Common construction terms 2 Framing houses continued
Have you have ever been on a construction site talking to your contractor and been totally lost in the terms that they are using? Well I’m here to help; here are some common terms that contractor’s use that you might not understand.
• Sub-floor. This refers to the floor that is below the finished floor. It is made of plywood or OSB. The plywood sits on top of the floor joist.
• Rim-Joist. Rim joist is the board placed around the perimeter of the foundation; it helps form the outside walls. The rim-joist holds the floor joist up. All the floor joist are nailed into the rim-joist.
• House Wrap. House wrap is placed on the outside of the building while the house is being framed. It is a thin material that is usually stapled on the outside sheeting of the walls. It is an air barrier; it helps slow down the air and moisture from penetrating the house.
• Spikes. These are typically 3.5 inch hand nails; they are used when framing all walls. Typically they are used to attach the top plates to the wall studs.
• Framing Gun. A framing gun is an air driven nail installer. The shape loosely resembles a gun. It installs nails to attach two pieces of lumber together.
• Gun nails. These are nails that are used for framing; the difference is that they are fired out of a framing gun. They are also slightly slammer then spikes; they are 3.25 or an inch.
• T&G plywood. This means Tongue and Groove plywood. Tongue and Groove plywood is between ¾ to 5/8 of an inch thick. It is used to frame the sub-floor. The T&g interlock when laid next to each other. You strike one end of the plywood with a sledge hammer driving the two pieces of plywood together, basically creating one continuous piece of plywood. This helps reduce lifting at the corners and squeaking.
• Glued and screwed. This refers to the process of installing the t&g plywood for the subfloor. The floor joist are applied with glue and then the plywood is laid on top. Then the plywood is screwed down to the joist.
• Header. This is a piece of wood that is turned on its edge and runs horizontally across the top of a window or door framed opening. Its job is to take the weight from above the door or window and transfer it onto the studs at the side of the door so that the door does not get crushed from the weight of material above.
• Slip studs. These are the studs that are installed beside the window and doors. They only go up to the height of the window or door because they are holding up the header.
• Jacks. This is commonly named the same thing as slip studs.
• Rafters. These are pieces of wood that run from the outside walls to the midpoint of the house. They are installed in regular intervals and it is what the plywood is attached too to form the roof.
• Ridge beam. A ridge beam is a large wood beam that runs down the centre of the roof. Its purpose is to hold up the rafters that attach to it. The Ridge beam helps make the peak of the roof.
• Trusses. Trusses are an engineered wood frame that makes up the roof rafters. They are built and designed by a Truss company and then delivered to the site.
• Metal Gusset. This is a flat metal piece that is designed to be installed to hold the wood that makes up the trusses. Gussets are installed in the factory of the truss company. They have metal protrusions that pressed into the wood so no nails are needed.
• Plywood gusset. This is the same thing as a metal gusset just made out of plywood. This is usually installed on the job site when you are building a roof with rafters. It needs nails to be installed to hold the pieces of wood together.
• Sub-facia. This is the piece of wood, usually a 2x6 that is nailed to the end of the rafters or trusses. It runs perpendicular to the rafters and trusses. Every rafter is nailed into it. This forms the backing for your finished facia and this is also where your gutters will attach too.
• Hips. A hip is a point in the roof where two pitches intersect. They intersect not on the top or peak of the roof but on the vertical face of the roof. These two pitches meeting, creates a high spot in the face of the roof, this is called the hip. This usually happens on an outside corner of the roof.
• Valley. A valley is just what it sounds like. It is where two pitch faces in the roof meet. Usually they meet at the inside of a corner, where one face is coming from one way and the other is coming from another. This creates the “valley”.
• Gable. The gable refers to the area at the end of the roof; it is not actually on the roof but below it on the end wall. This area is defined from the top of the last floor ceiling to the highest point of the wall, where the wall meets the peak of the roof.
• Dormer. A dormer is jut out that comes through the pitch of the roof. This creates another small roof system in the roof face. Dormers usually are to allow a window on an upper floor. Dormers have vertical walls that create the protrusion out of the roof face.
• Cantilever. A cantilever is when a floor or roof system extends past the outside walls into empty space. A cantilever is held there by framing placed back in the house that holds the protrusion from falling to the ground.
• Bird’s mouth. This term refers to the cut that you make near the bottom end of the rafter when you are making it. A bird’s mouth is cut into a rafter so that the rafter can sit on the outside wall but still continue out past the outside wall to make your soffit. The bird’s mouth is designed to transfer the load of the roof and rafter down to the outside wall while properly securing the rafter to the wall, stopping it from sliding off the wall onto the ground.
• Soffit. The soffit is the area that is from the outside wall out to your facia. This flat or angled area is called the soffit. The soffit is an area that helps vent the air from your attic space.
This should help you understand what your contractor is talking about the next time you have a meeting with them. Look for part 3 of common construction terms, coming soon.
Village Builders Inc.