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Rook Home Inspections LLC - Glossary of domestic engineering
Category: Architecture and Buildings > Home inspection
Date & country: 16/01/2008, UK
Words: 1350


Bearing Wall
A wall that supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.

Bed Molding
A molding in an angle, as between the over hanging cornice or eaves of a building and the side walls.

Bed or Bedding
In glazing, the bead compound or sealant applied between a light of glass or panel and the stationary stop or sight bar of the sash or frame. It is usually the first bead of compound or sealant to be applied when setting glass or panels.

Bedrock
A subsurface layer of earth that is suitable to support a structure.

Bell Reducer
In plumbing, a fitting shaped like a bell which has one opening of a smaller diameter used to reduce the size of the pipe in the line, and the opposite opening of larger diameter.

Below Grade
The portion of a building that is below ground level.

Bent Glass
Flat glass that has been shaped while hot into curved shapes.

Bevel
The angle of the front edge of a door usually from 1/8' to 2.'

Bevel Siding (or Lap Siding)
Wedge-shaped boards used as horizontal siding in a lapped pattern. This siding varies in butt thickness from ½ to ¾ inch and in widths up to 12 inches. Normally used over some type of sheathing.

Bid
A formal offer by a contractor, in accordance with specifications for a project, to do all or a phase of the work at a certain price in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the offer.

Bid Bond
A bond issued by a surety on behalf of a contractor that provides assurance to the recipient of the contractor's bid that, if the bid is accepted, the contractor will execute a contract and provide a performance bond. Under the bond, the surety is obligated to pay the recipient of the bid the difference between the contractor's bid and the bid of …

Bid Documents
Drawings, details, and specifications for a particular project.

Bid Security
Funds or a bid bond submitted with a bid as a guarantee to the recipient of the bid that the contractor, if awarded the contract, will execute the contract in accordance with the bidding requirements of the contract documents.

Bid Shopping
A practice by which contractors, both before and after their bids are submitted, attempt to obtain prices from potential subcontractors and material suppliers that are lower than the contractors' original estimates on which their bids are based, or after a contract is awarded, seek to induce subcontractors to reduce the subcontract price included …

Bidding Requirements
The procedures and conditions for the submission of bids. The requirements are included on documents, such as the notice to bidders, advertisements for bids, instructions to bidders, invitations to bid, and sample bid forms.

Bifold Door
Doors that are hinged in the middle to allow them to open in a smaller area than standard swing doors. Often used for closet doors.

Binder
A receipt for a deposit to secure the right to purchase a home at an agreed terms by a buyer and seller.

Bipass Doors
Doors that slide by each other. Commonly used as closet doors.

Bird's-Mouth Cut
A cutout in a rafter where it crosses the top plate of the wall providing a bearing surface for nailing. Also called a heel cut.

Bite
The dimension by which the framing system overlaps the edge of the glazing infill.

Bitumen
Any of various mixtures of hydrocarbons occurring naturally or obtained through the distillation of coal or petroleum. (See Coat Tar Pitch and Asphalt).

Blankets
Fiber-glass or rock-wool insulation that comes in long rolls 15 or 23 inches wide.

Bleeding
The migration of a liquid to the surface of a component or into/onto an adjacent material.

Blind Nailing
Nailing in such a way that the nail heads are not visible on the face of the work—usually at the tongue of matched boards.

Blind Stop
A rectangular molding, usually ¾ by 1-3/8 inches or more in width, used in the assembly of a window frame. Serves as a stop for storm and screen or combination windows and to resist air infiltration.

Blister
An enclosed raised spot evident on the surface of a building. They are mainly caused by the expansion of trapped air, water vapor, moisture or other gases.

Block Out
To install a box or barrier within a foundation wall to prevent the concrete from entering an area. For example, foundation walls are sometimes 'blocked' in order for mechanical pipes to pass through the wall, to install a crawl space door, or to depress the concrete at a garage door location.

Blocked (Door Blocking)
Wood shims used between the door frame and the vertical structural wall framing members.

Blocked (Rafters)
Short 2x4s used to keep rafters from twisting, and installed at the ends and at mid-span.

Blocking
In carpentry, the process of fastening together two pieces of board by gluing blocks of wood in the interior angle.

Blow Insulation
Fiber insulation in loose form used to insulate attics and existing walls where framing members are not exposed.

Blue Prints
Architectural plans for a building or construction project, which likely include floor plans, footing and foundation plans, elevations, plot plans, and various schedules and or details.

Blue Stain
A bluish or grayish discoloration of the sapwood caused the growth of certain mold like fungi on the surface and in the interior of a piece, made possible by the same conditions that favor the growth of other fungi.

Blue Stake
Also Utility Notification. When a utility company (telephone, gas, electric, cable TV, sewer and water, etc) comes to the job site and locates and spray paints the ground and/or installs small flags to show where their service is located underground.

Board and Batten
A method of siding in which the joints between vertically placed boards or plywood are covered by narrow strips of wood.

Board Foot
The volume of a piece of wood measuring 12 inches square and in inch thick. A piece of lumber 1/2' thick and 6 inches wide and 24 inches long is equal to one board foot.

Boards
Yard lumber less than 2 inches thick and 2 or more inches wide.

Bodied Linseed Oil
Linseed oil that has been thickened in viscosity by suitable processing with heat or chemicals. Bodied oils are obtainable in a great range in viscosity from a little greater than that of raw oil to just short of a jellied condition.

Boiled Linseed Oil
Linseed oil in which enough lead, manganese or cobalt salts have been incorporated to make the oil harden more rapidly when spread in thin coatings.

Bolster
A short horizontal timber or steel beam on top of a column to support and decrease the span of beams or girders.

Bond Breaker
A substance or a tape applied between two adjoining materials to prevent adhesion between them.

Bond or Bonding
An amount of money (usually $5,000-$10,000) which must be on deposit with a governmental agency in order to secure a contractor's license. The bond may be used to pay for the unpaid bills or disputed work of the contractor. Not to be confused with a performance bond. They are an insurance policy which guarantees proper completion of a project. Suc …

Bond Plaster
In addition to gypsum, bond plaster contains 2-5% lime by weight and chemical additives which improve the bond with dense non-porous surfaces such as concrete. It is used as a base coat.

Bonding Strip (Electrical)
A thin strip of metal inside armored or BX cable. This strip is meant to back up the primary ground.

Boom
A truck used to hoist heavy material up and into place, to put trusses on a home or to set a heavy beam into place.

Boston Ridge
A method of applying asphalt or wood shingles at the ridge or at the hips of a roof as a finish.

Bottom Chord
The lower or bottom horizontal member of a truss.

Bottom Plate
The 2x4s or 6s that lay on the subfloor upon which the vertical studs are installed. Also called the sole plate.

Bow
A curve, bend, warping or other deviation from flatness in glass or wood.

Box Cornice
A cornice completely closed with trim work.

Brace
An inclined piece of framing lumber applied to wall or floor to stifled the structure. Often used on walls as temporary bracing until framing has been completed.

Bracing
Ties and rods used for supporting and strengthening various parts of a building used for lateral stability for columns and beams.

Brake Metal
Sheet metal that has been bent to the desired configuration.

Branch Circuit (Electrical)
Wiring that runs from a service panel or sub-panel to outlets. Branch circuits are protected by fuses or breakers at the panel.

Breaker Box
A metal box that contains circuit breakers or fuses that control the electrical current in a home.

Breaker Panel
The electrical box that distributes electric power entering the home to each branch circuit (each plug and switch) and composed of circuit breakers.

Breeze Way
A roofed, open-sided passageway connecting two structures, such as a house and a garage.

Brick Ledge
Part of the foundation wall where brick (veneer) will rest.

Brick Lintel
The metal angle iron that brick rests on, especially above a window, door, or other opening.

Brick Mold
Trim used around an exterior door jamb onto which siding butts.

Brick Tie
A small, corrugated metal strip (1'x6'- 8' long) nailed to wall sheeting or studs. They are inserted into the grout mortar joint of the veneer brick, and hold the veneer wall to the sheeted wall behind it.

Brick Veneer
A facing of brick laid against and fastened to the sheathing of a frame wall or tile wall construction.

Bridging
Small wood or metal members that are inserted in a diagonal position between the floor joists at midspan to act as both tension and compression members for the purpose of bracing the joists a spreading the action of loads.

Broker
One that acts as an agent for others, as in negotiating contracts, purchases, or sales in return for a fee or commission.

Browncoat
The coat of plaster directly beneath the finish coat. In three-coat work, the brown is the second coat.

BTU
A measure of the capacity of a heating or cooling system. Abbreviation of British Thermal Unit. The amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water through a change of one degree Fahrenheit.

Bubbling
In glazing, open or closed pockets in a sealant caused by release, production or expansion of gasses.

Buck
Often used in reference to rough frame opening members. Door bucks used in reference to metal door frame.

Buckling
The bending of a building material as a result of wear and tear or contact with a substance such as water.

Builder's Risk Insurance
Insurance coverage on a construction project during construction, including extended coverage that may be added for the contract for the customer's protections.

Building Brick
Brick for building purposes not especially treated for texture or color, formerly called 'common brick.' It is stronger than face brick.

Building Code
Minimum local or state regulations established to protect health and safety. They apply to building design, construction, rehabilitation, repair, materials, occupancy and use. Community ordinances governing the manner in which a home may be constructed or modified.

Building Paper
A general term for papers, felts and similar sheet materials used in buildings without reference to their properties or uses. Generally comes in long rolls.

Building Permit
Written authorization from the city, county or other governing regulatory body giving permission to construct or renovate a building. A building permit is specific to the building project described in the application.

Built-Up Beam (or Girder)
Beam (or girder) created by sistering or 'scabbing' two or more pieces of lumber together.

Built-Up Roof
A roofing composed of three to five layers of asphalt felt laminated with coal tar, pitch, or asphalt. The top is finished with crushed slag or gravel. Generally used on flat or low-pitched roofs.

Bull Nose (Drywall)
Rounded drywall corners.

Bullfloat
A tool used to finish and flatten a slab. After screeding, the first stage in the final finish of concrete, smoothes and levels hills and voids left after screeding. Sometimes substituted for darbying. A large flat or tool usually of wood, aluminum or magnesium with a handle.

Bundle
A package of shingles. There are 3, 4 or 5 bundles per square.

Bushing
A pipe fitting for joining pipes with different diameters. A bushing is threaded on the inside and outside.

Butt Glazing
The installation of glass products where the vertical glass edges are without structural supporting mullions.

Butt Joint
The junction where the ends of two timbers or other members meet in a square-cut joint.

Butterfly Roof
A roof assembly, which pitches sharply from either side toward the center.

Buttering
In glazing, application of sealant or compound to the flat surface of some member before placing the member in position, such as the buttering of a removable stop before fastening the stop in place.

Butyl
Type of non-curing and non-skinning sealant made from butylene. Usually used for internal applications.

Buy Down
A subsidy (usually paid by a builder or developer) to reduce monthly payments on a mortgage.

BX Cable
Armored electrical cable wrapped in galvanized steel outer covering. A factory assembly of insulated conductors inside a flexible metallic covering. It can be run anywhere except where exposed to excessive moisture. It should not be run below grade. It must always be grounded and uses its armor as an equipment ground. It is difficult to pull out o …

Calcium Chloride
A chemical used to speed up curing of concrete in damp conditions.

Calibrate
To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard (the graduations of a quantitative measuring instrument): calibrate a thermometer.

Calibration
The act or process of calibrating or the state of being calibrated.

Camber
A slightly arched surface, as of a road, a ship's deck, an airfoil, or a snow ski.

Camber Arch
An arch whose intrados, though apparently straight, has a slightly concave curve upward.

Camber Beam
A beam whose under side has a concave curve upward.

Camber Windows
Casement windows with a curved top.

Candidate
An indentured servant. Beginning level of inspection association membership. Slave. See Associate Member.

Canopy
An overhanging roof.

Cant Strip
A beveled support used at the junction of a flat surface and a vertical surface to prevent bends and/or cracking of the roofing membrane at the intersection of the roof deck and wall. Used with a base flashing to minimize breaking of the roofing felts.

Cantilever
A projecting beam or other structure supported only at one end. Any part of a structure that projects beyond its main support and is balanced on it.

Cantilevered Void
Foundation void material used in unusually expansive soil conditions. This void is 'trapezoid' shaped and has vertical sides of 6' and 4' respectively.

Cap
The upper member of a column, pilaster, door cornice, molding, and the like.