Residential New Home Construction Glossary

House Building Glossary - M

Male - Any part, such as a bolt, designed to fit into another (female) part; external threads are male.

Mansard Roof - A roof with two sloping planes of different pitch on each of its four sides; the lower plane is steeper than the upper, and may be almost vertical.

Mantel - The shelf above a fireplace opening. Also used in referring to the decorative trim around a fireplace opening.

Manufactured Wood - A wood product such as a truss, beam, gluelam, microlam, or joist which is manufactured out of smaller wood pieces and glued or mechanically fastened to form a larger piece; often used to create a stronger member which may use less wood.

Manufacturer's Specifications - The written installation and/or maintenance instructions which are developed by the manufacturer of a product and which may have to be followed in order to maintain the product warranty.

Masonry - Stone, brick, concrete, hollow-tile, concrete block, or other similar building units or materials. Normally bonded together with mortar to form a wall.

Masonry Primer - An asphalt-based primer used to prepare masonry surfaces for bonding with other asphalt products.

Mastic - A pasty material used as a cement (as for setting tile) or a protective coating (as for thermal insulation or waterproofing.

Mechanics Lien - A lien on real property, created by statue in many years, in favor of persons supplying labor or materials for a building or structure, for the value of labor or materials supplied by them; in some jurisdictions, a mechanics lien also exists for the value of professional services; clear title to the property cannot be obtained until the claim for the labor, materials, or professional services is settled; timely filing is essential to support the encumbrance, and prescribed filing dates vary by jurisdiction.

Mediation - An economical and adversary friendly means of resolving issues where the moderator keeps both opposing parties talking towards a conclusion. The moderator does not express an opinion or make decisions as a arbitrator does. But rather injects points on the topic being discussed. Also unlike arbitration, the meeting can conclude without a conclusion.

Metal Lath - Sheets of metal that are slit to form openings within the lath; used as a plaster base for walls and ceilings and as reinforcing over other forms of plaster base.

Microlam - A manufactured structural wood beam constructed of pressure and adhesive bonded wood strands of wood; have a higher strength rating than solid sawn lumber; normally comes in l ˝" thickness'and 9 ˝", 11 ˝" and 14" widths.

Milar (mylar) - Plastic, transparent copies of a blueprint.

Millwork - Generally all building materials made of finished wood and manufactured in millwork plants; includes all doors, window and door frames, blinds, mantels, panel work, stairway components (balusters, rail, etc.), moldings, and interior trim; excludes flooring, ceiling, and siding.

Mineral Stabilizers - Finely ground limestone, slate, trap rock or other inert materials added to asphalt coatings for durability and increased resistance to fire and weathering.

Mineral-surfaced Roofing - Asphalt shingles and roll roofing that are covered with granules.

Miter Joint - The joint of two pieces at an angle that bisects the joining angle, e.g., the miter joint at the side and head casing at a door opening is made at a 45°angle.

Moisture Content of Wood - Weight of the water contained in the wood, usually expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven dry wood.

Molding - A wood strip having an engraved, decorative surface.

Monopost - Adjustable metal column used to support a beam or bearing point; normally 11-gauge or Schedule 40 metal, determined by the structural engineer.

Mortar - A mixture of cement (or lime) with sand and water used in masonry work.

Mortgage - Loan secured by land.

Mortgage Broker - A broker who represents numerous lenders and helps consumers find affordable mortgages; the broker charges a fee only if the consumer finds a loan.

Mortgage Company - A company that borrows money from a bank, lends it to consumers to buy homes, then sells the loans to investors.

Mortgage Deed - Legal document establishing a loan on property.

Mortgagee - The lender who makes the mortgage loan.

Mortgage Loan - A contract in which the borrower's property is pledged as collateral. It is repaid in installments; the mortgagor (buyer) promises to repay principal and interest, keep the home insured, pay all taxes, and keep the property in good condition.

Mortgage Origination Fee - A charge for work involved in preparing and servicing a mortgage application (usually one percent of the loan amount).

Mortise - A slot cut into a board, plank, or timber, usually edgewise, to receive the tenon (or tongue) of another board, plank, or timber to form a joint.

Mudsill - Bottom horizontal member of an exterior wall frame which rests on top a foundation, a.k.a. sill plate.

Mullion - A vertical divider in the frame between windows, doors, or other openings.

Mutton - A small member which divides the glass or openings of sash or doors.

Muriatic Acid - Commonly used as a brick cleaner after masonry work is completed.

Mushroom - The unacceptable occurrence when the top of a caisson concrete pier spreads out and hardens to become wider than the foundation wall thickness.


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