Residential New Home Construction Glossary

House Building Glossary - L

Laminated Shingles - Shingles that have added dimensions because of extra layers or tabs, giving a shake-like appearance; a.k.a. architectural shingles, three-dimensional shingles.

Laminating - Bonding together two or more layers of materials.

Landing - A platform between flights of stairs or at the termination of a flight of stairs; often used when stairs change direction; normally no less than 3 ft. X 3 ft. square.

Lap - To cover the surface of one shingle or roll with another.

Lap Cement - An asphalt-based cement used to adhere overlapping plies of roll roofing.

Latch - A beveled metal tongue operated by a spring-loaded knob or lever; the tongue's bevel lets you close the door and engage the locking mechanism, if any, without using a key.

Lateral (electric, gas, telephone, sewer and water) - The underground trench and related services (i.e., electric, gas, telephone, sewer and water lines) that will be buried within the trench.

Lath - A building material of narrow wood, metal, gypsum, or insulating board that is fastened to the frame of a building to act as a base for plaster, shingles, or tiles.

Lattice - An open framework of crisscrossed wood or metal strips that form regular, patterned spaces.

Ledger Board (for a structural floor) - The wooden perimeter frame lumber member that bolts onto the face of a foundation wall and supports the wood structural floor.

Ledger Strip - A strip of lumber nailed along the bottom of the side of a girder on which joists rest.

Leech Field - A method used to treat/dispose of sewage in rural areas not accessible to a municipal sewer system; sewage is permitted to be filtered and eventually discharged into a section of the lot called a leech field.

Let-in Brace - Nominal one-inch-thick boards applied into notched studs diagonally; also, an "L" shaped, long (@ 10') metal strap that are installed by the framer at the rough stage to give support to an exterior wall or wall corner.

Level - Perfectly horizontal; also, a tool used to determine level.

Level Payment Mortgage - A mortgage with identical monthly payments over the life of the loan.

Lien - An encumbrance that usually makes real or personal property the security for payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation.

Light - (1) Space in a window sash for a single pane of glass; (2) a pane of glass.

Limit Switch - A safety control that automatically shuts off a furnace if it gets too hot; many also control blower cycles.

Lineal Foot - A unit of measure for lumber equal to one inch thick by 12 inches wide by 12 inches long (examples: 1" x 12" x 16'= 16 board feet, 2" x 12" x 16'= 32 board feet).

Lintel - A horizontal structural member that supports the load over an opening such as a door or window.

Load Bearing Wall - Includes all exterior walls and any interior wall that is aligned above a support beam or girder; normally, any wall that has a double horizontal top plate.

Loan - The amount to be borrowed.

Loan To Value Ratio - (LTV) The ratio of the loan amount to the property valuation and expressed as a percentage (e.g. if a borrower is seeking a loan of $200,000 on a property worth $400,000, it has a 50% loan to value ratio; if the loan were $300,000, the LTV would be 75%); the higher the loan to value, the greater the lender's perceived risk; loans above normal lending LTV ratios may require additional security.

Lookout - A short wood bracket or cantilever that supports an overhang portion of a roof.

Louver - A vented opening into the home that has a series of horizontal slats and arranged to permit ventilation but to exclude rain, snow, light, insects, or other living creatures.

Low-slope Application - Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes between two and four inches per foot.

Lumens - Unit of measure for total light output. The amount of light falling on a surface of one square foot.

Lumber - Lumber is the product of the sawmill and planning mill not further manufactured other than by sawing, resawing, and passing lengthwise through a standard planning machine, crosscutting to length, and matching.

Lumber, Boards - Yard lumber less than two inches thick and two or more inches wide.

Lumber, Dimension - Yard lumber from two inches to, but not including, five inches thick, and two or more inches wide;includes joists, rafters, studs, plank, and small timbers.

Lumber, Dressed Size - The dimension of lumber after shrinking from green dimension and after machining to size or pattern.

Lumber, Matched - Lumber that is dressed and shaped on one edge in a grooved pattern and on the other in a tongued pattern.

Lumber, Shiplap - Lumber that is edge-dressed to make a close rabbet or lapped joint.

Lumber, Timbers - Lumber which is five or more inches in its smallest dimension; includes beams, stringers, posts, caps, sills, girders, and purloins.

Lumber, Yard - Lumber of those grades, sizes, and patterns which are generally intended for ordinary construction, such as framework and rough coverage of houses.


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