Homebuilders have their own language, and it can be frustrating as a customer to try to understand what they are talking about. While any good contractor will be happy to explain everything to you, learning some of the lingo yourself can help you feel more in control. In today’s blog, we are going to share several common home building terms you’ll probably hear your contractor use during a conversation.
Apron – No, this isn’t a piece of clothing you wear while cooking. In this context, apron refers to a paved area. It may be the meeting place of your driveway with the sidewalk or the garage entrance.
Backfill – This is gravel and dirt put back into the empty space around a new foundation. Without it, all homes would have dangerous trenches around exposed foundations. The backfill is piled up so that any water has to move downhill and away from the foundation.
Baseboard – This is a somewhat thin wood board placed against walls and partitions. Its job is to hide gaps and make everything look finished.
Batt – You may hear this term when discussing insulation. Batting is a blanket form of insulation and is different than a loose filling.
Bearing wall – This is a wall that supports the direct weight of a roof or floor. It is a wall you generally don’t want to mess with!
Carriage – This is a member that supports the treads or steps of a stair.
Casement – This refers to a window with hinges on its vertical edge.
Chair rail – Generally a classy addition to dining or meeting rooms, this is wood molding placed on the wall right at the level of a chair back. It prevents chairs from damaging the walls.
Clapboard – Used on exteriors, this is a long board that, thicker on one edge, is overlapped and nailed with other boards to create an attractive, weather-proof layer.Eaves – Roofs extend beyond the walls in order to get water away from the foundation. This extension is called the eaves.
Flashing – This term refers to noncorrosive metal placed around roof seams to prevent water from getting into small spaces.
Glazing – When your contractor fits glass into doors and windows, it’s called glazing.
Joist – This term refers to a small, rectangular piece of wood arranged from wall to wall to support a floor or the parts of a ceiling.