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Construction Terms

A-B | C-E | F-G | H-K | L-Z

Approach: The initial part of a driveway that intersects a street or alley.

Beam: Trenches in foundation make-ups, engineered specifically to strengthen the slab. These are noted with dotted lines on the foundation Blue Prints.

Bottom Plate: Any 2 inch thick wolmanized lumber that is permanently attached horizontally to the slab. Usually this is at the bottom of a framed wall. More commonly know as green plate - pressure treated.

Brick Ledge: A 2 x 6 is used, so actually width of brick ledge is 5 1/2'. A brick ledge is needed everywhere that brick goes.

Cable: 3/8" or 1/2' steel cables encased in a plastic sleeve that are used in a Post Tension foundation.

Cable Intersection: Point at which two cables cross one another perpendicularly.

Ceiling Joist: Any 2 inch thick lumber used to construct a flat ceiling

Collar Ties: A horizontal framing member that is located 2/3 up the rise of the roof and connects to opposing rafters. It’s purpose is to prevent the rafters from pushing the exterior wall outward. A color tie should be installed on every other rafter.

Common Rafter: Any rafter that connects at one end to the ridge and the other to the top plate.

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Common Wall: Any shared wall between two rooms.

Cornice: Outside trim work, which generally involves the use of one inch thick lumber only.

Cornice Material: Consists of exterior doors, windows, pillars, louvers, etc., and 1 & 2 inch thick lumber.

Elevation: Exterior plan of the way the front of the house is supposed to look. Generally there are several elevations per floor plan.

Expansion Joint: Any material installed to allow either masonry or concrete to expand or contract due to weather. Usually this material is either redwood or asphalt impregnated gypsum.

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Fascia: The 1 x 6 trim that runs directly beneath the shingles. In general, this trims the rafter ends and closes off the gable ends.

False Rafters: Any 2 inch lumber used to construct a sloped ceiling.

Flatwork: Driveways, sidewalks and patios

Float: Any piece of lumber specifically used to make a deviation in the surface of a flat slab (porches, brick ledges, etc.).

Form: Wooden framing used to hold concrete in place until it hardens.

Frame: The wooden skeleton of the home.

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Gable Furrouts: Any type of framing that’s purpose is to extend a gable out over a brick ledge and provide a place for siding to be nailed to.

Gable Roofs: A roof constructed to be sloped on two sides and have siding at each end.

Header: A horizontal framing member (excluding the top plate itself) located at the top of any framed opening (i.e., the top of a window or door).

Hip Rafter: Any rafter running from a comer too plate to the ridge, that has jack rafters connecting to it and the top plate only.

Jack Rafter: Any rafter that does not connect to both the ridge and top plate at the same time (i.e., top plate to hip rafter or ridge to valley rafter).

Kicker: The angle brace used in connection with a stake to support the walls of the foundation form.

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Lintel: Any type of trim of support over an opening (i.e., brick fireplace's lintel).

Live end: The stressing end of a post tension cable that protrudes from the foundation form.

Living Area: Square footage of air-conditioned floor space. Abbreviation = LA.

Perlins: A horizontal framing member attached, running perpendicular to the rafters. Perlin braces should be attached to both the rafter and perlin. Any rafter over 12 feet long should be supported by perlin and perlin brace.

Perlin Brace: A roof brace that ideally runs at a 90 degree angle from a rafter to a wall. There should be one perlin brace for every other rafter over 12 feet long.

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Pitch: The slop of the roof itself described by a ratio (example: 10/12 pitch). The denominator indicated horizontal distance and the numerator is the vertical rise.

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