Glossary of House Terms

Terms D - K

D

Datum – An assumed horizontal reference plane used as a basis for computing elevations.

Debenture – A loan bond which is not a specific lien upon any of the real property of the issuer and for the collection of which no remedy exists save the ordinary action of law.

Deed – A written instrument whereby an estate in real property is conveyed by a grantor to a grantee.

Dormer – A vertical window, in a relatively small internal recess, projecting from a sloping roof.

Double Header – Two beams instead of one placed perpendicular to joists in framing for a chimney, stairway or other opening.

Double Trimmer – Two joists instead of one into which a header is framed.

Downspout – A spout or pipe leading downward to carry off rain water from a roof.

Dry Wall – A type of construction in which the interior wall finish is of a material other than plaster or similar material.

Dry Well – A covered pit with open-jointed linings through which drainage from roofs, basement floors, or areaways may seep or leach into the surrounding porous soil.

E

Easement – A vested or acquired right to use land other than as a tenant, for a specific purpose; such right being held by someone other than the owner who holds title to the land.

Elevation – A scale drawing of the upright parts of a structure.

Equity – Broadly, any interest which will receive recognition in a court of equity, whether or not such interest rests on legal ownership; specifically, the interest, usually expressed in money, of the equitable owner of a property over and above all liens against the property.

F

Façade – The face of a building.

FHA – Federal Housing Administration.

FHA Title 1 – A system of insurance of modernization loans for alteration, repair or improvement of existing structures.

FHA Title 2 – A system of mutual insurance of mortgages secured by residential property under the National Housing Act.

Fenestration – Arrangement of windows.

Fire Stop – A solid, tight closure of a concealed space, placed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke though such a space.

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

Flue – The space or passage in a chimney through which smoke, gas, or fumes ascend. Each passage is called a flue, which together and including the surrounding masonry make up the chimney.

Footing – The spreading course or courses at the base or bottom of a foundation wall, pier, or columns.

Foyer – An entrance hallway within a living unit or building.

Framing – A system of parts put together to support floors, walls, roofs, etc.

Frieze – Any sculpture or richly ornamental band in a building.

Frontage – The extent of a building or of land along a public road or a public waterway.

Furring – Strips of wood or metal applied to a wall or other surface to even it, to form an air space, or to give an appearance of greater thickness.

G

Gable – The vertical triangular portion of the end of a building, from the level of the cornice or eaves to the ridge of the roof.

Gambrel Roof – A gable roof each slope of which is broken into a lower steeper slope and an upper flatter one.

G.I. Bill of Rights – The amended Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, which provides for guaranteed loans for veterans up to $4,000 in real estate transactions.

Girder – A large or principal beam used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length.

Gypsum Board – Wallboard made of gypsum, with a covering of paper.

H

Header – A beam placed perpendicular to joists and into which joists are framed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening.

Hip – The external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping sides of a roof, which have their wall plates running in different directions.

Hip Roof – A roof which has four sloping sides that meet at four hips or at four hips and a ridge.

I

Increment – The amount by which a varying quantity increases between two of its stages.

Insulation – A non-conductor used to separate conducting bodies to prevent transfer of electricity, heat or sound.

J

Jamb – An upright piece forming the side of an opening, as a door or fireplace.

Jerry Built – Built cheaply and unsubstantially.

Joints – The space between the adjacent surfaces of two bodies, as bricks, joined and held together, as by means of cement mortar, etc.

Joist – One of a series of parallel beams used to support floor and ceiling loads, and supported in turn by larger beams, girders, or bearing walls.

K

Kalsomine– A white or tinted paint medium containing zinc oxide, water, glue, and color that is used as a wash for walls and ceilings.


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