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Construction Terms Beginning With Letter: F

FHA strap– Metal straps that are used to repair a bearing wall “cut-out”, and to “tie together” wall corners, splices, and bearing headers. Also, they are used to hang stairs and landings to bearing headers.

Face nail– To install nails into the vertical face of a bearing header or beam.

Faced concrete– To finish the front and all vertical sides of a concrete porch, step(s), or patio. Normally the “face” is broom finished.

Facing brick– The brick used and exposed on the outside of a wall. Usually these have a finished texture.

Fascia– Horizontal boards attached to rafter/truss ends at the eaves and along gables. Roof drain gutters are attached to the fascia.

Felt– Tar paper. Installed under the roof shingles. Normally 15 lb. or 30 lb.

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Construction Terms Beginning With Letter: E

Earnest Money– A sum paid to the seller to show that a potential purchaser is serious about buying.

Earthquake Strap– A metal strap used to secure gas hot water heaters to the framing or foundation of a house. Intended to reduce the chances of having the water heater fall over in an earthquake and causing a gas leak.

Easement– A formal contract which allows a party to use another party’s property for a specific purpose. e.g. A sewer easement might allow one party to run a sewer line through a neighbors property.

Eaves- The horizontal exterior roof overhang.

Egress– A means of exiting the home. An egress window is required in every bedroom and basement. Normally a 4′ X 4′ window is the minimum size required

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Construction Terms Beginning With Letter: D

Dado– A groove cut into a board or panel intended to receive the edge of a connecting board or panel.

Damper– A metal “door” placed within the fireplace chimney. Normally closed when the fireplace is not in use.

Dampproofing– The black, tar like waterproofing material applied to the exterior of a foundation wall.

Daylight– The end of a pipe (the terminal end) that is not attached to anything.

Dead bolt– An exterior security lock installed on exterior entry doors that can be activated only with a key or thumb-turn. Unlike a latch, which has a beveled tongue, dead bolts have square ends.

Dead light– The fixed, non-operable window section of a window unit.

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Construction Terms Beginning With Letter: C

CO– An abbreviation for “Certificate of Occupancy“. This certificate is issued by the local municipality and is required before anyone can occupy and live within the home. It is issued only after the local municipality has made all inspections and all monies and fees have been paid.

Caisson– A 10″ or 12″ diameter hole drilled into the earth and embedded into bedrock 3 – 4 feet. The structural support for a type of foundation wall, porch, patio, monopost, or other structure. Two or more “sticks” of reinforcing bars (rebar) are inserted into and run the full length of the hole and concrete is poured into the caisson hole

Cantilever– An overhang. Where one floor extends beyond and over a foundation wall. For example at a fireplace location or bay window cantilever. Normally, not extending over 2 feet.

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Construction Terms Beginning With Letter: B

Back Charge– Billings for work performed or costs incurred by one party that, in accordance with the agreement, should have been performed or incurred by the party to whom billed. Owners bill back charges to general contractors, and general contractors bill back charges to subcontractors. Examples of back charges include charges for cleanup work or to repair something damaged by another subcontractor, such as a tub chip or broken window.

Backfill– The replacement of excavated earth into a trench around or against a basement /crawl space foundationwall.

Backing– Frame lumber installed between the wall studs to give additional support for drywall or an interior trim related item, such as handrail brackets, cabinets, and towel bars. In this way, items are screwed and mounted into solid wood rather than weak drywall that may allow the item to break loose from the wall. Carpet backing holds the pile fabric in place.

Backout– Work the framing contractor does after the mechanical subcontractors (Heating-Plumbing-Electrical) finish their phase of work at the Rough (before insulation) stage to get the home ready for a municipal frame inspection. Generally, the framing contractor repairs anything disturbed by others and completes all framing necessary to pass a Rough Frame Inspection.

Ballast– A transformer that steps up the voltage in a florescent lamp.

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