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

RAFTERS Framing members that support the roof.

RAFTER TAIL Portion between exterior and end of the overhanging rafter.

RAKE Sloping edge of a roof often trimmed with a rake board matching the eave fascia.

RIDGE BOARD Between upper ends of rafter pairs to frame the ridge of the roof.

RIDGE VENT Vents near ridge line of roof that provide openings for air to escape from attic.

RISER The upright piece of a stair step from tread to tread.

ROOF DECKING Plywood or OSB sheathing placed over rafters.

ROOFING FELT Asphalt building paper applied to roof sheathing before shingles.

ROOF TRUSSES Pre-engineered and assembled frames to support roofs.

ROUGHING-IN Installation of a system's parts inside construction framing before wall is finished.

ROUGH OPENING Opening in building frame for windows, doors, stairs and chimneys.

ROUGH-SAWN Rough surface showing saw marks on lumber face.

R-VALUE The resistance a material has to heat flow. Higher numbers indicate greater insulating capabilities.

SETBACK Minimum distance a municipality requires from front of home to front property line.

SHAKES Hand-cut wood shingles.

SHEATHING Boards or sheets applied over framing members to brace them and to serve as a base for applying roofing and siding materials.

SHIPLAP Boards with grooved edges that overlap.

SILL PLATE Bottom horizontal member of an exterior wall frame atop foundation.

SKIRTING Boards of special design nailed horizontally to vertical studs with or without intervening sheathing to form the exposed surface of outside walls of frame buildings.

SLAB Concrete floor usually four inches thick laid directly on earth or gravel base.

SOFFIT The underside of a roof overhang or eaves, usually enclosing rafters.

SPECIFICATIONS Written elaboration in specific detail about construction materials and methods; supplements working drawings.

STRINGER Side supports for stair treads.

SUBFLOOR Rough floor deck over which finish floor is laid.

TIE A wood member which binds a pair of principal rafters at the bottom.

(T&G) TONGUE & GROOVE Carpentry joint in which the jutting edge (tongue) of one board fits into the grooved end of a similar board.

TOP PLATE Upper horizontal member in a wall frame.

TREADS Boards that form steps in a stairway.

TRUSS A combination of structural members usually arranged in triangular units to form a rigid framework for spanning between load-bearing walls.

TURNKEY General Contractor handles all aspects of the building project; also used to note total project building cost.

TRUSSED ROOF SYSTEM Engineered rafter and ceiling joist designed as a single member to cross a continuous span.

UNDERLAYMENT Smooth surface sheet material applied under floor coverings.

U-FACTOR A measure of total heat flow through a window or door barrier from room air to outside air. Lower numbers indicate greater insulating capabilities.

VALLEY The depression at the meeting point of two roof slopes.

VAPOR BARRIER Material such as paper, metal or paint which is used to prevent vapor from passing from rooms into the outside walls.

VENT PIPE Plumbing pipes that allow sewer gas to escape through the roof.

V BRACE Angular support designed to go from a vertical king post to an angular rafter.

VENTILATION The natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to or from a space.

WAINSCOTING The lower 3-4 feet of an interior wall covered with paneling or other material different from the upper wall.

WORKING DRAWINGS Final construction drawings to show how building should be erected.