Like any industry, the modern homebuilding scene has its own language and terminology that evolved out of need and circumstance.

Some terms you’ll hear are strictly slang — verbal shortcuts that most folks working in the business, instantly understand. Some terms are specific to the various disciplines in the homebuilding industry — plumbing terms used by contractors, for example.

Suffice it to say if you’re building a new custom Florida home, some of the jargon you’ll encounter may leave you feeling as if you’re learning a foreign language.

Being multi-lingual is, of course, a good thing. But learning by immersion isn’t always the best way to get there.

So, we at ICI Homes are happy to explain a homebuilding term or two. Let’s start with “exterior elevation.”

What’s in a word?

The quick explanation is that “exterior elevation” has nothing to do with however many feet something is located above sea level. It has nothing to do with sea level at all, even though your new custom Florida home may be near a beach.

In its simplest form, “exterior elevation” is what your new custom Florida home will look like from the street — its exterior appearance.

But where does the word “elevation” fit in? Since “exterior elevation” really has nothing to do with a “slope” in this context?

Glad you asked!

Wait, there’s more

You’ve probably heard the phrase “there’s more than one fish in the sea.” Well, there’s more than one explanation for “exterior elevation.”

It absolutely does mean what the front of your new home will look like. In fact, imagine standing in a neighbor’s yard across the street and taking a phone photo of your finished home. That’s your “exterior elevation.”

But the term has a practical application too.

“Exterior elevation” also means architectural drawings, of your home’s exterior. Think of it as the full-color, artist’s rendering of that photo you just took from your neighbor’s lawn. It depicts all the pertinent exterior features such as windows, roof pitches, dormer windows, porch overhangs, and so on — or, how the home will appear once it’s finished.

There’s also the “exterior elevation sheet” that contains all the vertical measurements of every exterior feature, to guide builders and construction crews. It’s a detailed document that contains lots of numbers and diagrams, and usually is part of a complete set of home plans.

The simplified version, how your home will look on the outside, is usually more important to new home buyers.

Wait, there’s one more

When you build a new custom Florida home with us, you’ll want to make sure you like the exterior appearance of your floorplan as much as its interior layout.

So, back to a simple “exterior elevation.”

Many of our popular floor plans at ICI Homes have more than one option for their exterior designs. An “exterior elevation” of each of those options allows you to chose the exterior appearance. Each one depicts the available differences in structural components — maybe you’d rather have a small courtyard instead of a front porch — and the available differences in exterior building materials, colors and decorative flourishes.

Sifting through the different “exterior elevations,” whether in a brochure or online, makes it easier to choose!

Ready for your new custom Florida home? Start the conversation here. opens in a new window