Residential New Home Construction Glossary

House Building Glossary - H

H Clip - Small metal clips formed like an "H" that fits at the joints of two plywood (or wafer board) sheets to stiffen the joint; normally used on the roof sheeting.

HVAC - An abbreviation for Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

Hardware - The metal fittings that go into the home when it is near completion (e.g., door knobs, towel bars, handrail brackets, closet rods, house numbers, door closers, etc.); installed by the interior trim carpenter.

Haunch - An extension, knee like protrusion of the foundation wall that a concrete porch or patio will rest upon for support.

Hazard Insurance - Protection against damage caused by fire, windstorms, or other common hazards; required by many lenders in an amount at least equal to the mortgage.

Header - (1) A beam placed perpendicular to joists and to which joists are nailed inframing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening; (2) A wood lintel; (3) The horizontal structural member over an opening (e.g., over a door or window).

Hearth - The fireproof area directly in front of a fireplace; the inner or outer floor of a fireplace, usually made of brick, tile, or stone.

Heartwood - The wood extending from the pith to the sapwood, the cells of which no longer participate in the life processes of the tree.

Heating Load - The amount of heating required to keep a building at a specified temperature during the winter, usually 65 F, regardless of outside temperature.

Heat Meter - An electrical municipal inspection of the electric meter breaker panel box.

Heat Pump - A mechanical device which uses compression and decompression of gas to heat and/or cool a house.

Heat Rough - Work performed by the heating contractor after the stairs and interior walls are built; includes installing all duct work and flue pipes; occasionally the furnace and fireplaces are installed during this phase of construction. Heat Trim. Work done by the heating contractor to get the home ready for the municipal final heat inspection; includes venting the hot water heater, installing all vent grills, registers, air conditioning services, turning on the furnace, installing thermostats, venting ranges and hoods, and all other heat related work.

Heel Cut - A notch cut in the end of a rafter to permit it to fit flat on a wall and on the top, doubled, exterior wall plate.

Highlights - A light spot, area, or streak on a painted surface

Hip - A roof with four sloping sides. The external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping sides of a roof.

Hip Roof - A roof that rises by inclined planes from all four sides of a building.

Hip Shingles - Shingles used to cover the inclined external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

Home Run (electrical) - The electrical cable that carries power from the main circuit breaker panel to the first electrical box, plug, or switch in the circuit.

Honeycombs - The appearance concrete makes when rocks in the concrete are visible and where there are void areas in the foundation wall, especially around concrete foundation windows.

Hose Bib - An exterior water faucet (sill cock).

Hot Wire - The wire that carries electrical energy to a receptacle or other device in contrast to a neutral, which carries electricity away gain; normally a black wire.

Humidifier - An appliance normally attached to the furnace, or portable unit device designed to increase the humidity within a room or a house by means of the discharge of water vapor.

Hurricane Clip - Metal straps that are nailed and secure the roof rafters and trusses to the top horizontal wall plate.

Hurricane Ties - Metal fasteners used to secure rafters in structures subject to hurricane winds.


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