The following is a glossary of commonly used construction terms that may help you understand more about your home building experience.
APRON A paved area, such as the juncture of a driveway with the street or with a garage entrance.
ASPHALT CEMENT Waterproof vehicle used to prevent shingle edges from lifting. Used along valleys, flashings and roof edges.
ADVANCED FRAMING In many cases, it is acceptable by code to increase stud spacing from 16 inches to 24 inches on-center to minimize the amount of framing products used.
AIR BARRIES Block random air movement through building cavities. As a result, they help prevent air leakage in your home, which can account for 30% or more.
BALUSTRADE A row of balusters topped by a rail, edging a balcony or staircase.
BASEBOARD A board along the floor against walls and partitions to hide gaps.
BATT Insulation in the form of a blanket, rather than loose filling.
BEAM End-supported, load-carrying member which joists or rafters rest upon.
BEARING WALL A wall serving a support purpose.
BLEEDING Seeping of resin or gum from lumber.
BRACED FRAMING Construction technique using posts and cross-bracing for greater rigidity.
BUILT-UP ROOF A roofing material applied in sealed, waterproof layers where the roof slope is slight.
BUTT JOINT Joining point of two pieces of wood or molding.
CANTILEVER A projecting beam or joist, not supported at one end, used to support an extension of a structure.
CARRIAGE The member which supports the steps or treads of a stair.
CASEMENT A window sash that opens on hinges at the vertical edge.
CAULK Material applied to seal seams.
COUNTER FLASHING Chimney flashing that covers the base flashing laid under the roofing material.
CAVITY WALL A hollow wall formed by firmly linked masonry walls, providing an insulating air space between.
CHAIR RAIL Wooden molding on a wall around a room level with a chair back.
CHINKING Substance applied to larger spaced seams between logs or wood beams to give a more rustic appearance to walls.
COLLAR TIE Horizontal tie between similar rafters on opposite sides of roof to keep rafters from spreading.
CORNER BRACING Sheets of plywood needed to resist wind stress at building corners.
CORNICE Horizontal projection at the top of a wall or under the overhang of a roof.
COVE LIGHTING Concealed light sources behind a cornice or horizontal recesses which direct light at a reflecting ceiling.
DORMER The projecting frame of a recess in a sloping roof.
DOUBLE GLAZING An insulating window pane formed of two thicknesses of glass with a sealed air space between them.
DOUBLE-HUNG WINDOW Windows with an upper and lower sash, each supported by cords and weights.
DOWELED Precut spindle-like pieces of wood for joining opposite pieces of wood such as a railing.
DRYWALL Sheets of plaster covered on both sides by paper and used on walls in place of wet plaster and laths.
DIRECT VENT APPLIANCE A fuel-burning appliance with a sealed combustion system that draws all air for combustion from the outside atmosphere and discharges all fuel gases to the outside atmosphere.
DRAWKNIFING Log is hand dressed with a drawknife to add texture and a hand peeled look.
EXPANSION ATTIC Attic capable of becoming living space.
EXPANSION JOINTS Bituminous strip material used with concrete slabs to permit slab expansion.
FIRE RESISTIVE Coating or treatment to reduce combustibility, as with drywall.
FLASHING Metal material that protects construction from moisture.
FLOOR JOISTS Framing pieces which rest on outer foundation walls and interior beams or girders.
FOOTING Flat, thick concrete slab serving as base for foundation wall.
FOUNDATION WALL Bearing wall of concrete, block or wood for supporting first floor.
FIREPLACE CHASE wood framing designed to cover a 0-clearance fireplace flue. Framing is generally covered with stone, brick, wood siding, etc. to mimic or compliment the home's exterior siding.
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