Structural Detailing: What to Know

Structural Detailing Explained


There is a lot of terminology used when describing landscaping projects. Some of them can be difficult to understand without a simple explanation. They are important to know if you are starting a project as they serve different purposes. This article will explain what each one of these building terms mean so you are more informed about what to use. 


One of the most sold pieces of structural detailing which we sell are stone copings. A coping is a decorative stone which covers the top of the wall. They are often used for protection as well to prevent water from seeping to certain parts of a roof or building. 


A common question which we receive is what are lintels? Lintels are beams or stone placed above a doorway to support the weight of the material above. They are fundamental to any design involving a doorway because they are load bearing. This means their purpose is to take and support weight which otherwise would fall. They are also used in a decorative manner, with designs carved into them. Their use is also for fireplaces, windows and portals. This makes them a versatile piece of decoration. Ornaments, carvings or etchings all feature on lintels throughout urban landscapes.  


A related landscaping object to a lintel is a sill. Unlike a lintel, these are on the bottom of the window frame. They are not used for bearing a load to ensure the integrity of the wall. Sills do serve to keep the structure in place, so it is not disturbed by changes surrounding it. They differ from lintels in their design too. They feature a small incline downward on top to ensure rainwater is able to fall off without pooling. They protrude out from the wall to make sure the rain water can drip off instead of running down the wall face. This ensures no discoloration or fading of the wall colour over time. 


Quoins are stone blocks used on the corner of a structure. They provide a distinguishing appearance from the design of the wall. They vary in their use as some buildings need them for structural support. They provide another element of strength to a wall made from less strong material. Others add an aesthetic to the wall which imply greater strength. This gives the building greater perceived integrity when seen by an onlooker. 

What are Jambs? Jambs are the stone posts found on the side of a doorway or any other aperture. This structural detailing differs from the others as it is far more specific in use. Sills, lintels and quoins uses are for a variety of purposes. The use of jambs are for keeping the sides of an aperture smooth and bears the load of the wall on top. This means the wall retains its structural integrity when making a door. It is also what the hinges, bolts and latches attach to when building a doorway. 


The final term this article will describe is a mullion. Mullions are the vertical piece of structural detailing dividing a window or screen. A common example of one would be the dividing stone which sits in the middle of a church window. These are a decorative piece or a structural support. It gives support in two ways; to the window panels insert or to the lintel above. They are also a historical piece of structural detailing. Their use is extensive throughout the European urban landscape. Their use is in Gothic architecture as well as Romanesque. 


More information about the appearance and cost of these structural detailing pieces is on our website at: