when the door is closed.

tubular lock
faceplate
Thin plate fastened to the edge of the door with an opening through which the bolt passes.
escutcheon
Thin plate fastened to the door with openings for the locks rose and ring.
dead bolt
Part whose end is inserted into a strike plate to lock the door when activated by a key.
lock
Device mounted on the door allowing it to lock by using a key.

mortise lock

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tubular lock
Lock whose knobs activate a latch bolt and is locked by pushing a button; it is used for
interior doors.

outside knob
Knob located on the outer side of the door.
spindle
Extended part that manipulates the bolt when turned.
faceplate
Thin plate fastened to the edge of the door with an opening through which the bolt passes.
latch bolt
Part whose beveled end is activated by a doorknob; it catches automatically in a strike plate
when the door is closed.
push-button
Button that activates the locking mechanism when pushed.
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inside knob
Knob located on the interior side of the door; it contains a push-button.
rose
Decorative plaque with an opening in the center allowing the doorknob to turn.
bolt
Metal threaded peg ending in a head; it screws into a nut.
nut
Hollow cylinder of metal whose lining is threaded to screw onto a corresponding
bolt.

mortise lock
Lock fitted into a door whose dead bolt provides greater security; it is used especially on
exterior doors.

strike plate
Metal part fixed to the door frame and fitted with an opening to a cavity into which the bolt is
inserted.
rotor
Rotating part of a lock mechanism that a unique key can turn in order to draw the bolt.
key
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Metal part whose unique grooves activate the lock.


faceplate
Thin plate fastened to the edge of the door with an opening through which the bolt passes.
dead bolt
Part whose end is inserted into a strike plate to lock the door when activated by a key.
ring
Protruding cylindrical part on the door into which the key is inserted.
keyway
Orifice complementing the shape of the key and through which the rotor is fitted.
cylinder case
Hollow part of a lock into which the locking mechanism is fitted.
cotter pin
Piece of metal that, by aligning itself to the keys grooves under pressure from the spring,
enables the rotor to turn.
spring
Elastic piece of metal that, by pressing against the cotter pin, prevents the rotor from turning
if the keys grooves do not match.
stator
Fixed part of the lock mechanism interacting with the grooves in the key to make the rotor
turn.
cylinder
Part that contains the lock mechanism.

semicircular arch
Arch in the form of a semicircle.

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pier
Masonry upright that supports the arch.
intrados
Interior surface of the arch.
extrados
Exterior surface of the arch.
impost
Slightly projecting stone that surmounts the pier and supports the springer and the voussoirs.
springer
Stone that constitutes the archs first voussoir and is placed on top of the pier.
voussoir
Each of the stone wedges that make up the arch.
spandrel
Wall surface bordered by the curve of the arch, the start of another wall and the horizontal part
above it.
keystone
Wedge-shaped stone in the center of an arch whose function is to balance the network of
voussoirs.

Examples of arches
Arches: curved constructions supported on each side by piers.

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trefoil
Arch with three lobes.
Tudor
Flattened equilateral arch that is characteristic of the style that flourished in 16th-century
England.
stilted
Arch that takes the form of a semicircle but is higher than the semicircular arch.
basket handle
Arch that is lower than it is wide and forms an ellipse.
horseshoe
Arch whose extremities extend beyond a semicircle; it is characteristic of Arab architecture.
ogee
Arch comprised of two symmetrical curves that are alternately convex and concave.
lancet
Equilateral arch whose span, or distance between the piers, is reduced.
equilateral
Arch forming an acute angle that is characteristic of the Gothic vault.

examples of roofs [1]


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Roof: the covering of a building that rests on the frame and protects it from inclement
weather.

lean-to roof
Roof with one side only, usually covering a building that is supported by a higher building.
hip roof
Roof composed of two triangular sides (hips) and two trapezoid sides.
gable roof
Sloping roof whose peak angle is very sharp.
pitched roof
Roof with two inclined sides whose peak angle varies.

examples of roofs [2]


Roof: the covering of a building that rests on the frame and protects it from inclement
weather.

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ogee
roof

Two-sided roof that resembles the hull of an overturned ship.


monitor roof
Sloping roof whose raised summit contains windows that let in light and ventilate the loft.
flat roof
Roof whose level surface slopes slightly allowing water to run off.

examples of roofs [3]


Roof: the covering of a building that rests on the frame and protects it from inclement
weather.

mansart roof
Four-sided roof whose slope is gentle at the summit and steep at the base.
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imperial roof
Roof with curved sides that resembles a crown.
sawtooth roof
Roof composed of a series of small roofs with two asymmetrical sides, the steepest of which
often contains a window.

examples of roofs [4]


Roof: the covering of a building that rests on the frame and protects it from inclement
weather.

conical broach roof


Conical roof usually surmounting a turret.
hip-and-valley roof
Roof formed where two gable roofs cross.
dome roof
Roof covering a large dome that sometimes rises above the rest of the roof.
bell roof
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Roof covering the hollow semicircular vault of a building (dome).

examples of roofs [5]


Roof: the covering of a building that rests on the frame and protects it from inclement

weather.

rotunda roof
Roof with several triangular sides on a polygonal base.
pavilion roof
Roof with four triangular sides that form a pyramid.
sloped turret
Many-sided roof whose slope is steep at the summit and gentle at the base.
helm roof
Pyramidal or conical roof that usually surmounts a tower or bell tower.

Examples of windows
Windows: bays built into a wall and containing glass to let in light and air.

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louvered window
Window whose glass louvers rotate along a horizontal axis.
sash window
Window with one or more overlapping sashes that slide open vertically.
vertical pivoting window
Window whose sash rotates along a vertical axis located at its midpoint.
sliding folding window
Sliding window whose sash is composed of a series of articulated panels that fold together
when opened.
sliding window
Window with one or more sashes that move horizontally along a groove.
horizontal pivoting window
Window whose sash rotates along a horizontal axis located at its midpoint.
casement window

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Window with one or two sashes that open out, pivoting vertically along a hanging stile.
French window
Window with two sashes that open in, pivoting vertically along a hanging stile.

Examples of doors [1]


Doors: composed of a movable part, the wing, and a frame; their function is to close up a bay.

manual revolving door


Rotating door comprised of three or four plateglass wings that, when pushed, pivot around a
vertical axis in the manner of a turnstile.
canopy
Metal ring forming the upper part of the enclosure, where the guide rail for the wings is
located.
wing
One of the vertical sections of the revolving door.
push bar
Horizontal part that is pushed to move the revolving door.
compartment
Part bordered by two wings where one or more people enter and push the door to make it
rotate.
enclosure
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Intermediary space between two rooms or a room and the outside, where the door is placed.

examples of doors [2]


Doors: composed of a movable part, the wing, and a frame; their function is to close up a bay.

automatic sliding door


Door activated by a motion detector that causes the wings to slide along a rail.
wing
The part of the door that moves.
motion detector
Device that detects the presence of a person and is set to open and close the wings.
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Examples of doors [3]


Doors: composed of a movable part, the wing, and a frame; their function is to close up a bay.

folding door
Sliding door whose wing is composed of two articulated panels that fold together when
opened.
sliding folding door
Sliding door whose wing is composed of articulated panels that fold together when opened.
conventional door
Door made up of a wing that opens and closes by pivoting on hinges.
sliding door
Panel or panels of a door sliding horizontally along a set of tracks.

Examples of doors [4]


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Doors: composed of a movable part, the wing, and a frame; their function is to close up a bay.
strip door
Door comprised of strips of flexible plastic; it allows easy movement between two rooms.
strip
Each of the flexible plastic bands that overlap to close the bay and move apart to allow a
person through.
sectional garage door
Door whose wing is composed of articulated horizontal panels that slide along rails into the
roof of the garage.
up and over garage door
Door made up of a wing that slides toward the ceiling of the garage.
fire door
Fireproof door that delays the spread of flames and smoke during a fire.
traditional houses [1]
The dwellings, current or of former times, that characterize a given culture.
hut
Rudimentary dwelling made from tree branches and straw.
hut
Dwelling of African countries, usually made of straw and clay and covered with a straw roof.
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yurt
Portable dwelling of the nomadic peoples of central and northern Asia composed of a wooden
frame covered with felt.
wigwam
Round or oval dwelling of North American Indians made of poles covered with bark, matting
and skins.
igloo
Dome-shaped Inuit dwelling made of blocks of snow or ice.

Traditional houses [2]


The dwellings, current or of former times, that characterize a given culture.

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adobe house
Dwellings found in Latin America and southwestern U.S. made of clay bricks and sun-dried
straw.
ladder
Movable wooden implement with rungs, for reaching the roof.
beam
Heavy horizontal piece that transfers the weight of the roof onto the support structure.
pile dwelling
Dwelling built over water or wet land and supported by posts.
tepee
Conical dwelling of the Indians of the North American plains, made of poles covered with
skins.
isba
Dwelling of various countries in northern Europe, especially Russia, made of the wood of the
fir tree.
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City houses
Dwelling types found in large urban centers.

town houses
Houses of the same height built in more or less the same style and separated by party walls.
high-rise apartment
Tall building containing multiple dwellings.
semidetached cottage
Single-family dwelling separated from another dwelling by a party wall.
condominiums
Group of lodgings belonging to separate owners who share the buildings maintenance costs.
one-story house
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Single-family dwelling that contains only one level, the first floor.
two-story house
Single-family dwelling that contains two levels, the first floor and a second floor.

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