Earnest Money - A sum paid to the seller to show that a potential purchaser is serious about buying.
Earthquake Strap - A metal strap used to secure gas hot water heaters to the framing or foundation of a house; intended to reduce the chances of having the water heater fall over in an earthquake and causing a gas leak.
Easement - A formal contract which allows a party to use another party's property for a specific purpose (e.g., a sewer easement might allow one party to run a sewer line through a neighbor's property).
Eaves - The horizontal exterior roof overhang.
Eaves Flashing - Additional layer of roofing material applied at the eaves to help prevent damage from water backup.
Edging Strips - Boards nailed along eaves and rakes to provide secure edges for reroofing with asphalt shingle after cutting back existing wood shingles.
Egress - A means of exiting the home. An egress window is required in every bedroom and basement; normally a 4'X 4' window is the minimum size required.
Elbow (ell) - A plumbing or electrical fitting that allows a change in directions of runs of pipe or conduit.
Electric Lateral - The trench or area in the yard where the electric service line (from a transformer or pedestal) is located, or the work of installing the electric service to a home.
Electric Resistance Coils - Metal wires that heat up when electric current passes through them and are used in baseboard heaters and electric water heaters.
Electrical Entrance Package - The entry point of the electrical power including: (1) the strike or location where the overhead or underground electrical lines connect to the house; (2) the meter, which measures how much power is used; and (3) the panel (a.k.a., circuit breaker box, fuse box), where the power can be shut off and where overload devices such a fuses or circuit breakers are located.
Electrical Rough - Work performed by the Electrical Contractor after the plumber and heating contractor are complete with their phase of work; normally all electrical wires, and outlet, switch, and fixture boxes are installed (before insulation).
Electrical Trim - Work performed by the electrical contractor when the house is nearing completion; installation of all plugs, switches, light fixtures, smoke detectors, appliance "pig tails", bath ventilation fans, wires the furnace, and electric house panel; all work necessary to get the home ready for and to pass the municipal electrical final inspection.
Elevation Sheet - The page on the blue prints that depicts the house or room as if a vertical plane were passed through the structure.
Equity - The "valuation" that you own in your home, i.e. the property value less the mortgage loan outstanding.
Escrow - The handling of funds or documents by a third party on behalf of the buyer and/or seller.. The amount of labor, materials, and other costs that a contractor anticipates for a project as summarized in the contractor's bid proposal for the project.
Escutcheon - An ornamental plate that fits around a pipe extending through a wall or floor to hide the cut out hole.
Estimating - The process of calculating the cost of a project; can be a formal and exact process, or a quick and imprecise process.
Evaporator coil - The part of a cooling system that absorbs heat from air in a home.
Expansion joint - Fibrous material (@1/2" thick) installed in and around a concrete slab to permit it to move up and down (seasonally) along the nonmoving foundation wall.
Expansive Soils - Earth that swells and contracts depending on the amount of water that is present (e.g., Betonite).
Exposed Aggregate Finish - A method of finishing concrete which washes the cement/sand mixture off the top layer of the aggregate -usually gravel; often used in driveways, patios and other exterior surfaces.
Exposed Nail Method - Application of roll roofing in which all nails are driven into the cemented, overlapping course of roofing; nails are exposed to the weather.
Exposure - The portion of the roofing exposed to the weather after installation.
Exposure I Grade Plywood - Type of plywood approved by the American Plywood Association for exterior use.
Extras - Additional work requested of a contractor, not included in the original plan, which will be billed separately and will not alter the original contract amount, but increase the cost of building the home.