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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


Console Lavatory
A table-like lavatory in which the basin is attached to a wall at the back and by table or piano legs at the front.

Construction Adhesive
Thick-bodied adhesive, suited to a wide range of repair and construction tasks. Packaged in convenient cartridges for caulking guns.

Construction Contract
A legal document which specifies the details of a construction project. A good construction contract will include: 1.The contractors registration number. 2.A statement of work quality such as 'Standard Practices of the Trades' or 'according to Manufacturers Specifications.' 3.A set of blue prints or plans. 4.A set of specifications. 5.Any allowanc …

Construction Drywall
A type of construction in which the interior wall finish is applied in a dry condition, generally in the form of sheet materials or wood paneling as contrasted to plaster.

Construction Loan
A loan provided by a lending institution specifically to construct or renovate a building.

Construction, Frame
A type of construction in which the structural parts are wood or depend upon a wood frame for support. In codes, if masonry veneer is applied to the exterior walls, the classification of this type of construction is usually unchanged.

Continuing Education
Ongoing education, often a requirement for membership in a home inspection association. For example, NACHI's Continuing Education Policy.

Continuity Tester
An electrical tool used to identify and diagnose a circuit as either open or closed.

Contractor
An individual licensed to perform certain types of construction activities. In most states, the generals contractor's license and some specialty contractor's licenses don't require of compliance with bonding, workmen's compensation and similar regulations. Some of the specialty contractor licenses involve extensive training, testing and/or insuran …

Control Joint
A control joint controls or accommodates movement in the surface component of a roof.

Convection
A method of transferring heat by the actual movement of heated molecules, usually by a freestanding unit such as a furnace.

Conventional Loan
A mortgage loan not insured by a government agency (such as FHA or VA).

Convertibility
The ability to change a loan from an adjustable rate schedule to a fixed rate schedule.

Cooling Load
The amount of cooling required to keep a building at a specified temperature during the summer, usually 78° Fahrenheit, regardless of outside temperature.

Cooling Tower
A large device mounted on roofs, consisting of many baffles over which water is pumped in order to reduce its temperature.

Coped
Removing the top and bottom flange of the end(s) of a metal I-beam. This is done to permit it to fit within, and bolted to, the web of another I-beam in a 'T' arrangement.

Coped Joint
Cutting and fitting woodwork to an irregular surface.

Coping
A construction unit placed at the top of the parapet wall to serve as a cover for the wall.

Coping Joint
The intersection of a roof slope and an exterior vertical wall.

Copper Pipe Types
Type K has the heaviest or thickest wall and is generally used underground. It has a green stripe. Type L has a medium wall thickness and is most commonly used for water service and for general interior water piping. It has a blue stripe. Type M has a thin wall and many codes permit its use in general water piping installation. It has a red stripe …

Corbel
The triangular, decorative and supporting member that holds a mantel or horizontal shelf.

Corbel Out
To build out one or more courses of brick or stone from the face of a wall to form a support for timbers.

Core
A small section cut from any material to show internal composition.

Corner Bead
A strip of formed sheet metal, sometimes combined with a strip of metal lath, placed on corners before plastering to reinforce them. Also, a strip of wood finish three-quarters-round or angular placed over a plastered corner for protection.

Corner Boards
Used as trim for the external corners of a house or other frame structure against which the ends of the siding are finished.

Corner Braces
Diagonal braces at the corners of frame structure to stiffen and strengthen the wall.

Cornerite
Metal-mesh lath cut into strips and bent to a right angle. Used in interior corners of walls and ceilings on lath to prevent cracks in plastering.

Cornice
A horizontal projecting course on the exterior of a building, usually at the base of the parapet. In residential construction, the overhang of a pitched roof at the cave line, usually consisting of a facie board, a soffit for a closed cornice, and appropriate moldings.

Cornice Return
The portion of the cornice that returns on the gable end of a house.

Corrosion
The deterioration of metal by chemical or electrochemical reaction resulting from exposure to weathering, moisture, chemicals or other agents or media.

Corrugated
Folded or shaped into parallel ridges or furrows so as to form a symmetrically wavy surface.

Cost Breakdown
A breakdown of all the anticipated costs on a construction or renovation project.

Cost Plus Contract
See Time and Materials Contract.

Counter Flashing
The formed metal secured to a wall, curb, or roof top unit to cover and protect the upper edge of a base flashing and its associated fasteners. This type of flashing is usually used in residential construction on chimneys at the roofline to cover shingle flashing and to prevent moisture entry.

Counterfort
A foundation wall section that strengthens (and is generally perpendicular to) a long section of foundation wall.

Coupling
In plumbing, a short collar with only inside threads at each end, for receiving the ends of two pipes which are to be fitted and joined together. A right/left coupling is one used to join 2 gas pipes in limited space.

Course
A single layer of brick or stone or other building material.

Cove Molding
A molding with a concave face used as trim or to finish interior corners.

Covenants
Rules usually developed by a builder or developer regarding the physical appearance of buildings in a particular geographic area. Typical covenants address building height, appropriate fencing and landscaping, and the type of exterior material (stucco, brick, stone, siding, etc) that may be used.

Coverage
Amount of weather protection provided by the roofing material. Depends on number of layers of material between the exposed surface of the roofing and the deck; i.e. single coverage, double coverage, etc.

CPVC
Plastic water piping.

Crater
Pit in the surface of concrete resulting from cracking of the mortar due to expansive forces associated with a particle of unsound aggregate or a contaminating material, such as wood or glass.

Crawl Space
A shallow open area between the floor of a building and the ground, normally enclosed by the foundation wall.

Crawlspace
The area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor structural component.

Crazing
A series of hairline cracks in the surface of weathered materials, having a web-like appearance. Also, hairline cracks in pre-finished metals caused by bending or forming (see Brake Metal).

Credit Rating
A report ordered by a lender from a credit agency to determine a borrower's credit habits.

Cricket
A peaked saddle construction at the back of a chimney to prevent accumulation of snow and ice and to deflect water around the chimney.

Cripple Stud
Short stud used as support in wall openings that replaces a normal 93 inch or 96 inch stud.

Cripple Walls
In a wood-frame house, the section of wall under the house between the concrete foundation and the floor joists. Also called crawl space walls.

Crock
Used in the ground to hold water for pumping sump pumps.

Cross Tee
Short metal 'T' beam used in suspended ceiling systems to bridge the spaces between the main beams.

Cross-Bridging
Diagonal bracing between adjacent floor joists, placed near the center of the joist span to prevent joists from twisting.

Crosscutting
Cutting across the wood grain; to crosscut a board is to cut across its width.

Crown Molding
A molding used on cornice or wherever an interior angle is to be covered.

Culvert
Round, corrugated drain pipe (normally 15' or 18' in diameter) that is installed beneath a driveway parallel to and near the street.

Cupola
A small dome at the peak of a pitched roof.

Cupping
A type of warping that causes boards to curl up at their edges.

Curb
A short wall or masonry built above the level of the roof that provides a means of flashing the deck equipment.

Curb Roof
A roof with an upper and lower set of rafters on each side, the under-set being less inclined to the horizon than the upper; a mansard roof.

Curing
In concrete application, the process in which mortar and concrete harden. The length of time is dependent upon the type of cement, mix proportion, required strength, size and shape of the concrete section, weather and future exposure conditions. The period may be 3 weeks or longer for lean concrete mixtures used in structures such as dams or it ma …

Curing (Paint)
The process of paint bonding to a surface. Curing and drying are not the same.

Curing Agent
One part of a multi-part sealant which, when added to the base, will cause the base to change its physical state by chemical reaction between the two parts.

Curtain Drain
A ditch sometimes filled with gravel and a drain tile which diverts storm and drain water away from a structure.

Curtain Wall
A thin wall, supported by the structural steel or concrete frame of the building independent of the wall below. Also a metal (most often aluminum) framing system on the face of a building containing vision glass panels and spandrel panels made of glass, aluminum, or other material.

Cut Off
A piece of roofing membrane consisting of one or more narrow plies of felt usually mopped in hot to seal the edge of insulation at the end of a day's work.

Cut-In Brace
Nominal 2-inch-thick members, usually 2x4s, cut in between each stud diagonally.

Cutback
In roofing, basic asphalt or tar which has been 'cut back' with solvents and oils so that the material become fluid.

Cutoff Valves
Valves used to shut water off, generally located under sinks or behind bathtub and shower access panels. They cut off hot and/or cold water at the source without cutting all water off throughout the house.

Damper
An air valve that regulates the flow of air inside the flue of a furnace or fireplace.

Dampproofing
A process used on concrete, masonry or stone surfaces to repel water, the main purpose of which is to prevent the coated surface from absorbing rain water while still permitting moisture vapor to escape from the structure. (Moisture vapor readily penetrates coatings of this type.) 'Dampproofing' generally applies to surfaces above grade; 'waterpro …

Darby
A flat tool used to smooth concrete flatwork immediately after screeding. See Bullfloating.

De-Humidistat
A control mechanism used to operate a mechanical ventilation system based upon the relative humidity in the home.

Dead Load
The constant, design-weight (of the roof) and any permanent fixtures attached above or below.

Decay
Disintegration of wood or other substance through the action of fungi.

Deck
An elevated platform. 'Deck' is also commonly used to refer to the above-ground floors in multi-level parking garage.

Deck Paint
An enamel with a high degree of resistance to mechanical wear designed for use on such surfaces as porch floors.

Decorative
Ornamental; not required for the operation of essential systems and components of a home.

Deflect
To bend or deform under weight.

Deflection
The amount of bending movement of any part of a structural member perpendicular to the axis of the member under an applied load.

Density
The mass of substance in a unit volume. When expressed in the metric system, it is numerically equal to the specific gravity of the same substance.

Describe
Report in writing on a system or component by its type or other observed characteristics to distinguish it from other components used for the same purpose.

Design Pressure
Specified pressure a product is designed to withstand.

Designer
One who designs houses, interiors, landscaping or other objects. When used it the context of residential construction it usually suggests that a designer is not a licensed architect. Most jurisdictions don't require an architectural license for most single family construction.

Determine
To arrive at an opinion or conclusion pursuant to examination.

Dew Point
Temperature at which vapor condenses from the atmosphere and forms water.

Dimension Lumber
Yard lumber from 2 inches to, but not including, 5 inches thick and 2 or more inches wide. Includes joists, rafters, studs, plank, and small timbers.

Direct Gain System
Passive solar heating system in which sunlight penetrates and warms the house interior directly.

Direct Nailing
To nail perpendicular to the initial surface or to the junction of the pieces joined. Also termed Face Nailing.

Dismantle
To open, take apart or remove any component, device or piece that would not typically be opened, taken apart or removed by an ordinary occupant.

Disposer
A device that grinds food sufficiently to enter drains for disposal without clogging them.

Distortion
Alteration of viewed images caused by variations in glass flatness or in homogeneous portions within the glass. An inherent characteristic of heat-treated glass.

Diverter
Valves which have a single inlet and direct water to one of two outlets. Diverters are used with handshowers, shower risers, tub & shower combinations, and kitchen faucet sprayers.

Diverter Valve
A device that changes the direction of water flow from one faucet to another.

Dolly Varden Siding
Beveled wood siding which is rabbeted on the bottom edge.

Doorjamb (Interior)
The surrounding case into which and out of which a door closes and opens. It consists of two upright pieces, called side jambs, and a horizontal head jamb.

Dormer
A converted attic with windows projecting through a sloping roof.

Double Coverage
Application of asphalt roofing so that the lapped portion is at least 2 inches wider than the exposed portion, resulting in two layers of roofing material over the deck.

Double Hung Window
A window with sashes that slide vertically and allow opening from the top and bottom.

Double Plate
When two layers of 2x4s are placed on top of studs in framing a wall.

Double Strength
In float glass, approximately 1/8' (3 mm.) thick.