Architectural Terms

Bead or Beaded-Edge

The distinctive shadow line along clapboard or horizontal siding. Seen in the Farm House


Blind Pegs

A small piece of wood used for fastening something to something else. “Blind” means that is it not easily seen once in place.
Seen in the Wagon House


A long, thin board, thicker along one edge than the other, installed horizontally as the exterior wall covering of buildings with the thick edge of each board overlapping the thin edge of the board below it.  Known also as horizontal or lap siding. 

It has been the first choice of colonists to protect their homes from the weather by using overlapping wood planks on the sides of their homes. 

Clapboard houses were most prevalent in the New England States. It was considered “dressy” to use clapboard for exterior boards, especially when many of the earlier homes were of log structure and meant to be temporary dwellings for the colonists. Clapboard also kept out the winter winds yet allowed the house to breathe in summer.  Seen in the Farm House and the Cow Barn

Collar Ties

A collar tie is a horizontal roof rafter compression connector that is located in the uppermost third of the span of a pair of opposed sloped or “gable roof” rafters.

By upper third, here we mean one-third of the length of the rafter from ridge to top plate. In finding this location we do not count the additional length of the rafter that supports the roof eaves, overhang, or soffit.

A collar tie is used to prevent rafters from separating from the ridge, a structural failure that can be caused by snow loads, wind loads, or un-balanced roof loading for any other event or force that causes the roof to begin to move downwards or to collapse. Seen in the Wagon House

Dutch Framing

Dutch Framing is a style of domestic architecture, primarily characterized by gambrel roofs (a roof with two sides, each of which has a shallower slope above a steeper one) having curved eaves along the length of the building. Seen in the Wagon House

English Framing

Also known as the Three Bay Barn, the English Barn had its doors centred on the long sides of the structure as opposed to its end and tended to be tall and narrow one story buildings. Typically built for grain farming. The two end bays functioned as mows and the middle bay as the threshing floor. Seen in the English Barn


Hand-wrought Nails

Nails have been in use since the beginning of the Bronze Age, ca. 1800 B.C. From the beginning of the Bronze Age (ca. 1800 bc) until the beginning of the 19th century, ca. 1790-1810, most nails were made entirely by hand at the forge.

Nails made entirely by hand or headed by hand–were done by metal workers specializing in nail-making as well as blacksmiths who made nails part time or to order. Most of these nails were formed from a nail rod, a bar of iron available from iron mills close to the approximate size of the nail. Nail rods were at first imported by American nail makers from mills in England but later used bars made in the colonies. Seen in the Farm House

Long Pegged

A post-and-beam  construction, structures were created using squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs, known as “long pegs”. 
Seen in the English Barn

Mortise and Tenon

A joint made by inserting “tenon” (projection at the end of a piece of wood that is shaped to fit) into a “mortise” (a square holes in another piece of wood). A mortise joint is formed by interlocking tenons and mortises.  Seen in the English Barn and the Cow Barn


An un-fired brick made of a mixture of clay and straw which was placed inside the walls of a dwelling to provide some insulation and structural strength. Seen in the Farm House


A groove cut into the top and bottom of shiplap.  Seen in the English Barn


Boards, plywood, or insulation board nailed to wall and roof framing before the exterior covering is applied.  Seen in the Cow Barn


Traditional wooden shiplap has a rabbet (or groove) cut into the top and bottom, which allows the pieces to fit together snugly, forming a tight seal. This also gives shiplap its distinctive appearance, with subtle horizontal reveals between each piece.  Seen in the English Barn

Tie Beam

A tie beam (also known as a cross beam)  is the transverse framing member connecting the front and rear wall plates. It is the bottom member of the roof truss to which the feet of the rafters are attached, restraining their outward thrust against the walls.  Seen in the English Barn

Vertical Board Siding

Oftentimes called board and batten siding, or “barn siding” as it used to be referred to back in early colonial times. It runs up and down, in different vertical widths around the home.  Seen in the Cow Barn

Wind Brace

A slanted support of framing lumber used to stiffen the structure at specific points. Seen in the English Barn


Farmstead Arts Center, 450 King George Road, Basking Ridge, New Jersey 07920 | (908) 636 7576


Our office and gallery are reopened to the public in compliance with NJ Covid-19 protocols.
The best way to reach us is by email at
Check out our art, guitar and photography classes!

All Rights Reserved 2022 © Farmstead Arts Center