Architectural Salvage Terms to Become a More Educated Shopper

Like medicine, the law, engineering and most professions there are some terms that are used by “the pros” that create a unique dialogue that those individuals who work in the field use. Architectural Salvage has it’s own “jargon” that salvage operatives use. In my last article I told you some ways to locate the architectural treasures in your area…In this article I will give you 5 interesting architectural terms to use as you explore the world of salvaged items!

1. Newel posts- These are the wonderful architectural pieces that provide the support at the beginning of a staircase. They typically are quite detailed and make wonderful “stand alone” accent pieces for your designs.

2. Ballusters- Spindles that connect the top and bottom railing of a staircase. In a previous article I explained how to turn them into candle holders. They also make beautiful wood trim details when ripped in half on a table saw.

3. Plinth Blocks- Sometime also called “bullseyes”. These are really interesting square molding accents with very unusual carving or elevations. They are typically square and from 1″ to 6″ on each side. Great accents for a table, wall or base of a vertical design piece.

4. Crown Molding- Decorative wood trim usually used at the junction of ceiling and wall as a visual accent. This molding also makes “killer” picture frames with a architectural accent.

5. Window guards- Some of our favorite decorative items! For design as well as decorative purposes. These are iron security gates that were constructed with “returns” on the top and bottom of both sides of the iron piece so that it could be secured to a wall and cover the window. The returns make it very easy to secure them to a interior or exterior wall. They range in style from simple to very elaborate and are great to use in your home or garden.

We have been getting a lot of folks coming into our salvage store and struggling over how to describe the architectural items they are looking for. I will send out to cyberspace some “buzz words” on a regular basis and improve my readers vocabulary (architectural).

We hope that you can use this jargon to “impress your friends” and “show off a little” on your next visit to your favorite antique store, salvage yard or demolition company. We’ll give you a little more “ammunition to fire with” next time!