As the old saying goes, you know your home like the back of your hand. However, unless you’re a doctor, it’s likely you don’t know the scientific names of every part of your hand. Similarly, your home is an assortment of parts and constructions you’re aware of and use every day. However, you probably couldn’t identify them with anything more specific than “that whatchamacallit” or “that thingamabob over there.” Here’s a guide to the different parts of your house you didn’t know had names to help you become better acquainted with your home.
If you have a tiny, out-of-the-way room or space in your home, you may be the proud owner of a snug. The term originally referred to a small and cozy room in a pub, but the word made the jump into real estate. For example, it describes a built-in bench beside a large window or a fireplace with enough room for a couch or a couple of chairs. There, you can sit comfortably, stretch out, snooze, read, or do whatever relaxing thing comes to mind.
When considering the different parts of your house you didn’t know had names, you may need to look around and even down to find them. Window wells are those sunken spaces in front of your basement windows. They’re there to ensure that sunlight can brighten up your basement while keeping out dirt, water, snow, pests, and more. You can also consider window wells as escape hatches in case you need to leave or get into your basement in an emergency. They can have some problems, so window wells require periodic maintenance to do their job. On the other hand, you can also paint, decorate, and otherwise prettify them, so you have a lovelier view from downstairs.
Some older homes have an upstairs or downstairs area (and sometimes above a garage) that provides all anyone needs to live privately and comfortably, including a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, recreation room, and separate entrance. The common term for these areas varies, but in-law apartments and granny flats are the most popular ones. As the names suggest, these separate living areas are accommodations for relatives, usually aging ones. However, they nowadays serve as extra rentable space or even a way for adult children to take their first steps toward independence.
Windows tend to be at eye level, but a clerestory raises them to new heights. Specifically, clerestories involve putting a bank of windows along the attic or upper reaches of a room to allow even more light and heat in while maintaining privacy. Some clerestories have windows you can open and close from below, allowing in more fresh air and permitting better ventilation. Unsurprisingly, the term has a clerical background, referring to the high walls with windows that let light into ancient cathedrals.
Perhaps your clerestory isn’t quite so lofty. However, like the other items in this article, isn’t it nice to know what to call it now?