Remodeling Glossary

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. 

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July 19th, 2017

"Midway services is great. I called in a panic because I thought I killed my garbage disposal. I called in the morning and by the afternoon we had Felix come out. He fixed our garbage disposal and leaky pipe. He was very knowledgeable, experienced, and friendly. He took great care not to make a mess. He wore boot covers as to not track in dirt. He made what I thought was going to be an awful experience a pleasant one. Not the cheapest but worth every penny! Thank you Suzanne (dispatch) Felix and Midway Services!"    

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- Wendy H.

July 20th, 2017

We needed our a/c serviced at 4am and Midway had someone out within the hour. He was friendly, informative, and thorough. Luckily it was a minor thing and we were very pleased with three service AND the cost..... so much so that we have contracted with Midway to service or a/c twice a year and our hot water heater once a year at a cost that is only a few dollars more annually than my Amazon prime account. So worth it!  

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- Lynda M.

January 14, 2017

"I have requested Shane as my tech and Midway has gone out of there way to make him available. Jeff has also been involved in resolving my A/C issues. Midway's techs, operators and senior officers have gone above the normal customer service regarding my A/C units. I own a large laundromat and have two large units that require scheduled maintenance and work. I am please with Midways service."

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- Central Laundry, St. Petersburg

November 16, 2016

"Very professional, knowledgeable and helpful!"

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- Bill S., Tampa

January 18, 2017

"Good day Midway Services I would like to tell you how very happy I am for your great service. Jeremy he is the best. He is very understanding and you can make a sure that he knows just what to do and how to do the job the right way and it is well done. And the clean up I was so happy to see how they cleaned up when the job was completed . I will be calling you for my next job very shortly. Thank You Midway Services."

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- Patricia E., Tampa

Had several bids to replace our entire HVAC system that crashed. Midway Services gave a great price and advice on the system we needed. Installed in 1-day and with extreme professionalism. We could not have been more satisfied. Their Techs were amazing and even cleaned the house before leaving. I was surprised that they did not even break for lunch so we got them pizza which they grabbed from time to time as they kept working. What a crew! Highly reccomend Midway and, in fact, we will be using them for the remodel of our bathroom and enlargement of our bedroom.

- Larry D, Pinellas Park

I have been using Midway Services for about 6 or 7 years. They have always been professional, responsive and good communicators. They respond quickly to needs of their customers every time. I have recommended them to several people. I give them an A+++

- Janet K, Clearwater

Midway Services is my call to outstanding work and professionalism by a staff highly trained to repair, remodel, replace and improve home ownership. After 26 years of owning and diligently caring for our home, it just began needing more assistance. A new hot water heater, toilets, tired bathrooms, hard water deposits, outlets that shut off, and the list went on. In the past seven months I have had the experience to work with Midway employees who have entered our home as professional members of a company they take pride in working for. Their work is outstanding. I can hardly wait for them to begin my kitchen remodel! I am proud to say Midway Services is a company I would highly recommend. Their customer satisfaction and work ethic is present every time a service person steps up to the door with Midway Services on that shirt.

- Barbara K., Seminole

Response was fast (~30min - 1hr) and honest technician.We'll definately be using them for any of our other service in the future.

- Jason R.

We had an emergency with our AC unit one evening and Midway Services sent out HVAC service Dom L. He was fantastic! He temporarily fixed the problem so our AC worked that night until the part came in a few days later. Dom sat with us and gave us all of our options with prices. He made us feel very comfortable in choosing the best option for us (even since our unit was a quite few years old.) He was very upfront and honest on our options and let us choose the best route for us. We appreciated his honesty. We had some water leaking a few days later and we requested Dom back and he fixed the leak and replaced all the new parts that came in. He worked very hard and cleaned over and beyond (it was more cleaning that he thought.) He even took our wet rugs (we had in our garage) out to dry! He went over and beyond. He was very knowledgeable, hard working, kind and explained everything to us thoroughly. We would highly recommend Midway Services to everyone. They are very reliable, hard working, honest and Dom was exceptional!

- Allen B.
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