Home Inspection Glossary

    At VancouverRealEstate we always recommend to buyers to get a thorough property and home inspection. Usually the inspection is written into the contact and becomes a subject that needs to be removed in order to proceed with the sale but what if the listing is well priced and you expect to compete with many other offers?
    In this case it is always advisable to come in with an offer as ‘clean’ as possible. To do so, we advise buyers to ask permission from the seller to have an inspector walk through the home during an open house or at a convenient time, before the offer is made. With the clarity that a home inspection provides you can then adjust your offer to reflect your confidence in the home. And as an added bonus – you will look like a competent and serious buyer in the eyes of the seller.

    When a listing is expecting offers on a given day, it is not uncommon to see a dozen buyers walking the property with a home inspector in tow during the open house or at a time specified by the seller.
    Now that you have the inspection report in front of you, it’s time to make some sense of it. Have your inspector walk you through every component of the inspection and ask questions so you understand the report.
    Below is a list of common terminology that you will see in a home inspection report.

    A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


    ABS – A type of black plastic pipe commonly used for waste water lines.

    AGGREGATE – Crushed rock or stone.

    AIR DUCT – Rectangular or round metal pipe used to convey warm or cold air through house and back to forced-air furnace, or to air conditioning unit.

    AIR CHAMBER – A vertical, air filled pipe that prevents water hammer by absorbing pressure when water is shut off at a faucet or valve.

    Air-conditioner condenser – The outside fan unit of the air conditioning system. The condenser discharges heat to the building exterior.

    ALLIGATORING – Open cracks or fissures in the surface of a paint coating. This criss-cross pattern is caused by expansion or contraction of new top coat over a slippery undercoat.

    AMPERE – The unit of currents. This current flows through a conductor whose resistance is one ohm. The conductor has a potential difference of one volt between its ends.

    ANCHOR BOLT – Threaded steel bolt used to secure wood sill plate to foundation wall.

    ART DECO – A decorative style popular in the 1920s and 1930s that is based on geometric forms and patterns, some derived from nature; promoted the use of ornament for its own sake; used in architecture, furnishings, textiles, and decorative arts.

    ART NOUVEAU – A decorative style popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; characterized by asymmetric, curvilinear forms inspired by nature; used in all the arts and crafts of the period, including architecture and interior design.

    ASPHALT – Black bituminous coating used for blacktop for driveways, in roof coverings, and wall shingles.

    ASBESTOS – A nonflammable, natural mineral fiber currently being investigated for potential health-threatening properties. Asbestos is classified as friable(loose -may become airborne) or non-friable (stable).

    ATRIUM – A central area in a structure with a ceiling of translucent material that admits sunlight.

    ATTIC – Accessible space between roof rafters and ceiling joists.

    AWNING – A roof-like shelter extending over an area, e.g. a doorway, a window, a porch, that provides protection from the sun or rain.

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    BACKFILL – Earth is replaced and tamped down around foundation walls has been completed.

    BACKFLOW – A reverse flow of water or other liquids into the water supply pipes, caused by negative pressure in the pipes

    BAFFLE – A plate for regulating the flow of a liquid or gas; a metal plate used between the cylinders of an air-cooled motor engine to break up a stream of heated gases.

    BALLOON – FRAMING In construction, a type of framing in which the studs extend from the sill to the roof, the second floor is supported by a horizontal ribbon or ledger board and joists that are nailed to studs.

    BALUSTERS – A short pillar or post that supports a rail, usually circular and tapered at the top; uprights supporting the handrail of a staircase.

    BALUSTRADE – Handrail used at end of stairs and on landings.

    BASE SHEET – Bottom layer of built-up roofing.

    BASEBOARD – A piece of finishing material placed at the bottom of interior walls to conceal the area where the base of the wall meets the floor.

    BASEBOARD HEATING – A system of perimeter heating with radiators, convectors or air outlets located at the base of the wall where the baseboard would be; may be hot water, forced air or electric. Also called panel heating Base

    BATT – A section of fiberglass or rock-wool insulation.

    BATTEN – A narrow strip of wood used to cover a joint between boards or to simulate a covered joint for architectural purposes.

    BAY WINDOW – Any window space projecting outward from the walls of a building, either square or polygonal in plan.

    BEAM – A principal load-supporting member of a building, may be made of wood, steel or concrete. The lumber in a rectangular cross section of a building, five or more inches thick and eight or more inches wide.

    BEARING WALL – Wall supporting roof load or floor load, depending upon its placement. There may be a bearing wall on each floor of a building.

    BEVEL SIDING – Wood siding attached to exterior walls with nails. Looks wedge-shaped in cross-section.

    BINDER – Agreement between buyer and seller in which buyer agrees to pay a fixed amount of money to secure his/her right to purchase property.

    BLEACHING OIL – Oil stain used on wood siding, decking, etc., to accelerate the weathering process.

    BLISTERS – Soft raised or puffed spots appearing on siding where paint was improperly applied. Also may be seen on roof covering that was improperly installed.

    BRACE – A piece of framing member or wood subfloor installed at an angle or incline to stiffen the structural members.

    BRICK VENEER – A brick facing applied to wood-framed house. It is attached to sheathing of framed walls with metal ties.

    BRIDGING – Metal member or short length of wood member used between floor joists in a diagonal position to brace and stiffen joists and to distribute loading.

    BTU – British thermal unit; a standard unit for measuring heat equal to the amount required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In the United States, the rated capacity of furnace and boilers is expressed in terms of BTU’s emitted per hour.

    BUILDING CODE – Legal codes required by town, city, state for the design, construction of residential and commercial buildings. Written to protect people who live and/or work in these buildings.

    BUILDING LINE – Distance from the sides, front, and back of a lot beyond which a building cannot extend, depending upon local code.

    BUTTRESS – An external structure, usually of brick, stone or concrete, that supports a wall or building by receiving lateral pressure acting at a particular point in a single direction.

    BX CABLE – Electrical cable with metal sheathing used in the 1930’s-50’s.

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    CASEMENT – A window sash supported by hinges which open and close the sash. Hinges are fastened to one side of the vertical frame.

    CASING – Window and door framing.

    CAVITY WALL – A hollow wall section created by wood framing members and usually insulated.

    CERTIFICATE OF TITLE – Issued by a title company. Indicates that the seller has good marketable and insurable title to the property he/she is offering for sale.

    CHIMNEY CAP – A concrete cover at the top of a brick chimney

    CIRCUIT BREAKER – An electric safety device housed in an electrical box which breaks an electric circuit automatically when it becomes overloaded. Breaker moves from “On” to “Off” position.

    CLAPBOARD – Wood exterior siding that is thicker on one edge than the other. Comes in a variety of lengths. It is overlapped and nailed into sheathing.

    CLERESTORY WINDOW – A window or series of windows placed in a building above the roof of other parts of the structure providing additional light and ventilation for the interior. A style of architecture usually found in churches and similar structures but also used in modern residential design.

    COLLAR – Pre-formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the roof around the vent pipe opening. Also called a vent sleeve or lead boot.

    COLLAR BEAM – Wood beam connecting two inclined roof rafters. It helps to stiffen the framing of a pitched roof structure.

    COLUMN – A vertical structural member that supports horizontal members, e.g., beams, girders, designed to transmit a load bearing material at its base.

    COPING – A tile cap used to cover the top of a parapet wall or any regular masonry wall.

    CONCRETE – A mixture of Portland cement, sand, gravel, and water used in building construction for foundation walls, floor slabs, footings, etc.

    CONDENSATION – The change of water from a gaseous state to a liquid one when warm, moisture-laden air comes in contact with a cold surface.

    CONDOMINIUM – A structure of two or more units, the interior spaces of which are individually owned; the balance of the property (both land and building) is owned in common by the owners of the individual units. The size of each unit is measured from the interior surfaces (exclusive of paint or other finishes) of the exterior walls, floors and ceiling. The balance of the property is called the common area.

    CONDUCTOR – Material used to transmit an electric current, such as copper wire.

    CONDUIT – A metal pipe used to carry electric wire throughout the inside and outside of a house.

    CORNICE – Wood or metal decorative projection at the roof level of a building. It usually projects outward and is located at the front of the building.

    COUNTER FLASHING – Sheet metal placed at the base of a parapet wall over the roof covering, or at the base of a chimney, to prevent water entry.

    CRAWL SPACE – A narrow, unfinished area usually filled with soil located in the cellar or basement.

    CRIPPLE STUDS – Short wood members used above and below window and door openings to support frame.

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    DAMPER – Flat plate that opens and closes to control amount of air flowing through a heating duct, exhaust vent, flue, or chimney.

    DAMP PROOFING – To coat a surface to prevent the passage of moisture.

    DECAY – Disintegration of wood fibers by action due to insects, wood-decaying fungus, or water damage.

    DECK – The surface installed over the supporting framing members, to which the roofing is applied. Also, an uncovered porch type structure normally constructed with unpainted lumber with a gap between the flooring material.

    DEED – A written document through which title to the property being sold is transferred.

    DEHUMIDIFIER – A refrigeration device designed to remove water vapor from the air.

    DEN – The same configuration as a bedroom without a closet.

    DISTRIBUTION BOX – A fuse box; a metal box containing fuses and circuit breakers that permits access to connecting branch circuits. An underground box that receives waste from a septic tank and distributes it to the laterals of a disposal field.

    DIVISION WALL – An interior load-bearing wall dividing a structure into rooms.

    DISTRIBUTION PANEL – An insulated board from which electrical connections are made between the main feed circuit and branch distribution circuits.

    DOOR JAMB – Wood casing surrounding a door. Door opens and closes into this jamb.

    DORMER – A framed window unit projecting through the sloping plane of a roof.

    DOUBLED-GLAZED – A double-glass pane hermetically sealed with an air space between the two panes

    DOUBLE-HUNG WINDOW – Window with a top and bottom sash raised and lowered by weights attached to cords or chains.

    DOUBLE PITCH ROOF – A roof that slopes in two directions.

    DOVETAIL – An interlocking joint commonly used in carpentry.

    DOWNDRAFT – A downward current of air in a chimney, often carrying smoke with it.

    DOWNSPOUT – A pipe for draining water from roof gutters. Also called a leader.

    DRAIN TILE – Tubing used in the construction of a building to assist in carrying water away from the structure.

    DRYWALL – Any finish material applied to an interior wall in a dry state, as distinguished from plaster, e.g., gypsum wallboard, plywood, fiberwood. Often called by the trade name Sheetrock.

    DUCT – Large channel through which air passes in a heating, cooling or exhaust system.

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    EASEMENT RIGHTS – Permission of right-of-way granted to a person or company giving access to or across the owner’s land.

    EAVES – The projection of the roof beyond the house’s walls.

    EAVES FLASHING – Additional layer of roofing material applied at the eaves to help prevent damage from water back-up.

    EFFLORESCENCE – A white powdery substance appearing on masonry wall surfaces. It is composed of soluble salts which have been brought to the surface by water or moisture movement.

    EGRESS – A way out, an exit or outlet.

    ELECTRICAL BREAKER – An electrical safety device used to prevent circuit overload. Breakers, if tripped, can be reset.

    ELECTRICAL HEATING – Any of several methods that convert electrical energy into usable heat.

    ELECTRICAL OUTLET – A point on the wiring system where current can be taken to activate equipment.

    ENCROACHMENT – A building that extends beyond its building line or projects onto another individual’s property.

    ESCUTCHEON – Decorative metal piece that fits over or around a pipe protruding from a wall, or over a faucet body, or around a lockset on the face of a door.

    EXPANSION JOINT – Bituminous fiber strip used to divide sections of concrete streetwalk or blocks to prevent cracking due to expansion.

    EXTERIOR WALL – An outer wall, except a common wall that serves as a vertical enclosure of a building.

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    FACADE – The principal, exterior face of a structure; usually the front face or front elevation of a building.

    FASCIA – Flat wood member covering a section of eave or cornice. The roof gutter is supported by this fascia.

    FIBERBOARD – A prefabricated building material made of wood or other plant fibers compressed and bonded into a sheet.

    FILL-TYPE INSULATION – Loose material used for insulating wall cavities, such as rock wool or cellulose.

    FIRE BOX – An area of combustion in the boiler.

    FIRE BRICK – Bricks used to line the interior of the fire box chamber.

    FIREPLACE INSERT – Woodburning stove designed to be installed in a fireplace. Its purpose is to make the fireplace more efficient.

    FIRE-STOP – Usually 2×4 wood blocking put between studs in a partition wall to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.

    FIXTURE – Any non-portable lighting device which is more or less permanently built in or attached securely to the walls and/or ceiling. The permanent parts of a plumbing system such as toilets, bathtubs, etc.

    FLASHING –Sheet metal used at wall and roof junctions and at chimney and roof junctions to prevent water entry.

    FLOOR JOISTS – Framing members which span from one foundation wall to the other side of foundation wall, or sometimes rest on intermediate main beams.

    FLUE – An air channel, usually a pipe , in a chimney, which allows smoke and fumes of combustion to exit into the air.

    FLUE LINER – Terra cotta tile or fire clay material, round or square, used as a lining inside brick chimney of heating system or fireplace. Usually available in 2″-long sections.

    FLUE PIPE – Metal cylindrical pipe used to allow smoke and products of combustion from furnace, boiler, or hot water heater to exhaust into chimney and out of house.

    FOOTING – A section of concrete that the house’s foundation walls sit on.

    FOUNDATION – A block, brick, stone, or concrete wall on which the house’s framing is built. It is mostly below grade.

    FRAMING – Construction lumber used to form structure such as floor joists, floor rafters, wall studs, etc.

    FROST LINE – The depth to which frost can penetrate the soil. Footings should be placed below frost line.

    FUNGUS – Plants that live in wood and cause it to decay and be stained. Also can be found in wood in damp areas in house such as in crawl space.

    FUSE – Small, screw-type safety device used in an electric panel box to break circuit when it becomes overloaded.

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    GABLE – Steep triangular roof shape in which rafters are attached from ridge board to double top plate. A house with a gable roof usually has a spacious attic.

    GRADELINE – The location where the soil rests against the foundation wall.

    GRADE STAMP – Stamped marking on lumber indicating quality, type of wood, if kiln-dry.

    GUTTER – A metal or wood channel supported at the eave to convey rainwater away from the structure.

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    HVAC/HVACR – Heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, ventilation. A catch acronym for the four areas of mechanical engineering. It refers to the heating, air conditioning and duct work components.

    HEADER – A framing member that sits on the sill plate and to which floor joists are attached.

    HEARTH – The floor of a fireplace. The front hearth extends out into the room and may be of brick or decorative stone; the back hearth is inside the fireplace and usually made of firebrick.

    HEAT PUMP – A reverse cycle refrigeration unit that can be used for heating or cooling.

    HOSE BIB – Faucet on the exterior of the house providing water to a garden hose.

    HUMIDIFIER – A device used to increase or maintain relative moisture in the air in a house or .room.

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    INSULATING BOARD – A building board made of compressed plant fibers, e.g., wood, cane, corn, stalks, dried and pressed to a specific thickness.

    INSULATION – Material used to resist loss of heat energy and to reduce the transfer of sound or electricity.

    INTERIOR TRIM – The finish on the interior of a building; e.g., casing, molding, baseboard.

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    JAMB – Wood or metal casing surrounding a door or window.

    JOINT – The point where two objects or surfaces meet; the space between units in a masonry wall that is occupied by mortar or bonding material.

    JOIST – One of a series of parallel beams used to support floor and ceiling loads, and supported in turn by larger beams (girders) or bearing walls. Evenly spaced, horizontal lengths of lumber that provide structural support for floors and ceiling.

    JUNCTION BOX – A box in an electrical systems where main circuits are connected or smaller circuits join the main circuit.

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    KICK PLATE – A metal strip placed at the lower edge of a door to protect the finish.

    KNEE WALL – Framing member used for wall construction in an attic.

    KNOB AND TUBE WIRING – Old electrical wiring on ceramic knobs and tubes secured to structural members of a property.

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    LALLY COLUMN – A round steel pillar used to support a beam or joist. Usually it is concrete-filled.

    LAP SIDING – Siding used to finish the exterior surface of a house or other structure. Also called ship lap siding.

    LEADER – A metal downspout connected to the gutter to convey rainwater away from property.

    LEAN-TO-ROOF – A sloping roof that is supported on one side by the wall of an adjoining building.

    LINTEL – A horizontal structural member, usually made of steel or sometimes stone, used to support the area of the wall above a window or door opening.

    LOAD-BEARING WALL – Same as bearing wall. Used to support roof or floor load.

    LOUVER – A slat or fin over an opening that is pitched to keep out rain and snow; a finned sunshade on a building; the diffusion grill on a fluorescent light fixture.

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    MASONRY – Brick, stone, concrete or concrete block building material used for walls, floors and paving.

    MOISTURE BARRIER – Treated paper or foil used to keep moisture from moving from one area to another. Paper or foil is on the back of roll-type insulation and foil is on insulation board.

    MORTAR – Mixture of cement , sand, water and sometimes lime used as an adhesive for laying brick, stone, ceramic tile and concrete block.

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    NEWEL POST – The main post at the floor of the staircase. The balustrade (handrail) is attached to the newel post.

    NON-BEARING WALL – Wall that supports only its weight and does not support a load from the roof, floor, etc.

    NOSING – Rounded edge of a stair tread that projects over a stair riser.

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    OIL TANK – A tank used to supply oil burning appliance such as a furnace, boiler or water heater. Oil tanks are frequently buried underground.

    ON-CENTRE – The measure for the spacing between floor joists, wall studs, etc. For instance , “16 inch on center” means that the studs are spaced (by the carpenters) 16 inches apart from the center of each stud.

    OPEN BEAM CONSTRUCTION – Frame construction in which the ceiling and ceiling joists are eliminated, leaving the beams and deck of the roof exposed and treating them as an element of the interior finish of the room. In this type of construction the structural members or the roof are usually heavier and may be on wider centres.

    OVERHANG – That portion of the roof structure that extends beyond the exterior walls of a building.

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    PARAPET – A low wall or railing along the edge of a roof, balcony, bridge or terrace; constructed for protection, to control water, resulting from rain or artificial flooding or to insulate against sun’s rays.

    PARTITION – An interior wall which divides a space such as one that separates one room from another.

    PARTY WALL – A common wall erected along the boundary between adjoining properties; the respective owners have common right of use.

    PITCH – The slope or incline of a roof.

    PLASTER – Mixture of lime, sand, and water used mostly to cover interior wall and or ceiling surfaces.

    PLATFORM FRAMING – A system of framing of a structure in which the wall studs are attached to the sole plate and top plate. This wall section is attached to the subfloor and floor joists. Each stud wall is only one story high.

    POINTS – Additional charges placed on borrowed money for a mortgage, usually levied when money is tight.

    POINTING – Repairs to joints in brick or block construction done by refilling mortar joints with mortar

    POST & BEAM CONSTRUCTION – A system of construction in which beams (timbers) are supported by heavy posts instead of joists and studs.

    PORCH – An area extending beyond the exterior walls of a house which can be enclosed or left open.

    PUTTY – A soft, pliable compound used for sealing glass in a sash or for repairing small holes

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    R VALUE – Resistance to heat transfer of material.

    RADIANT FLOOR HEATING – Tubing with hot water flowing in it embedded in concrete floor, or installed under wood floor, used to heat a room.

    RAFTER – Structural member used to frame and support roof. It spans from exterior wall to ridge board.

    REINFORCED CONCRETE – Concrete with steel rods or wire embedded to give the concrete mixture extra strength.

    RIDGE BOARD – Board placed at peak of roof to support one end of roof rafters. Other end of roof rafter is attached to double top plate.

    RISER – The vertical section of a step in a staircase.

    ROCK WOOL – An insulating material similar to fiberglass which can be blown into wall cavities. It has a high melting point.

    ROLL ROOFING PAPER – Roofing material (felt) made with asphalt fibers. Heaviest weight is 10-lb. and roll is 36″ wide.

    ROOF – The covering on top of a building.

    ROOF SHEATHING – Plywood or similar sheets which are fastened to the roof rafters. Building paper is applied and then roof covering.

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    SAG – A dip or deflection in a joist, or an unevenness in a coat of paint.

    SASH – The window frame that houses the glass pane.

    SATURATED FELT – Roll roofing paper that has been saturated with asphalt.

    SEEPAGE PIT – A septic tank and cesspool making up a system for sewage disposal.

    SEPTIC TANK – A tank in which sewage settles to the bottom where part of it is destroyed by bacteria and the rest is discharged to a leaching bed.

    SHAKES – Wood shingles that have been handcut.

    SHEATHING – Plywood or similar sheets, usually 4’x8′, which are nailed onto exterior studding and rafters and covered with roof covering or exterior siding.

    SHINGLES – A siding or roof covering applied in overlapping layers, usually made of asphalt, wood, asbestos, slate, etc.

    SIDING – Wood boards or metal sections nailed vertically or horizontally to sheathing. The siding may be overlapped if installed horizontally, or it may interlock vertically as with metal sidding.

    SILL PLATE –Wood member that rests on foundation wall and is attached to it with anchor bolts. Floor joists and header are attached to it.

    SKIRT BOARD – A horizontal member attached to wall studs at an incline to support a staircase’s treads and risers.

    SLAB – A concrete floor poured directly onto the soil which may have a bed of gravel in it or reinforcing steel bars criss-crossed in it.

    SOFFIT – Underside of the eave or cornice.

    SOLE PLATE – The bottom wood member of a framed stud wall.

    SOLID BRIDGING – A short wood member placed between the floor joists at the center to prevent the joists from twisting.

    SPALLING – Hard outer surface of brick separates and falls off exposing brick’s soft interior. This occurs when water freezes and expands after it has penetrated a porous or cracked brick wall, forcing the brick’ surface to pull away. Exposure of the brick’s soft interior accelerates the deterioration of the brick.

    SPECIAL ASSESSMENT – A tax added onto a piece of property to cover costs for road construction, sewers, sidewalks, etc.

    SPLASH BLOCK – A masonry section placed under leader pipe to divert water drainage away from the foundation of a house.

    STRINGER – A long wood member placed at an incline as a sidewall to support a staircase.

    STUD – Wood member used for wall framing, usually 16″ on center.

    SUBFLOOR – Plywood or similar wood sheet nailed to floor joists on which finished flooring is installed.

    SUSPENDED CEILING – Fabricated tiles supported by a metal grid hung from the old ceiling and by wall angles attached to the walls.

    SUMP – Pit in basement housing house trap and water main. Sump pump often found installed in this pit to pump out any water that collects in pit.

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    TERMITES – Insects that live in and destroy wood. They resemble ants and destroy the wood framing in a house.

    TERMITE SHIELD – A piece of metal attached to a foundation wall to serve as a barrier against termites.

    TIE – A wood member that holds a pair of rafters at or near the bottom for support.

    TOP PLATE – Wood members, usually known as a double top plate, that form the top of a framed wall. The roof rafters and ceiling joists are supported by the top plate.

    TREAD – The horizontal part of the staircase on which a person steps to ascend or descend the stairs.

    TRAP – Usually a 4″ diameter cast-iron pipe, called the house trap, with a U bend which acts as a seal as water passes through it. It prevents sewer gases from entering into a house.

    TRUSS – An assembly often used in roof construction composed of roof rafters, horizontal joists, and braces.

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    UI LABEL – Label displayed on packaging to indicate the level of fire and/or wind resistance of asphalt roofing.

    U VALUE – Heat transfer coefficient of material.

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    VALLEY – The internal angle formed by the intersection of tow sloping roof planes.

    VAPOR BARRIER – Any material used to prevent the passage of water vapor.

    VAULT – A continuous length of arched ceiling.

    VENT SLEEVE – See Collar

    VENT STACK – A pipe riser that extends through the roof to the outside atmosphere to allow sewer gases to escape from plumbing system.

    VESTIBULE – A small entrance hall to a building or room.

    VERMICULITE – Bulk insulation material similar to mica.

    VOLT – A unit of electrical potential difference and electromotive force.

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    WAINSCOT – A facing or panel that is applied to the walls of a room. The lower part of an interior wall that is finished with a material different from the upper part.

    WALL BOARD – Any artificially prepared sheet materials or panels that are used to cover walls or ceilings as a substitute or base for plaster .

    WALL SHEATHING – Plywood sheets, usually 4’x8′, which are nailed to wall studs on outside. Exterior siding is applied over wall sheathing.

    WATER LINE / MAIN – Pipe supply water from source to point of use. Several types of material – brass, copper, CPVC, galvanized, lead, polybutylene, cast iron, wood – may be used.

    WATT – An electrical unit of power equal to one ampere running through a conductor with one volt of force.

    WC – Water Closet. Room containing toilet and wash basin.

    WEATHERING – Discolouration of wood surface due to prolonged exposure to sun, rain, wind, light, etc. Application of a bleaching oil will speed up this process.

    WEATHERSTRIP – A thin strip of metal, felt, wood, etc., that is used to cover the joint between a door or window sash and the jamb, casing or sill; keeps out air, dust, rain, etc.

    WEEP HOLE – Small opening at the bottom of a retaining wall or the lower section of a masonry veneer facing on a wood-frame exterior wall, which permits water to drain.

    WINDOW SILL – The lower or base framing of a window opening.

    WING – A building section or addition projecting out from the main structure.

    WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION – Construction in which walls and partitions are formed by the wood framing of studs, or posts and girts, supporting a wooden roof and floor decks; may be covered with wood, metal, stucco, composition siding or shingles or veneered with brick or stone facing.

    WROUGHT IRON – A comparatively pure form of iron with practically no carbon, that is easily forged, welded. Steel that has been molded and worked into ornamental shapes and patterns; used for railing, gates, furniture, etc.

    WYTHE – A vertical layer of masonry that is one masonry unit thick.

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    ZONE – The section of a building that is served by one heating or cooling loop because it has noticeably distinct heating or cooling needs. Also, the section of property that will be watered from a lawn sprinkler system.

    ZONING ORDINANCE – Code defined by town, county, city or other locality to govern building and land uses.

    ZONE VALVE – A device, usually placed near the heater or cooler, which controls the flow of water or steam to parts of the building; it is controlled by a zone thermostat.

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