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Here are a few terms you’ll probably hear when selecting and building a brand new home.

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A method of spanning an opening, usually a curved or pointed structural member; however, there are many different types.


The raised lip on the back edge of a countertop to prevent water from running down the backs of the cabinets.

Board and Batten
Vertical siding where wood strips (battens) hide the seams where other boards are joined.


Can Lighting (aka Recessed Lighting)
A mounted ceiling light in which the fixture is recessed and the only part visible is the bulb and trim ring.

Casement Window
A window that is hinged at one side so the opposite side opens outward.

Door and window framing or trim.

Chair Rail
Wooden molding on a wall around a room at the level of a chair back.

Collar Tie
A horizontal piece of lumber that connects rafters opposite of each other and prevents them from spreading apart.

Crown Molding
A molding where the wall and ceiling meet; uppermost molding on cabinetry.


The projecting frame of a recess in a sloping roof.

Double-Acting Door
A door hinged that swings both inward and outward.

Double-Hung Windows
Windows with an operable upper and lower sash, each supported by cords and/or weights and springs.

Dry Wall
A wall surface of plasterboard or material other than plaster (sheetrock).


A right of access to a property. There are several types of easements: a drainage easement is for underground piping; a utility easement is for the water, phone, sewer, gas and electric company to be able to install or repair their lines.


Structural portion under framed walls. Foundation walls of masonry or concrete are mainly below ground level.

The rough lumber of a house including, but not limited to, joists, studs, rafters, trusses, blocking and beams.


The end/face of the last truss at an exterior wall.


Heated Square Footage
The square footage of a building that is climate controlled as opposed to square footage under a roof that includes garage and porches.

Hip Roof
A roof that slants upward on three or four sides.

Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.


Low E Glass
Low E stands for “low emissivity,” a microscopic metallic coating on glass that reflects UV rays.

LP TechShield Radiant Barrier
LP TechShield® Radiant Barrier Sheathing helps block radiant heat from entering the attic. It can reduce monthly air conditioning costs up to 17 percent. It installs just like regular roof sheathing, with no additional labor costs. Unlike other radiant barriers, LP TechShield features VaporVents™ technology, which helps the panel dry quickly if it’s exposed to moisture during the construction process.


(Oriented Strand Board)
An engineered wood product formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations. In appearance, it may have a rough surface with the individual strips of around 2.5 x 15 cm / 1 x 6 in, lying unevenly across each other.

The projecting area of a roof or upper story beyond the wall of the lower part.


Pedestal Sink
A bathroom sink with a porcelain bowl hung on the wall and supported by a porcelain pedestal.

A drawing of surveyed land indicating the location, boundaries and dimensions of the parcel. The recorded plat, usually sent to an appropriate governmental office or the county recorders office, also contains information as to easements, restrictions and lot number.

Plot Plan / Site Plan
A lot drawing that has the area in which a house plan must fit. The drawing will include the house plan and driveway laid out within the setbacks, outlined by the architectural review committee, onto the survey of the lot.

Powder Room
A room containing a toilet and a lavatory, without a bathtub or shower.

Punch List
A list of discrepancies that need to be corrected by the contractor.


Quarter Round
A small molding that has the cross section of a quarter circle.


Hand cut vinyl or hardiplank shingles.

Sheets, usually of OSB, which are nailed to the top edges of trusses or rafters to tie the roof and walls together and support the roofing material.

Thin tapered piece of wood used to level or plum windows and doors.

Pieces of wood or other material used as an overlapping outer covering on walls or roofs.

The visible underside of structural members such as staircases, cornices, beams, roof overhang or eave.


A wood member that binds a pair of principal rafters at the bottom.

Transom Window
A narrow horizontal window above a door or window, named for the cross bar on which it rests.

The horizontal part of a stair step.

Trey Ceiling
A decorative ceiling treatment used to add volume and/or height to a room. Two common types include an angled area toward the center leading to a flat ceiling surface, and a stepped square edged leading toward the center of the ceiling.

A combination of structural members usually arranged in triangular units to form a rigid framework for spanning between load-bearing walls.

Tyvek® House Wrap System
DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap® helps prevent outside water from entering the walls and help to seal the home to keep outside air where it belongs. It also helps reduce homeowner energy bill because homes stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter and dry all year round.


Vaulted Ceiling
A ceiling that slopes up to a peak.

Ventilated Shelving
Ventilated shelving refers to wire shelving coated with epoxy or vinyl, typically white, that supports lighter items such as linens, towels and folded clothing and allows the textiles to breathe. Wide-mesh ventilated shelving works well in clothes closets, and you can install heavy-duty, narrow-mesh shelving to store weighty boxes and cans in the garage or pantry.

Vinyl Siding
Durable, low maintenance type of exterior siding that is available in a number of colors and does not require painting.


The lower three or four feet of an interior wall when lined with paneling, tile or other material different from the rest of the wall.

A final orientation and demonstration of a home before “closing” to familiarize the customer with the house.


The division of a municipality by legislative regulations into areas (zones), specifying the uses allowable for the real property in these areas.


(Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating)
The most commonly used measure of the efficiency of consumer central air conditioning systems. The “14” model surpasses stringent government standards, saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.