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Resources - Basic Vocabulary

Basic Vocabulary

Building codes- local ordinances or laws which must be met in constructing a building. In general building codes establish a minimal standard. That is, building codes tell you how little you have to do.

Floating slab- a concrete slab which does not have footings below the frost line. Is designed to move or "float" as sidewalks do when the ground beneath it expands and contracts from freezing and thawing.

Footings and foundation- concrete base and wall for slab to rest on. Makes slab rigid as compared with a floating slab.

Bag mix- refers to the number of bags of cement that are mixed into each cubic yard of concrete.

Scoring/control joints- a cut about ½” deep in the concrete slab used to address cracking (scoring is like the lines you find in the sidewalk). Saw cutting with a masonry bladed also serves the same point without a divot in the concrete allowing a caster wheel to roll over the cut smoothly.

Curb- an elevation around the perimeter of the slab to rest the walls on, much like a street curb. This prevents moisture from getting to the wall frame and possibly causing rot-out.

Studs- the lumber, usually 2x4’s or 2x6’s that make up the vertical framing of the walls.

Plates- the lumber, usually 2x4’s or 2x6’s running horizontally on the top and bottom of the vertical framing of the walls.

Double/triple studding- the use of multiple studs rather than one to increase overall strength and to accommodate corners and framing openings.

On center- the distance between two pieces of lumber. The smaller the number the more studs, rafter or ties that you are getting.

Sheathing- the material (OSB) that goes over the framing prior to putting on the exterior siding or roofing shingles.

Header- the framing above the doors and windows. Whenever an opening is in a wall the load is redistributed via a header.

Rafter- lumber, usually 2x8’s, which make up the framing of the roof. Needs special consideration also because if inadequate, sag can develop.

Cross ties/joist- lumber, usually 2x6’s, which run horizontal from one end of a rafter to the other. It extends across the top of two walls and ties the rafter ends together. It is the base of the peak shape outlined by a gable roof. Helps to hold rafters in place.

Service door- a regular walk-in door as you have in a house which allows you to enter or exit without opening the garage door. ½ glass window doors as well as 42’ oversized and 6’ wide French doors are also available.

Gable roof- a roof design which forms a peak like shape on two ends. Some people call it a two sided roof.

Hip roof- a roof design that forms a pyramid like shape. Some people call it a four sided roof.

Eaves- same as overhang or fascia and soffit. Its purpose is to protect the walls from the elements, also holds the gutter.

Road base- a non expansive mix of gravel. Serves as the base for concrete to protect against heaving.

Window- usually 4’0x3’0 white double pane vinyl single slider. Normal colors include white and almond. Also available, picture, bay and garden windows, double hung, low-e, and argon windows as well as multiple sizes.

Engineered trusses- engineered rafter and crossties that are certified for particular loads. These are required for certain garage sizes and snow loads. Can also be used for vaulted ceilings, known as scissor trusses.

Drip edge- metal flashing used at the edge of the roof overhang when no gutter is installed.

Seamless gutters- steel or aluminum gutters that are fabricated at the jobsite. Seamless means that there aren't length joints that might eventually leak.

Trim- lumber, usually 1x4's, used to finish around openings and/or corners such as around window.

Overhead door- steel panel door, available as factory insulated, multiple baked on finish colors, with or without windows, multiple width and heights (standard 2 car is 16’ wide by 7’ high).

Wind bracing- metal straps used on single wall systems to prevent wind shear.

Monolithic slab- a concrete slab that has the walls below grade, curb and garage floor all poured in a single (mono) pour.

Electrical hook-up- Republic's standard hook-up includes an interior light at the service door, interior light and three duplex outlets.

Electrical upgrade- a service needed to bring the existing electrical panel box up to at least current code, usually includes replacement of old box with new.

Addition- any size new room attached to existing structure. These can be single story, multiple story, multiple room, pop top, remodels, full finish including plumbing, electrical, and drywall or shells only. Also known as home modernizations, refurbishing, reconstruction, home remodel, and home upgrade.