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Community and Q&A

Visual dictionary for building terms/glossary?

Andrew_C | Posted in General Questions on

I know there’s a Glossary link in the upper right corner of the GBA website, but is there the equivalent of a visual dictionary for common building components? Ok, I know there are some out there (e.g.,, but is there a good one online that people have used, and is it possible to include a link to it from GBA? I don’t always know the names of the building components (e.g., which part of a window is the stool?), and from other poster’s questions I can tell that not everyone knows a rafter from a joist.


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  1. charlie_sullivan | | #1
  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    My blog (the one Charlie linked to) addressed common confusions over "window stool," "rafter," and "joist."

    Perhaps the easiest way to use the web to do what you would like is to enter a term -- for example, "P-trap" -- into Google, and then click "Google Images." You will immediately see 100 photos and drawings of the term you are curious about.

  3. Andrew_C | | #3

    The blog post is behind the pay wall; I haven't bitten the bullet yet, although I realize I waste money regularly on other things and get less value.

    Good suggestion about using Google Images. I will experiment.

    The beauty of a real visual dictionary is that you don't have to know what you're looking for - you just look up a general term (say, chimney) and you get everything related to it. But perhaps Google Images can provide similar.


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