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Custom Rehab Week 01

This upcoming project is a little different from my usual ones. This is a rehab. This custom dollhouse belongs to a neighbor and she was ...

Wednesday, January 17

Dollhouse Parts Glossary

Many of the parts for your dollhouse have the same architectural names as their life size counterparts. The instructions of your dollhouse may use these terms in describing its parts. Some kits do not necessarily use the real architectural terms to describe certain parts but use terms that you will have to become familiar with. This is especially true if your instructions do not come with pictures.

Many of these terms are self explanatory but other ones have never been heard before until a dollhouse kit is opened for the first time. Below you will find the most common terms used in dollhouse kits and their definitions, with an illustrated example of what each part is.

Remember, this glossary is based on the common language used in dollhouse instructions only. It is not necessarily based on correct architectural definitions or terminology. If you would like more information or search other terms not listed here, visit these helpful sites:

Dictionary of Architectural Terms
Types Of Moulding and Strip Wood
Types Of Woodworking Tools
Types Of Wood

INDEX

CHIMNEYS AND FIREPLACES
Flue
Hearth
Hearth Floor
Mantel

COMPONENTS
Bays And Bay Windows
Foundation Or Base
Hinges
Partitions
Pediment
Tower
Trim
Turret Or Tower Roof
Widows Walk

DOORS
Door Trim
Lites
Panels

EXTERIOR TRIM
Apex Trim
Brackets Or Corbels
Finials
Corner Trim Or Side Trim
Gable Trim
Gingerbread Or Vergeboards
Key Stone
Lattice
Roof Trim
S Hooks
Shingles
Siding

INTERIOR TRIM
Baseboards
Crown Moulding

PORCHES
Fascia
Porch Posts
Porch Railings
Porch Trim
Soffit

ROOFS
Eaves
Gable
Gusset
Gutter
Mansard

STAIRCASES
Balusters Or Staircase Railings
Bannister
Landing
Riser
Stringer
Staircase Opening
Staircase Post
Staircase Trim
Tread Or Steps

WINDOWS
Dormers And Dormer Windows
Double Hung Windows
Mullion
Shutters
Sill
Sill Trim
Silk Screening
Window Casing
Window Frames

Chimneys And Fireplaces

The world of the modern house has little space left for a fireplace so these words might sound like they are in a foreign language in this day and age. We all know what chimneys and fireplaces are but what in the world do those other words mean?

Flue
The enclosed passage where smoke travels from your fireplace to the outside. Some flues are a single channel but other flues have divisions to create several channels.


Hearth
This is the front fa├žade of your fireplace.


Hearth Floor
This is the base where the hearth will sit on.


Mantel
This is the horizontal shelf part that sits on top of the hearth.

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Components

The parts that make your dollhouse are like a puzzle. You'll need to know their names so you can fit them together and see the finished picture.

Bays
This is a compartment created in a room that has its own walls, windows, roof and floor space. From the exterior of a house it looks like a protruding room within a room.



A bay window is any window located within a bay compartment. Sometimes it has a window seat.



Foundation
This is the base of a dollhouse where all the walls and floors will rest on.


Hinges
Dollhouse hinges can come in several varieties but they are used to swing open and close wall panels in order to have access to inner rooms.


Partitions
This is the name given to the interior walls that divide rooms in a dollhouse.


Pediment
Decorative piece over a window or door. If your dollhouse is a dye-cut model, this piece is made from laminating several parts of wood together in order to create depth and architectural details.


Tower
A tower resembles a bay in that it is also a compartment in a room that has its own walls, windows, roof and floor but it differs in that it continues to the upper floor rooms and is usually taller than the rest of the roof line. It can be rounded or square.


Trim
This is any part that goes over a joint or edge for aesthetic purposes or to add depth and layers.


Turret
Most dollhouse instructions will refer to this simply as a "tower roof". It usually has a finial and it's the same shape as the tower.


Widows Walk
This is a railing that goes around a flat roof area. In real life, many New England homes near the sea had widow's walks on their roofs so women could look out and see if their husbands had arrived from a sea voyage. Most did not, hence the term "widow's walk".

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Doors

Doors say a lot about the character of a house and its style. They come in many shapes and sizes but you will most commonly encounter what's below.

Door Trim
This part goes around the door edges on the interior and exterior of the house. It’s the equivalent of a real size door frame or casing.


Lites
These are small windows that line the tops of some doors. Their real life counterparts are referred to as transom windows.


Panels
This is a raised decorative rectangular shape on a door. Commonly a door has anywhere from two to six of these but some doors have more.

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Exterior Trim

Your dollhouse will come with many beautiful details but you can't place them properly if you don’t know where they go. Below I have the more common ones used in dollhouse kits.

Apex Trim
Dollhouse instructions usually refer to this as "gable trim". This is a triangular shaped, decorative piece added to the bottom outer edge of a gable roof peak.


Brackets
This is a decorative piece that is added underneath a roof or pediment edge. This term also describes decorative pieces that are added to the inside corners of an open walkway. It can also be referred to as a corbel.


Finials
This is the decorative piece that is added to the end of a roof peak or the first staircase baluster. It can also be used in a variety of other places as well, including furniture.


Corner Trim
This is the trim that is used on the exterior walls where two joints meet. It is mostly used on sided houses. Sometimes it can be referred to as "side trim".


Gable Trim
This term is often used to describe vergeboards in the dollhouse world but it also can mean the strip of trim that goes under the gable, flush to its outer edge. Vergeboards are placed behind this trim. It adds depth and layers to the vergeboards.


Gingerbread
This is the decorative trim that hangs off gables and porches and makes up the bulk of all the elaborate decoration of a dollhouse. Most dollhouse instructions will simply refer to all gingerbread as "trim". The gingerbread that trims gables is sometimes referred to as vergeboards but most often as "gable trim".


Key Stone
Decorative piece added to the tops of window or door frames.


Lattice
A crisscross pattern in wood. This is usually used for foundations or porches.


Roof Trim
This is a decorative strip that is added to the top ridge of a roof where its two panels meet. It can be made with basic L shaped trim, dowels, gingerbread or shingles.


S Hooks
These little hooks come in black or brass and are applied to the bottoms of shutters.


Shingles
This is the most common roof covering for dollhouses. Shingles are usually made of thin birch veneer wood and shakes are made of thicker cedar wood. They can come in strips or as individuals and are glued in staggered rows, slightly overlapping each other.



Siding
This is the most popular exterior wall covering. It usually comes in thin birch veneer strips that are glued to the wall horizontally and slightly overlapping each other but it can also come in pre-milled sheets.

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Interior Trim

Interior trim gives a dollhouse a nice finished look. There is a lot of trim to choose from but you will most likely use these two.

Baseboards
The trim that goes around the bottom edge of the interior walls where the floor and walls meet.


Crown Moulding
The trim that goes around the upper edge of the interior walls where the ceiling and walls meet.

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Porches

Before you can enjoy that wraparound porch, you're going to have to know what its parts are so you can build it.

Fascia
This is a trim part that goes on the front of columns or posts. The term is usually used for porches but can also refer to the wide panel trim on the tops of walls.



Porch Posts
These are the long pieces that hold the roof up over the porch and have railing (balusters) between them. If you have a dye-cut dollhouse you will have to laminate flat wood pieces together to give it a nice three dimensional look but if you bought a 3/8th" cabinet-grade plywood dollhouse, you most likely will have dowel shaped posts or elaborate spindles.



Porch Railing
These are the balusters of the porch world. They go between the outer posts.


Porch Trim
Your dollhouse, if it’s a dye-cut model, may come with porch trim for the bottom of the railings. Sometimes this trim is also used on the posts to give them a more three dimensional look. A lot of dollhouse instructions will refer to a porches gingerbread as porch trim.


Soffit
This is an interior part that holds the porch posts straight and makes them sturdy.

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Roofs

Dollhouse roofs come in a variety of styles but the names for their parts can be very confusing.

Eaves
This is a piece that hangs off the edge of a roof.


Gable
This is a popular type of roof for dollhouses. It’s triangle shaped caused by two angeled roof panels meeting together at the top.


Gusset
This is a pretty elusive part. It's basically a small triangle shaped piece that goes on the inner top peak of a gable roof, flat against the wall. It can be used on the exterior or the interior of a house and its purpose is to give more strength to the gable roof.


Gutter
A channel that travels along the bottom edge of a roof line to drain water. Some come with a down spout to create more realism. Many Dura-Craft Dollhouses would include this part for their dollhouses in their kits but the majority of kits out there do not. It’s a part you would have to buy separately if you want it.



Mansard
This is a type of roof that is curved on all sides and flat on the top. Some dollhouses have mansard roofs that are not truly curved but rather the panels sit at a slight angle where they are wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.


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Staircases

Some staircases come pre-assembled and others come in dozens of parts. The instructions are so much easier when you know just what they are referring to.

Balusters
These are the posts that hold up the hand rail of a staircase. If your dollhouse is a dye-cut model, this term might not ever be used to describe this part but rather it will most likely be called a “staircase rail”.


Bannister
This is the trim that goes over the balusters or rails, that people hold on to as they go up and down the stairs. Dollhouse instructions usually refer to this as "railing trim".


Landing
The starting or ending point of a staircase. This is also the area you can walk into and turn around on, to continue going up the next flight of stairs if the staircase is winding.


Riser
This is the vertical part that goes between each step.


Stringer
This piece is basically the sides of the staircase that hold the risers and treads in place.


Staircase Opening
This is the opening on top floors for the staircase to go through or create a landing.


Staircase Post
This is the first and last baluster that usually has a decorative finial on the top and are longer in length than the balusters between them.


Staircase Trim
If you have a dye-cut house you may have a lot of trim parts for your staircase. They are added to the bottoms of the “railing” and also the front and sides of posts to give it a more three dimensional look. Some dye-cut staircases come with trim that creates panels or other decorative effects to the staircase.



Tread
This is the horizontal part you step on.

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Windows

They say the windows are the most important feature of a houses exterior and they are the invitation to its interior. First you’ll need to know the parts to build your dollhouse windows properly or no one will want to come inside.

Dormers
The indented space in the interior of an attic wall caused by a dormer window. It usually has a triangular shape but doesn’t have to. This space can be used as extra room space, a shelf or a window seat, depending on its design.



Double Hung Windows
This is the type of window that has two frames so they look like they can open and close in an up and down sliding motion.



Mullion
The thin wood pieces that are usually in a cross shape to divide the glass panels. If you have a dye-cut dollhouse, the mullions are silk screened onto the windows rather than made of real wood.


Shutters
External window coverings that open and close. In the dollhouse world you would have to hinge them to be able to move them. The ability to do this depends on how the windows are designed. Most dollhouse shutters are usually left fixed instead of movable.


Sill
The bottom part of the window where it rests. Some dollhouses have interior and exterior sills.


Sill Trim
This trim can be placed on the interior or the exterior of dollhouses. It’s a piece that goes right under the sill, usually to hide gaps or add a decorative effect.


Silk Screening
These are decorative designs drawn on acetate windows, usually in white, to give them the appearance of mullions, leaded glass or divided glass panels. Most dye-cut dollhouses come with this type of window "glass".


Window Casing
Usually referred to as "window trim" in dollhouse instructions. This is the part that goes around the frames to give the window a nice finished look on the exterior and the interior.


Window Frames
The part where the window “glass” goes on. Most dye-cut dollhouses will not have frames unless they have double hung windows. The window "glass" goes on the actual window casing or "window trim" instead.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

absolutely stunning pictures!

Ann said...

So helpful!!

Joanne said...

I am so glad that I found this!

margie Ann said...

You bring it all together, thank you.

margie Ann said...

Thank you . Your blog save my house and my mind...lol

 

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