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Construction Glossary

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BACK-SPLIT HOME:
A description of a house that has been split from side to side across its width partway towards the back of the structure and the back half (often containing the bedrooms and lower family room) has been raised upward and additional steps have been added. There are different styles of Back-split homes, which are defined by the number of levels the home contains. E.g. 3 level, 4 level and 5 level Back-split. See "SIDE-SPLIT HOME".

BALLOON FRAMING: As opposed to platform framing.
A method of framing a building in which all vertical structural elements of the load bearing walls and partitions consist of single pieces of wood or other material extending from the top of the foundation to the roof line and to which all floor joists are attached. See "PLATFORM FRAMING".

BEVEL:
A finished edge with an angle serving as a transition piece from one surface to another surface.

BI-LEVEL HOUSE:
A description of a house with two levels, where the main entrance to the house is between the two levels.

BLIND NAILING:
A method of nailing that ensures that the nail heads are not visible on the surface of the finished material.

BLUEPRINT:
Construction plans, containing great detail about the particular building.

BONDED:
To be attached to a surface with cement or mortar.

BOWED BOARD: As opposed to a cupped board.
A board that is warped or curved along its length. As opposed to a cupped board that is warped or curved across its width. See "CUPPED BOARD".

BRACE:
A piece of lumber attached to a wall or floor on an angle to help stiffen the structure. Often attached to walls as a temporary support until the framing is complete.

BRICK LEDGE:
The jutting lip or portion of foundation that the exterior brick courses are to be placed on.

BRICK TIE:
A thin corrugated, galvanized or rippled strip of metal used to tie masonry walls together or to tie a brick veneer wall to the wood frame walls.

BRICK VENEER WALL: As opposed to a double brick wall.
A facing of brick commonly used in modern construction that covers an exterior load bearing wall. As opposed to double brick load bearing walls. See "DOUBLE BRICK WALL".

BRIDGING:
Small wood or metal pieces that are placed diagonally between floor joists or wall studs at midspan points to act as floor or wall stiffeners.

BRITISH THERMAL UNIT (B.T.U.):
A unit of thermal energy used in reference to heating or cooling. The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

BROWNSTONE, BRICK ROW HOUSE, OR EASTERN TOWNHOUSE:
A nineteenth-century-style row house, with up to five storeys and a front stoop, verandah or porch leading up to the front door.

BUILD TO SUIT:
An offer by a landowner to develop the land in a manner dictated by a potential tenant, in return for a long-term lease from the tenant for the developed land.

BUILDER WARRANTY:
An enforceable guarantee of the quality of construction given by a builder or developer.

BUILDING CODE:
Set of regulations established by a municipality to govern the standards of construction in that municipality.

BUILDING PERMIT:
A document obtained from the local government, allowing for the construction of a structure in accordance with the terms of the permit.

BUILDING RESTRICTIONS:
Limiting rules which may appear in building codes or in title documents which control the size, placement, materials, design or location of new construction.

BUILT-INS:
Items which could be chattels but which are installed so as to form part of a building.

BUNGALOW:
A small, one-storey home built in a turn-of-the-century style, often with a prominent front verandah.

BUTT JOINT:
The connection of two pieces of wood or other types of materials that meet in a square-cut joint.


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