Construction using sun-dried units of adobe soil for walls; usually found in southwestern
A structural system utilizing members which when fastened together resemble the
A recessed space connected at the side of a larger room.
An open court within a building.
PLATE: A plate, usually of steel, upon which a column rests.
WINDOW: A projection formed by three windows that are joined at obtuse angels.
CEILING: A ceiling in which the ceiling beams are exposed to view.
A roofed walkway with open sides. It connects the house and garage.
CODE: A collection of legal requirements for buildings designed to protect the
safety, health, and general welfare of people who work and live them.
PERMIT: A permit issued by a municipal government authorizing the construction
of a building or structure.
LINE: A string that is heavily chalked, held tight, then plucked to make a straight
guideline against boards or other surfaces.
A vertical flue for passing smoke and gases outside a building.
STACK: A group of flues in the same chimney.
BLOCK: A building block made of cement and cinder.
Closed wiring or conductor through which an electric current can pass.
BREAKER: A safety device used to open and close an electrical circuit.
WALL: A single wall that serves two dwelling units.
To legally declare unfit for use.
The formation of frost or drops of water on inside walls when warm vapor inside
a room meets a cold wall or window.
In architecture, a drain pipe leading from the roof; in electricity, anything
that permits the passage of an electric current.
PIPE: A pipe used to lead water from the roof to the sewer.
A channel built to convey water or other fluids; a drain or sewer. In electrical
work, a channel that carries wires for protection and for safety.
The manager of a construction project.
SPACE: Shallow space below the floor of a building built above ground, generally
surrounded with a foundation wall.
MOLDING: Molding used above eye level; usually the upper trim on interior walls.
To allow concrete to dry slowly by keeping it moist to allow maximum strength.
A movable plate that regulates the draft of a stove, fireplace, or furnace.
LOAD: All the weight in a structure made up of unmovable materials.
The disintegration of wood through the action of fungi.
To reduce the moisture content in the air.
ROT: A term applied to many types of decay, especially and advanced stage when
the wood can be easily crushed to a dry powder.
CONSTRUCTION: Interior wall covering other than plaster, usually referred to as
"gypsum board" or "wallboard."
WELL: A pit located in porous ground and lined with rock that allows water to
seep through the pit. Used for the disposal of rain water of the effluent from
a septic tank.
Sheet metal conductors for warm and cold air distribution.
The right to use land owned by another, such as a utility company's right-of-way.
Paint with a considerable amount of varnish. It produces a hard, glossy surface.
Cavity or pit produced by digging the earth in preparation for construction.
Face or front elevation of a building.
A surface finish material used to cover another surface.
Outside horizontal face of member on the edge of a roof or cornice.
A building board made with fibrous material used as an insulating board.
INSULATION: A loose insulating material poured from bags or blown by machines
LUMBER: Dressed wood used for building trim and cabinet work.
DOOR: A door that will resist fire.
PARTITION: A partition designed to restrict the spread of fire.
Tight closure material or blocking to prevent the spread of flame or hot gases
A piece of electric or plumbing equipment that is part of the structure.
Flat stone used for floors, terraces, steps, and walks.
Sheet-metal work used in roof or wall construction to prevent water from seeping
into the building.
ROOF: A roof with minimum pitch for drainage.
Spreading plaster, stucco, or cement on walls or floors with use of a tool called
PLAN: The top view of a building at a specified floor level. A floor plan includes
all vertical details at or above windowsill levels.
PLUG: An electrical outlet flush with the floor.
The opening in a chimney through which smoke passes.
SURFACE: A continuous surface without an angle.
Wood skeleton of a building constructed one level on top of another.
BOARD: Trim member below the cornice that is fastened against the wall.
LINE: Depth of frost penetration in the ground; bottom of footings should always
be below this line.
STRIPS: Thin strips fastened to walls or ceilings for leveling and for attaching
finish surface material.
A strip of soft metal inserted in an electric circuit and designed to melt and
open the circuit should the current exceed a predetermined value.
The vertical triangular end of a building or part of a building, from the eaves
to the ridge.
A lead and zinc bath treatment to prevent rusting.
Inclination of a road, piping, or the ground, expressed in percent.
Thin cement mortar used for leveling and filling masonry cavities.
Plywood or metal plate used to strengthen joints of a truss.
Metal or wood trough for carrying rainwater to downspouts.
BOARD: Gypsum sheets covered with paper which are fastened to walls and ceilings
with nails or screws.
That part of the foor directly in front of the fireplace, and the floor inside
the fireplace on which the fire is built. It is made of fire-resistant masonry.
PLATE: A plate at the ends of truss.
DRAIN: Horizontal sewer piping within a building that receives wastes from the
SEWER: Watertight soil pipe extending from the exterior of the foundation wall
to the sewer main.
A mechanical device that controls the amount of water vapor to be added to the
An instrument used for r measuring and controlling moisture in the air.
BEAM: A steel beam with an I-shaped cross section.
LAMP: Lamp in which a filament gives off light.
LIGHTING: Artificial light that is reflected from a surface before reaching source.
BOARD: Any board suitable for insulating purposes, usually manufactured board
made from vegetable fibers, such as fiberboard.
Materials for obstructing the passage of sound, heat, or cold from one surface
TRIM: General term for all the finish molding, casing, baseboard, etc., applied
within the building by finish carpenters.
Structural member which directly supports floors or ceilings and is supported
by bearing walls, beams, or girders.
DOWN: Unassembled; refers to construction units requiring assembly after being
delivered to the job.
JOINT: Joint produced by lapping and joining two similar members.
Metal or gypsum sheeting used under plaster, stucco, and ceramic tile.
A shed whose rafters lean against another building or other part of the same building.
WALL: Wall designed to support the weight imposed upon it from above.
LINE: Line forming the legal boundary of a piece of property; also called property
Opening or slatted grillwork that allows ventilation while providing protection
from rain, sight, or light.
ROOF: A roof with two slopes on each side, with the lower slope being nearly vertical
and the upper nearly horizontal.
General term for brickwork, stonework, concrete blockwork, or similar materials.
Flexible adhesive for adhering building materials.
TIE: A strip of metal used to fasten construction members together.
WALL TIES: Strips of corrugated metal used to tie a brick veneer wall to framework.
Finish carpentry work or that woodwork done in a mill and delivered to the site;
relates to interior trim.
WOOL: An insulating material made into a fibrous form from mineral slag.
JOINT: Joint made with ends or edges of two pieces cut at 45-degree angles and
CONSTRUCTION: Construction in which the size of the building and the building
materials are based on a common unit of measure.
Standardized unit of measure (e.g., 4", 12", or 4'-0", etc.) to
BARRIER: A material such as specially treated paper that retards the passage of
vapor or moisture into walls and prevents condensation within the walls.
A mixture of cement, sand, and water, used as a bonding agent by the mason for
binding bricks and stones.
Small colored tile, glass, stone, or similar material arranged to produce a decorative
ROOM: A small room or entranceway where muddy overshoes and wt garments can be
removed before entering other rooms.
WALL: A dividing wall that does not support a vertical load.
GLASS: Sheet glass that is made translucent instead of transparent.
Projecting area of a roof or upper story beyond the wall of the lower part.
The center for controlling electrical circuits.
FLOORING: Flooring, usually wood, laid in an alternating or inlaid pattern to
form various designs.
BOARD: Sheets made from compressed wood fiber.
An interior wall that separates two rooms.
Lumber 2" thick or more and more than 4" wide, such as joists, flooring,
and the like.
A mortarlike composition used for covering walls and ceilings. Usually made of
portland cement mixed with sand and water.
A board made of plastering material covered on both sides with heavy paper.
GLASS: A high-quality sheet of glass used in large windows.
Said of a member when it is in true vertical position as determined by a plumb
bob or vertical level.
& BEAM CONSTRUCTION: Wall construction consisting of large, widely spaced
posts to support horizontal beams.
Concrete shapes made separately before being used in a structure.
BUILDINGS: Buildings that are built in sections or component parts in a factory,
and then assembled at the site.
COAT: First coat of paint applied to wood or metal to prime the surface for succeeding
HEATING: A system using heating elements in the floors, ceilings, or walls to
radiate heat into the room.
Inclined structural members used to frame a roof.
Steel reinforcing bar.
The open end of a duct in a room for warm or cool air.
CONCRETE: Concrete in which steel bars or webbing has been embedded for strength.
The art of shading or coloring a drawing.
Rebuilding s structure so it will appear in its original form.
Limitations on the use of real estate building materials, size, or design styles.
WALL: A wall to hold back an earth embankment.
ROOFING: Roofing material of fiber and asphalt manufactured in rolls.
Individual frame into which glass is set; the movable part of a double-hung window.
COAT: The first coat of plaster. It is scratched to provide a good bond for the
Drying out of green lumber, either in an over or kiln or by exposing it to air.
Rough covering over the framing of a building, either roof or wall, which is not
exposed when finish material is applied.
A piece of material used to fill in the space between two surfaces.
Thin pieces of wood or materials that overlap each other in covering a roof. The
number and kind needed depend on the steepness of the roof and slope.
MOLD: Small rounded molding covering the joint between the flooring and the baseboard.
Lumber placed in a slanted position to support the structure of a building temporarily.
The outside boards of an exterior wall.
An opening in the roof for admitting light.
CONSTRUCTION: A reinforced concrete floor and foundation system.
Wood strips placed over or in a concrete slab to receive a finished wood floor.
CHAMBER: The portion of a chimney flue located directly over the fireplace.
Underside of an overhang such as the eave, a second floor, or stairs.
HEAT: Heat from the sun.
PLATE: The horizontal framing member directly under the studs.
To cover wallboard joints with plaster.
Horizontal distance between supports for joists, beams, or trusses.
The written or printed direction regarding the details of a building or other
construction not included in the set of working drawings.
Joining of two similar members in a straight line.
FRAMING: Skeleton framing with structural steel members.
SEWER: A sewer that is designed to carry away water from storms, but not sewage.
Removal of concrete forms from the hardened concrete.
Any of various plasters used for covering walls, especially an exterior wall covering
in which cement is used.
Vertical framing members in a wall spaced at 16" or 24" o.c.
Material fastened directly to floor joist below the finish floor.
A pit in a basement floor to collect water, into which a sump pump is placed to
A person skilled in land measurement.
CEILING: Finish ceiling hung below the underside of the building structure, either
floor or roof.
JOISTS: Relatively shorter joists that join against a header or trimmer in floor
A dark heavy oil used in roofing and roof surfacing.
Thoroughly mixed cement or mortar.
STRENGTH: The greatest longitudinal stress a structural member can resist without
adverse affects (breaking or cracking).
SHIELD: Sheet metal used to block the passage of termites.
Wear-resistant flooring made of marble chips or small stones embedded in cement
matrix that has been polished smooth.
CONDUCTOR: Material capable of transmitting heat.
A device for automatically controlling the supply of heat and air.
Wood, metal, or stone member placed directly below a door.
A structural member used to bind others together.
Lumber with a cross section larger than 4"x6", for posts, sills, and
Nailing diagonally through a member.
The acceptable variance of dimensions from s standard size.
A projection on the edge of wood that joins with a similarly shaped groove.
Post built up of studs and blocking to form the intersection framing for perpendicular
WINDOW: A narrow horizontal window above a window or door, named for the cross
bar on which it rests.
U-shaped pipe below plumbing fixtures which provides a water seal to prevent sewer
odors and gases from entering habitable areas.
CEILING: A recessed ceiling resembling an upside-down tray; also referred to as
a stepped ceiling.
The step or horizontal member of a stair.
The longer floor or ceiling-framing member around a rectangular opening into which
headers are joined; both headers and trimmers are doubled.
Structural unit of members fastened in triangular arrangements to form a rigid
framework for support over long spans.
RAFTER: Truss spaced close enough (usually 24" o.c.) to eliminate the need
A foundation replacement or reinforcement for temporary braced supports.
BARRIER: Watertight material used to prevent the passage of moisture or water
vapor into and through walls and under concrete slabs.
CEILING: A ceiling that slopes up to a peak.
CONSTRUCTION: Type of wall construction in which frame or masonry walls are faced
with other exterior surfacing materials.
A screened opening for ventilation.
The process of supplying and removing air by natural or mechanical means to or
from any space.
PIPES: Small ventilating pipes extending from each fixture of a plumbing system
to the vent stack.
STACK: Vertical soil pipe connected to the drainage system to allow ventilation
and pressure equalization.
The board that serves as the eaves finish on the gable end of a building.
A small lobby or entrance room.
Pertaining to a composition of materials that resemble glass.
CEILING: Any ceiling higher than the standard 8 feet.
Surfacing on the lower part of an interior wall when finished differently from
the remainder of the wall.
Wood pulp, gypsum, or similar materials made into large rigid sheets that may
be fastened to the frame of a building to provide a surface finish.
TIE: Small metal strip or steel wire used to bind courses of masonry to wood frame
in veneer construction.
Any change from a true or plane surface. Warping includes bow, crook, cup, and
The slant upon a sill, capping, etc., to allow the water to run off.
STACK: A vertical pipe in a plumbing system that carries the discharge from any
Material or construction that prevents the passage of water.
TABLE: Horizontal member extending from the surface of an exterior wall to throw
rainwater away from the wall; also, the level of subsurface water.
STRIPPING: Strips of fabric or metal fastened around the edges of windows and
doors to prevent air infiltration.
Building restrictions as to size, location, and type of structures to be built
in specific areas.