Residential New Home Construction Glossary


House Building Glossary - C

CCA (Chromate Copper Arsenate) - A pesticide that is forced into wood under high pressure to protect it from termites, other wood boring insects, and decay caused by fungus.

CFM (cubic feet per minute) - A rating that expresses the amount of air a blower or fan can move. The volume of air (measured in cubic feet) that can pass through an opening in one minute.

CO - An abbreviation for Certificate of Occupancy; this certificate is issued by the local municipality and is required before anyone can occupy and live within the home; issued only after the local municipality has made all inspections and all moneys and fees have been paid.

Caisson - A 10" or 12" diameter hole drilled into the earth and embedded into bedrock three to four feet; servers as structural support for a type of foundation wall, porch, patio, etc. Two or more "sticks" of reinforcing bars (rebar) are inserted into and run the full length of the hole and concrete is poured into the caisson hole.

Cantilever - An overhang; where one floor extends beyond and over a foundation wall (e.g., a fireplace or bay window); normally does not extend over 2 feet.

Cantilevered Void - Foundation void material used in unusually expansive soil conditions; generally trapezoid-shaped with vertical sides of 6" and 4", respectively.

Cap - The upper member of a column, pilaster, door cornice, molding, or fireplace.

Cap Flashing - The portion of the flashing attached to a vertical surface to prevent water from migrating behind the base flashing.

Cap Sheet - A top layer in built-up roofing.

Capital -The principal part of a loan, i.e. the original amount borrowed.

Capital and interest - A repayment loan and the most conventional form of home loan where the borrower pays an amount each month to cover the amount borrowed (or capital or principal) plus the interest charged on the borrowed capital.

Capped Rate - The mortgage interest rate will not exceed a specified value during a certain period of time, but it will fluctuate up and down below that level.

Casement - Frames of wood or metal enclosing part or all of a window sash; may be opened by means of hinges affixed to the vertical edges.

Casement Window - A window with hinges on one of the vertical sides and swings open like a normal door.

Casing - Wood trim molding installed around a door or window opening.

Cat's Paw - A variation of a pry bar; used to pry up deep set (countersunk) nails.

Caulking (n.) - A flexible material used to seal a gap between two surfaces (e.g., between pieces of siding or the corners in tub walls) (v.) To fill a joint with mastic or asphalt plastic cement to prevent leaks.

Celotex - Black fibrous board that is used as exterior sheathing.

Ceiling Joist - One of a series of parallel framing members used to support ceiling loads and supported in turn by larger beams, girders or bearing walls; also called roof joists.

Cement - The gray powder that serves as the glue in concrete.

Ceramic Tile - A man-made or machine-made clay tile used to finish a floor or wall. Generally used in bathtub and shower enclosures and on counter tops.

Chair Rail - Interior trim material installed about 3-4 feet up the wall, horizontally.

Chalk Line - A line made by snapping a taut string or cord dusted with chalk; used for alignment purposes.

Change Order - A written document which modifies the plans and specifications and/or the price of the construction contract.

Chase - A framed, enclosed space around a flue pipe or a channel in a wall, or through a ceiling for something to lie in or pass through.

Chink - To install fiberglass insulation around all exterior door and window frames, wall corners, and small gaps in the exterior wall.

Chip Board - A manufactured wood panel made out of 1"-2" wood chips and glue; often used as a substitute for plywood in the exterior wall and roof sheathing; also called OSB (Oriented Strand Board) or wafer board.

Circuit - The path of electrical flow from a power source through an outlet and back to ground.

Circuit Breaker - A device which looks like a switch and is usually located inside the electrical breaker panel or circuit breaker box; designed to (1) shut of the power to portions or all of the house, and (2) to limit the amount of power flowing through a circuit (measured in amperes) ;110-volt household circuits require a fuse or circuit breaker with a rating of 15 or a maximum of 20 amps.; 220-volt circuits may be designed for higher amperage loads. (e.g., a hot water heater may be designed for a 30-amp load and would therefore need a 30-amp fuse or breaker).

Class "A" Fire Resistance - The highest fire-resistance rating for roofing per ASTM E-108; indicates that roofing is able to withstand severe exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Class "B" Fire Resistance - Fire-resistance rating that indicates roofing material is able to withstand moderate exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Class "C" Fire Resistance - Fire-resistance rating that indicates roofing material is able to withstand light exposure to fire originating from sources outside the building.

Clean out - An opening providing access to a drain line. Closed with a threaded plug.

Clip ties - Sharp, cut metal wires that protrude out of a concrete foundation wall. (that at one time held the foundation form panels in place).

Closing costs - Are incurred costs associated with the closing and transferring home ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Closed-Cut Valley - A method of valley treatment in which shingles from one side of the valley extend across the valley, while shingles from the other side are trimmed two inches from the valley centerline; the valley flashing is not exposed.

Closet Bend - A curved drain pipe that is located beneath the base of the toilet.

Cold Air Return - The ductwork (and related grills) that carries room air back to the furnace for re-heating.

Collar - Pre formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the roofing above the vent pipe opening; also called a vent sleeve.

Collar beam - Nominal 1-or 2-inch-thick members connecting opposite roof rafters; serve to stiffen the roof structure.

Column - A vertical structural compression member which supports loads.

Combustion air - The duct work installed to bring fresh, outside air to the furnace and/or hot water heater; normally two separate supplies of air are brought in: one high and one low.

Combustion Chamber - The part of a boiler, furnace or wood stove where the burn occurs; normally lined with firebrick or molded or sprayed insulation.

Compression web - A member of a truss system which connects the bottom and top chords and which provides downward support.

Compressor - A mechanical device that pressurizes a gas in order to turn it into a liquid, thereby allowing heat to be removed or added; the main component of conventional heat pumps and air conditioners; in an air conditioning system, the compressor normally sits outside and has a large fan. (to remove heat).

Concealed Nail Method - Application of roll roofing in which all nails are driven into the underlying course of roofing and covered by a cemented, overlapping course; nails are not exposed to the weather.

Concrete - The mixture of Portland cement, sand, gravel, and water used to make garage and basement floors, sidewalks, patios, foundation walls, etc.; commonly reinforced with steel rods (rebar) or wire screening. (mesh).

Concrete Block - A hollow concrete 'brick' often 8" x 8" x 16" in size.

Concrete Board - A panel made out of concrete and fiberglass usually used as a tile backing material.

Condensate Line - The copper pipe that runs from the outside air conditioning condenser to the inside furnace. (where the a/c coil is located).

Condensation - Beads or drops of water (and frequently frost in extremely cold weather) that accumulate on the inside of the exterior covering of a building; use of louvers or attic ventilators will reduce moisture condensation in attics.

Condensing Unit - The outdoor component of a cooling system; it includes a compressor and condensing coil designed to give off heat.

Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CCRs) - The standards that define how a property may be used and the protections the developer makes for the benefit of all owners in a subdivision.

Conduction - The direct transfer of heat energy through a material.

Conductivity - The rate at which heat is transmitted through a material.

Conduit, Electrical - A pipe, usually metal, in which wire is installed.

Construction Contract - A legal document which specifies the what-when-where-how-how much and by whom in a construction project; a good construction contract will include:

a. The contractor's registration number, #____________.
b. A statement of work quality, such as ‘Standard Practices of the Trades’ or ‘According to Manufacturers Specifications’.
c. A set of blue prints or plans.
d. A construction timetable including starting and completion dates.
e. A set of specifications.
f. A fixed price for the work, or a time and materials formula.
g. A payment schedule.
h. All, if any allowances items.
I. A clause which outlines how any disputes will be resolved
j. A written warranty.

Construction Drywall - A type of construction in which the interior wall finish is applied in a dry condition, generally in the form of sheet materials or wood paneling as contrasted to plaster.

Construction, Frame - A type of construction in which the structural components are wood or depend upon a wood frame for support.

Continuity Tester - A device that tells whether a circuit is capable of carrying electricity.

Contractor - A company licensed to perform certain types of construction activities; in most states, the general contractor t require of compliance with bonding, workmen' license and some specialty contractor licenses don's compensation and similar regulations; occasionally involve extensive training, testing and/or insurance requirements.

General Contractor - Responsible for the execution, supervision and overall coordination of a project and may also perform some of the individual construction tasks; generally not licensed to perform all specialty trades and must hire specialty contractors for such tasks. (e.g., electrical, plumbing, etc.).

Control Joint - Tooled, straight grooves made on concrete floors to "control" where the concrete should crack.

Convection - Currents created by heating air, which then rises and pulls in cooler air.

Conventional Loan - A mortgage loan not insured by a government agency. (such as FHA or VA).

Convertibility - The ability to change a loan from an adjustable rate schedule to a fixed rate schedule.

Cooling Load - The amount of cooling required to keep a building at a specified temperature during the summer, usually 78° F, regardless of outside temperature.

Coped - Removing the top and bottom flange of the end(s) of a metal I-beam. This is done to permit it to fit within, and bolted to, the web of another I-beam in a "T" arrangement.

Coped Joint - Cutting and fitting woodwork to an irregular surface.

Corbel - The triangular, decorative and supporting member that holds a mantel or horizontal shelf.

Corner Bead - A strip of formed sheet metal placed on outside corners of drywall before applying drywall 'mud".

Corner Boards - Used as trim for the external corners of a house or other frame structure against which the ends of the siding are finished.

Corner Braces - Diagonal braces at the corners of the framed structure designed to stiffen and strengthen the wall.

Cornice - Overhang of a pitched roof , usually consisting of a fascia board, a soffit and appropriate trim moldings.

Counter Flashing - A metal flashing usually used on chimneys at the roof line to cover shingle flashing and used to prevent moisture entry.

Counterfort - A foundation wall section that strengthens (and generally perpendicular to) a long section of foundation wall.

Course - A row of shingles or roll roofing running the length of the roof. Parallel layers of building materials such as bricks, or siding laid up horizontally.

Cove Molding - A molding with a concave face used as trim or to finish interior corners.

Crawl Space - A shallow space below the living quarters of a house, normally enclosed by the foundation wall and having a dirt floor.

Credit Report - A report ordered by a lender from a credit agency to determine a borrower's credit habits.

Cricket - A second roof built on top of the primary roof to increase the slope of the roof or valley; a saddle-shaped, peaked construction connecting a sloping roof with a chimney; designed to encourage water drainage away from the chimney joint.

Cripple - Short vertical "2 by 4's" frame lumber installed above a window or door.

Cripple Stud - A short stud used as support in wall openings that replaces a normal 93-inch or 96-inch stud.

Cross-Bridging - Diagonal bracing between adjacent floor joists, placed near the center of the joist span to prevent joists from twisting.

Cross Tee - Short metal "T" beam used in suspended ceiling systems to bridge the spaces between the main beams.

Crown Molding - A molding used on cornice or wherever an interior angle is to be covered, especially at the roof and wall corner.

Culvert - Round, corrugated drain pipe (normally 15" or 18" in diameter) that is installed beneath a driveway and parallel to and near the street.

Cupping - A type of warping that causes boards to curl up at their edges.

Curb - The short elevation of an exterior wall above the deck of a roof; normally a 2 by 6 box (on the roof) on which a skylight is attached.

Curb Roof - A roof with an upper and lower set of rafters on each side, the under set being less inclined to the horizon than the upper; a mansard roof.

Curb Stop - Normally a cast iron pipe with a lid (@ 5" in diameter) that is placed vertically into the ground, situated near the water tap in the yard, and where a water cutoff valve to the home is located (underground); a long pole with a special end is inserted into the curb stop to turn off/on the water.

Curtain Drain - A ditch sometimes filled with gravel and a drain tile which diverts storm and drain water away from a structure.

Cut-In Brace - Nominal 2-inch-thick members, usually 2 by 4's, cut in between each stud diagonally.

 

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