Common Terms R-S
R-Value: The thermal resistance of a glazing system. The R-value is the reciprocal of the U-value. The higher the R value, the less heat is transmitted throughout the glazing material.
Rabbet: A rectangular, longitudinal groove cut in the corner edge of a board or plank.
Radial Saw: A circular saw which hangs from a horizontal arm or beam and slides back and forth. The arm pivots from side to side to allow for angle cuts and bevels. When sawing finish plywood, the good side should face up as the saw cuts on the down stroke.
Radiant Heating: A method of heating, usually consisting of a forced hot water system with pipes placed in the floor, wall, or ceiling, or with electrically heated panels.
Radiation: Any heated surface loses heat to cooler surrounding space or surfaces through radiation. The earth receives its heat from the sun by radiation. The heat rays are turned into heat as they strike an object which will absorb some or all of the heat transmitted.
Radiator: A heating unit which is supplied heat through a hot water system.
Radon: A naturally-occurring, radioactive gas which is heavier than air and is common in many parts of the country. Radon gas exposure is associated with lung cancer. Mitigation measures may involve crawl space and basement venting and various forms of vapor barriers.
Radon System: A ventilation system beneath the floor of a basement and/or structural wood floor and designed to fan exhaust radon gas to the outside of the home.
Rafter: A sloping roof member that supports the roof covering which extends from the ridge or the hip of the roof to the eaves. A common rafter is one which runs square with the plate and extends to the ridge. A hip rafter extends from the outside angle of the plate towards the apex of the roof. They are 2" deeper or wider than common rafters. A valley rafter extends from an inside angle of the plates toward the ridge of the house.
Rafter Tail: The portion of a rafter that extends past the building to form the eaves.
Rafter, Hip: A rafter that forms the intersection of an external roof angle.
Rafter, Valley: A rafter that forms the intersection of an internal roof angle. The valley rafter is normally made of double 2-inch-thick members.
Raggle Block: A specially designed masonry block having a slot or opening into which the top edge of the roof flashing is inserted and anchored.
Rail: Cross members of panel doors or of a sash. Also the upper and lower members of a balustrade or staircase extending from one vertical support, such as a post, to another.
Railroad Tie: Black, tar and preservative impregnated, 6"x8" and 6'-8' long wooden timber that was used to hold railroad track in place. Normally used as a member of a retaining wall.
Rake: Trim members that run parallel to the roof slope and form the finish between the wall and a gable roof extension. The angle of slope of a roof rafter, or the inclined portion of a cornice.
Rake Edge: The overhang of an inclined roof plane beyond the vertical wall below it.
Rake Fascia: The vertical face of the sloping end of a roof eave.
Rake Siding: The practice of installing lap siding diagonally.
Ranch: A single story, one level home.
Random-Tab Shingles: Shingles on which tabs vary in size and exposure.
Rankin: Thermometer scale on which unit of measurement equals the Fahrenheit degree.
Raw Linseed Oil: The crude product processed from flaxseed and usually without much subsequent treatment.
Ready Mixed Concrete: Concrete mixed at a plant or in trucks en route to a job and delivered ready for placement.
Rebar: Reinforcing bar used to increase the tensile strength of concrete.
Receptacle: An electrical outlet. A typical household will have many 120 volt receptacles for plugging in lams and appliances and 240 volt receptacles for the range, clothes dryer, air conditioners, etc.
Recording Fee: A charge for recording the transfer of a property, paid to a city, county, or other appropriate branch of government.
Redline, Red Lined Prints: Blueprints that reflect changes and that are marked with red pencil.
Reducer: See bushing.
Reflective Glass: Glass with a metallic coating to reduce solar heat gain.
Reflective Insulation: Sheet material with one or both sun faces of comparatively low heat emissivity, such as aluminum foil. When used in building construction the surfaces face air spaces, reducing the radiation across the air space.
Refrigerant: A substance that remains a gas at low temperatures and pressure and can be used to transfer heat. Freon is an example and is used in air conditioning systems.
Register: A fixture through which conditioned air flows. In a gravity heating system, it is located near the baseboard. In an air conditioning system, it is located close to the thermostat.
Reglaze: To replace a broken window.
Reglet: A horizontal slot, formed or cut in a parapet or other masonry wall, into which the top edge of counter-flashing can be inserted and anchored. In glazing, a reglet is typically a pocket or keyway extruded into the framing for installing the glazing gaskets.
Reinforced Concrete: A combination of steel and concrete using the best properties of each. The steel consists of rebar or reinforcing bars varying from 3/8 " to 2 1/4 " in diameter and is placed before concrete is poured.
Reinforced Masonry: Masonry units, reinforcing steel, grout and/or mortar combined to act together to strengthen the masonry structure.
Reinforcing: Steel rods or metal fabric placed in concrete slabs, beams, or columns to increase their strength.
Relative Heat Gain: The amount of heat gain through a glass product taking into consideration the effects of solar heat gain (shading coefficient) and conductive heat gain (U-value).
Relative Humidity: The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, expressed as a percentage of the maximum quantity that could be present at a given temperature. (The actual amount of water vapor that can be held in space increases with the temperature.)
Release Tape: A plastic or paper strip that is applied to the back of self-sealing shingles. This strip prevents the shingles from sticking together in the bundles, and need not be removed for application.
Remote: Remote electrical, gas, or water meter digital readouts that are installed near the front of the home in order for utility companies to easily read the home owners usage of the service.
Resilient Flooring: A durable floor cover that has the ability to resume its original shape.
Resistance: The internal structure of wires even in the best conductors opposes the flow of electric current and converts some current into heat. This internal friction-like effect is called resistance and is measured in ohms. Resistance equals Voltage divided by Amperage.
Resorcinol Glue: A glue that is high in both wet and dry strength and resistant to high temperatures. It is used for gluing lumber or assembly joints that must withstand severe service conditions.
Retaining Wall: A structure that holds back a slope and prevents erosion.
Retentions: Amounts withheld from progress billings until final and satisfactory project completion.
Return: In heating and cooling systems, a vent that returns cold air to be warmed. In a hot air furnace system, it is located near an inside wall.
Ribbon (or Girt): Normally a 1"x4" board let into the studs horizontally to support ceiling or second-floor joists.
Ridge: The horizontal line at the junction of the top edges of two sloping roof surfaces.
Ridge Board: The board placed on edge at the ridge of the roof into which the upper ends of the rafters are fastened.
Ridge Cut: The end cut on a rafter that fits to the ridgeboard.
Ridgeboards: Horizontal support at the ridge of a roof to which opposing rafters are attached.
Rigid Metal Conduit: This conduit resembles plumbing pipe, protecting wires from damage.
Rise: In stairs, the vertical height of a step or flight of stairs.
Riser: Each of the vertical boards closing the spaces between the treads of stairways.
Road Base: An aggregate mixture of sand and stone.
Rock 1, 2, 3: When referring to drywall, this means to install drywall to the walls and ceilings (with nails and screws), and before taping is performed.
Roll Roofing: Roofing material, composed of fiber and satin rated with asphalt, that is supplied in 36-inch wide rolls with 108 square feet of material. Weights are generally 45 to 90 pounds per roll.
Roll, Rolling: To install the floor joists or trusses in their correct place. (To "roll the floor" means to install the floor joists).
Romex: A non-metallic sheathed cable consisting of two or more insulated conductors having an outer sheath of moisture resistant, non-metallic material. The conductor insulation is rubber, neoprene, thermoplastic or a moisture resistant flame retardant fibrous material. There are two types: NM and NMC - described earlier.
Roof Deck: See deck.
Roof Sheathing: The boards or sheet material fastened to the roof rafters on which the shingle or other roof covering is laid.
Roof System: General term referring to the waterproof covering, roof insulation, vapor barrier, if used and roof deck as an entity.
Roofing Tape: An asphalt-saturated tape used with asphalt cements for flashing and patching asphalt roofing.
Root Cellar: Food storage area with a dirt floor.
Rough: In hardware, metal fastenings on cabinets which are usually concealed, like staples.
Rough Flooring: Materials used to form an unfinished floor. Floor sheathing.
Rough Opening: The opening in a wall into which a door or window is to be installed.
Rough Plumbing: All plumbing that should be done before the finish trades (sheetrock, painting, etc), including all waste lines and supply water lines that are in the walls or framing of the building. See also: Plumbing, Sub Rough, and Finish Plumbing.
RPM: Revolutions per Minute.
Rubber Emulsion Paint: Paint, the vehicle of which consists of rubber or synthetic rubber dispersed in fine droplets in water.
Rubber-Tired Roller: A roller with rubber tires commonly used for compacting trimmed subgrade or aggregate base or clay type soils.
Run (Roofing): The horizontal distance between the eaves and the ridge of the roof, being half the span for a symmetrical gable roof. Also, the net width of a step or the horizontal distance covered by a flight of stairs.
Saber Saw: A saw that cuts on the upstroke, good side of wood faces down.
Sack Mix: The amount of Portland cement in a cubic yard of concrete mix. Generally, 5 or 6 sack is required in a foundation wall.
Saddle: Two sloping surfaces meeting in a horizontal ridge, used between the back side of a chimney, or other vertical surface, and a sloping roof.
Sales Contract: A contract between a buyer and seller which should explain: (1) What the purchase includes, (2) What guarantees there are, (3) When the buyer can move in, (4) What the closing costs are, and (5) What recourse the parties have if the contract is not fulfilled or if the buyer cannot get a mortgage commitment at the agreed upon time.
Sand Float Finish: Lime mixed with sand, resulting in a textured finish.
Sanitary Sewer: A sewer system designed for the collection of waste water from the bathroom, kitchen and laundry drains, and is usually not designed to handle storm water.
Sanitary T: Used on the waste side of plumbing to keep effluent flowing the correct direction.
Sapwood: The outer zone of wood, next to the bark. In the living tree it contains some living cells (the heartwood contains none), as well as dead and dying cells. In most species, it is lighter colored than the heartwood. In all species, it is lacking in decay resistance.
Sash: A single light frame containing one or more lights of glass.
Sash Balance: A device, usually operated by a spring or tensioned weatherstripping designed to counterbalance double-hung window sash.
Saturant: Asphalt used to impregnate a felt-base material.
Saturated Felt: A felt which is impregnated with tar or asphalt.
SBS-Modified: Asphalt that has been combined with SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) polymers to increase its elasticity.
Scale: The relationship between actual measurements on a page of plans or blue prints and the actual measurements of the building represented by the plans or blue prints.
Schedule (Window, Door, Mirror): A table on the blueprints that list the sizes, quantities and locations of the windows, doors and mirrors.
Scrap Out: The removal of all drywall material and debris after the home is "hung out" (installed) with drywall.
Scratch Coat: The first coat of plaster, which is scratched to form a bond for the second coat.
Screed or Screeding: The wood or metal straightedge used to strike off or level newly placed concrete when doing cement work. Screeds can be the leveling device used or the form work used to level or establish the level of the concrete. Screeds can be hand used or mechanical.
Scribing: Fitting woodwork to an irregular surface. In moldings, cutting the end of one piece to fit the molded face of the other at an interior angle to replace a miter joint.
Scrim: A woven or mat-type fabric that is used as a membrane sandwich between other material to provide reinforcement and stretch resistance.
Scupper: An outlet in the wall of a building or a parapet wall for drainage of water from a flat roof.
Scutch: A bricklayer’s cutting tool used for dressing and trimming brick to a special shape. It resembles a small pick.
Sealant: An elastomeric material with adhesive qualities applied between components of a similar or dissimilar nature to provide an effective barrier against the passage of the elements.
Sealer: A finishing material, either clear or pigmented, that is usually applied directly over uncoated wood for the purpose of sealing the surface.
Seasoning: Removing moisture from green wood in order to improve its serviceability.
Seat: The fixed part of a valve. The stem assembly will move up and down against the seat to open and close the valve.
Self Rimming: A style of bathroom lavatory or kitchen sink with a finished lip or rim that installs on top of a counter without requiring a metal sink rim.
Self-Healing: A term used to describe to a material which melts with the heat from the sun's rays, and seals over cracks that were earlier formed from other causes. Some waterproof membranes are self-healing.
Self-Leveling: A term used to describe a viscous material that is applied by pouring. In its uncured state, it spreads out evenly.
Selvage: The unsurfaced strip along a sheet of roll roofing which forms the under portion at the lap in the application of the roof covering.
Semigloss (Paint or Enamel): A paint or enamel made with a slight insufficiency of nonvolatile vehicle so that its coating, when dry, has some luster but is not very glossy.
Separation: In concrete application, when concrete is dropped directly with a flat chute causing the concrete to separate, usually occurring at a 1:2 slope.
Service Conductor: In electrical contracting, the supply conductors that extend from the street main or from the transformer to the service equipment.
Service Drop: In electrical contracting, the overhead service conductors from the last pole or other aerial support to and including the splices, if any, connecting to the service entrance conductors at the building.
Setback Thermostat: A thermostat with a clock which can be programmed to various temperatures at different times of the day/week. Usually used as the heating or cooling system thermostat.
Setting Blocks: Generally rectangular cured extrusions of neoprene, EPDM, silicone, rubber or other suitable material on which the glass product bottom edge is placed to effectively support the weight of the glass.
Settlement: Shifts in a structure, usually caused by freeze-thaw cycles underground.
Sewage Ejector: A pump used to 'lift' waste water to a gravity sanitary sewer line. Usually used in basements and other locations which are situated bellow the level of the side sewer.
Sewer Lateral: The portion of the sanitary sewer which connects the interior waste water lines to the main sewer lines. The side sewer is usually buried in several feet of soil and runs from the house to the sewer line. It is usually 'owned' by the sewer utility, must be maintained by the owner and may only be serviced by utility approved contractors. Sometimes called side sewer.
Sewer Stub: The junction at the municipal sewer system where the home's sewer line is connected.
Sewer Tap: The physical connection point where the home's sewer line connects to the main municipal sewer line.
Shading: Slight differences in shingle color that may occur as a result of normal manufacturing operations.
Shading Coefficient: The ratio of the solar heat gain through a specific glass product to the solar heat gain through a lite of 1/8" (3mm) clear glass.
Shake: A thick handsplit shingle, resawed to form two shakes; usually edge-grained.
Sheathing: The structural covering, usually wood boards, plywood, gypsum or wood fiber, used over studs or rafters of framed buildings as the first layer of outer wall covering nailed to the studs or rafters.
Sheathing Paper: A building material, generally paper or felt, used in wall and roof construction as a protection against the passage of air and sometimes moisture.
Shed Roof: A roof having only one slope or pitch, with only one set of rafters which fall from a higher to a lower wall.
Sheet Metal Duct Work: The heating system. Usually round or rectangular metal pipes and sheet metal (for return Aar) and installed for distributing warm (or cold) air from the furnace to rooms in the home.
Sheet Metal Work: All components of a house employing sheet metal, such as flashing, gutters, and downspouts.
Sheetrock: Panels made primarily from gypsum installed over the framing to form the interior walls and ceilings. Sheetrock is often called gypsum board.
Shelf-Life: Used in the glazing and sealant business to refer to the length of time a product may be stored before beginning to lose its effectiveness. Manufacturers usually state the shelf life and the necessary storage conditions on the package.
Shellac: A transparent coating made by dissolving lac, a resinous secretion of the lac bug (a scale insect that thrives in tropical countries, especially India), in alcohol.
Shingles: Roof covering of asphalt, wood, tile, slate, or other material cut to stock lengths, widths, and thicknesses, which are laid in a series of overlapping rows as a roof covering on pitched roofs.
Shiplap Lumber: Lumber that is edge-dressed to make a close rabbeted or lapped joint.
Shore "A" Hardness: Measure of firmness of a compound by means of a Durometer Hardness Gauge. A hardness range of 20-25 is about the firmness of an art gum eraser. A hardness of about 90 is about the firmness of a rubber heel.
Shoring: A temporary support erected in a trench or other excavation to support the walls from caving in.
Short Circuit: A situation that occurs when hot and neutral wires come in contact with each other. Fuses and circuit breakers protect against fire that could result from a short.
Shutoff Valve: The valve that allows water supply to be cut off to one fixture without affecting the water supply to the entire house or building. Common for use with clawfoot tubs, sinks, and toilets.
Shutter: Usually lightweight louvered or flush wood or nonwood frames in the form of doors located at each side of a window. Some are made to close over the window for protection; others are fastened to the wall as a decorative device.
Side Sewer: The portion of the sanitary sewer which connects the interior waste water lines to the main sewer lines. The side sewer is usually buried in several feet of soil and runs from the house to the sewer line. It is usually 'owned' by the sewer utility, must be maintained by the owner and may only be serviced by utility approved contractors. Sometimes called sewer lateral.
Siding: The finish covering of the outside wall of a frame building, whether made of horizontal weatherboards, vertical boards with battens, shingles, or other material.
Sight Line: The line along the perimeter of glazing infills corresponding to the top edge of stationary and removable stops. The line to which sealants contacting the glazing infill are sometimes finished off.
Silicone Sealant: A sealant having as its chemical compound a backbone consisting of alternating silicon-oxygen atoms.
Sill: The lowest member of the frame of a structure, resting on the foundation and supporting the floor joists or the uprights of the wall. The member forming the lower side of an opening, as in a door sill, window sill, etc.
Sill Cock: An exterior water faucet (hose bib).
Sill Plate: The framing member anchored to the foundation wall upon which studs and other framing members will be attached. It is the bottom plate of exterior walls.
Sill Seal: Fiberglass or foam insulation installed between the foundation wall and sill (wood) plate. Designed to seal any cracks or gaps.
Sill Sealer: A material placed between the top of the foundation wall and the sill plate. Usually a foam strip, the sill sealer helps make a better fit and eliminate water problems.
Sill Step: The first step coming directly off a building at the door openings.
Single Coverage: Asphalt roofing that provides one layer of roofing material over the deck.
Single Family Dwelling (SFD): A house built for the purpose of a single family as opposed to multi families such as a duplex or apartment complex.
Single Ply: A descriptive term signifying a roof membrane composed of only one layer of material such as EPDM, Hypalon or PVC.
Single Tee: The name given to a type of precast concrete deck which has one stiffening rib integrally cast into slab.
Skip Sheathing: The normal base for shake, shingle and some tile roofs. 1"x4" or similar sized boards are nailed at 90 degree angles to the rafters leaving a space of about 4" between each row and allowing for better ventilation.
Sky Dome: A type of skylight exhibiting a characteristic translucent plastic domed top.
Skylight: A structure on a roof that is designed to admit light and is somewhat above the plane of the roof surface.
Slab on Grade: A type of construction in which footings are needed but little or no foundation wall is poured.
Slab, Concrete: Concrete pavement, i.e. driveways, garages, and basement floors.
Slab, Door: A rectangular door without hinges or frame.
Slag: A by-product of smelting ore such as iron, lead or copper. Also overburden/dropping from welding which may burn, melt, or discolor adjacent surfaces.
Slate: A dark gray stratified stone cut relatively thin and installed on pitched roofs in a shingle like fashion.
Sleeper: Usually, a wood member embedded in concrete, as in a floor, that serves to support and to fasten subfloor or flooring.
Sleeve(s): Pipe installed under the concrete driveway or sidewalk, and that will be used later to run sprinkler pipe or low voltage wire.
Slope: Incline or pitch of roof surface.
Sloped Glazing: Any installation of glass that is at a slope of 15 degrees or more from vertical.
Sludge: Term for the waste material found in sump pump pits, septic systems and gutters.
Slump: The "wetness" of concrete. A 3 inch slump is dryer and stiffer than a 5 inch slump.
Slump-Test: Measures the consistency of a concrete mix or its stiffness. If the tests results are high, one likely cause would be too much water. Low slump test results mean not enough water. The test is measured in inches.
Smooth-Surfaced Roofing: Roll roofing that is covered with ground talc or mica instead of granules.
Soffit: The underside of an overhanging cornice of a building extending out from the plane of the building walls.
Softening Point: The temperature at which a substance changes from a hard material to a softer and more viscous material.
Soil Cover (Ground Cover): A light covering of plastic film, roll roofing, or similar material used over the soil in crawl spaces of buildings to minimize moisture permeation of the area.
Soil Stack: A general term for the vertical main of a system of soil, waste, or vent piping.
Sole Plate: Bottom horizontal member of a frame wall.
Solid Bridging: A solid member placed between adjacent floor joists near the center of the span to prevent joists from twisting.
Sonotube: Round, large cardboard tubes designed to hold wet concrete in place until it hardens.
Sound Attenuation: Sound proofing a wall or subfloor, generally with fiberglass insulation.
Space Heat: Heat supplied to the living space, for example, to a room or the living area of a building.
Spacers (Shims): Small blocks of neoprene, EPDM, silicone or other suitable material placed on each side of the glass product to provide glass centering, maintain uniform width of sealant bead and prevent excessive sealant distortion.
Spalling: The chipping or flaking of concrete, bricks, or other masonry where improper drainage or venting and freeze/thaw cycling exists.
Span: The horizontal distance between structural supports such as walls, columns, piers, beams, girders, and trusses.
Spandrel: The panels of a wall located between vision areas of windows, which conceal structural columns, floors, and shear walls.
Spec Home: A house built before it is sold. The builder speculates that he can sell it at a profit.
Specialty Eaves Flashing Membrane: A self-adhering waterproofing shingle underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice damage or wind-driven rain.
Specification: Detailed written instructions which, when clear and concise, explain each phase of work to be done.
Splash Block: A small masonry block laid with the top close to the ground surface to receive roof drainage from downspouts and to carry it away from the building.
Splitting: The formation of long cracks completely through a membrane. Splits are frequently associated with lack of allowance for expansion stresses. They can also be a result of deck deflection or change in deck direction.
Spud: The removal of gravel or heavy accumulations of bitumen from roof membranes by means of chipping or scraping.
Square: A unit of measure, e.g. 100 square feet, usually applied to roofing material. Sidewall coverings are sometimes packed to cover 100 square feet and are sold on that basis.
Square Foot: Coverage measured by multiplying width by length. An area 5 foot long and 7 foot wide is equal to 35 square foot.
Squeegie: Fine pea gravel used to grade a floor (normally before concrete is placed).
Stack: The vertical pipe of a system of soil, waste or vent piping.
Stack Vent: Also called a waste vent or soil vent, it is the extension of a soil or waste stack above the highest horizontal drain connected to the stack.
Stain: A form of oil paint, very thin in consistency, intended for coloring wood with rough surfaces, such as shingles, without forming a coating of significant thickness or gloss.
Stair Carriage: Supporting member for stair treads. Usually a 2-inch plank notched to receive the treads; sometimes called a "rough horse."
Standard Practices of the Trade(s): One of the more common basic and minimum construction standards. This is another way of saying that the work should be done in the way it is normally done by the average professional in the field.
Standing Seam: A type of joint often used on metal roofs.
Static Load: The total amount of permanent non-moving weight that is applied to given surface areas.
Static Vent: A vent that does not include a fan.
STC (Sound Transmission Class): A single number rating derived from individual transmission losses at specified test frequencies. It is used for interior walls, ceilings and floors.
Steel Inspection: A municipal and/or engineer's inspection of the concrete foundation wall, conducted before concrete is poured into the foundation panels. Done to insure that the rebar (reinforcing bar), rebar nets, void material, beam pocket plates, and basement window bucks are installed and wrapped with rebar and complies with the foundation plan.
Steel Trowel: Tool used for non-porous smooth finishes of concrete. It is a flat steel tool used to spread and smooth plaster, mortar or concrete. Pointing trowels are small enough to be used in places where larger trowels will not fit. The pointing trowel has a point. The common trowel has a rectangular blade attached to a handle. For smooth finish, use a trowel when the concrete begins to stiffen.
Stem: A small shaft or rod that projects through the faucet valve and to which the handle is installed.
Stem Assembly: The moving part of a valve that controls the amount and temperture of water released by moving up and down against the seat to open and close the valve.
Step Croack: Hairline, "staircase"-type steps near the corners of the foundation, usually due to normal soil settlement. Larger such cracks may indicate ongoing movement or sinking of the foundation and are much more grave.
Step Flashing: Individual small pieces of metal flashing material used to flash around chimneys, dormers, and such projections along the slope of a roof. The individual pieces are overlapped and stepped up the vertical surface.
Stick Built: A house built without prefabricated parts. Also called conventional building.
Stile: An upright framing member in a panel door.
STL (Sound Transmission Loss): The reduction of the amount of sound energy passing through a wall, floor, roof, etc. It is related to the specific frequency at which it is measured and it is expressed in decibels. Also called "Transmission Loss."
Stool: A flat molding fitted over the window sill between jambs and contacting the bottom rail of the lower sash.
Stop: See shutoff valve.
Stop Box: Normally a cast iron pipe with a lid (5" in diameter) that is placed vertically into the ground, situated near the water tap in the yard, and where a water cut-off valve to the home is located (underground). A long pole with a special end is inserted into the curb stop to turn off/on the water.
Stop Order: A formal, written notification to a contractor to discontinue some or all work on a project for reasons such as safety violations, defective materials or workmanship, or cancellation of the contract.
Storm Door: A panel or sash door placed on the outside of an existing door to provide additional protection from the elements.
Storm Sash or Storm Window: An extra window usually placed outside of an existing one, as additional protection against cold weather.
Storm Sewer: A sewer system designed to collect storm water and is separated from the waste water system.
Storm Window: A glazed panel or sash placed on the inside or outside of an existing sash or window as additional protection against the elements.
Story: That part of a building between any floor and the floor or roof next above.
Straight Stop: A shutoff valve that is installed on a supply line between the floor and the faucet or toilet. Unlike an angle stop, a straight stop does not change the direction of water flow.
Strain: The percentage of elongation or compression of a material or portion of a material caused by an applied force.
Striking Off: The operation of smoothing off excess compound or sealant at sight line when applying same around lites or panels.
String (or Stringer): A timber or other support for cross members in floors or ceilings. In stairs, the support on which the stair treads rest; also Stringboard.
String Line: A nylon line usually strung tightly between supports to indicate both direction and elevation, used in checking grades or deviations in slopes or rises. Used in landscaping to level the ground.
Strip Flooring: Wood flooring consisting of narrow, matched strips.
Structural Floor: A framed lumber floor that is installed as a basement floor instead of concrete. This is done on very expansive soils.
Structural Silicone Glazing: The use of a silicone sealant for the structural transfer of loads from the glass to its perimeter support system and retention of the glass in the opening.
Stub: See Rough-In.
Stucco: A type of exterior finish. Most commonly refers to an outside plaster made with Portland cement as its base.
Stud: One of a series of wood or metal vertical structural members placed as supporting elements in walls and partitions.
Stud Framing: A building method that distributes structural loads to each of a series of relatively lightweight studs. Contrasts with Post-and-Beam.
Stud Shoe: A metal, structural bracket that reinforces a vertical stud. Used on an outside bearing wall where holes are drilled to accommodate a plumbing waste line.
Sub-Rough: That part of a building’s plumbing system that is done before the cement is poured.
Subcontractor: A contractor who specializes in a particular trade such as waterproofing.
Subfloor: Boards or plywood laid on joists over which a finish floor is to be laid.
Substrate: A part or substance which lies below and supports another.
Sump: Pit or large plastic bucket/barrel inside the home designed to collect ground water from a perimeter drain system.
Sump Pump: A submersible pump in a sump pit that pumps any excess ground water to the outside of the home.
Suspended Ceiling: A ceiling system supported by hanging it from the overhead structural framing.
Sway Brace: Metal straps or wood blocks installed diagonally on the inside of a wall from bottom to top plate, to prevent the wall from twisting, racking, or falling over "domino" fashion.
Switch: A device that completes or disconnects an electrical circuit.