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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


Joint Trench
When the electric company and telephone company dig one trench and 'drop' both of their service lines in.

Joist Hanger
A metal 'U' shaped item used to support the end of a floor joist and attached with hardened nails to another bearing joist or beam.

Jumpers
Water pipe installed in a water meter pit (before the water meter is installed), or electric wire that is installed in the electric house panel meter socket before the meter is installed. This is sometimes illegal.

Keeper
The metal latch plate in a door frame into which a doorknob plunger latches.

Kelvin
Thermometer scale on which a unit of measurement equals the Celsius degree.

Keyless
A plastic or porcelain light fixture that operates by a pull string. Generally found in the basement, crawl space, and attic areas.

Keyway
A slot formed and poured on a footer or in a foundation wall when another wall will be installed at the slot location. This gives additional strength to the joint/meeting point.

Kick Hole
A defect frequently found in perimeter flashings arising from being stepped on or kicked. A small fracture of the base flashing in the area of the cant.

Kiln Dried Lumber
Lumber that has been kiln dried often to a moisture content of 6 to 12 percent. Common varieties of softwood lumber, such as framing lumber are dried to a somewhat higher moisture content.

Kilowatt (KW)
One thousand watts. A kilowatt hour is the base unit used in measuring electrical consumption. Also see Watt.

King Stud
The vertical 2x4 frame lumber (left and right) of a window or door opening, and runs continuously from the bottom sole plate to the top plate.

Knife Consistency
Compound formulated in a degree of firmness suitable for application with a putty knife such as used for face glazing and other sealant applications.

Knot
In lumber, the portion of a branch or limb of a tree that appears on the edge or face of the piece.

Kraft
A heavy, water resistant paper.

Kynar Coating
Architectural coating that is UV stable and suitable for exterior use on aluminum and other metal surfaces.

Ladder, Fixed
A ladder which is permanently attached to a building.

Laminated Glass
Two or more lights of glass permanently bonded together with one or more inter-layers.

Laminated Shingles
Shingles that have added dimensionality because of extra layers or tabs, giving a shakelike appearance. May also be called 'architectural shingles' or 'three-dimensional shingles.'

Laminating
Bonding together two or more layers of materials.

Landing
A platform between flights of stairs or at the termination of a flight of stairs.

Lap
To extend one material partially over another; also, the distance so extended.

Lap Cement
An asphalt-based cement used to adhere overlapping plies of roll roofing.

Lath
A building material of wood, metal, gypsum, or insulating board that is fastened to the frame of a building to act as a plaster base.

Lath and Plaster
The most common wall finish prior to the introduction of drywall. Thin wood strips (lath) were nailed onto the framing as a base for the sand/lime plaster.

Lattice
A framework of crossed wood or metal strips.

Lavatory
Bathroom or washroom sink.

Leach field
A method used to treat/dispose of sewage in rural areas not accessible to a municipal sewer system. Sewage is permitted to be filtered and eventually discharged into a section of the lot called a leech field.

Lead
A malleable metal once extensively used for flashings.

Lead Based Paint
Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children 6 years old and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly.

Leader
See Downspout.

Lean-To Roof
The sloping roof of a building addition, having its rafters or supports pitched against and supported by the adjoining wall of a building.

Ledger Strip
A strip of lumber nailed along the bottom of the side of a girder on which joists rest.

Let-In Brace
Nominal 1 inch-thick boards applied into notched studs diagonally.

Level
Term use to describe any horizontal surface whereby all sides are at the same elevation.

Level (Carpenter's Level)
A tool used to check for level.

Level Payment Mortgage
A mortgage with identical monthly payments over the life of the loan.

Leveling Rod
A rod with graduated marks for measuring heights or vertical distances between given points and the line of sight of a leveling instrument. They are longer than a yardstick and are held by a surveyor in a vertical position.

Lien
An encumbrance that usually makes real or personal property the security for payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation.

Light
Space in a window sash for a single pane of glass. Also, a pane of glass.

Limit Switch
A safety control that automatically shuts off a furnace if it gets too hot. Most also control blower cycles.

Lineal Foot
A unit of measure for lumber equal to 1 inch thick by 12 inches wide by 12 inches long. Examples: 1' x 12' x 16' = 16 board feet, 2' x 12' x 16' = 32 board feet.

Lintel
A horizontal structural member that supports the load over an opening such as a door or window.

Liquated Damages
A monetary amount agreed upon by two parties to a contract prior to performance under the contract that specifies what a either party owes the other if that party defaults under the contract.

Liquid-Applied Membrane
Generally applied to cast-in-place concrete surfaces in one or more coats to provide fully-adhered waterproof membranes which conform to all contours.

Lite
(Not the beer!) Another term for a pane of glass. Also spelled 'light' in industry literature.

Live Load
Loads produced by use and occupancy of the building or other structure and do not include construction or environmental loads such as wind load, snow load, ice load, rain load, seismic load, or dead load.

Load Bearing Wall
A wall which is supporting its own weight and some other structural elements of the house such as the roof and ceiling structures.

Loan
The amount to be borrowed.

Loan to Value Ratio
The ratio of the loan amount to the property valuation and expressed as a percentage; e.g. if a borrower is seeking a loan of $200,000 on a property worth $400,000 it has a 50% loan to value rate. If the loan were $300,000, the LTV would be 75%. The higher the loan to value, the greater the lender's perceived risk. Loans above normal lending LTV r …

Lookout
A short wood bracket or cantilever to support an overhang portion of a roof or the like, usually concealed from view.

Loose Laid
In roofing, a membrane 'laid loosely,' i.e. not adhered, over a roof deck or Burm.

Lot
A parcel of ground with boundaries determined by the county.

Louver
An opening with a series of horizontal slats arranged so as to permit ventilation but to exclude rain, sun. light, or vision. See also Attic Ventilators.

Low-Slope Application
Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes between 2 and 4 inches per foot.

Lumber
The product of the sawmill and planing mill not further manufactured other than by sawing, re-sawing, and passing lengthwise through a standard planing machine, crosscutting to length, and matching.

Lumens
Unit of measure for total light output. The amount of light falling on a surface of one square foot.

Male IPS
Pipe connection where the threads are on the outside of the fitting. See MIP.

Male Threads
See MIP.

Mansard Roof
A roof which rises by inclined planes from all four sides of a building. The sloping roofs on all four sides have two pitches, the lower pitch usually very steep and the upper pitch less steep.

Mantel
The shelf above a fireplace. Also used in referring to the decorative trim around a fireplace opening.

Manufactured Wood
A wood product such as a truss, beam, Glue Lam or joist which is manufactured out of smaller wood pieces and glued or mechanically fastened to form a larger piece. Often used to create a stronger member which may use less wood. See Oriented Strand Board.

Manufacturers Specifications
The written installation and/or maintenance instructions which are developed by the manufacturer of a product and which may have to be followed in order to maintain the product warrantee.

Masonry
Stone, brick, concrete, hollow-tile, concrete block, gypsum block, or other similar building units or materials or a combination of the same, bonded together with mortar to form a wall, pier, buttress, or similar mass.

Masonry Primer
An asphalt-based primer used to prepare masonry surfaces for bonding with other asphalt products.

Mastic
Heavy-consistency compound that may remain adhesive and pliable with age. Is typically a waterproof compound applied to exterior walls and roof surfaces.

Matched Lumber
Lumber that is dressed and shaped on one edge in a grooved pattern and on the other in a tongued pattern.

Maximum Occupancy Load
The maximum number of people permitted in a room. It is measured per foot for each width of exit door. The maximum is 50 per foot of exit.

Mechanics Lien
A lien on real property, created by statue in many years, in favor of persons supplying labor or materials for a building or structure for the value of labor or materials supplied by them. In some jurisdictions, a mechanics lien also exists for the value of professional services. Clear title to the property cannot be obtained until the claim for t …

Melt Point
The temperature at which solid asphalt becomes a liquid.

Membrane
A generic term relating to a variety of sheet goods used for certain built-up roofing repairs and application.

Metal Edge
Brake metal or metal extrusions which are secured at the perimeter of the roof to form a weather-tight seal.

Metal Lath
Sheets of metal that are slit and drawn out to form openings. Used as a plaster base for walls and ceilings and as reinforcing over other forms of plaster base.

Microlam
A manufactured structural wood beam. It is constructed of pressure and adhesive bonded wood strands of wood. They have a higher strength rating than solid saw lumber. Normally comes in l ½' thickness' and 9 ½', 11 ½' and 14' widths.

Migration
Spreading or creeping of a constituent of a compound onto/into adjacent surfaces. See bleeding.

Mil Thickness
Measurement used to determine thickness of a coating. 1 mil = .001 inch (1/1000).

Milar (Mylar)
Plastic, transparent copies of a blueprint.

Millwork
Generally all building materials made of finished wood and manufactured in millwork plants and planing mills are included under the term 'millwork.' It includes such items as inside and outside doors, window and doorframes, blinds, porchwork, mantels, panelwork, stairways, moldings, and interior trim. It normally does not include flooring, ceiling …

Mineral Spirits
A by-product of petroleum, clear in color, used as a solvent for asphalt coatings.

Mineral Stabilizers
Finely ground limestone, slate, traprock or other inert materials added to asphalt coatings for durability and increased resistance to fire and weathering.

Mineral-Surfaced Roofing
Asphalt shingles and roll roofing that are covered with granules.

Minispread
A smaller variation of a widespread faucet with separate spout and handles designed small enough to fit 4' center-to-center faucet holes.

MIP (Male Iron Pipe)
Standard threads that are on the outside of a pipe or fitting.

Miter Joint
The joint of two pieces at an angle that bisects the joining angle. For example, the miter joint at the side and head casing at a door opening is made at a 45° angle.

Mixing Valve
A valve that mixes hot and cold water in the valve to obtain a set temperature prior to delivery.

Mobile Home Aluminum Roof Coating
Durable one-coat application prolongs the life of mobile home roofs while reflecting sun's rays and providing a decorative surface. Reduces energy costs.

Mock-Up Testing
Controlled air, water and structural performance testing of existing or new glazing systems.

Modified Bitumen Roof
A roof covering that is typically composed of a factory-fabricated composite sheet consisting of a copolymer-modified bitumen, often reinforced with polyester and/or fiberglass, and installed in one or more plies. The membrane is commonly surfaced with field-applied coatings, factory-applied granules or metal foil. The roofing system may incorpora …

Modulus
Stress at a given strain. Also tensile strength at a given elongation.

Moisture Content of Wood
Weight of the water contained in the wood, usually expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dry wood.

Molding
A wood strip having a coned or projecting surface used for decorative purposes, e.g., door and window trim.

Monitor
A large structure rising above the surrounding roof planes, designed to give light and/or ventilation to the building interior.

Monopost
Adjustable metal column used to support a beam or bearing point. Normally 11 gauge or Schedule 40 metal, and determined by the structural engineer.

Mopping
In roofing, a layer of hot bitumen mopped between plies of roofing felt. Full mopping is the application of bitumen by mopping in such a manner that the surface being mopped is entirely coated with a reasonably uniform coating. Spot Mopping is the procedure of applying hot bitumen in a random fashion of small daubs, as compared to full mopping. Sp …

Mortar Types
Type M is suitable for general use and is recommended specifically for masonry below grade and in contact with earth, such as foundations, retaining walls and walks. Type M is the strongest type. Type S is suitable for general use and is recommended where high resistance to lateral forces is required. Type N is suitable for general use in exposed …

Mortgage
Loan secured by land.

Mortgage Broker
A broker who represents numerous lenders and helps consumers find affordable mortgages; the broker charges a fee only if the consumer finds a loan.

Mortgage Company
A company that borrows money from a bank, lends it to consumers to buy homes, then sells the loans to investors.

Mortgage Deed
Legal document establishing a loan on property.

Mortgage Origination Fee
A charge for work involved in preparing and servicing a mortgage application (usually one percent of the loan amount).

Mortgagee
The lender who makes the mortgage loan.