Glossary – Remodeling
Accent lighting: Focused lighting that highlights display items instead of providing ambient light in a room. Normally used with paintings, objects of art, etc.
Accessible design: Characteristics of spaces or products that comply with particular requirements, such as wheelchair accessible.
Accessories: Items that enhance the appearance of a project – crown moldings, designer hardware, fancy towel racks, etc.
Accreditation: Certification standards set by a professional organization that speak to the capability, competence and integrity of an organization within the profession.
Alcove: A smaller, recessed area within another room.
Alternating current (AC): The type of current normally used in household wiring. The current alternates from positive to negative and back 60 times a second (referred to as hertz)
Ambient: The environmental conditions within a room or space.
Ambient lighting: Lighting intended to illuminate an entire room
Amperes, Amps: Measure of electrical current. Equals watts divided by volts.
Anti-microbial finish: Material applied to a product that prevents the growth of bacteria or fungi.
Appliance: Electromechanical devices that perform normal household tasks – refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.
Apron: Trim below a window sill or table top.
Attribute: A quality or characteristic of an item
Auxiliary Sink: A second kitchen sink for either clean-up or food preparation.
Backerboard: Moisture resistant substrate for walls and floors in wet areas.
Backsplash: The section of wall between the bottom of wall cabinets and the countertop.
Ballast: A device to control current in a fluorescent bulb.
Banquette: a built in table or bench usually located in an alcove (breakfast nook)
Barn door: A door that slides along a wall.
Base cabinets: Floor mounted cabinetry on which a countertop is placed. Typically 34.5” tall and 24” deep.
Beam: A load supporting, horizontal framing member.
Bearing wall: An interior wall designed to support the load above it (ceiling, roof, floor, etc.)
Biological pollutants: Indoor air pollutants from living sources (molds, insects, animal dander, etc.)
Blue board: Wallboard specially treated to provide a bonding surface for plaster or tile adhesive.
Blueprint: A scale drawing showing the rooms, dimensions and floor space configuration for each level or story of the interior.
Boilerplate: Standardized language usually contained in a contract or purchase order.
BTU: British Thermal Unit – A measurement of heat quantity. One BTU is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
Building code: Local laws and ordinances that prescribe how a structure may be constructed or modified.
Cable: Two or more wires inside a protective sheath.
Casing: Frame elements around a door or window opening (trim).
Chair rail: A wall trim piece that runs horizontally at the height of a chair back. Intended to prevent damage to the wall from the chair backs.
Chandelier: An ornate lighting fixture containing several small lamps and hung from the ceiling.
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC): Plastic pipe suitable for both hot and cold water.
Circuit breaker: A mechanical device that protects equipment and people from damage or injury caused by an overloaded circuit. When a breaker senses an overload, it automatically trips, breaking the flow of power in the circuit.
Classic crown molding: Decorative molding used to finish off the look of cabinets.
Claw foot tub: Freestanding tub with four legs shaped like claw feet.
Compact fluorescent (CFL): A bulb with a coiled fluorescent bulb.
Compartmentalized bathroom: A bathroom where the shower and toilet areas are separated by a wall or divider.
Concealed hinge: A hinge inside the end panel making it hidden from the cabinet exterior.
Concrete slab: The foundation of a building with no basement or crawl space.
Console sink: A freestanding sink basin supported by legs.
Construction plan: A drawing that shows the existing conditions and changes to be made in a renovation.
Daylighting: The use of natural light to augment or replace artificial lighting. Any opening that permits natural light into a structure.
Decorative overlay: A piece of decorative wood or other material added to a panel or cabinet.
Dormer: A roof structure designed to increase the usable space below or to contain windows.
Drywall: A gypsum-based plaster encased between layers of facing paper. Used to create interior walls and ceilings.
Eco-friendly: Having little or no negative impact on the native ecosystem. Having little or no impact on the native ecosystem.
EER: Energy Efficiency Rating. A standard for rating an appliance’s energy efficiency. The higher the EER number, the more efficient.
Egress: An opening for exiting a room or building.
Elevation: A scale drawing showing the width and height of one wall in a room. An exterior elevation shows the design, style and dimensions of any side of the structure.
Emboss: A raised design on an object.
End panels: Cabinet sections used to finish the end of a cabinet.
Energy Star: An EPA program that rates the energy efficiency of consumer products.
Ergonomic design: The application of human factors to the design of products and spaces to improve the performance and efficiency.
Escalation: The amount or percentage a contract price may be adjusted to reflect unpredictable contingencies – such as an increase in the cost of materials.
Exposed hinge: An external cabinet hinge visible from the exterior.
Fabricators: Workers responsible for completing a part of a project.
Fixture (plumbing): Any plumbing feature that is part of the design – tubs, toilets, etc.)
Fixture (electrical): Any electrical device hard-wired into the home wiring system.
Fixture (lighting): The entire lighting assembly, including mounting base, socket, shade, etc.
Floor plan: Overhead, cut-away drawing showing the entire project.
Gage: Diameter of wire. The lower the gage, the larger the diameter. Thicker wires are designed to carry more current than thin ones.
Girder: Horizontal frame member used to support beams.
Green building: A building that minimizes its impact on the environment.
HVAC: Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning.
Incandescent: Type of light in which an electric current runs through a poor conductor, such as a tungsten carbide filament.
Island: An area of cabinets and countertops that can be accessed from all sides.
Laminate: A thin material (wood or plastic generally) that is glued to the exterior of a cabinet, countertop or other surface.
Lead time: Time between ordering and receiving a product.
Linoleum: Flooring material made of linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone and pigments. This all natural flooring is considered environmentally friendly.
Mechanical Plan: Drawings that show the arrangement of HVAC and Electrical systems within a building.
Molding: A strip of decorative material (wood, plastic, etc.) used to decorate or finish a surface of wall opening.
Mudsetting: Installing ceramic stone tiles by setting them into a bed of mortar.
Nailer: Material attached to the main structure intended for attaching subsequent items.
Particle Board: A panel made from sawdust or wood particles bonded with resin under high pressure.
Pedestal lavatory: Free-standing fixture with a wide top and narrow base to conceal the plumbing.
Pendant: Lighting fixture hung from the ceiling with one or more lamps.
Peninsula: A cabinet or counter area fastened on one side and accessible from the other three sides.
Picture Rail: Horizontal trim piece installed on a wall that provides a means for hanging pictures without damaging the wall.
Plywood: A wood panel made by laminating thin layers of wood.
Pocket door: A door that slides horizontally on a track within a wall.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): Semi-rigid plastic material with many uses, including cold water piping.
Post and Beam Construction: Framing method that uses larger, but fewer structural pieces, providing greater open spaces.
Prefabricated: Building sections that are created in a factory to be shipped and installed at another location.
Project Management: Overall coordination of a project.
Project Plan: A document used to execute the project.
Project Schedule: Activities and anticipated project completion dates.
Rafters: Structural assemblies used to support a roof.
Rendering: a 3D drawing of a completed kitchen or bath design.
Renewable Energy: Energy resources (wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, ocean thermal, etc.) that replenish themselves in a short period of time. Although non-polluting, they may require large tracts of land to operate.
Roll-in shower: A shower fixture large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
Romex: Electric cable containing a hot, neutral and ground wire and encased in a flexible cover.
Rough-in: Location of shower head or other plumbing fitting in the wall or floor.
Scope: All the products and services that are part of the project.
SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating – A standard for rating the annual energy efficiency of appliances.
Service Panel: The distribution center for all household electrical circuits. It contains the main breaker and individual circuit breakers.
Smart House: a structure that utilizes programmable controls and sensors to regulate HVAC, lighting, and other electrical equipment to produce maximum energy efficiency.
Spa: A vessel designed for soaking in heated water.
Studs: Framing members in a wall to which cabinets are fastened.
Terms and Conditions: The legal provisions of a contract. All the provisions and agreements of a contract.
Thinset: A type of mortar designed for mounting tiles.
Toe kick: A space at the base of a cabinet designed to accommodate feet while standing in front of the cabinet.
Veneer: A thin sheet of material bonded to another material.
Wainscoting: The use of decorative wood paneling on the lower half of a wall.
Whirlpool: Bathing fixture that uses jets to circulate water under pressure.
Zone: A building section that is served by one HVAC loop.