Plan Spec & Features Glossary

See an unfamiliar term? Here you'll find a primer with definitions for the little details that make all the difference in your home's design. Need more information about a design element? We're happy to answer your questions.

Garage Load

Garage Load refers to the way that you drive up to your home and where your garage is located. It can vary depending on your home’s lot size, front elevation, and road orientation.

  • Front Load

    This is a very popular option for homes with smaller lot sizes. With a front-load garage, you can easily pull directly in and out of your garage without having to navigate tight turns.

  • Side Load

    Requires a larger plot of land so that cars can pull into the driveway and around to the side of the home. A side-load garage offers you more privacy when entering and leaving your home and guest cars parked in your driveway won’t block the front view.

  • Carriage Load

    This garage load style combines the ease of a front load with the enhanced facade of a side load. The home’s entrance is situated between the separate garage bays, allowing interior access from two sides of the home while preserving front entry access.

  • Rear Load

    For homes with street access in the rear of the property, a rear load garage makes an elegant choice. It entirely preserves the home’s front facade while still allowing convenient access from the road, similar to a front load style.

  • Split Load

    A split load garage combines the best aspects of front load and side load styles, with perpendicular entrances at the side of the home. Like a carriage load, this allows interior access to two different parts of the home while preserving front entry access.

Lot Features

Lot features can vary depending on their size, shape, elevation, and road orientation. In addition, natural elements like mature landscaping, water features, and views can affect the way the home is situated.

  • Acreage

    A wide, shallow lot greater than 80 ft. in width constitutes acreage. These oversized lots are more commonly seen in estate home communities.

  • Corner

    Homes located at an intersection, typically featuring larger lot sizes and rectangular lot shapes. Corner homes require a side load garage.

  • Cul-de-Sac

    These lots are typically narrow at the front, expanding as you progress towards the back of the house. In some cul-de-sacs, lots are set far back from the road with long driveways in order to provide a more traditional lot shape.

  • Zero Lot Line

    A zero-lot-line house is one in which the front facade comes up to, or very near to, the edge of the property line. Rowhouses, garden homes, patio homes, and townhomes may be zero-lot-line homes, and may be single-story or multi-story, attached -- like a townhome -- or detached.

Extra Features

There are a host of features to consider in designing your new home -- both indoors and out. These features affect your home’s livability, and utility as well as its aesthetic appeal.

Master Bedroom
  • Location - Main Level

    Master bedroom is located on the main level of home.

  • Location - Upper Level

    Master bedroom is located on the upper level of home.

  • His & Hers Closets

    Two separate closets, typically both walk-in designs.

  • Sitting Area

    A separate area, typically with windows, for additional seating, or for use as a reading room or home office.

  • Fireplace

    A highly desirable feature for both living spaces and bedrooms. Fireplaces may be wood-burning or gas-fueled.

Kitchen
  • Butler's Pantry

    Additional counter space designed for preparing and staging serving dishes and trays while entertaining guests. When located between the kitchen and dining area, it becomes an ideal location to serve as a wet bar or buffet. Built-in storage is a common feature, with space for china, glassware, flatware, and table linens along with decorative tableware.

  • Desk Area

    A built-in space designed as a scheduling hub for the busy family, as a correspondence desk, or as a small kitchen library.

  • Galley Sink

    This central workstation hub allows the cook to prep, cook, serve, entertain, and clean up while still being part of the flow of traffic and conversation through the living space.

  • Nook

    An open area adjacent to the kitchen, often with a large window, allowing room for a table and chairs for informal dining.

  • Oversized Kitchen Island

    A standard island measures 8 ft x 4 ft. An oversized kitchen island either combines two islands or measures 10 ft x 5 ft or more.

  • Prep Sink

    A small, secondary sink station meant to compliment your larger, primary sink, especially when prepping ingredients.

  • Walk-in Pantry

    Extra space for storage of shelf-stable canned and dried foods, beverages, or cleaning supplies. A walk-in pantry should have enough space for an individual to stand inside while accessing stored items.

  • Window Over Sink

    A highly desirable feature for both modern and traditional designs.

Bedroom & Bath
  • Split Bedrooms

    In this layout, the master suite is separated or "split" off from the other sleeping zone or area. Bedrooms are on the same level of the home, but on the opposite side from the master bedroom.

  • Walk-in Closet

    A bedroom closet with enough space for someone to stand entirely inside while accessing stored items.

  • Guest Suite

    A partially self-contained bedroom, sitting room, and en suite bathroom or a second bedroom suite designed to maximize privacy for guests.

Laundry Room
  • Connected to Master Suite

    A laundry room can be connected with Master either through the bath or through a closet.

  • Connected to Drop Zone

    A laundry room may be located in an area directly off of the garage with lockers or storage for coats, shoes, sports apparel, and other outdoor items.

  • Washer & Dryer in Master Closet

    A laundry room may be attached to the Master Closet.

  • Window(s)

    A window in the laundry room offers extra light and a source of ventilation.

Garage
  • Detached Garage

    This type of garage is free-standing and completely separated from your home, whether by a few feet or several yards.

  • Oversized Garage

    A parking space is typically 20-22' deep and the width of a garage door with several feet of clearance on each side. If there is extra storage at the back or to the side of the parking spaces, it is considered oversized.

  • Tandem Garage

    This is a two-car garage built so that one car parks in front of the other. Typically, this will mean two cars in the main bay with a tandem third car behind one of those spaces.

Outdoor
  • Balcony

    A terrace enclosed by a wall or balustrade, accessible from an upper-floor window or door.

  • Courtyard

    An open-air terrace located in the center of a building and surrounded on three or four sides by the building’s walls.

  • Large Covered Back Patio

    This will be an oversized patio, either spanning the entire back of the home or protruding several feet into the rear lot.

  • Large Front Porch

    Rather than an entry tower or stoop, a large front porch offers room for additional outdoor seating.

  • Motor Court

    The paved area in common use between two opposing garages.

  • Outdoor Fireplace

    A stunning focal point for an outdoor seating or dining space as well as a source of warmth.

  • Pergola

    An outdoor structure typically consisting of wood columns and rafters supporting an open roof designed to block direct sunlight while allowing air to circulate.

  • Porte Cochere

    This covered driveway allows vehicles to pass through into a hidden garage area or courtyard.

  • Screened Porch

    A covered terrace enclosed by mesh screens in order to keep out insects, leaves, and other undesirable objects.

  • Wrap Around Porch

    A shallow porch enclosing two or three sides of a house and typically found on Low Country-inspired designs.

Additional
  • Two Stairways to Upper Level

    Separate stairways typically in different areas of the home’s interior to allow easy access between floors without a large central staircase.

  • Bonus Space

    A room or space with no designated function, typically found on a home’s lower level or in an upstairs loft space.

  • Bunk Room

    A room designed for multiple users or as temporary sleeping quarters for guests.

  • Exercise Room

    A space designed for fitness equipment, wellness features, or physical activity.

  • Formal Dining Room

    A room designated for formal dining and typically closed off from the kitchen. A formal dining area may be part of an open concept floorplan living space or may be an entirely separate room.

  • Home Office

    A space designed for work at home, usually with a desk and storage. A home office may be located in a den, extra bedroom, or as part of a larger bonus room.

  • Media Room

    A space usually featuring enhanced audio-visual infrastructure and extra seating for media viewing.

  • Game Room Downstairs

    A game room can be located in a finished basement and include built-in storage spaces.

  • Game Room Upstairs

    A game room can be located in an upstairs loft area and can include built-in storage spaces.

  • Game Room Over Garage

    This bonus space is located on the upper level directly above a garage and may also be used as a bonus room or guest room.

  • Sunroom

    This is a sitting room or parlor with many large windows and sometimes a glass roof or skylight.

  • Wet Bar

    A small bar designed for mixing and serving alcoholic beverages which includes a sink with hot and cold water and, perhaps, an ice maker or wine cooler.

  • Wine Room

    A room with storage and temperature control designed for the purpose of storing wine at optimum temperatures. May include a seating area.

  • Basement

    The portion of a home that is partially or entirely below ground level. Basements may be finished, partially finished, or unfinished.

  • Walkout Basement

    A finished basement with access to the exterior of the home, often featuring a terrace or outdoor seating area.

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