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.


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"Any business owner who wants to be a good steward of company dollars needs to be involved with the ROII program. I see this program as a huge benefit to Baxter Construction and recommend it to all members. Program cost is very minimal and requires no time from you as a business owner, yet returns can be huge. We have seen returns as high as $8,500.00, so all I have to say about ROII is start now get involved in 2008." - Brice Baxter, Baxter Construction

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