Glossary of Terms
Unique Builders & Development, Inc.
Abrasive Surface Tile
A floor tile that’s been made rough to be slip-resistant.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene; a plastic commonly used for piping. This plastic has a high resistance to heat, impacting and chemicals.
A material added to concrete, grout, mortar or plaster, to shorten setting time and increase strength.
A transparent plastic material commonly used in sheets for as a substitute for window glass and used in skylights.
A type of paint similar to latex. Containing high pigment levels, dries fast and has good color retaining abilities.
When referring to a pair of doors, it’s the leaf that opens first and the door to which locks are adapted.
A budget set aside for expenses that arise during the course of a construction project such as accessories, fixtures and the like.
A licensed professional who designs or renovates commercial or residential buildings.
A material formerly used in construction. Exposure to asbestos over a long period of time has been proven to cause cancer. Asbestos removal is recommended for today’s remodeling.
A sheet of canvas or metal material stretched over a frame to shelter a window or doorway.
A window that is hinged at the top.
A counter or shelving for bottles and glasses behind a bar.
Applying a coat of paint to the back of woodwork or exterior siding. This aids in preventing moisture from entering the wood and causing contracting and swelling.
A protective sheet or panel installed behind counters, sinks or washrooms.
Backset of a Hinge
The amount of space from the edge of the door to the hinge.
This wall faces a viewer who stands at the entrance to a shower, tub or room.
A platform that protrudes outward from the home.
An electrical device used in fluorescent and high intensity lamps, providing the essential circuit condition for starting and operation.
A railing along the side of a staircase or balcony. A handrail.
Referring to a rounded or semi-circular ceiling.
This board runs along the base of a floor, covering the gap between the floor and the adjoining wall.
Resting on the floor, these floor-mounted cabinets, usually include a counter, sink or appliance.
A type of sink that is circular in shape with sloping or curving sides.
Wood strip that trims the upper edge of a baseboard.
Base Shoe Molding
A strip of wood with a curved surface used to finish off the intersection of a base and floor.
A coat applied prior to applying the finish coat.
The valve used in drawing hot or cold water into a bathtub.
Bath Tub Door
Usually a folding or sliding door mounted to the bath tub rim to keep water within the tub area.
A bathroom cabinet with a bowl or basin mounted in the counter top.
This non-keyed privacy lock is locked from the inside and can be opened from the outside using a small tool.
A curved, rectangular or polygonal window unit usually containing one large middle panel and two smaller side panels and protrudes outward from the home.
The allowable bearing capacity. The maximum allowable load on a structural element.
A wall supporting any vertical loads in addition to its own weight.
Simply put, a room for sleeping.
A written proposal describing the project, the work to be performed and the cost.
Bid Time or Bid Date
The date and time specified by the architect and owner for the receiving of bid proposals.
Originating in France, this personal hygiene bathroom fixture features hot and cold water which used primarily for cleansing the backside body parts.
A small hole or patch of knurly grain in wood created by birds pecking through the growing cells of a tree.
Used during planning and construction, these mechanical drawings are prepared by an architect, showing accurate details of a building or space.
A window unit composed of several panels forming a bow shape. A bow window protrudes outward from the home.
A protruding support for a shelf.
One who does construction; a building contractor.
A set of rules to govern the quality of construction, providing public health and safety.
A public official whose job is to examine the work performed and determine conformity with the building code.
Shelving permanently installed in a cabinet frame.
Cabinet Drawer Guide
A wooden or metal strip that guides the drawer as it slides in or out.
Refers to the space between the top of the upper cabinets and the ceiling in kitchens.
Refers to the wall to which the cabinets are mounted to.
Mounted on a swinging gate or door, this L-shaped rod drops into a pipe sleeve below the surface to secure a door or gate.
A structural shape or beam extending beyond the last point of support.
A wooden strip put on to the base of the wall to protect a wall’s surface, and finish off the intersection of the baseboard and the wall.
Simply an ornamental frame.
This type of joint is used in cabinetmaking. Two pieces of material are butted together at an angle and fastened by dowels.
A single-window unit hinged on the side and opening outward.
The trim or molding forming the frame around a doors or window.
Concrete cast in molds for decorative use in construction.
A substance used in sealing gaps between surfaces. Commonly used in a kitchens and bathrooms. Caulking seals and protects against water leaks.
An aromatic durable softwood used for its fragrance and ability to repel insects.
A colored powdered or liquid pigment that’s added to a mix to color concrete.
The number of bags of cement per cubic yard of concrete.
A material made of clay and hardened permanently by heat
Using a chalk reel, this line is used in construction. It’s made by snapping a chalked cord between two points.
A beveled surface that’s cut on the corner of a segment of wood.
A segment of stock placed in an inside corner, producing a beveled edge.
Any modification made to the original contract, including pricing, plans or blueprints. Change orders must be done in writing.
A groove or cavity cut into masonry to integrate electric or plumbing lines.
A finished surface material consisting of a thin layer of cherry wood.
A finished surface material consisting of a thin layer of chestnut wood.
This brick withstands high temperatures without cracking and is ideal for use in the construction of chimneys.
Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride
This type of plastic is commonly used to make pipes that carry hot water and chemicals.
The saturation, purity, or intensity of a color.
The path of electric current from the main source.
An over current protection device that regulates the amount of power flowing through a given circuit. This device can be found in the main electrical panel or in a circuit breaker box. It is also be used to shut off power to specific areas of the house.
An electrical device that opens an electrical circuit in the event of overload to protect operating equipment from damage.
This is the dye or pigment used to tint paint.
Commonly used in the construction of patios, sidewalks and much more, this hard building material is made by mixing a cementing material with sand and/or gravel with water.
This hollow concrete masonry block is constructed of composite materials consisting of sand, cement, coarse aggregate and water.
The legal agreement between the contractor and the homeowner outlining the details of the project, the work, timetables, cost details, payment schedules and allowances.
A timetable for each phase of the project.
The time of a flush cycle for a toilet, beginning when the toilet lever is flushed and ending when the water shuts off.
The ground or yard that surrounds a house up to the boundary fence.
A flap that controls or obstructs the flow of air or other gasses.
The fixed starting point for surveying or measuring.
Illuminating the interior of buildings with natural sunlight.
Having no gloss at all, when referring to paint.
Construction designed to prevent the transmittance of sound.
Before a flooring system is installed, these thin sheets of insulation are placed on concrete surfaces.
A skilled professional who designs houses and details of that residence. Includes interior design, landscaping and more.
Design Heat Load
Total heat loss from a building under the most severe conditions likely to happen.
A protective cover over an electrical box or device.
This form of bracing diagonally connects joints at separate levels.
An electrical switch used to control the brightness of a light fixture.
Valve used in plumbing fixtures, (such as faucets, showers, bathtubs), that divert water to different outlets.
A marble extracted from the country or area where the home in which it’s used is built.
A divining device used to locate underground piping and conduits.
Simply a door frame.
A beam redirecting the weight or load from above a door to the side door studs.
A window using two panes of glass. Double glazing helps to improve energy efficiency and insulation in homes.
Double Hung Window
Typically constructed of wood, this window is made up of two panels that slide vertically to open.
Drop-Sheet or Drop Cloth
Used to cover/protect furniture and floors during interior painting projects.
A device with a metal or fiber wheel rotating in a metal frame used in easing the sliding of a drawer open or shut.
A mechanism using guides and rollers to guide and support a drawer.
A strip installed at roof eaves to force drops of water to drip clear of the side of a building.
Thriving in moist and damp conditions, this fungus eats away at wood fibers.
A manufactured plasterboard encased in a thin layer of cardboard used for wall surfaces. Usually comes in panels.
Wallpaper consisting of two separate papers pasted together. This paper is used to create an embossed effect.
A door with two separate leaves, one above the other. This enables one to be open while the other is shut.
A slight rounding factory edge of the corners of a piece of finished lumber.
An opening at the eave line, usually screened, that allows a free flow of ventilation air through the under roof area.
A part of a roof extending beyond the walls below.
An architectural design that’s based on picking and choosing from diverse styles.
A brick that’s larger than standard bricks.
The place where two pieces of wood join together edge to edge.
Lumber that has been rabbeted on both edges to provide a close joint when fitting two pieces together.
A type of paint gloss closely resembling the luster of an egg shell. The sheen of eggshell is between flat and semi-gloss.
A spring-loaded device used for locking the inactive leaf of a pair of cabinet doors.
This elongated type of toilet bowl is oval in shape and is usually 2” longer than a round toilet bowl.
A type of paint that dries to a smooth, hard finish. Enamel comes in an assortment of finishes and glosses.
A program supported by the Environmental Protection Agency that acknowledges products that are energy efficient.
An adhesive system using epoxy resin and epoxy hardener for bonding ceramic tile to other materials.
A resin that’s spread on flooring making a hard and tough surface.
An adhesive system using epoxy resin and epoxy hardener for bonding marble or other stone set in cement to a backup material.
The process of figuring the cost of a project.
A joint whose purpose is to allow wood to contract and expand during temperature fluctuation.
The construction or assembly of parts.
Refers to the exterior face of a building.
When selecting bricks, this one is picked on the basis of appearance and durability. Generally used in the exposed surface of walls.
In cabinetry it’s the front framework from which cabinet doors are hung and drawers are inserted.
Type of wall in which the masonry facing and the backing are of different materials and bonded to act together under load.
A small flat surface.
Masonry composing an essential part of a wall used as a finished surface.
Formwork and shoring for concrete that’s removed after the concrete cures.
A valve for drawing water.
Fake marble simulated by painting marble grains on a background of plaster, wood or metal.
A Chinese cultural method for arranging and shaping buildings.
Also called Insulation Board, this prefabricated sheet of compressed wood is used in building.
Concrete that’s mixed, placed, and cured on a job site.
Painting done at the job site.
First coat of paint applied on the job site rather than at the fabrication shop.
The name for products made of or with glass in a fibrous form used to make various types of products including bathtubs.
Fine metal ornamental work of gold, silver, or copper.
Laying brick or other masonry units in the center of a wall, between the face and back.
Final Setting Time
Time required for concrete to achieve final set.
A top or final coat.
Fixed Price Contract
This type of contract holds a set and agreed-upon price for the work.
Typically in bathrooms and kitchens, fixtures include faucets, bathtubs, sinks and anything exterior to the wall.
A type of paint finish with virtually no gloss or shine.
Simply the square footage of a building or space.
A drawing of a building showing the proposed design and specifications. Also shows windows, doors, walls and stairwells.
A structural wall that is part of a building, made of studs, bottom and top plate, and a wall covering.
French Hinged Door
Hinged doors with multiple glass panes, extending for most of the door’s lengths.
A decorative band, usually horizontal, that’s found on the interior or exterior of a home.
The final layer of plaster coating.
The finest grade of plywood.
The part of a fireplace that contains the fire.
Fire Rated Brick
Brick that’s been tested for fire-resistance and graded for distinctive construction use. Usually suitable for use in masonry fireplaces, fireboxes and fire chambers.
Used to describe small blemishes sometimes found in lime finish coats and caused by lumpy lime.
A steel tape contained in a reel and used to push through an electrical conduit and pull wire.
An end butt splice reinforced by pieces nailed on the sides.
Built into a wall, this mounting frame is built to support plumbing fixtures.
Also called a flag, this hard flat stone slab used for paving.
When a sheet of flooring is turned up at the edge and finished against a wall to create a built-in baseboard.
A dull finish with no gloss.
Interior paint that when dry produces a flat finish.
An abrasion resistant brick, smooth and dense, used for finishing floor surfaces.
Masonry units such as, tile, stone, ceramic brick and concrete used for finished flooring.
A piece of trim located where the wall and floor meet.
Reinforced concrete slab used as a floor.
A varnish designed to produce a smooth glossy surface without polishing.
Heat-resistant materials that make up the lining of a chimney.
An opening in a chimney through which smoke passes.
A bolt designed to be flush with the face or edge of a door.
Piece of trim fastened flat or flush with a wall.
Masonry buttress that forms an arch with the wall it supports.
A brand name for the various laminated plastic products used for surface finish on cabinets.
Lobby, entrance hallway or vestibule.
Constructing brickwork up to the top of a door or window frame.
Ornamental openwork designs cut in woodwork with a fretsaw.
An electrical safety device which regulates electricity when circuits are overloaded.
A wire cage that’s filled with stone and used in large scale retaining walls.
From the eaves to the apex of the roof, the vertical triangular wall beneath the end of a gable roof.
Roof that consists of two opposite sloping planes that intersect at the level ridge.
A screened opening in a gable, used to vent an attic.
A roofed outdoor balcony.
Zinc plating for corrosion protection by hot dipping objects into molten zinc or by electrolysis.
An attic room.
Gate hinges are mounted on this vertical member in a fence system.
An agreement that covers the work of general construction done by a prime contractor.
A company or individual that manages numerous types of construction and renovation projects. The prime contractor for general construction.
This machine converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Synthetic fabrics used in separating backfill materials for proper drainage. Commonly used in retaining walls and landscape design.
A very large beam that supports other beams.
Glass Mosaic Tiles
Usually in sizes not over two inches square, these tiles are made of glass and mounted on sheets of paper.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. These devices have their own built-in circuit breaker. They are intended to protect you from an electrical shock, such as dropping a hairdryer in the sink.
A shiny, lustrous finish that reflects light. A finish, or shine of paint. This includes several kinds of gloss, such as flat, eggshell, low luster, semi-gloss, and high gloss.
An enamel finishing material that forms a hard coating with smooth surfaces and high gloss.
The ability to retain the original sheen.
An arch which is pointed with a joint at the apex rather than a keystone.
GPF or Gallons Per Flush
A measurement that explains the water consumption for toilets.
Leveling off to a smooth horizontal or sloping surface.
Creating the appearance of wood grain on a surface by painting techniques, staining or paint colors.
As stone which is harder and more durable than regular bricks. Commonly used for driveways and patios.
A masonry facing made from granite.
A natural occurring igneous rock with visible crystals of quartz and feldspar.
Brickwork in which mortar has not yet set.
Plaster that has not yet dried.
A creature said to be responsible for malfunctions of equipment.
A quantity of 12 dozen or 144.
The coating material applied before the graining colors or glazing coat.
Background color against which top colors create a pattern or figure in design.
Low lying plants that cover the ground
An connection between an electrical circuit and earth.
A thin mortar used to fill spaces between floor or wall tiles.
The process of filling tile joints, masonry blocks or any masonry products with grout.
Clearing and digging up roots and stumps.
A room designed to be occupied by a guest.
A channel for collecting and diverting water from a roof.
A naturally occurring mineral and the main component of sheetrock or drywall. When heated gypsum forms plaster-of-Paris.
An interior panel composed of a gypsum core sandwiched between paper faces. Also referred to as Drywall, Plasterboard, or Sheetrock.
A room that contains a toilet and a lavatory
Concrete masonry unit that is half the length of standard units.
This test determines the impact resistance of gypsum board.
A shower head connected to the water supply by a hose to be mobile. Used in bathtub showers.
A dense fiberboard made by pressing wood fibers together.
The area on the floor in front of a fireplace, or the actual floor of the fireplace. Constructed usually of brick, stone or cement.
Shaped like the letter I at its cross section, this type of beam is constructed of iron, steel or wood.
A thick application of pigment applied to surfaces, making the painting stand out in bold relief.
Tile specified by a water absorption of 0.5 percent or less.
Marble that’s shipped in from another country.
Enhancements to the value of a property.
fitting that enlarges from a smaller pipe to a larger
Lighting that delivers most of its light upward.
Typically this industrial paint is used in commercial environments. Highly durable and ultra-resistant to chemicals and environmental exposure.
A window or door that incorporates two or more panes of glass. Space between the panes are hermetically sealed.
Usually placed within ceilings and walls, this material is used to prevent heat loss. Insulation helps to reduce heating and electricity bills.
This window has stationary or adjustable blinds that are angled to permit airflow and provide shade, while preventing rain from entering.
The vertical side of a door or window frame. Can be a vertical piece of wood or other material that lines the sides of door or window frames.
A steel anchor used to fasten steel door frames to the wall or partition construction.
Concrete masonry unit with a preformed slot to accept a window or door frame.
An electrical junction box.
This toilet feature is designed to start the siphoning action quickly by directing water into the trap way. Also used in bathtubs to create a whirlpool.
A place where construction takes place.
A material used in covering joints, corners and fasteners. Also called Spackle or Joint Cement.
Joint Reinforcing Tape
A type of paper, metal, fabric, glass mesh, or other material, generally used with a joint compound to reinforce the joints between adjacent gypsum boards.
Juxtaposition of Colors
Placing colors side by side that complement or contrast each other.
Placing of things side by side.
A cut made with a saw part way through a material. This is generally done to assist breaking to a desired shape.
A joint in which one structural member is keyed or notched into an adjoining member as in timber construction. In masonry construction, a finished joint of mortar which has been tooled concave.
A wedge shaped middlemost stone at the top of an arch.
Running along the bottom edge of a door, this metal plate or strip is installed to protect the finished surface.
Mounted on walls or floors in a kitchen area, this case, box, or piece of furniture with sets of drawers or shelves, with doors, is primarily used for storage.
This plumbing fixture is found in the kitchen and used for drawing water.
A basin found in the kitchen and connected to a drain.
A room for preparing food.
Usually visible on the surface of a plank of wood, knots are part of a tree’s limb or branch.
A liquid made of shellac dissolved in alcohol drying to form a hard protective coating.
Ceiling made up of vaults or recessed panels.
A recessed panel in a ceiling.
A hollow steel column, frequently filled with concrete.
Forming a product by bonding two or more layers of materials together.
Product made by bonding layers of veneer or lumber with adhesives.
A level part of stairways between flights of stairs or at the end of a flight of stairs.
A staircase landing with terrazzo tiles mounted to its surface.
Improving a site by modification of the terrain, the planting of trees, shrubs and ground cover.
Paint that uses latex as a binder.
A drying oil, originating from flaxseed used in paint, lacquer and varnishes.
Low Consumption Toilet
A toilet designed to use a very small amount of water for each flush.
A thin layer of straight-grained wood used for an outer finish or decoration.
Main electrical service protective device where power enters a house or building.
The heaviest necessary supporting members in a suspended ceiling.
Fresh water that’s used to refill a swimming pool.
A metallic chemical element that resembles iron but is not magnetic, contained in clay used for brick making.
The entire finish around a fireplace.
This floor system uses marble for the finishing material.
Marble cut into tiles with a size of 12 inches square or less.
An imitation marble produced with Keenes cement. Color pigments are added.
A canopy over an entrance.
Protecting areas that are not to be painted.
Bricks shaped and molded in various sizes and shapes.
A plaster surface used on masonry.
Brickwork, blockwork or stonework.
A ceramic glaze having a low gloss.
Lumber that’s edge-dressed and shaped to make a close tongue-and-groove joint.
A length of metal channel attached to a wall to allow the attaching of finish materials to the wall.
A device that drives nails using compressed air.
Natural Clay Tile
This tile is made by either the dust-pressed method or the plastic method, from clays producing a dense body having a textured appearance.
A transparent finish applied to wood for protection, that should not seriously change the original color of the wood or obscure grain pattern.
Stone which is quarried and not manufactured.
Filling brick between the roof rafters to make a building wind tight.
A wall that carries no superimposed load and can be removed without any structural effect.
Tile that has greater non-slip characteristics.
A thin layer of oak glued to an interior wood forming an ornamental facing available in white oak and red oak.
Known for it’s strength, a hard and heavy wood.
A pointed arch.
A wood stain containing oil-soluble dyes and solvents.
toilet in which the bowl and tank are manufactured together as one fixture, usually made of glass or china.
A non-transparent glaze.
A pitted texture that resembles the surface of rough orange peel.
Arranging lamps outline or call attention to features such as the shape of a building or the decoration of a window.
Referring to the panels within a door frame or cabinet. Also a board that is set in a frame.
A schedule of payments. The contract usually describes at what point the customer will pay the contractor. Can include a deposit, periodic payments for materials, work performed and a final payment.
Authorization from city or state government officials to perform work. This can include zoning permits, plumbing permits, building permits, electrical permits, and others. Qualified inspections will also provide you with peace of mind that your project is being performed safely and up to proper codes.
Common building material made of thin sheets of wood that have been pressed and glued together.
A drain mechanism controlled by a piece within a faucet that pushes the stopper either up or down.
Pressure Balance Valve
An important valve within shower plumbing that maintains a constant water temperature. Temperature remains constant despite changes in hot or cold water pressure.
Pressure Relief Valve
Used on a hot water heater or boiler. A device used to prevent the build-up of steam within the tank of a hot water heater, releasing steam when pressure reaches a certain threshold.
A type of pipe made of a white water-insoluble thermoplastic resin, typically used for water supply or plumbing.
A four wire cable.
Ensuring quality in on-site construction.
This remodeling contractor has expertise with simple and complex renovations, home additions, room and home expansions. Also specializes in larger, more involved home renovation projects.
An upright piece of a step that rests between one stair tread and the next.
Standard shape of toilet bowls, about 2 inches shorter than an elongated bowl.
A measure of thermal resistance that gauges the effectiveness of different types of home insulation.
Rough drawing of a building or room showing general size and shape of a space.
Scope of Work
Project description that includes comprehensive details describing the work to be completed.
A thermostat that’s programmable and can be set to different temperatures at designated times of the day or week.
Using single panes of glass in a window. Not as energy-efficient as double glazing.
Critical to the flushing of a toilet, it is the suction action that occurs in the trap-way of a toilet while being flushed.
Underside part of a structure, such as a beam, eave, stairway, roof, or arch.
A licensed contractor able to perform specialized types of jobs. This includes appliance installation, electrical, plumbing and more.
General or Specialty contractor who works for another General contractor. Most general contractors hire subcontractors specializing in certain areas to work on specific portions of a given project.
An electrical switch enabling you to turn fixtures on or off from two different locations.
Time & Materials Contract
A contract which itemizes the cost of labor, overhead and materials.
Tongue & Groove
A carpentry joint in which the jutting edge ,or tongue, of one board fits into the grooved end, or groove, of another board.
Horizontal piece of a step.
Found around windows, doors, or the baseboard, this decorative woodwork is commonly used around the edges of a room or building.
A standard toilet style that includes two pieces, the tank and bowl.
Vivid blue pigment that’s made from powdered lapis lazuli.
Natural earth pigment like ochre but browner and darker.
A serrated factory cut end.
Also called the base coat or primer, this layer of paint is applied before the topcoat.
A kind of storage cabinet for bathrooms that is located under the sink or counter.
Style of sink/basin that’s not fully installed into a counter, sitting partially above the counter.
When the designer, contractor and architect meet at a project site to evaluate the project.
A toilet designed to use a very small amount of water for each flush.
The measure of the electrical requirement of any appliance or fixture.
Sealing openings or cracks around windows and doors with metal, wood or plastic materials to prevent air and water from getting in.
Containing yellow or having reference to yellow color.
Solvent acquired from coal tar, wood tar or petroleum.
This an art of making engravings on wood.
Unit of measure equal to 3 feet or 36 inches. Also an allotment of enclosed ground.
In a lumber yard, this is run of the mill lumber.
Used in paint, referring to an earthy pigment made from impure iron ore.
A compound of zinc used as white pigment in some paints.
Governmental specifications detailing how certain property may be used.