Traditional Queensland Building Styles
Many people dream of owning an historic Queenslander style home. But what is a “Queenslander”? The term is generally used to describe any home constructed of timber with an iron roof, but technically it refers to homes built in the 1920 -1940 period with a gable roof over the covered, projecting, and often screened in, entry porch.
What differentiates a cottage from a house? For most of us the term “Cottage” means a small and pretty little home. Originally a cottage meant a house with a core of 4 rooms. A house had a core of more than 4 rooms.
“Colonial” is normally used to describe any spacious house with verandahs, but strictly speaking it refers to homes built of timber and tin prior to 1901. Many of these nineteenth century homes were “single skin” - meaning that they were built with only one thickness of timber between you and the outside world. The timber was usually tongue and grooved and fixed to the inside of the frame. It is also referred to as an „exposed-stud-frameš. These houses may be cute, but they are a bit low on the insulation scale.
A "Bungalow" is a single-storey house, often with overhanging roof, broad eaves and verandahs.
The "Federation" style home was popular from the 1890's to about 1910 and generally refers to the Queen Anne style of architecture. Most Federation style homes on Tamborine Mountain were built between 1920 and 1930.
This section explains some of the many terms used to describe building styles, especially those applicable to the range of homes we normally call Queenslanders.
- Decorative galvanised iron pieces attached to the corners of roof guttering
- The moulding around a door or window
- Two or more structures joined together by a common wall
- A room within the roof of a building
- A light or temporary roof with open sides
- The process of applying thin mortar to a masonry wall with a coarse material such as hessian
- A cantilevered or bracketed platform projecting from a wall with access from an upper storey
- A sloping board fixed to the edge of a gable roof, often decorated by fretwork or similar artistry
- A projection from the outside wall, forming a bow window if curved, a faceted window or bay if angled, an oriel window if suspended above ground level, or a conical bay if its roof is cone-shaped
- A large horizontal support - may be of solid timber, laminated timber or steel
- The main beams above the foundation level which support the joists and floor
- A small open platform, roofed over, and located on top of the roof to provide a view.
- Dressed lengths of timber used for cladding the frame - walls, floor and ceiling. There are many different types.
- Wall cladding of shot-edge boards with the joints covered by timber battens.
- A curved shape such as a bay window
- Brace or Bracing
- A structural member fix at an angle to horizontal or vertical members, e.g. cross-bracing on timber walls.
- Supports, often curved and decorative, beneath a horizontal member.
- A roofed over, and usually open sided, passageway between 2 detached structures.
- A beam spanning a wide opening and supporting the superstructure, e.g. across a stairwell.
- Broken-back roof
- A roof that changes from a steep straight pitch to a lower pitch without any step.
- A convex or curve over, which becomes sharper towards the edge, e.g. a bullnose roof
- A single storey house, usually with overhanging roof, broad eaves and verandahs
- Bungalow roof
- A roof which pitches straight and continuously from the apex (ridge) to the edge on one or more sides.
- A roof which changes from a steep downward pitch to an upward one, like the wings of a butterfly.
- A window hinged on one of its vertical sides to open inwards or outwards like a door
- Cavity-wall (also called Cavity Brick)
- A brick wall laid in 2 close rows which are connected by ties
- Chair-rail (often called Dado-rail)
- A horizontal moulding at chairback height to protect the wall
- A surface made by shaving the right-angled edge of timber or other material at 45 degrees
- Exterior wall cladding of horizontal boards with a recess along top and bottom edges so that each board fits neatly over the other
- A horizontal moulding projecting from the top of an external wall or decorating the junction of the internal wall and the ceiling
- A horizontal layer of some material, especially bricks
- A decorative piece along the top of a wall or roof, e.g. filigree cast iron along the ridge
- Two pieces of timber or steel crossing each other as braces for walls
- The lower part of an internal wall, below chair-rail height, when decorated differently from the upper part.
- A decorative row of small blocks like teeth along the cornice or fascia
- A window with a small roof and sides projecting from a larger sloping roof
- A neat joint between two timbers, the wedge-shaped projections along one edge slotting into the same shaped sockets of the other
- The lower edge of a roof beyond the wall, called close eaves if not projecting far and boxed eaves if lined underneath
- A carved or moulded ornament, usually pointed, at the top of an apex of a structure, e.g. a gable or parapet.
- A small oblong plate, usually of china or metal, fixed behind a door handle or lock for decoration and protection
- A leaf-like decoration (usually carved)
- French Doors
- A pair of casement windows serving as doors, traditionally glazed above and panelled below, but nowadays usually all glass
- Apattern of interlaced, geometric openwork decoration, usually cut in thin timber by means of a fret-saw, and sometimes made of metal
- A continuous band of decoration across the top of a building, or the top of an internal wall between the ceiling and picture-rail
- The upper triangular part of an external wall at the end of a double-pitched roof
- A double pitched roof, sloping straight from the ridge to the eaves on two sides, with a gable on the other two sides
- A grotesque spout projecting from a building to carry off rainwater
- A small tower or summerhouse, usually in a garden
- Grille column - a flat decorative verandah support of cast or wrought iron
- Two small pieces of timber crossing each other to separate joists.
- Hinge housing
- The area chiselled to make a hinge sit flush with the timber
- A roof which is pitched on all 4 sides from the ridge to the eaves
- Hipped-gable (also called Half-hipped, Kentish gable)
- A gabled-roof with the top of the gable sliced off to form a small hip at the end
- Ingle-nook (Cosy corner)
- A room recess, usually with a built-in seat and an open fire
- Dark varnish like Japanese lacquer, often applied to floorboards and door hardware
- Horizontal timbers to which flooring or ceiling is fixed
- Juliet balcony
- A small roofed balcony as at the gable end of an attic
- The wedge-shaped central piece of an arch
- Lath and plaster
- Thin strips of wood nailed to interior surfaces such as studs and ceiling joists and covered with plaster
- Decorative glazing using small rectangular, diamond or other shaped pieces of glass, often coloured, and set in lead strips
- A horizontal beam spanning an opening
- Found in Interwar housing, now usually called an entry foyer
- A horizontal arrangement of overlapping and downward slanting timber or glass slats to admit air but exclude rain (often floor to ceiling in tropical climates)
- A bituminous membrane for covering low roofs or floors in the inter war period
- Double-pitched roof sloping from ridge to eaves on 2 sides, but in 2 different planes with the lower being the steeper and a vertical wall on the other 2 sides
- Decorative structure around and above a fireplace, usually includes a mantleshelf for displaying decorative items
- Originally construction by a mason in stone, but expanded to include brick, concrete block and fibro
- A diagonal joint formed by 2 pieces of timber meeting at an angle
- Blocks or brackets supporting a cornice or eaves (also known as dentils)
- A neat join between 2 timbers, one with a socket to receive the matching projecting end of the other, to make a firm connection without the need for nailing. The piece with the socket is called a female and the piece with the projecting end is called a male.
- A band or strip along a surface or joining 2 surfaces, such as an architrave around a door or window, a cornice where the wall and ceiling meet or a skirting where wall and floor meet.
- The upright post of a staircase which supports the handrail - often turned and decorated
- Either infill of masonry laid as panels between a timber wall-frame or small horizontal pieces of timber fixed between the wall studs
- S-shaped or double curve comprising a convex and a concave section, often seen in decorative archways
- A bay window suspended above ground
- Broad, split or sawn, upright timbers of a fence, e.g. pickets
- The covering of an interior surface with timber, usually as a series of sheets fixed between framing members, called wainscoting if limited to the lower part of the wall
- A wall built higher than the eaves line of a roof - often ornately decorated with balustrades
- A common wall that divides two attached buildings such as terrace houses and modern duplexes - usually of masonry and extending across the front verandah as a firewall
- A large paved outdoor living area
- A room originally built into the corner of a verandah - e.g. a bathroom or laundry
- A decorative gabled or curve-topped feature above a portico - often of timber fretwork
- An open trellis like frame attached to a building and / or supported by posts - used for climbing plants
- Thin verticals in a fence - often with decoratively shaped tops and usually of sawn timber
- Picture rail
- A horizontal moulding fixed to the walls below the ceiling height and shaped to take metal hooks from which to hang art and photos
- Solid columns supporting a building from ground level - traditionally solid masonry, but now including both steel and timber
To be continued...
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Last updated 3 January, 2009