Glossary of House Terms

Terms Q - Z


Quitclaim Deed – A deed whereby the grantor conveys to the grantee whatever interest he possesses in the property granted without warranty.


Rabbet – A rectangular longitudinal groove cut in the corner of a board or other piece of material.

Rafter Types:

Restriction – An encumbrance on land which limits its use, imposed for mutual or community protection.

Ribband – see Ribbon. Any light lengthwise connecting or guiding piece.

Ribbon – A strip of wood connecting several parts.

Ridge – The horizontal line at the junction of two roof surfaces where an external angle greater than 180* is formed.

Riprap – Stones or other material placed on a slope to prevent erosion by water action.

Riser – The vertical member from the top of one stair tread to the top of the one next above.

Risk Rating – An estimate as to the credit and responsibility of an individual or business concern.


Saddles – Horizontal pieces set on top of a post to diminish the unsupported span of a beam.

Scuttle – An opening in the roof or a floor of a house, fitted with a lid.

Septic Tank – A sewage-settling tank intended to retain the sludge in immediate contact with the sewage flowing through the tank, for a sufficient period to secure satisfactory decomposition of organic sludge solids by bacterial action.

Sheathing – The structural covering, usually of boards or wall boards, placed over exterior studding or rafters of a structure.

Sleepers – Any of the pieces of timber. Stone, iron or steel, on or near the ground level, to support some superstructure, to steady framework, to receive floor joists.

Soil Pipe – Amy pipe which conveys the discharges of water-closets or fixtures having similar functions.

Solar Heating – Utilization of the sun’s rays for heat.

Sole Plates – A shoe or base member, as of a partition or other frame.

Span – The distance between structural supports such as walls, columns, piers, beams, girders, and trusses.

Specification – A written document stipulating the kind, quality, and sometimes the quantity of materials and workmanship required for any construction or work.

Stair Horse – One of the inclined members supporting a flight of stairs.

Stringers – A long piece of timber in a construction, especially a heavy and principal one, usually horizontal.

Stud – One of a series of slender wood or metal structural members used as supporting elements in walls and partitions.

Sub Flooring – Material used in building a sub floor or a floor beneath another floor.


Tax Burden – A charge levied by a government upon persons or property to defray the cost of government services performed for the common benefit.

Terra Cotta – Clayware of structural character used in facing of buildings and for relief ornament. The surface is colored and usually glazed.

Termite Shield - A shield, usually of sheet metal, placed in or on a foundation wall or other mass of masonry or around pipes to prevent the passage of termites.

Thermostat – An instrument that controls automatically the operation of heating or cooling devices by responding to changes in temperature.

Tie – A beam, post, rod or angle holding two pieces together; a tension member in a construction.

Title – A summary of all conveyances, such as deeds or wills and legal proceedings, giving the names of the parties, the description of the land, and the agreements, arranged to show the continuity of ownership.

Topography – The detailed description of particular places; the physical features, collectively, of a region.

Trap – A fitting or device so designed and constructed as to provide a liquid trap seal which will prevent the passage of air through it.

Trim – The finish materials to a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, cornice, picture molding).

Trimmer – A beam or joist into which a header is framed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening.


Underwriting – Executing and delivering a policy of insurance on specified property.

Use, Residential – Use for purposes related to the residential character of the property.


Valley – The sloping line at the junction of two roof surfaces where an angle less than 180* is formed.

Vestibule – A minor enclosed space at the entrance of a building; an entry.


Wainscot – The facing material applied to the lower part of an interior wall contrasting with that of the upper part.

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