Architectural and Engineering Glossary


Hammer Ax

A lath hammer.

Hammer Beam

One of a pair of short horizontal members attached to the foot of a principal rafter in a roof,in place of a tie beam.

Hammer Beam Roof

A roof supported by hammer beams.

Hammer Brace

A bracket under a hammer beam to support it.

Hammer Dressed

Said of stone masonry which has been shaped and brought to a relatively smooth finish by means of a hammer only. 

Hammer Finish

A paint finish which appears to have been applied over hammered metal;produced by the use of nonleafing metallic pigment plus tinting pigments which are mixed in a special binder.

Hammer Post

A pendant which is in the shape of a pilasterserves as an impost for a hammer brace.

Hammered Glass

Translucent glass made by embossing rolled glass on one side to resemble beaten meta

Hammerhead Crane

A heavy duty jib crane with a counterbalance,giving it a T shaped appearance.

Hammerhead Key

See double dovetail key.


Said of a chisel which is to be struck with a hammer,rather than a mallet.


The curve of shorter radius which adjoins the impost at each side of a three or four centered arch.

Hance Arch

Same as hanse arch.


1.The direction, left or right, of the swing of a door (when viewed from the side usually considered the outside) or associated doorframes or hardware. A left-hand door has hinges on the left and the door swings away;a left-hand reverse door swings toward the viewer.A right hand door has hinges on the right and swings away.A right-hand reverse door swings toward the viewer.2.Of a spiral stair,designates the direction of turn of the stair.Right-hand refers to a stair on which the user turns clockwise as he descends.Left hand refers to a stair on which the user turns counter-clockwise as he descends.

Hand Brace

Same as brace,3.

Hand Clamp

Same as screw clamp

Hand Elevator

A very small elevator driven by manual power,once used to carry written communications and light goods between floors.

Hand Float

A wooden tool used to fill in and float a plaster surface;used to produce a level base coat or a textured finish coat.

Hand Level

A hand held surveying instrument used for rough checks of elevations and leveling work,usually limited in use to a radius of 200 ft (approx. 60 m) from an established elevation.Consists of a metal sighting tube (but no telescope) in which a spirit level is observed opposite the horizontal cross hair.

Hand Line

A line used to hand operate a counterweight,curtain,or other component in the rigging system of a theater stage.

Hand Plate

See push plate. 

Hand Screw

Same as screw clamp.

Hand Snips

Same as tin snips.

Hand-dressed Stone

Same as dressed stone.

Hand-wrought Nail

See wrought nail.


Same as a manhole,except that it is smaller in size;often located at the termination of an underground service entrance.

Handicap Accessibility

See Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Handling Reinforcement

The reinforcement of a product that is required or desirable to prevent its damage during its moving,handling,unloading,and storage,prior to its final installation.

Handling Rope

Same as hand line. 

Handrail Bolt,joint Bolt,rail Bolt

A metal rod with threads and a nut at each end;used to bolt together two mating surfaces in a butt joint.

Handrail Height

The vertical distance between the upper surface of a top rail and the finish floor.

Handrail Scroll

A spiral handrail end. 

Handrail Wreath

Same as handrail scroll. 


1.Same as handrail.2.Handrail construction which includes the provision of handrail scrolls about landings and winders.


Any hand held saw for cutting wood having a handle at one end;operated manually.


A shed or shelter,particularly a structure for the shelter,service,and repair of aircraft. 

Hanger Bolt

A bolt having a machine bolt thread on one end and a tapered lag-screw thread on the other;used in heavy timber construction.


1.The mounting of a door on its frame on hinges.2.The mounting of an operable window sash in its frame.

Hanging Buttress

In later Gothic architecture and derivatives,a freestanding vertical rib or buttress which is supported from a wall by a corbel rather than by its own foundation.

Hanging Gable

A small extension of the roof structure beyond the end wall,at the gable end of a barn or house; usually located at the ridge;encloses a heavy beam that supports the rigging used to hoist materials to upper stories.

Hanging Gutter

A metal gutter which is hung from the eaves of a roof by metal ties,sometimes with support from the fascia.

Hanging Jamb

That part of a doorframe to which the hinges are attached.

Hanging Pew

A pew raised on posts and usually set apart from the less prestigious seating,accessed by a private stair.

Hanging Post

The post on which a gate or door is hung.

Hanging Rail

The rail of a door to which a hinge is fastened.

Hanging Sash

A hung sash.

Hanging Scaffold

A scaffold that is suspended by ropes and pulleys.

Hanging Shingling

Shingling on vertical or near vertical slopes.

Hanging Stair,hanging Step

1.A stone step cantilevered from the wall and free at the other end.2.See cantilever steps.

Hanging Step

A step usually constructed without a continuous carriage,1 for support;instead the steps are bolted together so that each step provides support for the one above and the one below;used,for example,in architecture of the Shakers,a religious sect of English origin that settled in America in the late 18th century.