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Common Architetural Terms


a person who designs and oversees the construction of buildings. They ensure a building follows code and will be safe and meet all local regulations. They provide construction documents and their "stamp" is required to build.


although an engineer can perform the same tasks as an architect, they often offer a more specific discipline such as mechanical, civil, or electrical

General Contractor

also referred to as a builder or contractor, this person is in charge of your project. They handle the coordination of deliveries, subcontractors, and general job site daily business. 

Sub Contractor

a contractor who specializes in a specific skill such as a plumber or mason. They are also referred to as  "trades". They are considered as SUB because they often work under the general contractor

Residential Designer

While an architect may design for individuals, corporations, or governments, they often have a wider scope of a project. Residential designers focus on individuals, they focus on lifestyle, space functions & flow, recommend materials, can provide guidance about regulations and work as part of your team with your builder & architect. 


an idea or general notion, not a final design or plan but sketches used to develop a design and communicate to others the idea 


a drawing typically in 3D to express the possible outcome of a finished space, blueprints are often rendered to communicate a project in a realistic setting


a 2D drawing of a specific wall or space 

Construction Documents

these are drawings and supporting documents that your contractor uses to know how to build your space. These are also used to obtain building permits from your municipality and are typically signed or "stamped" by an architect or engineer

Feng Shui

is an ancient Chinese art of arranging buildings, objects, and spaces in an environment to achieve harmony and balance


these are the details that support a selection-as in the backsplash tile, the size, shape, layout, finish and  placement, these items are communicated to the trade for proper installation


an inate human instinct to connect with nature. Biophilic design has been found to support cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being.

Universal Design

 the design of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors. Also referred to as "Aging in place".


a retailer that typically only sells and provides materials to the trades

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