Standards / Glossary
AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) – A type of circuit breaker that is designed to reduce the likelihood of fire caused by electrical arcing faults.
Beam – A structural member that transversely supports a load.
Bifold doors – Doors that are hinged at the center and guided by an overhead track.
Blocking – A solid, tight closure used between framing members.
Breakline – A dividing point between two or more surfaces.
Brick veneer – A non-structural outer covering of brick.
Bridging – Wood or metal structural members between horizontal (joists) or vertical (studs) framing that provide lateral rigidity to the members to which applied.
Bug holes – Pits, surface voids, and similar imperfections in a concrete wall. Bug holes generally are up toinch wide or deep.
Cantilever – Construction that is unsupported at one end and that projects outward from the site of the structure to carry loads from above or below.
Ceiling joist – The horizontal structural members to which the ceiling is fastened. Some members may support a floor above.
Checking – Cracks in wood.
Chimney cap – A metal or masonry surface that covers the top portion of a chimney that prevents the penetration of water.
Circuit – The complete path of electricity away from and back to its source.
Circuit breaker – A device that automatically interrupts an electrical circuit when it becomes overloaded.
Cold joint – A joint in poured concrete that indicates where the pour terminated and continued.
Control joint – A joint that is molded or cut in concrete to allow for expansion and contraction and to attempt to control random cracking.
Corner bead – A strip of wood or metal fastened over a corner for protection.
Crawl space – An area under a home which is not a basement or cellar.
Damper – A device used to regulate draft in a furnace or fireplace chimney.
Dead spots – Areas below a carpeted surface where padding appears to be missing or improperly installed.
Deflection – The amount a truss or beam bends under a load.
Dew point – The temperature at which moisture in the air condenses into drops.
Disturbed area – Any area adjacent to a dwelling where original vegetation has been altered or removed.
Downspout – A pipe that carries rainwater from the roof to the ground or to a sewer connection.
Drywall – Gypsum wallboard.
Duct – A round or rectangular pipe used to transmit and distribute warm or cool air from a central heating or cooling unit.
Eave – The lower or outer edge of a roof that projects over the side walls of a structure.
Efflorescence – A white powder that appears on the surface of masonry walls. It is usually caused by moisture reacting with the soluble salts in concrete and forming harmless carbonate compounds.
Finish flooring – The top flooring material that covers the subflooring surface; usually carpeting, hardwood, tile, vinyl, etc. flashing – Strips of metal or plastic material used to prevent moisture from entering roofs, walls, windows, doors, and foundations.
Floor joist – A horizontal framing member to which flooring is attached.
Footing – A flange-like part at the base of a foundation wall which ties and distributes loads from the foundation into the ground and prevents shifting and settling.
Foundation – That part of a building which is below the surface of the ground and on which the superstructure rests.
Frost lift – A condition caused by water freezing and causing soil to expand, which can cause two overlying, adjoining surfaces to separate from each other. Frost lift sometimes occurs at the junction of a garage floor and driveway.
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) – A type of circuit breaker that is extremely sensitive to moisture and changes in resistance to an electrical current flow. A GFCI protects against electrical shock or damage.
Gypsum – Hydrous calcium sulphate mineral rock.
Gypsum wallboard – See “drywall.”
Hardboard – A wood fiber panel with a density range of 50 to 80 pounds per cubic foot. It is made of wood fibers pressed into solid boards by heat and pressure.
Hardwood – A term used to designate wood from deciduous trees (which lose their leaves annually).
Header – A structural member placed across the top of an opening to support loads above.
Hinge-bound – A condition of a passage or entry door where hinge function impedes proper operation.
Holidays – Voids or inconsistencies in a finished surface.
Honeycomb – Voids in a concrete wall that are larger than bug holes (see “bug holes”).
HVAC – The abbreviation for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Systems.
Jamb – The side framing or finish material of a window, door, or other opening.
Joist – An on-edge-horizontal lumber member, such as a 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, or 2x12, which spans from wall to wall or beam to provide main support for flooring, ceiling, or roofing systems.
Junction box – A box that forms junctions between sections of house wiring.
Lath – Any material used as a base for plastering or stucco surfacing.
Lippage – The difference in surface alignment between two materials.
Mortar – An adhesive and leveling material used in brickwork, stone, block, and similar masonry construction.
Muntins – Strips of wood, metal, or plastic that divide a window into panes. Muntins can be installed within two pieces of glass or on the surface of the glass.
Parging – A rough coat of mortar applied over a masonry wall.
Pitch – The degree of incline in a sloped roof or structure.
Plumb – A measurement of true vertical.
Rafter – Structural members which shape and form the support for the roof deck and the roof covering.
Raveling – A condition in which aggregate is loose from asphalt pavement.
Register – A louvered device that allows air travel from the ducts into a room.
Riser (stairway) – A vertical stair member that supports a tread.
Riser (plumbing) – A water pipe that extends vertically one full story or more to convey water to branches or to a group of fixtures.
Roof ridge – The apex of a roof system.
Scaling – The flaking or peeling away of a surface portion of hardened concrete.
Setting – The driving of a fastener flush or below the surface of a material.
Shakes – Split wooden shingles that are random in thickness.
Sheathing – The application of panels to the face of framing members. Also known as “decking.” shim – A thin, tapered piece of material (usually wood) that is used to adjust or provide support for a member.
Sill – A framing member placed on top of and around a foundation to serve as a level base on which to support exterior wall studs.
Slab – A concrete floor/surface.
Soffitt – The enclosed under surface of an eave.
Spalling – The breaking away of a small piece of concrete.
Stair skirt – A finishing board that may cover the outside staircase edge.
Stud – A vertical framing members.
Subflooring – A floor decking material laid on top of the floor joists.
Substantial completion of the project – A project has met substantial completion where the areas are functional for their intended use as stated by the contract (except for items noted prior to final presentation), and clean-up on the site has been completed.
Sump pump – A pump that is installed in a crawl space, basement, or other low area to discharge water that might collect.
Swale – A shallow depression in the ground that is used as a drainway for water.
Telegraphing – A condition of a subsurface projecting through the finish material.
Tread – A horizontal stair member. A tread is the part you step on when walking up or down stairs.
Truss – An engineered assembly of wood or metal components that generally is used to support roofs or floors.
Vapor retarder – Plastic film or other material used to limit the amount of moisture vapor that passes through a material or wall assembly.
Warranty period – The duration of the applicable warranty provided by The Bolster Contractor or any other period agreed to by the parties.
Weather stripping – Material placed around doors, windows, and other openings to prevent the infiltration of air, dust, rain, etc.