This list from the U.S. General Services Administration defines some terms used in home construction, repair and maintenance. It is not comprehensive but will provide a quick reference for those who are unfamiliar with building terminology.
Special tile for walls and ceilings made of mineral, wood, vegetable fibers, cork, or metal. Its purpose is to control sound volume, while providing cover.
Pipes that carry warm air and cold air to rooms and back to furnace or air conditioning system.
The rate of flow of electricity through electric wires.
A paved area, such as the juncture of a driveway with the street or with a garage entrance.
The gravel or earth replaced in the space around a building wall after foundations are in place.
Upright supports of a balustrade rail.
A row of balusters topped by a rail, edging a balcony or a staircase.
A board along the floor against walls and partitions to hid gaps.
Insulation in the form of a blanket, rather than loose filling.
Small thin strips covering joints between wider boards on exterior building surfaces.
One of the principal horizontal wood or steel members of a building.
A wall that supports a floor or roof of a building.
Bib or Bibcock
A water faucet to which a hose may be attached, also called a hose bib or sill cock.
Seeping of resin or gum from lumber. This term is also used in referring to the process of drawing air from water pipes.
A piece of wood or other material used to form a triangle and stiffen some part of a structure.
Construction technique using posts and cross-bracing for greater rigidity.
Brick used as the outer surface of a framed wall.
Small wood or metal pieces placed diagonally between floor joists.
Heavy paper used in walls or roofs to dampproof.
A roofing material applied in sealed, waterproof layers, where there is only a slight slope to the roof.
Joining point of two pieces of wood or molding.
Electricity cable wrapped in rubber with a flexible steel outer covering.
A projecting beam or joist, not supported at one end, used to support an extension of a structure.
The member which supports the steps or treads of a stair.
A window sash that opens on hinges at the vertical edge.
Door and window framing.
A hollow wall formed by firmly linked masonry walls, providing an insulating air space between.
Concrete capping around the top of chimney bricks and around the floors to protect the masonry from the elements.
Wooden molding on a wall around a room at the level of a chair back.
Molding with pared-off corners.
A groove in a masonry wall or through a floor to accommodate pipes or ducts.
The horizontal projection-usually inside a building-of a chimney from the wall in which it is built.
A safety device which opens (breaks) an electric circuit automatically when it becomes overloaded.