Central Washington Homebuilders Association - Full Article: Common Terms

Common Terms

Backfill » Earth or other material replaced in the space around a building wall that was removed during construction.

Beam» The principal horizontal wood or steel members of a building (also called girders).



Cantilever »
A projecting beam or joist supported only at one end, used to support an extension of a structure.

Corner Bead » A strip of galvanized iron for protecting the corners of plastered walls.



Dormer » 
A projecting frame or minor gable in a pitched roof.

Drip Edge» L-shaped weather-resistant metal that is installed at exposed roof edges (eaves) to protect the roof's wooden parts from water damage.



Fascia » 
A decorative flat board or band used to cover joints between the wall and the eaves.

Felt Paper » A building paper infused with asphalt used on exterior walls and roofs that insulates against heat, cold and moisture.

Fill Insulation » Loose, granulated material which is applied by hand or blown into wall spaces mechanically that reduces the transfer of heat.

Flashing » Non-corrosive metal used for waterproofing around angles or junctions in roofs and exterior walls.

Footing » An enlarged concrete base on which a foundation or column sits.

Foundation » The lower support or base, typically below ground level, on which the structure is built.



Gable » 
The triangular part of the end of a structure from cornice or eaves to ridge.

Grade » The level of the ground around a building.



Headers »
 The horizontal beam or over a door or window that provides support for the opening; a beam used to support free ends of floor joists, studs or rafters.

Hip » The external intersection of two slopes of a roof.



Ledger »
 The horizontal piece of wood attached to a beam to support joists.



Moisture Barrier » 
Material used to keep dampness from passing into walls or floors, usually treated paper or plastic.

Mullion » The thin framing that divides the lights in a window or panes in a door.



Pitch »
 The angle or slope of a roof.



Rafter » 
One of a series of structural roof members used to support roof loads.

Reinforced Concrete » Concrete fortified with wire or metal bars.

Riser » The vertical piece of a stair step running from tread to tread.



Slab » 
A thick, often reinforced-concrete floor laid in a single, unjointed piece on the interior of surrounding foundation walls (monolithic slabs join the pouring of foundation walls and floor into one pour).

Soffit » The visible underside of a structural member of a building, including staircases, cornices, overhangs or eaves.

Stringer » A long, horizontal member that connects uprights in a frame or supports a floor; also one of the enclosed sides of a run of stairs supporting the treads and risers.

Studs » Vertical members (usually two-by-fours or two-by-sixes) to which horizontal pieces (plates) are nailed to frame walls.



Truss » 
A grouping of structural members, typically triangular, to form a rigid framework to span between load-bearing walls for supporting a roof.



Wall Sheathing » 
The first layer of exterior wall covering, usually sheets of plywood, gypsum board, or other material, nailed to the outside face of studs as a base for exterior siding.


Share this article


Other stories in:

"We at Pro-Build have been Title sponsoring the CWHBA Golf Classic for many years. Not only does it allow us time to spend with our current members, but it also gives us the chance to visit with many others in our local building industry that we don't see on a daily basis. That time is invaluable to us!" - Earl, Builders FirstSource / Pro-Build

Web site designed by Invisible Ink