Residential New Home Construction Glossary

House Building Glossary - F

FHA Strap - Metal straps that are used to repair a bearing wall "cutout", and to "tie together" wall corners, splices, and bearing headers; also used to hang stairs and landings to bearing headers.

Face Nail - To install nails into the vertical face of a bearing header or beam.

Faced Concrete - To finish the front and all vertical sides of a concrete porch, step(s), or patio; normally, the face is broom finished.

Facing Brick - The brick used and exposed on the outside of a wall; usually these have a finished texture.

Fascia - Horizontal boards attached to rafter/truss ends at the eaves and along gables; roof drain gutters are attached to the fascia.

Feathering Strips - Tapered wood filler strips placed along the butt edges of old wood shingles to create a level surface when reroofing over existing wood shingle roofs. Also called "horse feathers".

Felt - Tar paper; installed under the roof shingles; normally 15 lb. or 30 lb.

Female - Any part, such as a nut or fitting, into which another (male) part can be inserted; internal threads are female.

Ferrule - Metal tubes used to keep roof gutters open; long nails (ferrule spikes) are driven through these tubes and hold the gutters in place along the fascia of the home.

Fibroid Roof Coating - Optimal protection for low-sloped roofs; a thick, high-quality coating which seals fine cracks and openings; renews and rejuvenates old composition roofing and prolongs roof life; performs well on metal or concrete surfaces.

Fiberglass Mat - An asphalt roofing base material manufactured from glass fibers.

Field Measure - The process of taking measurements (cabinets, countertops, stairs, shower doors, etc.) in the home itself instead of using the blueprints.

Filler (wood) - A heavily pigmented preparation used for fining and leveling off the pores in open-pored woods.

Finger Joint - A manufacturing process of interlocking two shorter pieces of wood end to end to create a longer piece of dimensional lumber or molding; often used in jambs and casings and are normally painted (instead of stained).

Fire Lock - Short horizontal members sometimes nailed between studs, usually about halfway up a wall.

Fire Brick - Brick made of refractory ceramic material which will resist high temperatures; used in a fireplace and boiler.

Fireplace Chase Flashing Pan - A large sheet of metal that is installed around and perpendicular to the fireplace flue pipe to confine and limit the spread of fire and smoke to a small area.

Fire-resistive or Fire Rated - Applies to materials that are not combustible in the temperatures of ordinary fires and will withstand such fires for at least one hour; drywall used in the garage and party walls are to be fire rated, 5/8", Type X.

Fire Retardant Chemical - A chemical or preparation of chemicals used to reduce the flammability of a material or to retard the spread of flame.

Fire Stop - A solid, tight closure of a concealed space, placed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through such a space; In a frame wall, this will usually consist of 2 by 4 cross blocking between studs; work performed to slow the spread of fire and smoke in the walls and ceiling (behind the drywall), including stuffing wire holes in the top and bottom plates with insulation, and installing blocks of wood between the wall studs at the drop soffit line.

Fish plate (gusset) - A wood or plywood piece used to fasten the ends of two members together at a butt joint with nails or bolts; sometimes used at the junction of opposite rafters near the ridge line; a.k.a. gang nail plate.

Fish tape - A long strip of spring steel used for fishing cables and for pulling wires through conduit.

Fixed Price Contract - A contract with a set price for the work.

Fixed Rate - A loan where the initial payments are based on a certain interest rate for a stated period; the rate payable will not change during this period, regardless of changes in the lender's standard variable rate.

Fixed Rate Mortgage - A mortgage with an interest rate that remains the same over the years.

Flagstone (flagging or flags) - Flat stones (1 to 4 inches thick) used for walks, steps, floors, and vertical veneer (in lieu of brick).

Flake 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; a.k.a. OSB or wafer board.

Flame Retention Burner - An oil burner, designed to hold the flame near the nozzle surface. Generally the most efficient type for residential use.

Flapper Valve. (plumbing) - A valve that replaces a tank stopper in a toilet; creates a seal between the tank and the bowl.

Flashing - Sheet metal or other material used in roof and wall construction to protect a building from water seepage.

Flat Mold - Thin wood strips installed over the butt seam of cabinet skins.

Flat Paint - An interior paint that contains a high proportion of pigment and dries to a flat or lusterless finish.

Flatworm - Common word for concrete floors, driveways, basements, and sidewalks.

Floating - The next-to-last stage in concrete work, when smoothing is done and water is brought to the surface using a hand float or bull float.

Floating Wall - A nonbearing wall built on a concrete floor; constructed so that the bottom two horizontal plates can compress or pull apart if the concrete floor moves up or down; normally built on basements and garage slabs.

Fluorescent Lighting - A fluorescent lamp is a gas-filled glass tube with a phosphor coating on the inside; gas inside the tube is ionized by electricity which causes the phosphor coating to glow; normally has two pins extending from each end of the bulb.

Flue - Large pipe through which fumes escape from a gas water heater, furnace, or fireplace; normally double walled, galvanized, sheet metal pipe and sometimes referred to as a b vent; fireplace flue pipes are normally triple-walled; nothing combustible should be within one inch from the flue pipe.

Flue Collar - Round metal ring which fits around the heat flue pipe after the pipe passes out of the roof.

Flue Damper - An automatic door located in the flue that closes it off when the burner turns off; purpose is to reduce heat loss up the flue from the still-warm furnace or boiler.

Flue Lining - 2-foot lengths, fire clay or terra-cotta pipe (round or square) and usually made in all ordinary flue sizes; used for the inner lining of chimneys with the brick or masonry work done around the outside; flue linings in chimneys general run from one foot below the flue connection to the top of the chimney.

Flux - A material applied to the surface of copper pipes and fittings to assist in the cleaning and bonding process.

Fly Rafters - End rafters of the gable overhang supported by roof sheathing and lookouts.

Footer, Footing - Continuous 8" or 10" thick concrete pad installed before and supports the foundation wall or monopost.

Forced Air Heating - A common form of heating with natural gas, propane, oil or electricity as a fuel; air is heated in the furnace and distributed through a set of metal ducts to various areas of the house.

Form - Temporary structure erected to contain concrete during placing and initial hardening.

Foundation - The supporting portion of a structure below the first floor construction, or below grade, including the footings.

Foundation Coating - High-quality below-grade moisture protection; used for below-grade exterior concrete and masonry wall damp-proofing to seal out moisture and prevent corrosion; a.k.a. foundation waterproofing.

Foundation Ties - Metal wires that hold the foundation wall panels and rebar in place during the concrete pour.

Foundation Waterproofing - High-quality below-grade moisture protection; used for below-grade exterior concrete and masonry wall damp-proofing to seal out moisture and prevent corrosion; normally looks like black tar.

Frame Inspection - The act of inspecting the home's structural integrity and its compliance to local municipal codes.

Framer - The carpenter contractor that installs the lumber and erects the frame, flooring system, interior walls, backing, trusses, rafters, decking, installs all beams, stairs, soffits and all work related to the wood structure of the home; framer builds the home according to the blueprints and must comply with local building codes and regulations.

Framing - Lumber used for the structural members of a building, such as studs, joists, and rafters.

Framing, Balloon - A system of framing a building in which all vertical structural elements of the bearing walls and partitions consist of single pieces extending from the top of the foundation sin plate to the roof plate, and to which all floor joists are fastener.

Framing, Platform - A system of framing a building in which floor joists of each story rest on the top plates of the story below or on the foundation sill for the first story, and the bearing walls and partitions rest on the subfloor of each story.

Free-tab Shingles - Shingles that do not contain factory-applied strips or spots of self-sealing adhesive.

Frieze - A horizontal member connecting the top of the siding with the soffit of the cornice.

Frost Lid - Round metal lid that is installed on a water meter pit.

Frost Line - The depth of frost penetration in soil and/or the depth at which the earth will freeze and swell; varies in different parts of the country.

Fungi, Wood - Microscopic plants that live in damp wood and cause mold, stain, and decay.

Fungicide - A chemical that is poisonous to fungi.

Furring Strips - Strips of wood, often 1 X 2 and used to shim out and provide a level fastening surface for a wall or ceiling.

Fuse - A device often found in older homes designed to prevent overloads in electrical lines, protecting against fire.


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