ABS - A type of black plastic pipe commonly used for waste water lines.
A/C - An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning.
A/C condenser - The outside fan unit of the air conditioning system; removes the heat from the freon gas and turns the gas back into a liquid, then pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.
A/C disconnect - The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C condenser.
APA Plywood - (American Plywood Association) Plywood that has been rated by the American Plywood Association (e.g.,number one APA-rated exterior plywood contains no voids between laminate layers)
Appraisal - An expert valuation of property.
Aerator - The round screened screw-on tip of a sink spout; mixes water and air for a smooth flow.
Aggregate - A mixture of sand and stone and a major component of concrete.
Air chamber - A vertical, air filled pipe that prevents water hammer by absorbing pressure when water is shut off at a faucet or valve.
Air-dried lumber - Lumber that has been piled in yards or sheds for any length of time; in the US, the minimum moisture content of thoroughly air-dried lumber is 12 to 15 percent, and the average is somewhat higher; in the southern states, air-dried lumber may be no lower than 19 percent.
Air space - The area between insulation facing and interior of exterior wall coverings; normally a one-inch air gap.
Airway - A space between roof insulation and roof boards which allows air movement.
Algae - Microorganisms that may grow to colonies in damp environments, including certain rooftops; can discolor shingles.
Alligatoring - Coarse checking pattern characterized by a slipping of the new paint coating over the old coating to the extent that the old coating can be seen through the fissures.
Allowance - A sum of money set aside for specified items in the construction contract that are yet to be selected. (ex; floor covering, light fixtures, etc.) Should your choice exceed the allowance, you’ll pay the difference. If less, you’ll be credited.
Amortization - A payment plan by which a loan is reduced through monthly payments of principal and interest.
Amperage or AMPS - a unit of electrical current or volume; most homes have an electrical service entrance package of 125 or 200 amps, while some older homes have 60 or 100 amp entrances.
Anchor bolts - Bolts to secure a wooden sill plate to concrete, masonry floor, or wall.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) - Annual cost of credit over the life of a loan, including interest, service charges, points, loan fees, mortgage insurance, and other items.
Apron - The flat member of the inside trim of a window placed against the wall immediately beneath the stool.
Architect - One who has completed a course of study in building and design, and is licensed by the state as an architect. One who draws up plans.
Areaway - An open subsurface space adjacent to a building used to admit light or air or as a means of access to a basement.
Area Wells - Corrugated metal or concrete barrier walls installed around a basement window to hold back the earth.
Asphalt - Most native asphalt is a residue from evaporated petroleum; insoluble in water; used widely in building for waterproofing roof coverings of many types, exterior wall coverings, flooring tile, etc.
Assessment - A tax levied on a property, or a value placed on the worth of a property .
Assumption - Allows a buyer to assume responsibility for an existing loan rather than obtaining a new loan.
Astragal - A molding, attached to one of a pair of swinging doors, against which the other door strikes.
Attic Access - An opening that is placed in the dry walled ceiling of a home providing access to the attic.
Attic Ventilators - A screened opening provided to ventilate an attic space; typically located in the soffit area as inlet ventilators and in the gable end or along the ridge as outlet ventilators; can also consist of power-driven fans used as an exhaust system.