Welcome to our online construction dictionary. The dictionary
is in a continual evolution. Since this site is about residential
construction the dictionary will reflect this. If you can't find
a certain term email us and we will add it to our list.
- any pattern
that is used when attaching boards or panels.
- the large
post that supports a stair rail at the top and bottom of the stairs.
iron pipe without hubs. Typically a rubber gasket is used to couple
when referring to lumber the nominal size is the dimensions before
the board is planed. For example, a 2 x 4 is the nominal dimension
and the actual size is 1½" x 3½".
wall which carries no weight or load. Also called a partition
part of the structure which doesn't support any loads other than
its own weight.
- eaves where
the rafter tails are left exposed. The alternative is to cover
the eaves with a Soffit.
- the point where
a electrical circuit ends at a fixture or a receptacle.
certificate issued by the building authority stating that the
structure is substantially complete and has met the code requirements
for occupancy. The occupancy permit is issued after final inspection.
- the application
of thin stucco layers on the exterior foundation. It is used to
waterproof the foundation or for decoration.
- a generic
term used to describe a panel board made from compressed wood
- a wall
shared between two separate dwellings, like between a townhouse
a masonry brick with excellent strength and wear resistance used
for walkways, driveways and roads. Some types of paving brick
are interlocking. Paving brick are popular in Europe.
test which determines the absorption rate of soil. It is used
to in construction projects and for designing septic systems.
- an underground drain installed
around the footings to prevent the build up of water around the
the concrete footing that support the foundation walls.
method of framing where the floor joists of the upper level rests
on top of the walls of the level below.
- the box that
attaches directly to the furnace where the warm air goes before
being divided into separate trunk lines.
- a drawing
showing the orientation of the structure on the property from
an aerial perspective. The plot plan is part of the plan set on
a typical set of house plans.
- refers to an
object when it's in an exact vertical position, not tilting or
leaning to any side.
opening in a wall or surface that allows access to plumbing piping.
- in real estate
terms a point means percent. For example 2 points equals 2 percent.
- the point
where a structural load is concentrated vertically. For example
a post that supports a beam creates a point load.
wood that has been treated under pressure with chemical which
helps the wood resist decay and insect.
- the first coat
of paint or other cover that is used to seal the surface before
applying finish coats.
- the punch
list contains a list of items or tasks that need to be repaired
or completed. It is created when the project is substantially
complete. The list is created by the owner and confirmed by the
- pipe that is
shaped like the letter "P" used in drains. The P shape
traps water and prevents sewer gasses from entering the home.
a small piece of molding which is shaped in a quarter of a circle.
It is used to cover right angle joints.
of making an offer at a guaranteed price.
of a material ability to resist heat transfer. The higher the
R value the better the insulation resists transfer of heat and
- a long
trough that attaches to the fascia below the drip edge of the
roof to catch rain water. In modern construction, rain gutters
are usually made of aluminum, steel or copper .
a heating system that uses in-floor or under floor pipes to transfer
heat inside a structure. The pipes used today are made of plastic
or rubber compounds.
door made of panels and held in place by stiles and rails.
- short for reinforcing
bar. Steel bar is placed in concrete to give it strength. 1/2"
or 5/8" diameter rebar is most commonly used in residential
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