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FACADE: Face or front elevation of a building or home.

FASCIA: Outside horizontal face of member on the edge of a roof or cornice.

FELT PAPER: Papers, sometimes tar-impregnated, used on roofs and sidewalls to give protection against dampness and leaks.

FENESTRATION: Arrangement and sizing of doors and windows in a building or home.

FILLED INSULATION: A loose insulating material poured from bags or blown by machines into walls.

FIREBRICK: A brick that is especially hard and heat-resistant. Used in fireplaces.

FIRE DOOR: A fire-resistive door assembly, including frame and hardware, which is capable of providing a specified degree of fire protection when closed. Usually provided with an automatic closing mechanism, in the event of fire.

FIRE-STOP: In a concealed, hollow construction, a material or member which fills or seals the open construction to prevent or retard the spread of fire through a building or home.

FLASHING: A thin impervious material placed in construction to prevent water penetration and/or provide water drainage, esp. between a roof and wall, and over exterior door openings and windows of a building or home.

FLUE: A non-combustible, heat-resistant enclosed passage in a chimney to control and carry away products of combustion from a fireplace or furnace to the outside air.

FLUE LINING: Terra-cotta pipe used for the inner lining of chimneys.

FOOTING: That portion of the foundation of a building or home which transmits loads directly to the soil; may be the widened part of a wall or column. Used to spread the load over a greater area to prevent or reduce settling.

FOOTING FORM: A wooden or steel form used to hold concrete to the desired shape and size until it hardens.

FOOTPRINT: The outline of a commercial building or home's foundation; this means the building or home's outermost points, and is used for site planning.

FRAMING: Wood skeleton of a building or house constructed one level on top of another.

FRENCH DOOR: A wood door paneled with panes of glass, often used in pairs.

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FRIEZE BOARD: Trim member below the cornice that is fastened against the wall.

FURRING STRIPS: Thin strips fastened to walls or ceilings for leveling and for attaching finish surface material.

FURTHER EVALUATION: Examination and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman, or service technician, beyond that provided by an inspector in a home inspection or a commercial building inspection.

FUSE: A strip of soft metal inserted in an electric circuit and designed to melt and open the circuit should the current exceed a predetermined value.

LALLY COLUMN: A steel column used as a support for girders and beams.

LAMINATED BEAM: Beam made of superimposed layers of similar building materials (usually wood) by uniting them with glue under pressure.

LANAI: A verandah or porch.

LANDING: A platform in a flight of stairs.

LAP JOINT: Joint produced by lapping and joining two similar members.

LATH: A building material used as a base for the application of plaster.

LATTICE: Grillwork made by crossing small wooden strips.

LEDGER: A horizontal member, which is supported by hangers or by upright posts and carries joists.

LINTEL: A horizontal building structural member over an opening, which carries the weight of the wall above it; usually of steel, stone, or wood.

LOADS: Live load: The total of all moving and variable loads that may be placed upon a building or home.Dead load: The weight of all permanent, stationary construction included in a building or home.

LOAD-BEARING WALL: Building wall designed to support the weight imposed upon it from above.

LOUVER: Opening or slatted grillwork that allows ventilation while providing protection from rain, sight, or light.

LUMBER: The product of the saw mill and planing mill not further manufactured other than by sawing, resawing, and passing lengthwise through a planing machine, crosscut to length and matched.

SASH: Individual frame into which glass is set; the movable part of a double-hung window.

SCRATCH COAT: The first coat of plaster. It is scratched to provide a good bond for the next coat.

SCUTTLE: Small opening in a ceiling that provides access to an attic or roof.

SEPTIC TANK: A concrete or steel tank where sewage is reduced to liquid and gases by bacterial action. About half the sewage solids become gases that escape back through the vent stack in the house. The liquids flow from the tank into the ground through a leaching field tile bed.

SERVICE CONNECTION: The electric wires to the building from the outside power lines.

SETBACK: Distance from the property lines, front, side, and rear, to the face of building or home; established by zoning ordinances.

SETTLEMENT: Compression of the soil or the members in a structure.

SHAKE: A thick wood shingle with an uneven surface; usually formed either by splitting a log into tapered radial sections or by sawing.

SHEATHING: Rough covering over the framing of a building or home, either roof or wall, which is not exposed when finish material is applied.

SHED ROOF: A roof slanting in one direction.

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SHINGLE: A roofing unit of wood, asphaltic material, slate, tile, concrete, asbestos cement, or other material used as an exterior covering on sloping roofs and side walls; applied in an overlapping fashion. See Shake and Wood Shingle

SHIPLAP: Boards with lapped joints along their edges.

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SHORING: Lumber placed in a slanted position to support the structure of a building or home temporarily.

SHORT CIRCUIT: The condition that exists when a hot wire comes in contact with a neutral or grounded wire or conductor within a circuit. It should cause the fuse to blow or the circuit breaker to trip.

SIDING: A finish covering on the exterior walls of a building or home in the form of a series of horizontal strips or boards; made of such cladding materials as wood or aluminum. The strips are usually applied horizontally with an overlap to provide resistance against the penetration of water.

SIDELIGHT: A vertical window beside a door or another window.

SILL: Horizontal exterior member below a window or door opening. In frame construction, the lowest structural member that rests on the foundation.

SILL-COCK: Water faucet made for the threaded attachment of a hose; also called a hose bibb.

SISTERING: Reinforcing a structural member by nailing or affixing a strengthening piece to a weakened piece.

SKYLIGHT: An opening in the roof which is glazed with a transparent or translucent material; used to admit diffused light to the building space below..

SLAB CONSTRUCTION: A reinforced concrete floor and foundation system.

SLOPE: See Pitch.

SMOKE CHAMBER: The portion of a chimney flue located directly over the fireplace.

SOFFIT: Underside of an overhang such as the eave, a second floor, or stairs.

SOIL STACK: Vertical plumbing pipe that carries sewage.

SOLE PLATE: The horizontal framing member directly under the studs.

SPACKLE: To cover wallboard joints with plaster.

SPAN: Horizontal distance between supports for joists, beams, or trusses.

SPANDREL: In a multistory commercial building, a wall panel filling the space between the top of the window in one story and the sill of the window in the story above.

SPECIFICATIONS: The written or printed direction regarding the details of a building or home not included in the set of working drawings.

SQUARE: In roofing, 100 sq ft of roofing material.

STACK: A vertical pipe

STAIRS: A series of steps.

STANDPIPE: A pipe or tank used for the storage of water, especially for emergency use.

STEENING: Brickwork without mortar.

STILE: Vertical framing member of a panel door.

STORM SEWER: A sewer that is designed to carry away rain water from a property, but not sewage.

STORY: Space between two floors of a building or home.

STRINGER: One of the sides of a flight of stairs. The supporting member cut to receive the treads and risers.

STRUCTURAL COMPONENT: A building component that supports non-variable forces or weights (dead loads) and variable forces or weights (live loads) in a building or home.

STRUT: A brace or any piece of a frame which resists thrusts in the direction of its own length; may be upright, diagonal, or horizontal.

STUCCO: Any of various plasters used for covering walls, especially an exterior wall covering in which cement is used.

STUD: An upright post or support, esp. one of a series of vertical structural members, which act as the supporting elements in a wall or partition.

SUBFLOOR: Material fastened directly to floor joist below the finish floor.

SUBSTRATE:  A surface upon which paint or varnish have been or may be applied.  Examples included in the HUD Guildelines are: wood, plaster, metal, brick, drywall, and concrete.  Substrates can contain lead absorbed from paint or from other sources.

SUBSTRATE EFFECT:  The returning of backscattered radiation from the paint, substrate or underlying material to the XRF analyzer.  This radation when counted as lead X-rays by an XRF contributes to the bias.

SUMP: A pit in a basement floor to collect water, into which a sump pump is placed to remove water.

SUSPENDED CEILING: Finish ceiling hung below the underside of the building or home structure, either floor or roof.

SWALE: A drainage channel formed on a property where two slopes meet.

SYSTEM: A combination of interacting or interdependent components in a building or home assembled to carry out one or more functions.


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Glossary of Inspection, Architectural, and Construction Terms
Commeercial Building Inspection Seattle Building Inspector Construction Architetcure