Custom Log Home -- Fireplace in Great Room

Custom Log &
Timber Homes

Glossary Of Industry Terms

The following is a glossary of commonly used construction terms that may help you understand more about your home building experience.

A - F            G - P            R - Z

GABLE The triangular part of a wall under the inverted "v" of the roof line.

GAMBREL ROOF A roof with two pitches, designed to provide more space on upper floors. The roof is steeper on its lower slope and flatter toward the ridge.

GLAZING Fitting glass into windows or doors.

GRADE MARKS Designation of a materials quality; also used to refer to ground level or slope.

HALF-LOG One hemisphere or a whole log sawn in half length-wise.

HEADER Framing members that span an opening and support free ends of other members.

HEARTH Front floor area of a fireplace.

HIP ROOF A roof that slants upward on three or four sides.

HOLLOW CORE DOOR Lightweight door with interior air space; for interior use only.

I-BEAM Steel beam whose cross-section shape looks like the capital letter "I" because of its flanges.

I-JOIST Engineered floor joist shaped like an "I" used in framed floor or roof system.

JOIST Horizontal framing members of floor or ceiling.

KILN-DRIED Artificial drying of lumber to reach moisture content of 15 percent or less.

KNEE-WALL Low-height wall below rafters in attic.

KING POST Vertical member set at mid span of a horizontal tie.

KNEE BRACE Angular support member designed to go from a vertical post to a horizontal header.

LEDGER A piece of lumber attached to a beam to support joists.

LIVE LOAD Variable weights imposed on building structure by snow.

NEWEL POST Main support posts designed to support a rail system.

OC (On Center) The distance from the center of one framing member (stud) to the next framing member (usually 16 inches).

ONE-HOUR RATING Fire resistive rating required by some building codes for certain hazardous area walls or ceilings.

OSB (Oriented Strand Board.)

PARGING Cement-sand-water mix applied to outer surface of masonry foundation wall.

PERC TEST Geological test to determine depth and flow of underground water.

PITCH Angle or slope of a roof.

PLATES Top one or two framing members running horizontally atop a wall; also the single plate on which wall studs rest.

PLOT PLAN Drawing of home site or lot showing placement of the house and other details.

PLUMB Straight up and down, measured with a level.

PNEUMATIC NAILER Nailing tool using compressed air.

POST-AND-BEAM CONSTRUCTION Wall construction in which beams are supported by heavy posts rather than many smaller studs.

PRE-HUNG DOOR Door and frame assemblies with hinges mounted, holes for locksets drilled, thresholds in place and sometimes prefinished. Takes carpenter about 20 minutes to install versus 3 to 4 hours to hang and trim a door.

PURLIN Horizontal roof member spanning perpendicular to a roof system.