Architectural and Engineering Glossary

Rafter House

In the Chesapeake Bay area of colonial America,a house of a relatively temporary nature,in which the lower ends of the roof rafters rested directly on the ground;a forerunner of the modern A frame house.

Rafter Plate

A plate,2 which supports the lower end of rafters and to which they are fixed.rafter roof  A double roof structure that usually has no purlins; if present, they act merely as stiffeners.

Rafter Table

A table of values,usually on a steel square,used by carpenters to determine the lengths and angles of cut for rafters for a roof.

Rafter Tail

The part of a rafter which overhangs the wall.


A large roofing slate that has one edge untrimmed.

Rag Bolt

Same as lewis bolt.

Rag Felt

An asphaltic felt fabricated from the fibers of rags;used for roofing paper and shingles. 

Rag Joint

Same as rubbed joint. 

Rag Rubble

A type of rubblework composed of thin small stones.

Rag-rolled Finish

A decorative effect on a painted surface;made by rolling a piece of twisted rag over a coat of wet paint so as to remove portions of it and show the color of the base coat.A similar effect can be achieved with a special paint roller.

Raggle Block

See raggle. 

Raggle, Reglet, Raglin

1.A manufactured unit,often of terracotta,having a groove to receive flashing;also called a raggle block or flashing block.2.A groove cut in stone or brickwork to receive flashing.


A raggle.


A raggle.


1.A rough,shelly,sandy limestone with layers of marl and sandstone.2.In masonry,stone quarried in thin blocks or slabs.


1.Crude masonry,laid in a random pattern of thin bedded,undressed stone,such as flagging;most commonly set horizontally.2. Polygonal rubble, set on edge,that serves as an exterior facing.


1.A bar of wood or other material passing from one post or other support to another;a hand support along a stairway.2.A structure consisting of rails and their sustaining posts,balusters,or pillars,and constituting an enclosure or a line of division,as a balcony rail.
3.A horizontal piece in a frame or paneling as a door rail,or in the framework of a window sash.

Rail Bead

A cock bead when on a uniform continuous surface,and not at an angle,reveal,or the like.

Rail Bolt

A handrail bolt.

Rail Fence

A fence in which the rails are set into the posts;adjoining rails either butt against each other or overlap.Also called a zigzag fence.

Rail Pile

A pile fabricated from railroad rails which are welded together and driven as a unit. 

Rail Steel Reinforcement

Steel reinforcing bars that have been hot rolled from standard T-section rails.


1.Rails,collectively,or a combination of rails.2.Any openwork construction or rail used as a barrier or the like.

Railroad Flat

A narrow apartment whose rooms are in a straight line;one must pass through each room to get to the next one because there is no internal corridor.Only the front and rear rooms have windows;air shafts along one or both sides of the apartment provide ventilation and a little light in the interior rooms.Primarily constructed on the east coast of America in the 1880s;also called a dumbbell tenement.

Rain Cap

A device which is installed at the upper termination of a chute or vent,above the roof of a building,to prevent rain from entering the interior of the chute;often includes a screen to prevent the entry of birds.

Rain Leader

See downspout.

Rainbow Roof

1.Same as compass roof.2.Same as ship’s bottom roof.

Raindrop Figure

A mottled figure in wood veneer;resembles a raindrop pattern.


Constructed,protected,and/or treated to prevent rain from interfering with the successful operation of apparatus.


Constructed,protected,and/or treated so that exposure to intense rainfall will not result in the entrance of water.

Rainwater Conductor

Same as downspout.

Rainwater Conductor Head,rainwater Hopper Head

Same as leader head.

Rainwater Head

See leader head.

Rainwater Pipe

A downspout.

Rainwater Shoe

At the foot of a downspout,a short fitting with a bend to discharge the rainwater clear of the building.

Raised Barn

Occasionally,a synonym for a bank barn.

Raised Basement

A basement whose floor level is much higher than usual,so that its ceiling is well above (usually one story above) ground level. 

Raised Cottage

1.Cottage on stilts or built up piers to protect it from groundwater.2.Same as raised house.

Raised Floor

A floor fabricated entirely of square plates that rest on interlocked pedestals attached to the structural floor of a building.The plates usually are fabricated of aluminum and are covered with cork,carpet, or vinyl tiles.The plates can be removed to provide convenient access to the cables beneath;used extensively in computer rooms.

Raised Flooring System

A system of flooring consisting of completely removable and interchangeable floor panels which are supported on adjustable pedestals and/or stringers to allow free access to the area beneath.

Raised Girt, Flush Girt, Raised Girth

A girt which is parallel to the floor joists and level with them.

Raised Grain

1.In dressed softwood lumber,surfaces in which the hard summerwood is raised above the soft springwood.2.In hardwoods,fibers protruding above the normal surface;usually caused by wetting.

Raised House

In the American South,a house or cottage having a raised basement;this cellar,whose floor is at ground level,often functions as a service area, shop,office,or stable.The main floor (one story above) contains the family living quarters.The exterior walls typically are whitewashed brick,stone,plaster,or stucco.A porch (galerie),extends across the entire façade and sometimes along both sides as well;French doors opening onto the porch promote the flow of air during very hot weather. Also see plantation house.

Raised Joint

Same as excess joint.

Raised Molding

Same as bolection molding.

Raised Panel, Fielded Panel

A panel with the center portion thicker than the edges or projecting above the surrounding frame or wall surface.When exposed on both sides (as on both sides of a door),it is called a double raised panel.

Raised Porch

In French Vernacular architecture of Louisiana in the 18th century,the galerie of a raised house.

Raised Table

A flat horizontal raised surface which is large in area compared to its elevation above its surroundings.


See lifting.

Raising Bee

See barn raising.