Glossary

Search in Glossary

Adjustable Wrench
Comes in two styles: locking and non-locking. Non-locking styles feature an adjustable end opening with little provision made for slippage. The locking style also has an adjustable head, but uses a locking mechanism to secure jaws in desired position, eliminating the need for constant readjustment. When properly adjusted to a nut or bolt, it will not slip.

Air Duct
Pipes that carry warm air and cold air to rooms and back to furnace or air conditioning system.

Anchor bolts: A type of bolt used to anchor or mount something securely.

Angle Level
Locates angles and pitches (slopes) from 0 to 90 degrees. It is commonly used when installing drain lines to check for proper fall of pipe and generally reads slope or pitch with inches per foot rise scale.

Baseboards

Baseboards are the finish strips between the floor and the wall and range in width from 3 to 18 inches.

Beam
One of the principal horizontal wood or steel members of a building.

Bearing Wall
A wall that supports a floor or roof of a building.

Brace
A piece of wood or other material used to form a triangle and stiffen some part of a structure.

Building Paper
Heavy paper used in walls or roofs to damp-proof.

Building permit

Most towns or counties require a permit to build on or change a property. During different stages of the job and at its completion, the work is inspected to ensure that it meets the building codes.

Cable
Refers to a collection of two or more strands of wire or conductors. Basically, cable has a “hot” line to carry the current and a “neutral” line to complete the loop. They often have a third wire as that acts as a grounding wire.

Callipers
A Tool consisting of two curved pieces of metal that are joined at one end with a pivot that has a screw to adjust the distance between the two pieces. It is used for transferring measurements from a model or prototype to a part being produced.

Casing
Door and window framing.

Caulk

Caulk is a filler material that seals a crack where two non-moving components meet, such as where a house’s siding meets the exterior window trim.

Ceiling box

The housing for the electrical wiring that provides power to ceiling light and fan fixtures.

Combination primer/sealer

A combination primer/sealer seals the surface material and allows the finish paint to have a strong bond.

Compound Miter Saw         
Uses a circular blade that is pivoted to the correct angle then dropped onto the material, which is clamped stationary on a plate. In addition to a simple pivot action, the blade tilts to make compound cuts.

Contractor Table Saw         
This saw is bulky and originally intended only for temporary use at a job site. It has a circular saw blade extending up through a slot on a flat table. Motor and drive mechanism is located under the table.

Crawl Space
A shallow, unfinished space beneath the first floor of a house that has no basement, used for visual inspection and access to pipes and ducts. Also, a shallow space in the attic, immediately under the roof.

Double Glazing
An insulating windowpane formed of two thicknesses of glass with a sealed air space between them.

Drywall

Drywall is a construction material that is made of plasterboard in the center with a heavy paper on the outside. Drywall is used to finish the walls in most houses made since the mid-1960s.

Drywall Saw         
Resembles a kitchen knife in design and is used to cut drywall and plasterboard in the same fashion as a keyhole saw, such as for sawing holes for electric outlets and switch plates. The saw is self-starting with a sharp point for plunge cuts.

Eggshell finish

A paint finish that is often used for decorative finishes because it provides a low lustre.

Electrical tape

Electrical tape is used to secure the electrical connections and to keep the wires attached to each other.

Energy envelope

A houses energy envelope refers to the seal within which the homes heating and cooling is maintained.

Fiberglass insulation

Fiberglass insulation is the most common type of insulation and is available as either batts or loose fill. It is relatively inexpensive, and the batts are very easy to install. It is non-flammable and resists damage from water.

Fiberglass Asphalt Shingle         
Has a base mat of glass fibers covered with ceramic-coated mineral granules. Does not absorb water and resists cracking. Features a better fire rating and often has a longer warranty than other types of shingles.

Finish Nail         
Used around windows, finishing areas, trim and paneling where nails cannot show. The small head size allows the nail to be driven beneath the wood surface so the hole can be filled and finished.

Floor Chisel         
Designed to remove flooring material. This chisel has a larger head design, generally 3”,  to increase the striking area.

Foam Insulation         
Comes in a liquid spray form that quickly foams and hardens.  For use only on closed, properly vented exterior wall cavities. It should be sealed from exposure to the interior with vapour- and fume-resistant paints.

Foundation
Lower parts of walls on which the structure is built. Foundation walls of masonry or concrete are mainly below ground level.

Four-Way Switch         
Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit. Used in connection with three-way switches to control one circuit from three or more points.

Framing
The rough lumber of house-joists, studs, rafters, and beams.

Fuse
A short plug in an electric panel box that opens (breaks) an electrical circuit when it becomes overloaded.

Grinder         
Used to cut and grind metal, concrete and masonry, for sharpening all tools, cutting into corners and tight spots, polishing, buffing and wire brushing.

Gutter
A channel at the eaves for conveying away rainwater.

Hacksaw
A fine-toothed saw designed to cut metal or plastic. Hacksaws consist of a blade held in a steel frame with relatively high tension to hold the blade rigidly straight.

Halogen Bulb         
Halogen bulbs produce light by passing current through a coiled tungsten wire. More energy-efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. They generate up to 30 percent more light for the same electricity.

Hardwood
The close-grained wood from broad-leaved trees such as oak or maple.

Jigsaw

a machine saw with a fine blade enabling it to cut curved lines in a sheet of wood, metal, or plastic.

Joist
A small rectangular sectional member arranged parallel from wall to wall in a building, or resting on beams or girders. They support a floor or the laths or furring strips of a ceiling.

Laser Level         
Also called laser chalk lines, they are used to level and provide reference lines for hanging pictures, tile work, etc.

Load-Bearing Wall
A strong wall capable of supporting weight.

Locking Wrench         
Through a locking action, jaws can be locked in a holding position with pressure up to 1 ton. Available with both curved and straight jaws

Masonry         
Walls built by a mason, using brick, stone, tile or similar materials.

Mastic

Mastic is a type of adhesive used to bond items where waterproofing is important.

Miter Saw         
Also known as a chop saw. Used for making repeated straight or miter cuts and it uses a circular blade that is pivoted to the correct angle, then dropped onto the material, which is clamped stationary on a turntable.

Molding

The term molding refers to larger and typically more ornamental finish strips.

Mortar

Mortar is the bonding mixture that is used to cement bricks and stones together.

Motion Switch         
Turns on the light as you enter the room. Good for both convenience and security.

Nosing
The rounded edge of a stair tread.
Nut         
Screws onto the threaded end of a bolt to help tighten the bolt.

Phillips Tip Screwdriver         
Used on cross-slotted screw heads with modified U-shaped slots of uniform width. Sizes range from 0 to 4, with 0 being the smallest.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe

This white or cream-colored pipe is the most commonly used pipe for drain lines. It’s strong, untouchable by chemicals, and seems to last forever! The rating and diameter is stamped right on the pipe.

Radiant Heat
Coils of electricity, hot water or steam pipes embedded in floors, ceilings, or walls to heat rooms.

Range Hood         
Comes in many styles and is used to draw grease, heat, steam, smoke, odour and hazardous gases away from the stove and out of the kitchen.

Stain

To treat (specimens for the microscope) with a reagent or dye that makes visible certain structures without affecting others.

Semi-gloss finish

A shiny paint finish that is scrub able and good for moldings, doors, windows, kitchens, and baths.

Septic Tank
A sewage-settling tank in which part of the sewage is converted into gas and sludge before the remaining waste is discharged by gravity into a leaching bed underground.

Shim
Thin tapered piece of wood used for levelling or tightening a stair or other building element.

Shingles         
Pieces of wood, asbestos or other material used as an overlapping outer covering on walls or roofs.

Sliding windows

Sliding windows open horizontally and bypass each other in separate tracks mounted on the header jamb and sill.

Soffit

The flat boards under a roof's overhang.

Studs
In wall framing, the vertical members to which horizontal pieces are nailed. Studs are spaced either 16 inches or 24 inches apart.

Stud Finder         
Stud finders are devices that help locate wall studs, enabling customers to hang pictures, mirrors and shelves securely. It comes in two basic types—electronic, which finds the stud by measuring the density of the wall, and magnetic, which detects nails and/or metal studs in the wall.

Sump
A pit in the basement in which water collects to be pumped out with a sump pump.

Three-Way Switch         
Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit. Mounted in an electrical box. Has three brass terminal screws. Controls one circuit from two separate points.

Trim

Trim is an umbrella term for any kind of finish strip applied around openings to conceal surface or angle joints and raw edges where drywall meets doorways, windows, floors, and ceilings.

Vapour Barrier
Material such as paper, metal or paint which is used to prevent vapour from passing from rooms into the outside walls.

Wood Chisel         
Comes in a variety of sizes and styles: butt chisel, firmer chisel, medium-duty chisel, and paring chisels.

Wood Screw         
Usually made of unhardened steel, stainless steel, aluminum or brass. The threads on this screw run from the point along three-fourths of the length and heads are slotted.

Wood Shingle         
Typically made of cedar, although composite wood shingles are available. Flat shape and a smooth texture.

1479 Marguerite Street, Coquitlam, BC  V3E 0B1

Phone: 778-891-6167

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Financing Your Home Renovation

Please fill out the form below, an expert will contact you shortly.
Enter your name
E-mail address
Phone Number (Optional)
Enter your message
Please Enter Verification Code