Rd instruction 1924-a table of Contents




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APPENDIX A

GLOSSARY OF HOUSING TERMS



Anchor bolts: Bolts to secure a wooden sill to concrete or masonry floor or wall.
Areaway: An open subsurface space adjacent to a building used to admit limit or air or as a means of access to a basement or cellar.
Astragal: A molding, attached to one of a pair of swinging doors against which the other door strikes.
Attic ventilators: In houses, screened openings provided to ventilate an attic space. They are located in the soffit area as inlet ventilators and in the gable end or along the ridge as cutlet ventilators. They can also consist of power-driven fans used as an exhaust system. (See also Louver.)
Balusters: Small spindles or members forming the main part of a railing for stairway or balcony, fastened between a bottom and top rail.
Balustrade: A railing made up of balusters, top rails, and sometimes bottom rail used on the edge of stairs, balconies, and porches.
Base shoe: Molding used next to the floor on interior baseboard. Sometimes called a carpet strip.
Battern: Narrow strips of wood or metal used to cover joints.
Bearing wall: A wall that supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.
Bridging: Small wood or metal members that are inserted in a diagonal position between the floor joists to act both as tension and compression members for the purpose of bracing the joists and spreading the action of loads.
British Thermal Unit: (B.T.U.) A unit of measurement of the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree F. The mean B.T.U. is usually used, which is one-one hundred eightieth of the heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water from 32 degrees F. to 212 degrees F. at a constant atmospheric pressure of 14.69 p.s.i.
Built-up roof: A roofing composed of three to five layers of rag felt or jute saturated with coal tar, pitch, or asphalt. The top is finished with crushed slag or gravel. Generally used on flat or low-pitched roofs.
Cant strip: A wedge or triangular-shaped piece of lumber used at gable ends under shingles or at the junction of the house and a flat deck under the roofing.

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Guide 2


Appendix A

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Chase: A groove or shaft in a masonry wall provided for accommodation of pipes, ducts, or conduits.
Conduit, electrical: A pipe, usually metal, in which wire is installed.
Corbel: To build out one or more courses of brick or stone from the face of a wall.
Corner bead: A strip of formed galvanized iron, sometimes combined with a strip of metal lath, placed on corners before plastering to reinforce them. Also, a strip of wood finish three-quarters-round or angular placed over a plastered corner for protection.
Corner boards: Used as trim for the external corners of a house or other frame structure against which the ends of the siding are finished.
Corner braces: Diagonal braces let into studs to reinforce corners of framestructures.
Cornice: A decorative element made up of molded members usually placed at or near the top of an exterior or interior wall.
Cornice return: That portion of the cornice that returns on the gable end of a house.
Counterflashing: A flashing usually used on chimneys at the roofline to cover shingle flashing and to prevent moisture entry.
Cricket or saddle: A small drainage diveting roof structure of single or double slope placed at the junction of larger surfaces that meet at an angle.
Crown molding: A molding used on cornice or wherever a large angle is to be covered.
Dampproofing: A treatment of a surface or structure which retards the passage of water. See Waterproofing.
Doorjamb: The surrounding case into which and out of which a door closes and opens. It consists of two upright pieces, called jambs, and a head, fitted together and rabbeted.
Dormer: An internal recess, the framing of which projects from a sloping roof.
Drip cap: A molding placed on the exterior top side of a door or window to cause water to drip behind the outside of the frame.
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Drywall finish: Interior covering material, such as gypsum board which is applied in large sheets or panels.
Ducts: In a house, usually round or rectangular metal pipes for distributing warm air from the heating plant to rooms, or air from a conditioning device. Ducts are also made of composition materials.
Eaves: The margin or lower part of a roof projecting over the wall.
Expansion joint: A bituminous fiber strip used to separate blocks or units of concrete to prevent cracking due to expansion as a result of temperature changes.
Facia or fasia: A flat board, band, or face, used sometimes by itself but usually in combination with moldings, often located at the outer face of the cornice.
Fire stop: A solid, tight closure of a concealed space, placed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through such as space.
Flashing: Sheet metal or other impervious material used in roof and wall construction to protect a building from seepage of water.
Flue lining: Fire clay or terra cotta pipe, round or square, usually made in all of the ordinary flue sizes and in 2-foot lengths, used for the inner lining of chimneys with the brick or masonry work around the outside.
Footing: The spreading course or courses at the base or bottom of a foundation wall, pier, or column.
Foundation: The supporting portion of a structure below the first-floor construction, or below grade, including the footings.
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.
Furring: Strips of wood or metal applied to a wall or other side to even it, to form an airspace, or to give the wall an appearance of greater thickness.
Gable: In house construction, the portion of the roof above the eave line of a double-sloped roof.
Gable end: An end wall having a gable.
Girder: A large or principal beam used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length.
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RD Instruction 1921-A

Guide 2

Appendix A



Page A - 4
Grade:
Finish: The top surface elevation of lawns, walks, drives, or other

improved surfaces after completion of construction or grading operations.


Natural: The elevation of the original or undisturbed natural surface

of the ground.


Subgrade: The elevation established to receive top surfacing or

finishing materials.


Grade beam: A reinforced concrete beam supporting the exterior wall construction, in contact with the earth, but supported by piers.
Grout: Mortar made of such consistency by the addition of water that it will just flow into the joints and cavities of the masonry work and fill them solid.
Habitable room: A room designed and used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking, or combination thereof. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage rooms, laundry and utility spaces, basement recreation rooms and similar areas are not considered habitable rooms.
Header: (a) A beam placed perpendicular to joists and to which joists are nailed in framing for chimney, stairway, or other opening. (b) A wood lintel.
Hip: The external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping sides of a roof.
Hip roof: A roof that rises by inclined planes from all four sides of a building.
Humidifier: A device designed to increase the humidity within a room or a house by means of the discharge of water vapor. They may consist of individual room-size units or larger units attached to the heating plant to condition the entire house.
Jack rafter: A rafter that spans the distance from the wall-plate to a hip, or from a valley to a ridge.
Jamb: The sidepost or lining of a doorway, window, or other opening.
Joists: A series of floor, roof, or ceiling framing members spaced not more than 30 inches o.c. Members supporting roofs having slopes over 3 in 12 are not defined as roof joists. See Rafter.
Kiln dried lumber: Lumber that has been kiln dried often to a moisture content of 6 to 12 percent. Common varieties of softwood lumber, such as framing lumber are dried to a somewhat higher moisture content.
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Ledger strip or nailer: A strip of lumber nailed along the bottom of the side of a girder on which joists rest.
Lintel: A horizontal structural member that supports the load over an opening such as a door or window.
Loads:
Living unit: A residential unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one family including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.

Concentrated: A load concentrated upon a specified small area of a

floor, roof, wall or other member.

Dead: The weight of all permanent construction in a building.

Design: Total load which a structure or member is designed to sustain

safely without exceeding specified deformation.

Live: The weight of all moving and variable loads that may be placed

on or in a building such as snow, wind, occupancy, etc.

Uniform: An average load applied uniformly over a floor, roof or wall

or along a beam or girder.


Mastic: A thick, pasty sealant or adhesive.
Metal lath: Sheets of metal that are slit and drawn out to form openings on which plaster is spread.
Millwork: Generally all building materials made of finished wood and manufactured in millwork plants and planing mills are included under the term "millwork." It includes such items as inside and outside doors, window and doorframes, blinds, porchwork, mantels, panelwork, stairways, moldings, and interior trim. It does not include flooring, ceiling, or siding.
Miter: The joining of two pieces at an angle that bisects the angle of junction.
Mortise: A slot cut into a board, plank, or timber, usually edgewise, to receive tenon of another board, plank, or timber to form a joint.
Molding: Material, usually patterned strips, used to provide ornamental variation of outline or contour, whether projections or cavities, such as cornices, bases, window and door jambs, and heads.
Mullion: A slender bar of pier forming a division between panels or units of windows, screens, or similar frames.
Muntin: The members dividing the glass or openings of sash, doors, and the like.

Newel: A post to which the end of a stair railing or balustrade is fastened. Also, any post to which a railing or balustrade is fastened.

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Nosing: The projecting edge of a molding or drip. Usually applied to the projecting molding on the edge of a stair tread.
On Center: The measurement of spacing for studs, rafters, joints, and the like in a building from center of one member to the center of the next member.
Outrigger: An extension of a rafter beyond the wall line. Usually a smaller member nailed to a larger rafter to form a cornice or roof overhang.
Paper:
Building: A general term for papers, felts, and similar sheet

materials used in buildings without reference to their properties or

uses.
Sheathing: A building material, generally paper or felt used in wall

and roof construction as a protection against the passage of air and

sometimes moisture.
Penny: As applied to nails it originally indicated the price per hundred. The term now serves as a measure of nail length and is abbreviated by the letter "d".
Perm: The unit of measurement of the water vapor permeance of a material. Value of one perm is equal to one grain of water vapor per square foot per hour Per inch of mercury vapor pressure difference.
Pier: A masonry or concrete column supporting foundations or the floor structure in basementless spaces. Pier may be freestanding or bonded at its sides to other masonry or concrete.
Pilaster: A pier forming part of a masonry or concrete wall partially projecting therefrom and bonded thereto.
Pitch: The incline or rise of a roof. Pitch is expressed in inches of rise per foot of run, or by the ratio of the rise to the span.
Plates: Horizontal wood member which provide bearing and anchorage for wall, ceiling, and roof framing.
Sillplate: Plate on top of foundation wall which supports floor

framing.
Wall plate: Plate at top or bottom of wall or partition framing.

Further defined as topplate, at top, and soleplate, at bottom.
Rafter or joistplate: Plate at top of masonry or concrete wall

supporting rafter or roof joist and ceiling framing.


RD Instruction 1924-A

Guide 2


Appendix A

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Plenum: An air compartment or chamber to which one or more ducts are connected and which forms part of an air distribution system. Crawl space may be used as a plenum without ductwork when properly constructed.
Plinth: The square block at the base of a column or pedestal.
Plumb: Perpendicular, i.e., standing according to a plumb line as the post of a house or wall is plumb.
p.s.i.: Abbreviation for pounds per square inch. The term is used to indicate the strength of a body. In a wood beam, joist, or rafter, it represents the load it will sustain per square inch of cross-sectional area.
Primer: The first coat of paint in a paint job that consists of two or more coats; also the paint used for such as first coat.
Purlin: An intermediate supporting member at right angles to rafter or truss framing.
Quarter round: A molding that presents a profile of a quarter circle.
Rabbet: A rectangular longitudinal groove cut in the corner of a board or other piece of material.
Radiant heating: A method of heating usually consisting of coils or pipes placed in the floor, wall, or ceiling.
Rafters: A series of roof framing members spaced not more than 30 inches o.c. in roofs having slopes over 3 in 12. Members supporting roofs having 3 in 12 or less are defined as roof joists.
Rafter, hip: A rafter that forms the intersection of an external roof angle.
Rafter, jack: A rafter that spans the distance from a wall-plate to a hip or from a valley or ridge.
Rafter, valley: A rafter that forms the intersection of an internal roof angle.
Rake: The trim members that run parallel to the roof slope and from the finish between wall and roof.
Ribbon: A narrow board let into the studding to add support to joists.
Ridge: The horizontal line at the junction of the top edges of two sloping roof surfaces. The rafters at both slopes are nailed at the ridge.
Ridge board: The board placed on the edge of the ridge of the roof to support the upper ends of the rafters.

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Guide 2


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Rise: The height of a roof rising in horizontal distance (run) from the outside face of a wall supporting the rafters or trusses to the ridge of the roof. In stairs, the perpendicular height of a step or flight of steps.
Riser: Each of the vertical boards closing the spaces between the treads of stairways.
Run: In reference to roofs, the horizontal distance from the face of a wall to the ridge of the roof. Referring to stairways, the net width of a step; also the horizontal distance covered by a flight of steps.
Saddle: Two sloping surfaces meeting in a horizontal ridge used between the back side of a chimney, or other vertical surface, and a sloping roof.
Scratch coat: The first coat of plaster, which is scratched to form a bond for the second coat.
Screeds: Strips of plaster of the desired coat thickness laid on a surface to serve as guides for plastering the intervals between them. Also the intermediate leveling strips in concrete slabs.
Scribing: Fitting woodwork to an irregular surface.
Sealer: A finishing material, either clear or pigmented, that is usually applied directly over uncoated wood for the purpose of sealing the surface.
Siding: The finish covering of the outside wall of a frame building whether made of weatherboards, vertical boards with battens, shingles, plywood, or other material.
Siding, level (lapsiding): Used as the finish siding on the exterior of a house or other structure. It is usually manufactured by resawing dry square surfaced boards diagonally to produce two wedge-shaped pieces. These pieces commonly run from three-sixteenths inch thick on the thin edge to one-half to three quarters inch thick on the other edge depending on the width of the siding.
Sill: The lowest member of the frame of a structure, resting on the foundation and supporting the uprights of the frame. The member forming the lower side of an opening, as a doorsill, windowsill, etc.
Soffit: The underside of the members of a building, such as staircases, cornices, beams, and arches, relatively minor in area as compared with ceilings.
Soil stack: A general term for the vertical main of a system of soil, waste, or vent piping.
Sole or soleplate: A member on which wall and partition studs rest.

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Span: The distance between structural supports such as walls, columns, piers, beams, girders, and trusses
Splashblock: A small masonry block laid with the top close to the ground surface to receive roof drainage and to carry it away from the building.
Square: A unit of measure - 100 square feet - usually applied to roofing material. Sidewall coverings are often packed to cover 100 square feet and are sold on that basis.
Stool: The flat, narrow shelf forming the top member of the interior trim at the bottom of a window.
String, stringer: A timber or other support for cross members. In stairs, the support on which the stair treads rest; also stringboard.
Stucco: Most commonly refers to an outside plaster made with Portland cement as its base.
Stud: One of a series of slender wood or metal vertical structural members placed as supporting elements in walls and partitions. (Plural: Studs or studding.)
Subfloor: Boards or plywood placed on joists over which a finish floor is to be laid.
Suspended ceiling: A ceiling system supported by hanging it from the overhead structural framing.
Toenailing: To drive a nail at a slant with the initial surface in order to permit it to penetrate into a second member.
Trimmer: A beam or joist to which a header is nailed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening.
Threshold: A strip of wood or metal beveled on each edge and used above the finish floor under outside doors.
Tread: The horizontal board in a stairway on which the foot is placed.
Trim: The finish materials in a building, such as moldings, applied around openings (window trim, door trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, cornice, picture molding.)
Truss: A structural framework composed of a series of members so arranged and fastened together that external loads applied at the joints will cause only direct stress in the members.

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Trussed rafter: A truss where the chord members are also serving as rafters and ceiling joists and are subject to bending stress in addition to direct stress.
Under layment: A material placed under finish coverings, such as flooring, or shingles, to provide a smooth, even surface for applying the finish.
Vapor barrier: Material used to retard the flow of vapor or moisture into walls and thus to prevent condensation within them. There are two types of vapor barriers, the membrane that comes in rolls and is applied as a unit in the wall or ceiling construction, and the paint type, which is applied with a brush. The vapor barrier must be a part of the warm side of the wall.
Walls:
Bearing wall: A wall which supports any vertical load in addition to

its own weight.


Cavity wall: A masonry or concrete wall consisting of two wythes

arranged to provide an airspace within the wall in which the inner

and outer wythes of the wall are tied together with metal ties.
Faced wall: A wall in which the masonry facing and the backing are

so bonded as to exert a common reaction under load.

Fire wall: A wall with qualities of fire resistance and structural

stability which subdivides a building into fire areas and which

resists the spread of fire.
Foundation wall: A wall, below or partly below grade, providing

support for the exterior or other structural parts of a building.


Masonry wall: A bearing or nonbearing wall of hollow or solid

masonry units.


Nonbearing wall: A wall which supports no vertical load other than

its own weight.


Veneered wall: A wall with a masonry face which is attached to but

not bound to the body of the wall.


Weatherstrip: Narrow or jamb-width sections of thin metal or other material to prevent infiltration of air and moisture around windows and doors. Compression weather stripping prevents air infiltration, provides tension, and acts as a counter balance.

RD Instruction 1924-A

Guide 2

Appendix B



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