Updated 5 months ago by Bethany W.


2/10 RuleA rule that states that the top of a flue must be at least two feet higher than any roof part within ten feet.
4/1 Rule
A rule for safe placement of a ladder. The 4/1 Rule states that for every four feet of working ladder length, the base of the ladder should be one foot out from the top support point.


AccessThe method used to get the concrete from the improved road used by the delivery truck into the forms. The two primary methods for access are to build a temporary road close enough to the forms so that the truck can reach them or to use a concrete pump.
Acetal plasticA type of PB pipe fitting, usually used with aluminum crimp rings, that commonly fails.
Activity CalendarWithin the Activity Calendar you can view and edit activities for all projects that you are working on and receive reminders of the date and time an activity needs to be completed. To view the Activity Calendar from the Control Center, click the Xactimate tab and select Tools.
Activity ReportThe Activity Report window displays a list of activities (to-do items) that apply to the open estimate.
ACV—Actual Cash ValueActual Cash Value is the cost to purchase a new items to replace a damaged, lost, or stolen item, less applicable depreciation, wear, or obsolescence.
AdmixturesChemicals added to the water, cement, aggregate mix when making concrete. Among the most common admixtures are those that improve plasticity, retard or advance hydration, or add colour.
Aerial Sketch toolWith the Xactimate Aerial Sketch tool, you can sketch a roof using an aerial image to define edges, ridges, valleys, faces, and slope.
AggregateSand or gravel or a combination of both. The use and size of gravel varies depending on whether the product is concrete (sand plus gravel larger than 6 mm), grout (sand plus gravel 6 mm or smaller), mortar, or plaster (sand only).
Air brakeA connection added into the drain line that runs from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal. The air brake prevents stagnant garbage disposal from entering the dishwasher by allowing air into the line which prevents a siphon from forming.
Air conditioning coilA coil configured to remove heat from refrigerant gas.
Air cooled flueA flue which may consist of double or triple pipes in which heated gases rising out of the inner flue creates a draft that pulls cool air through the outer pipe(s).
Air entrainment agentA type of admixture that is actually a detergent which produces small, evenly spaced bubbles in concrete mix. It makes the concrete most plastic or workable while adding a host of benefits, making concrete stronger.
ALE—Additional living expensesAdditional living expense coverage is generally included in the Loss of Use expenses section of the homeowner policy. If an adequately insured homeowner experiences a loss so severe that the home is uninhabitable, the insured can be reimbursed for additional living expenses required to maintain temporary housing off-site. Examples of additional living expenses are: an apartment or motel room, restaurant meals, and laundromat expenses. Additional living expenses may be limited by time or dollar amount. Generally, ALE is for the shortest time to rebuild, not to exceed 12 or 24 months.
All purpose mudOne of two types of drywall mud, all purpose mud contains adhesive chemicals that hold the drywall tape in place and helps the mud adhere to the drywall face.
Alternate repairsProposed options in lieu of what is observed in the structure.
Alternating current (AC)The type of electrical current provided through power lines.
Aluminium oxideA chemical that is created when aluminium is exposed to the atmosphere. Aluminium oxide is an insulator, and when it builds up on aluminium power wire it can create heat which can loosen the connection, cause arcing, and even fire.
American Standard GaugeUnits used to measure the size of electrical wires. The smallest wires are measured by gauge with 18 gauge being a very thing doorbell wire and 2 gauge being a larger wire. Wires larger than  gauge are measure in aughts. Wire larger than four aught are measured in micro-circular mills or MCM. 
American wallpaper rollA roll of wallpaper that contains about 3.5 metres.
Anchor boltUsed to connect the foundation to the inside of the framing above it. The anchor bolts are placed in the foundation while the concrete is still wet. After the concrete cures, the foundation sill plate is attached to the anchor bolts.
Angle ironAn L-shaped metal piece commonly used as a lintel.
ANSIAn acronym for the American National Standards Institute.
Anti-oxidant compoundA compound applied to aluminium wires to prevent aluminium oxide from forming.
Anti-stratification deviceA device that stirs water in a water heater to prevent the stratification of hotter water at the top and cooler water at the bottom.
APP (atactic polypropylene)A plasticizer used in the torch-down type of modified bitumen roof systems.
ApronA finish piece directly under the window stool. An apron is used to cover the rough edge of the wall finish and whatever gap may be present.
APS—Appurtenant (related) structures
Appurtenant structures, in most policies, include related structures on the same premises as the main structure, such as a detached garage, tool shed, fence, or swimming pool.
ArchitectA person training and licensed to design and create plans and specifications for buildings. He or she may also ensure that the construction is done in accordance with the plans.
Area WallUsed around basement windows to hold back the soil. Usually constructed of galvanized, ribbed steel, concrete, or masonry.
Armored/bx cableA cable which has a flexible metal covering, often used with appliances.
Asembly informationDefines the assembly item selected in the assembly item table.
Assembly itemThe breakdown of individual components used in a line item.
Attached drawerA type of drawer in which the face is attached to the front of a self-contained drawer box. See integral drawer.
AugerA tool which includes a screw shaped shaft that digs a hole when turned.
AughtAn American Standard Gauge unit of measure for wire sizes that are larger than 2 gauge. See American Standard Gauge.
Awning windowA window unit that opens by moving hte bottom of the window sash outward. The top of the window sash is attached with hinges.
Backer boardA board that is not part of the original framing, that is placed in a wall or joist system to provide backing for the attachment of drywall board, sheathing, or an intersecting wall.


BackingA framing member installed at a non-layout position so that other framing members can be securely attached later in the construction process.
Backing layer (vinyl flooring)One of three layers of material typically found in vinyl floor covering. The backing layer is the bottom layer. See pattern layer, wear layer, and perimeter backing.
BacksplashA part that fits on the wall behind the countertop and is designed to protect the wall from countertop and sink splashes. The backsplash is often made from the same materials used on the countertop. See full backsplash and block backsplash.
BaffleA non-combustible surrounding that is placed around a recessed light fixture to prevent light fixture heat from being trapped by insulation where it can build up and cause a fire.
Baked-enamel finishApplication of special enamel paint onto a non-porous surface by baking it onto a surface, usually metal.
BallastA smooth aggregate placed on the surface of the roof to weigh down the roofing. Ballasts also protect the roof materials from ultraviolet light.
BalusterOne of a series of vertical posts which are placed a regular intervals along the length a balustrade. Balusters are typically similar in pattern to the newel post are much smaller in diameter or thickness. Balusters are attached to a top rail and to a bottom rail, or directly to a stair tread or floor. See balustrade.
BalustradeA railing system found on stairs or along open areas between floors. Most balustrades contain newel posts, balusters, and top rails. Some balustrades contain bottom rails. See newel post, baluster, top rail, bottom rail, bread loaf top rail, filler, volute, goose neck, one-quarter turn, rosette, skirt, stair bracket,  false tread, and riser.
Band joistPiece of lumber to which the ends of the joists are nailed or screwed. A band joist is critical to the strength of the floor system because it holds the regular joist ends in their vertical position.
Base blockSquare or rectangular piece that is placed between the bottom of the casing and the floor. Also called plinth block. See corner block.
Base coatFirst coat of any finish substance on a surface, such as the first coat of synthetic stucco applied on the stucco sheathing over a wire or glass fiber mesh.
Base moldingMolding which covers the corner between the floor and wall.
Base sheetFirst layer of multiple ply membrane roof system. Installed by rolling strips of special base sheet style roll roofing over the roof deck and nailing the base sheet to the roof deck. Once the base sheet is in place hot tar is mopped over it.
Base shoeMolding placed at the corner between the base molding and floor. Usually used when a wood finish floor is installed.
BaseboardSee base molding.
Batt insulationInsulation made from matted fibers which may be left unfaced or may be faced on one or both sides with kraft paper, foil, or vinyl.
Batten type standing seamStanding seam roof in which the panels are raised up and fastened together and then a batten strip is placed over the seam to form a water-tight seal.
Bay windowA window unit(s) installed in an area that projects out from the wall. The exterior wall typically forms a 45 degree angle on each end of the bay window area.
Beam pocketNotch or opening at the top of a bearing wall or supporting column which secures and bears the weight of a beam.
Bearing pointsLocation or point on a member where it is supported by another member. Typically, a truss has two bearing points, one at each exterior wall.
Bearing wallAny wall that supports a load above it, such as a roof system or a floor system. A bearing wall is a structural part.
Berber carpetStyle of carpet with a distinctive, short looped pile. See wool carpet, nylon carpet, indoor-outdoor carpet, sculptured carpet, and shag carpet.
Betterment/DepreciationBetterment is a deduction for property betterment (improvement) not covered in the insurance policy. An example of a deduction for betterment is the difference in price to install a premium door to replace a standard door. Depreciation is the reduction in value of tangible property caused by physical deterioration or obsolescence.
BeveledCut at a non-right angle to the main surface, forming a sloping surface.
Bifold doorDoor with two slabs that are connected to each other with hinges. When closed the slab ends butt against each other. When opened the slabs fold onto each other. A track at the top of the bifold door holds the slabs in position.
Bird stopMaterial used to fill the space under the first course of tile at the eave line to prevent birds from nesting in the roofing.
BiscuitJoint between two boards made by using a biscuit saw to notch out the ends of the joined boards. A premanufactured biscuit fits into the slots made by the biscuit saw. The glued biscuit swells as the glue soaks in, forming a very tight fit when the joint dries.
Biscuit sawA special saw used to cut a notch in boards that will be joined with a biscuit joint.
Black label shingles tilesUtility grade shingles with sapwood, flat grains, and large knots. Commonly used on garages and barns.
Blind miterJoint made by butting the first piece of material into a corner, then shaping the second piece so that it conforms to the outline of the first piece. Also called a cope joint.
Blind nailingTo drive a nail into a part of the board that will not be visible on the finished product. See face nailing.
BlockMasonry product that is used in the assembly of footings, foundation walls, and both interior and exterior walls. Blocks are precast to specific dimensions and are available in many shapes and styles.
Block backsplashA thick, relatively short backsplash with a square top. See backsplash and full backsplash.
Block building systemInvolves using block to construct the perimeter foundation system and the exterior bearing walls . The footings in a block building system may also be built from block but are often made from concrete.
Block cellRefers to the open cavities often found in blocks. These cells may be filled with either grout or insulation.
BlockingShort pieces of material used to both provide solid bridging over bearing points and to block fire from quickly spreading into other parts of the framing. Usually found in joists over every bearing wall or beam and in studs at every connection with stair stringers or dropped ceilings.
Blown-insulationInsulation that is broken down by a machine that blows it into place. Blown-in insulation is often installed above the ceiling line and in wall cavities.
Blue label shingles tilesShingles made from the highest quality all heartwood and all clear cedar with 100 per cent edge grain. Most residential structures use red or blue label shingles.
Board and batten sidingVertical siding in which boards are installed first with small spaces between them. Narrower boards called battens are then installed over the small spaces.
Board footA three-dimensional measurement equal to the volume of a board that is one inch thick, one foot wide and one foot long. Used to designate the volume of lumber.
Board on board sidingVertical siding in which boards are installed with gaps between them. Boards of the same size are then installed over the gaps.
Board sidingSiding made from wood, hardboard, or pressed wood byproducts; usually installed horizontally, one board at a time.
BondIn masonry, the arrangement of bricks or other masonry units in courses and the way the courses overlap each other to form the wall. See also half bond, one-third bond, one-quarter bond, and stack bond.
Bond beamHorizontal beam poured inside the u block for reinforcement of block walls. A bond beam is made by filling the block cells with either grout or insulation up to the level of the bottom of the u block. Reinforcing steel is placed, and the u block is filled with grout.
Book matched veneerVeneer pattern produced by turning over every other veneer strip. On a surface the strips look much like mirror images of each other. See veneer, whole-piece veneer, slip-matched veneer, and unmatched veneer.
BookingThe process of folding the pasted side of wallpaper over onto itself. Booking allows the glue to cure without drying unevenly.
Booster tileSmall tile placed under the cap tiles on the starter course only.
Bottom chordLower or bottom member of a truss.
Bottom railThe lower rail of a balustrade into which the bottom ends of balusters connect. See balustrade and top rail.
Bow windowWindow unit(s) projecting out from the wall in an arch.
Bowstring trussTruss with a curved top chord and horizontal bottom chord so that the top looks like a bow string and the bottom looks like a bow.
Box (cabinet)Storage section of the cabinet.
Box beamMade from steel or wood, they are formed like a long box with four sides and are hollow in the center.
Box nailsFraming fasteners with a slightly smaller shank or shaft than common nails, but with the same length and the same size heads as comparable common nails. Box nails are less likely to split the wood than common nails but box nails are not quite as strong. See common nails, gun nails, and sinkers.
BPP—building and personal property coverageBuilding and Personal Property Coverage is insurance coverage (buildings, contents, or both) for commercial property.
Bread loaf top railA common type of top rail that has a profile shaped like a loaf of bread. See balustrade and top rail.
Brick tieMetal anchors installed to secure brick veneer to the exterior wall.
Broom finishThe most common exterior flatwork finish, a slightly rough texture achieved by running a broom over freshly troweled concrete.
Brown coatSecond coat of stucco, applied over the scratch coat. The purpose of the brown coat is to provide a relatively smooth surface for the finish coat. The brown coat is troweled over the scratch coat and then smoothed with a long float. See scratch coat and finish coat.
Bruised composition shingles tilesA composition shingle that has been permanently dented by a hailstone but has not fractured. Also see fractured composition shingles and granular loss.
Brush texturesFinish applied to drywall with a brush.
BTU—British thermal unitAmount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
Building inspectorIndividual trained to review plans for work along with completed work to verify that it complies with local codes and ordinances.
Building permitIssued by the local government, usually the county or city, after a fee has been paid and plans have been reviewed and approved. Normally construction cannot begin until after the permit is issued.
Built-in cabinetsCabinets that are hand-built on site. See milled cabinets, custom cabinets, and mass produced cabinets.
Built-up roofSee multiple ply membrane.
Bull floatTool with a long handle that slides on the surface of concrete to press the course aggregate down and to raise the cream.
BunkA unit of lumber consisting of several pieces or sticks which are banded together for convenience in shipping and delivery.
Burn patternThe direction a fire burns. Fire should burn up and away from the point of origin toward an oxygen source.
Butt hingeHinge made up of two flat, rectangular plates with a pin connecting them.
Butt jointJoint made by placing two square-cut pieces end to end without any overlap. This type of joint must be made water proof by caulking, battens, or flashing.
Butt seamsThe seam found when two members are joined together end to end without overlapping the members.
Butterfly roofRoof style consisting of two planes that slope inward forming a V, lower in the center than at the outside edge.
Bypass doorDoor with two flush slabs that are mounted on tracks. Each door part slides parallel to the other. Bypass doors are common on closets and patios. Also called sliding doors.


CalculationsThe Calculation on the Quick Entry edit pad is where you use the Quantity Variables that are defined in the Dimensioning window and/or in Sketch. Xactimate uses variables to calculate the amount of an item required to cover a predetermined portion of a room or structure. For example, the WC variable, used with drywall and paint, tells Xactimate to calculate the amount of drywall required to cover the walls and ceiling of a room, based on the dimensions you have provided for that room. The use of variables is one of the most powerful features of Xactimate. Variables make it possible to ensure accuracy in your estimate even when you copy a scope from one room to another or change the dimensions of a room. You can also use numbers, equations or Calculation wizards. Keep in mind, however, that when you enter a number, Xactimate will not be able to re-calculate that amount if you need to change room dimensions or copy the scope to another room. (Equations and formulas used to determine a numerical value based on the input).
Calrod BurnerElectrical burner made from coiled steel. See ceran top and halogen burner.
CamberRefers to the slight bow or arch that is found in many building materials. Sometimes used as a synonym for crown. However crown usually refers to the natural distortion that occurs in lumbertimber whereas camber usually refers to a built-in bow which was engineered by the manufacturer. See crown.
CanHousing or container for a recessed light unit. The can is installed during electrical rough-in.
Cant stripTriangular piece of material placed at the intersection of a parapet wall and the roof deck to soften the angle which must be covered by the membrane.
CantileverRefers to a beam or joist with an end portion that hangs out past the building part bearing it from below, but which has the load above it placed at the end of the overhanging portion. Commonly used for the support of bay windows and decks.
Cap mold piece (tile)Specialty tile trim piece used to finish the edges of tile work. See cove piece, tile base, and double bull nose.
Cap rowTop course of shingles which does not have another course overlapping it. There is a cap row on the ridge of the roof.
Cap SheetTop layer of multiple ply membrane roof system usually covered with one of three finishes: 1) a smooth, flood coat that is painted to prevent sun damage; 2) a flood coat with aggregate covering; or 3) a cap sheet with mineral granules embedded into the surface. See flood coat.
Cap tileU-shaped roofing tile that forms the peaks in a barrel tile roof. Cap tiles are placed at the intersection of pantiles with the U facing down. Water drains off of the peaks formed by the cap tiles and into the pan tiles. Specially designed cap tiles are also used on the rake, ridges, and hips.
Carpet CoveCarpet that wraps a small distance up the wall.
Carpet grainDirection in which the carpet fibers slant.
Casement windowWindow unit that opens by swinging the side of the window sash outward like a door. The opposite side of the window sash is attached with hinges.
Casing architraveFraming which surrounds a door, covering the space between the jamb and the wall surface.
Category codeThe category code tells you what construction trade or phase an item belongs to.
CatwalkSupport member attached near the center of the bottom chord of a truss system to hold the trusses in a vertical position.
CaulkingMaterial used to seal seams and joints against weather and insect penetration. Also used to fill holes and gaps to provide a smooth seamless surface for the paint to cover.
Cellulose insulationInsulation made from shredded paper. Cellulose insulation should be treated with a fire retardant chemical or it may create a fire hazard.
CementThe chemical agent which reacts with water to form a paste that bonds the aggregate. Should not be confused with concrete which is a mixture of cement, aggregate, and water.
Cement boardA type of isolation membrane which is made by attaching sheets of cement board over the substrate. The joints between the boards are then filled and leveled. See thinset tile, isolation membrane, and mortar bed.
Cement board underlaymentAn underlayment made from cement board which has a smooth finish for use beneath vinyl floors. Cement board underlayment is almost impervious to water damage. See underlayment, particleboard underlayment, plywood underlayment, lauan plywood underlayment, gypsum-based underlayment, and untempered hardboard underlayment.
Centre bearing wallWall on the internal of a structure that is built to support the weight of the floor system above it. The centre bearing wall is usually constructed along the centre line of the structure. This is a structural part.
Ceramic Mosaic TileSmall tile, usually 1" by 1", 1" by 2", or 2" by 2", that are typically made from porcelain or natural clay. See glazed wall tile and quarry tile.
Ceran topBrand name for a type of specialty glass used in flat-surface cooktopshobs. The burners are placed under the glass and cooking utensils are placed on top of the glass.
Certificate of OccupancyIssued by the government building inspector to confirm that the building is complete, complies with all the building code requirements and local ordinances that the inspector is required to enforce, and can be occupied.
Chair railHorizontal strip, usually wood, that runs around the room at approximately the height of the back of a standard chair. Chair rails were originally designed to prevent chairs from marring the wall surface, but in modern structures are primarily decorative.
CharringAs wood burns, the areas of the wood being consumed will begin to char. Charred portions of wood are not structurally stable. When the surface of structuralbuilding framing members is charred more than 1/8" the framing member will generally have to be replaced.
Checkpoint price listThe purpose of a checkpoint price list is to provide a frame of reference for the estimate pricing. Prices in the completed estimate can be compared to checkpoint prices and a report (Variation Report) can be prepared.
Chem spongeAlso called a dry sponge or chemical sponge, a chem sponge is treated with special chemicals for use in removing soot from walls. Water or other liquids are not used with a chem sponge.
Chimney cricketSmall roof built behind the chimney to move precipitation around the chimney and off the roof. Also called a chimney saddle.
Cinder blockA masonry unit made from Portland cement and cinder. Most often used on interiors because it deteriorates quickly when exposed to moisture. Cinder blocks are lighter and have better insulative qualities than concrete masonry units.
CircleA shape in which all points on the perimeter are the same distance from the centre. The formula for calculating the area of a circle is: "pi x radius = area." The formula for the perimeter is: "pi x diameter = circumference."
Circuit breakerElectrical device that automatically disconnects power to a circuit in dangerous situations and can also be used as to manually turn power to a circuit on and off.
Circular sawPower tool with a circular blade that rotates at a high speed so that the teeth on the blade will cut the material, usually wood.
Circular stairStair system which winds in a curving pattern, usually, but not always around a common center.
CircumferenceThe length of the perimeter of a circle, calculated with the formula "pi x diameter = circumference." Can be used interchangeably with "perimeter."
Clay blockA masonry unit made from clay. Most often used on commercial structures. Also commonly called an "Atlas Block".
Clay tileTile made from clay that has been forced through an extruder, cut to size, air-dried and then fired in a kiln.
Clear all heartHigh grade redwood lumbertimber that is free of knots, pitch, and blemishes. The grain of clear all heart is usually fairly straight.
Clerestory roofRoof style consisting of two sides that slope in opposite directions with a vertical wall section extending between the peaks. The vertical wall contains windows that provide light and/or ventilation into the building. The clerestory roof is common on condominium and passive solar homes.
Closed valley systemIntersection of two roof surfaces where the courses of shingles meet and cover the valley flashing. See also laced valley and half-laced valley.
Clustered wiringA group of wires, each of which is covered with insulation (except for copper ground in some cases) and the entire cluster of wires is also covered by plastic insulation.
Coal tar pitchHydrocarbon substance created by processing coal, may be used to waterproof membrane roofing.
Code UpgradeThe Code Upgrade function gives you the ability to include an additional coverage for replacement costs required by ordinance or law. Some of the typical ordinance and law (building code upgrade) scenarios involve increased restoration building costs required by current building codes. Examples include, building codes requiring more expensive energy efficient windows to replace the window that was damaged, or additional smoke detectors installed that were not present at the time of loss. There are two ways in which the Code Upgrade functionality can be used; one is by adding an item that is not associated with a replacement item; the second is to add an item that is associated with the replacement item.
CoinsuranceWhen insurance carriers calculate the cost of insuring a building, they must have some assurance that the amount of insurance carried on that property will be fairly close to the cost of replacing it. Many property insurance policies contain a coinsurance clause to encourage property owners to adequately insure the property. A building valued at £500,000 that is insured with a policy that carries an 80% coinsurance clause must be insured for at least £400,000. The coinsurance clause also applies a penalty that reduces the amount of a claim paid to the insured when the insurance coverage on the property is insufficient. For example, if a loss occurs for the building mentioned above, and at the time of the loss the replacement cost of the building is determined to be £600,000, a ratio is calculated to reduce the amount of the claim paid to the insured. Based on the value of the building at the time of the loss, the minimum insurance that must be carried according to the coinsurance clause in the policy must be determined. In this case, it is 80% of £600,000 or £480,000. The original insurance coverage based on a £500,000 value was £400,000. The ratio or factor to reduce the amount of the claim paid to the insured is generally created by dividing the original minimum insurance amount (£400,000) by the minimum insurance amount required at the time of the loss (£480,000). 400,000 / 480,000 = 0.83 In this case, if the loss that damaged the building is estimated to be £100,000, the insured will receive only £83,000 because the building is not adequately insured.
Cold jointFlaw in a concrete wall appearing as randomly drawn line. Occurs when a batch of fresh, highly plastic concrete is placed next to concrete which is less plastic with no vibration or rodding to cause the two batches of concrete to mix. Can be overcome by mixing the two batches where they join before plasticity is lost.
Collar tieHorizontal member that is used to tie rafters together above the top plate. The collar tie strengthens the roof member and may be used for fastening the ceiling. May also be referred to as a collar beam.
Colonial base and casing architraveA commonly used molding pattern.
Colonist doorBrand name of door that is made of pressed wood fiberfibre and has six panels.
Com-plyA type of wood product used for sheathing, it consists of a two thin layers or veneers of wood on the outside and in the middle is a wood flake and resin center.
Combustion airAir a furnace needs in order to provide oxygen to a flame. Some new homes are so air tight that combustion air must be provided from the exteriorexternal of the structure.
Common gable trussTruss used to make a gable roof, it often spans from outside wall to outside wall without relying on internal bearing walls for support. All trusses in a gable truss roof will be common gable trusses except the last truss on each end which are gable end trusses.
Common nailsThe standard fasteners used by framers. The most typical size common nail is sixteen penny or 3 1/2" long. See box nails and sinkers.
Common rafterFull length rafter that extends from the top wall plate to the ridge.
Compactible fillSoil which is capable of being compacted so as to provide a solid substance under the structural parts which rest upon it. Compactible fill is almost always placed in layers (also called "lifts") which are thin enough to allow the compaction device to be effective throughout the layer. Each layer is thoroughly compacted before the next one is placed.
Composition shingle tileShingle made from an organic or fiberglass mat that is saturated with asphalttarmac or coal tar pitch. Granules are embedded in the surface that is exposed to the weather. Also commonly called organic, asphalttarmac, or fiberglass shingles.
CompressionCrushing force.
Compression fittingA fitting used on all types of pipe where a ferrule or a gasket is compressed against the fitting by tightening a threaded nut.
ConcreteMade primarily from cement, aggregate, water, and admixtures. The aggregate is usually a combination of sand and also gravel which averages over 1/4" in diameter. Concrete is not cement. The primary differences between mortar, grout, and concrete are the ratio of the primary materials and the size of the aggregate and the types of admixtures included in the mix.
Concrete masonry unit (cmu)Masonry unit made from Portland cement and aggregate. May or may not have pigment added. CMU is the most common type of block.
Concrete stampForm used to make patterns in concrete. After the concrete has been screed and rough finished, the stamp is pressed into the concrete. Colors may be added to make the concrete appear more natural by adding a dye admixture to the concrete or by spreading a dye on the surface.
Concrete tileTiles made from a stiff, low slump concrete. Concrete tiles are usually heavier and less expensive than clay tiles. Because concrete tiles are so heavy, the roof framing must be built strong enough to carry the extra dead load weight.
ConductorAny material which carries electrical current.
ConduitTube or pipe placed around electrical wiring.
Contact Adhesive Substance used to glue plastic laminate to the underlying substrate. Called contact adhesive because a surface it coats will only bond to another surface which is also covered with contact adhesive. See plastic laminate countertop.
Contact manager In the Xactimate Contact Manager you can create and manage SmartLists for contacts to be used in your estimates.
Continuous footing Footing design where all parts of the footing are connected together. Concrete runs continuously from one section of the footing to the next with no breaks or gaps. This helps the footing resist movement during earthquakes or other types of earth movement.
Continuous-cleaning oven An oven designed to clean materials that may have splashed or spilled inside it as it cooks. Continuous-cleaning ovens are typically lower quality. See self-cleaning oven and convection oven.
Control joint Cut or formed break in a concrete part designed to control where the fracturing occurs as the concrete expands and contracts. Ideally the fracturing and movement should occur along the control joint and not elsewhere.
Convection oven An oven which uses circulating hot air to accelerate cooking time. See continuous-cleaning oven and self-cleaning oven.
Cope joint See blind miter.
Copper oxide Chemical that is created when copper is exposed to the atmosphere. Copper oxide is not an insulator and creates no hazard.
Corbel block A block that projects from the face of a wall a short distance and provides support for other weight.
Core sample Test sample of concrete, usually twelve inches high and six inches in diameter When properly cured, the core sample may be used to determine the strength of the concrete.
Corner block Decorative piece that is placed between the vertical side casing and the horizontal top casing. Also see base block.
Corner bracing See let-in-brace.
Cornice Decorative exterior trim installed at the intersection of the roof and the top of the wall. May be made of wood, plastic, metal, molded stucco, or molded synthetic stucco.
Corrugated roof panel Roofing sheet often made out of galvanized steel or fiberglass. Shaped in alternating ridges and valleys.
Cosmetic damage Damage to an item or surface that only affects the way an item looks and does not effect the way the item functions. For example, a small crack in drywall usually indicates cosmetic damage to the drywall finish but does not indicate structual damage to the wall framing beneath. Also see structural damage.
Cottage cheese texture See popcorn texture.
Counterbalance Effect created by a force that is acting in opposition to another force; for example, the weight of an overhead door is counterbalanced by springs making it feel lighter when opened.
Counterflashing Installed any time flashing comes in contact with a surface finish that does not overlap it, such as masonry. With masonry, it can be a piece of sheet metal secured into the masonry joint and extending out over the base flashing.
Course Horizontal layer or row of masonry units in a wall. See also rowlock, soldier course, and sailor course.
Cove piece (tile) Specialty tile trim piece used to trim corners in a tile surface. See cap mold, tile base, and double bullnose.
Coverage limits window In the Coverage Limits window you can view the limits (original, new, and overages) of the selected coverage, as well as make adjustments to the policy limit insured.
Coverage/Loss window The Coverage/Loss window is where you enter loss and policy information, You can also add other coverage information, such as type of loss, limits, and reserve. You can see this window from within an estimate bid by clicking the Claim Info tab, and then clicking Coverage/Loss. You can assign multiple coverages to a type of loss. You can also assign a separate policy limit insured and deductible to each coverage.
Crawl space structure Building that has an area between the soil and the bottom of the first floor that is large enough for a person to crawl in. A crawl space structure does not have a basement so the sewer lateral can run through the foundation wall rather than under the footings.
Cream In reference to concrete, cream is the thin layer of fine mixture that comes to the surface of concrete when the course aggregate is pushed down with a concrete finishing tool such as a gandy or bull float.
Crimp ring Used with fitting in PB pipe. The PB pipe is pressed firmly around the fitting with the crimp ring.
Cripple rafter Rafter that runs from a hip rafter to a valley rafter. A cripple rafter never reaches the wall top plate or the ridge board.
Cripples Short studs that are used to fill the gap under the window sill and between the header and the top plate if there is a gap. Also used in a nonbearing wall to fill the space above the door opening and the top plate when no header is required.
Crown Almost no lumber is chalkline straight since it will bow slightly along its length. The upward bow is called the crown of the board. See camber.
Crown molding Trim piece which is placed over the corner between the wall and ceiling.
Crowned stud When a wall is assembled on the floor, the framer places the crown of the stud upward. When the wall is stood in place, the convex or crown side of the stud is the "front," and the convex side of the stud is the "back." To more accurately plumb a wall the level is placed on the back of the crowned stud.
Crowning Arranging all framing members so that they all bow or arch in the same direction.
Cubic foot A three-dimensional volume measurement equal to the amount contained by a cube that is one foot wide, one foot long, and one foot high.
Cubic yard A three-dimensional volume measurement equal to the amount contained by a cube that is one yard wide, one yard long, and one yard high. Each cubic yard contains 27 cubic feet.
Culinary water Water that is fit for human consumption.
Cultured countertop Type of solid plastic material usually mixed with a pattern that imitates a type of stone. Cultured marble countertops are probably the most common type but cultured granite is also common. Cultured materials are also used to make tub and shower surrounds. See plastic laminate countertop, solid surface countertop, solid plastic countertop, wood block countertop, cultured marble countertop, stone countertop, and tile countertop.
Cultured marble counter top The most common type of cultured countertop, it contains swirls and color variations that imitate the look of marble. See plastic laminate counter top, solid surface counter top, solid plastic counter top, wood block counter top, cultured counter top, stone counter top, and tile counter top.
Cultured stone Masonry units made from man-made materials such as plaster or plastic. Cultured stone is shaped and colored to resemble natural stone but is much lighter weight.
Cupola Vent positioned at the ridge line. Cupolas are often in the shape of a small house or dome, topped with a weathervane. Some cupolas are installed for decoration only and are nonfunctional.
Custom cabinets Milled cabinets that are built for a specific kitchen to match specified dimensions and a specified design. See built-in cabinets, milled cabinets, and mass produced cabinets.
Cut pile Carpet pile in which the ends are looped, both ends are attached to the carpet backing, then the centers of the loops are cut. See pile and loop pile.


DamperPiece of metal inside the flue that opens and closes. The damper should remain open when the fireplace is in use to allow combustion gases to escape through the flue and into the  atmosphere. When not in use, the damper should be closed to prevent exterior air and small animals from entering the structure.
Dampproofing Process of coating the parts of the foundation system that will be below the soil level with a moisture resistant material. This helps the foundation to resist the absorption or penetration of groundwater during short term exposure. Not the same as waterproofing.
Dashboard The default view for the Control Center Dashboard contains the Recent Projects pane, the Project Preview pane, the XactAnalysis Communications pane, and the Status Bar. On the Dashboard window, you can open recent projects and create new projects without searching through the entire Projects List. In the Projects Preview pane, you can view the sketch or notes of a selected project.
Data Backup With the Backup feature of Xactware you can back up your estimates, valuations, price lists, macros, and other important files. In the event that it becomes necessary to reformat your hard drive or reinstall Xactimate, you can retrieve your data. For this reason, it is important to frequently back up all valuable data.
Data Restore If you regularly back up important data, you can restore lost or damaged files using the Xactimate restore feature. It is critical that you restore your data using the same version number of Xactimate that you used to back up the data. Restoring data from different versions of Xactimate could result in damaged or lost data.
Data Transfer With the data transfer feature, you can transfer projects, price lists, contacts, macros, and other information between Xactware users. In order to transfer data from one user to another, both users need to be registered and using the same Xactimate profile.
DC (Direct Current) Electrical current provided by a battery.
Dead Load Permanent load consisting of all building parts and built-in fixtures that will be supported by a structural part.
Decimalized Feet An expression of distance in feet and decimal portions of feet rather than feet and inches. For example: 6.25 feet is the decimalized expression of 6 feet 3 inches.
Dedicated Circuit Circuit that consists of a home run that connects to a single device.
Depreciation Depreciation is the reduction in value of tangible property caused by physical deterioration or obsolescence. If a damaged carpet were to be replaced, depreciation would be higher for an older carpet that had nearly achieved it's life expectancy.
Depreciation—Heavy Increases the normal age-based depreciation by 40% (normal depreciation * 1.4).
Depreciation—Normal The normal depreciation is based on the life expectancy and age of the material.
Depreciation—Light Reduces the normal age-based depreciation by 40% (normal depreciation * .6)
Depreciation—New/Replaced New / Replaced removes any depreciation.
Designer Person who recommends aesthetically pleasing combinations of shapes and shades for the interior or the exterior of a building.
Detail One of the five basic views found on a plan. A detail is a close-up (i.e. large scale) view of some part of a section view, used to show exactly how parts connect together.
Developer Person who improves land, preparing the land for building on it by providing such improvements as roads, sidewalks, and connections for sewer, water, electricity, and gas. The developer may subdivide the land into building lots.
Diagonal Bracing Reinforcing member that is attached at an angle to provide lateral strength to another member such as a rafter.
Diagonal Wood Floor Installation Installation where wood strips are installed in a pattern that runs diagonally to at least one of the walls. See straight wood floor installation and herringbone wood floor installation.
Diagramming The process of drawing a floor plan and sometimes elevations which include dimensions and other important information such as the location of doors, windows, outlets, switches, and so forth.
Diameter A straight line segment that passes through the center of a circle and terminates at the outer edges of the circle. It is the longest line segment that will fit inside a circle. The diameter is equal to twice the length of the radius.
Digital Images Window The Digital Images window lets you take an image from your hard drive or other available drives (network, CD, DVD, flash, etc.), and add it to your estimate. You can see the Digital Images window by choosing the camera button on the Quick access toolbar.
Dimensional Beam Made from dimensional lumber usually available in rough cut or surfaced finishes. See header.
Dimensions Dimensions are the measurements of a room or object. From plans, dimensions can be determined using the measurement on the drawing and the scale of the drawing or by reading the dimensions printed on the drawing.
Direct yield The amount of labor expended directly on a finished task, excluding breaks, set-up, clean-up, etc. The highest level of efficiency that can be achieved when all labor waste factors are excluded.
Document Modules On the Control Center Document Modules tab, you can view, create and modify company headers and model statements.
Door Gasket Insulating material placed around the door jamb where the slab meets the jamb or door stop when closed. The door gasket is used on exterior doors.
Door Hardware The latch, door knob, and striker plate.
Doorstop Trim attached to the JAMB which prevents a door slab from swinging past the jamb.
Dormer Projection from a sloped roof plane; usually contains a window or vent and provides additional interior space.
Double Bullnose (tile) Specialty trim piece with rounded corners on both sides. See cap mold, cove piece, and tile base.
Double Hung Window Window unit that may be opened by sliding the upper sash downward or the lower sash upward.
Double Pull A method for using the ladder to climb a lower roof section, then pulling the ladder onto the roof for use when climbing a second higher roof section.
Dowel Stick of wood or metal which fits into corresponding holes to attach two pieces of material together.
Downflow Furnace A furnace which forces air down and out the bottom.
Downspout Vertical pipe that carries water from the gutter, along the side of the structure to the ground or drainage system.
Drafter Person who translates the ideas provided to them by an architect or designer into accurate plans that may be used for construction.
Drain Field A series of pipes through which waste is released into the soil after it has been treated in the septic tank. The size of the drain field depends on the number of people being serviced by the system and the ability of the soil to absorb liquid.
Drip Edge Any edge that is shaped so that the water drips off of it onto the ground and not onto the part below.
Drip Loop A loop that is made in the drop wires just in front of the weather head. The drip loop prevents water from dripping down the wires and into the weather head.
Drop Siding Shiplap siding with special shaping on its face; for example, it may have a rounded face to look like logs.
Drop Wire Wire that connects the transformer to the structure. The drop wire for a residential structure usually contains a current carrying lead and a neutral.
Dry Looper Machine used in the manufacture of composition shingles that is designed to allow air to circulate around roofing material to dry the material.
Dry-in A term used to denote the stage of construction when the inside of the structure is protected from weather. Generally it is the point when all exterior doors and windows are in place and roof felt has been placed over the roof sheathing.
Drying Process used to remove moisture from lumber. The moisture content in the lumber is reduced to about the average amount it will maintain when used in building construction. After drying, many lumber mills seal the lumber with stain or wax to prevent them from absorbing moisture again. Surface drying and kiln drying are two methods used for drying lumber.
Drywall Wallboard Interior wall finish using mostly non-flammable materials. While drywall actually refers to any interior finish made from plaster or gypsum board, in common usage it usually refers to a finish made from gypsum board.
Duplex Semi-detached house Outlet An outlet with two ports.
Dutch Door Door that contains two half slabs mounted one above the other. Each slab is attached to the jamb with hinges and may swing independently of the other. Also known as a stable door.


Easement Piece of land, usually a narrow strip along the perimeter of the lot, that others have a right to use and access, typically for the placement of utilities.
Eave Horizontal roof edge off of which precipitation drips. This edge is extended beyond the exterior wall.
Edge grain shingles Shingeles made from lumber whose annual rings form at least a forty-five degree angle at the face.
Elastomeric roof system Stretchable single membrane roof system made from either plastic PVC or rubber EPDM.
Electrical circuit A group of outlets or other electrical devices that connect to a fuse box or breaker panel through a common lead.
Electrostatic filter Filter which magnetically attracts dust to its surface.
Elevation One of the five basic views found on a plan. Elevation is an eye-level view of a surface on the building.
Emergency board-up The process of securing a structure from weather and unwanted entry. Damaged doors and windows or other easily accessible openings are typically covered with plywood and opening in the roof are typically covered with plastic.
End-matched board End-matched boards have tongues and grooves along the sides and the ends.
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) Synthetic rubber material used to make elastomeric roof membranes.
Epoxy A two-part resin that, when mixed, forms a tight cross-linked polymer. Epoxy forms a hard, tough surface that is highly resistant to corrosion.
Epoxy finish Concrete finish made by spreading an epoxy adhesive over cured concrete, then aggregate is placed over the epoxy which glues the aggregate to the underlying concrete.
Epoxy injection technique The process of injecting epoxy resin into a concrete crack. A good epoxy joint is usually stronger than the concrete it replaces.
Equipment field Displays the totals for all equipment costs for the activity. You can edit this field if there are no Equipment (EQU) items already present in the Assembly Item Table.
Etched Glass Hardened glass which has been sandblasted or otherwise engraved to form a pattern or design in the glass.
European style cabinet door hinge A cabinet hinge which is mortised into the back of the door on one side and attached to the cabinet box on the other side. Once installed, it can be adjusted in a variety of directions. The European style cabinet door hinge was designed for use on the frameless style cabinets that were developed in Europe after World War II, but is also found on some higher quality framed style cabinets. Also called a six way adjustable hinge and a recessed hinge. See standard cabinet door hinge.
European wallpaper roll A roll of wallpaper that contains about 3 metres.
Evaporative cooler System which cools by drawing air through moist filters which transfers moisture into the air and cools the air. Evaporative coolers are effective only in regions with relatively low humidity.
Excavator Person who moves the soil out of the area where footings, foundations, or utility lines will be placed and backfills the soil around these parts once they are in place.
Exceptions menu On the Exceptions menu you can apply tax rules to specific line items under specific circumstances. You can also designate certain line items as being non-taxable. In order to create an exceptions list, you must first create exception items. Exception items are line items that are grouped together so that they can be taxed in the same way.
Expanded foam Foam which contains small beads with air voids around the beads. When used as insulation expanded foam should only be installed above grade.
Exposed aggregate finish Concrete finish in which the top layer or surface cream is removed to expose the aggregate beneath, or aggregate is pressed into the surface of the concrete after screeding is complete.
Extruded foam Foam which is smooth, with no beads or voids. Because extruded foam will not absorb water, it can be installed as insulation above or below grade.


Face (cabinet) The cabinet face frame, doors, and drawer fronts. See face frame and box.
Face frame A frame placed over the cabinet box against which the doors and drawers will rest. The face frame is made from vertical stiles and horizontal rails.
Face nailing To drive a nail into the face of the board so that it will be visible on the finished product. See also blind nailing.
Factory built fireplace A pre-built firebox assembly that includes a heat exchanger, air movement equipment, and the flue assembly. Also called a zero clearance fireplace.
False tread and riser Non-structural, decorative tread and riser assembly which is placed over the structural tread and riser when carpet will run down the center of a stair. False tread and risers are typically stain-grade wood which give the appearance of higher grade wood treads and risers at a lower cost.
Fascia Exterior horizontal trim piece that covers the vertical edge of the rafter tails. It can also be called the finish fascia because it is installed over the rough fascia.
Federal unemployment Referred to as Labor Burden Taxes, Worker's Comp, General and Pollution liability insurance, and fringe benefits.
Feeder Connects the meter base to the breaker panel(s) or fuse box(es.) Usually contains four cables that are twisted together.
Ferrule Used in compression fittings, the ferrule is a ring that slides over the top of a pipe. The ferrule is tapered on the top and is compressed between the fitting and a threaded nut.
Fiber and Cement Shingle Shingle made from a combination of wood fiber and Portland cement. fiber, and cement shingles can be made to resemble slate, tile, or wood.
Fiberglass Glass filaments which are formed by pulling or spinning molten glass into random lengths. Fiberglass does not easily burn.
Field total The amount of material, including waste, that will be required in the field in order to complete the job.
Fillet Small piece of decorative wood that fills the space between balusters in a bottom rail. See balustrade.
Final Inspection Review by the building inspector after the interior and exterior construction is complete, to check for any problems which may endanger the health or safety of the building occupants. In most areas a certificate indicating that the final inspection has been successfully completed is required before the home can be occupied.
Finger joint Joint which uses small tapered projections (fingers) which interlace to join two pieces of material.
Finish May refer to the plumbing, electrical, carpentry, or HVAC work that is visible when construction is complete.
Finish coat Final coat of any material on a surface. The third coat of common stucco is the finish coat and contains the texture and may contain the pigment. If the finish coat does not contain pigment, the surface of the stucco must be painted when dry. For stucco, see also scratch coat and brown coat.
Finish electrical Any electrical part that will be installed after the walls and ceiling are finished.
Finish nail A nail with a smaller shank for its length than other types of nails. The head on the finish nail is also smaller and able to sink below the surface of the wood. Finish nails are primarily used in finishing work.
Fire blocking Piece of material installed to block the spread of fire from one side of it into wood framing members on the other side. The fire is forced to burn through it before it can reach another part of the framing system.
Fire tape Process in which drywall is finished to provide fire protection only and not to provide a smooth finish wall. Firetaped drywall has tape embedded along all joints which are then covered with one additional layer of mud. Fasteners are also covered with mud.
Fire wall Wall which has been designed to resist the spread of fire. Fire walls in homes are typically required between the garage and living space. Fire walls are usually rated by the hours they are designed to resist the spread of fire. A typical residential firewall rating is one hour.
Firebox The interior of a fireplace system built of heat-resistant materials which contains the fire and radiates heat in the room. Can be made from a variety of materials including special Fire brick, prefabricated masonry panels or metal.
Fired brick Masonry unit made from clay that is formed and then baked at a high enough temperature to cause a partial melting or glazing on the surface. This glaze provides a seal which protects the brick from moisture.
Fish tape Flexible tape that is used to pull electrical wire through conduit. The fish tape is pushed through the conduit, the electrical wires are fastened to the end and pulled through the conduit.
Five-quarter Term used for exterior decking material. Refers to the one and one-quarter or "five-quarter" thickness of the material.
Fixed window Window unit that does not open. Also may be referred to as a picture window.
Flagstone Type of stone which splits easily into slabs known as flags and is commonly used on floors.
Flanges Parallel edges on a steel beam that are perpendicular to the center web of the beam.
Flashing Any piece of material, usually metal or plastic, installed to prevent water from penetrating into the structure around doors, windows, chimneys, and roof edges.
Flat grain shingles Shingles made from lumber whose annual rings form less than a forty-five degree angle at the face.
Flat paint Paint with the lowest reflective finish. Flat paint has little or no sheen.
Flat panel A flat, thin plywood panel used in a frame and panel cabinet door. See frame and panel cabinet door, slab cabinet door and raised panel.
Flat roof Roof style that appears flat but actually has a slight slope to allow drainage of precipitation.
Flat tiles Tile shingle with a flat surface. The surface of flat tiles often have a grain simulation and the sides are usually rabbeted and grooved.
Flat truss Roof or floor truss with horizontal top and bottom chords reinforced with diagonal members between them.
Flat-laid countertop Type of plastic laminate countertop with no integral backsplash, a flat smooth surface, and usually a square front edge. Flat-laid countertops can be fabricated in a shop or on site. See plastic laminate countertop and postformed countertop.
Flitch A large piece of lumber cut out of a log that is then sawn into boards or veneer strips.
Float Hand tool used to provide an even texture to concrete or plaster surfaces before they set.
Flood coat Heavy, smooth asphalt coating mopped over the cap sheet of a multiple ply membrane roof to provide a smooth surface. The flood coat must be protected from sun damage by painting it with a UV coat or by covering it with aggregate.
Flood plane structure Structure which sits atop columns which raise the main floor above the flood plane.
Floor plan One of the five basic views found on a plan. Also known as plan view. Floor plan is a view as though you are looking directly down on a building with the top removed so you can see the layout of the floor including walls and fixtures.
Floor system Includes the framing support members such as floor joists or floor trusses and the sheathing that provides the floor system surface. This is a structural part.
Floor truss May be used instead of regular joists or I-joists. Floor trusses are generally placed on wider centers, are deeper and more expensive than other joists. Floor trusses are designed to allow plumbing, electrical, and heating runs to be placed inside of them instead of below them like is often required in other joists.
Flue Pipe that is sized, insulated, and positioned to carry combustible gases up and away from the structure.
Flue cap Cap placed on the top opening of the flue in such a way as to permit proper ventilation of the inner chambers of the flue pipe and at the same time prevent moisture or small animals from entering the flue.
Flush door slab Door with a flat, smooth face with no panels or decoration. Flush doors may have a solid core or a hollow core.
Flush tile Ceiling tiles that are flat with no embossed design or recessed edges.
Fluted casing Casing that contains a series of round called flutes along its length. Fluted casing is designed to look like fluted columns.
Fly rafter Gable rafter which is located under the overhang part of the roof sheathing on the gable end. It is not directly supported by the exterior wall. Also sometimes referred to as the barge rafter or barge board.
Foam foundation sill plate sealer Gable rafter which is located under the overhang part of the roof sheathing on the gable end. It is not directly supported by the exterior wall. Also sometimes referred to as the barge rafter or barge board.
Footing Base upon which the structure will stand, it rests on the soil. A footing ultimately supports all of the weight of the structure, it is a structural part.
Forced air system Heating system that uses a fan to push heated air through ducts to vents throughout the structure.
Formica Brand name of a common type of plastic laminate material. The term formica is often used in the industry when referring to plastic laminate. See plastic laminate countertop.
Foundation This structural part rests on the footing and supports the exterior walls and floor system. A foundation is usually constructed out of concrete, block or treated lumber.
Foundation sill plate Piece of lumber (usually redwood or treated) that is used between the foundation and the framing. It is attached to the foundation with anchor bolts.
Four way inspection Inspection of the rough-in of four trades including framing, plumbing, HVAC, electric. This inspection must be completed before the walls or ceilings are covered.
Fractured composition shingles A composition shingle that has been torn by the impact from a hailstone. The fractures often radiate out from the center of the hailstone impact in a spider web pattern. Also see bruised composition shingles and granular loss.
Frame and panel cabinet door A cabinet door which consists of a frame that surrounds a panel. The panel may be glass, a veneered plywood flat panel, or a solid wood raised panel. See slab cabinet door.
Framed style cabinets Cabinet style in which a face frame is attached to the cabinet box. See frameless style cabinets.
Framed to square Term to denote that the building framing has been completed to the point that it is ready for the roof system to be built.
Frameless style cabinets Cabinet style which has no face frame attached to the cabinet box. Often called a European style cabinet because it was developed in Europe during the reconstruction following World War II as an alternative to the more labor-intensive framed style cabinet. See framed style cabinet.
Framing tie Members which connect the bottoms of opposing rafters together to prevent them from moving outward. Ceiling joists are commonly used as framing ties.
Freezeless hose bibb A faucet designed to supply water to the outside of the structure without danger of freezing in cold temperatures. The faucet is located on the outside of the structure but the valve portion is located inside the heated structure.
Frieze board Horizontal trim piece installed at the top of the exterior wall, covering the joint between the soffit and the exterior wall. The frieze board is often ornately decorated.
Frost line The maximum depth that frost is expected to penetrate into the soil during the coldest part of winter.
FRV—Fair Rental Value Fair rental value coverage is insurance that pays the loss of rental income on rental property, minus expenses, when that rental income cannot continue because property rented to others or held for rental is damaged by a peril covered in the insurance policy.
Full backsplash Backsplash which runs from the countertop to the bottom of the upper cabinet. See backsplash and block backsplash.
Full basement structure A structure that has a basement level, the floor of which is usually positioned below ground level under the main level.
Full extension glide Hardware attached between a cabinet drawer and the cabinet box which allows the drawer to be pulled completely out of the cabinet box.
Full height cabinet Any cabinet that runs the full height from the floor to the level of the upper unit. See lower unit, vanity cabinet, and upper unit.
Furring strip Also called furr strips, they are often used on the interior of block or concrete walls. Furring strips can be made from either metal or wood. They are fastened to the walls, ceiling, or floor system generally for the purpose of providing a surface to which the ceiling or wall covering may be easily attached.


Gable end truss Truss used at the ends of a gable roof. It has vertical members which are spaced to allow convenient attachment of the exterior wall sheathing.
Gable roof Roof style consisting of two sides that slope in opposite directions down from the peak or ridge. The roof ends form an inverted V and are filled in with triangular shaped gable end walls.
Gable vent Vents placed in the gable ends of the roof. Gable vents facilitate the flow of air in the attic while protecting it from insects and the weather.
Gambrel roof Roof style consisting of two sides that meet at the ridge and slope in opposite directions. Each side has two sections, the lower section having a steeper slope than the upper section. The gambrel roof is often used on barns. Also known as a mansard roof.
Gambrel truss Truss used to make a gambrel roof, functions in the same way as a gable truss. Traditionally used in the U.S.
Gandy Tool which uses a screen to press the course aggregate downward while leaving the fine aggregate at the surface. Flat gandy is dropped lightly over the entire surface. Rolling gandy uses a screen shaped like a barrel and is rolled across the entire surface. Widely used in residential construction, its use is discouraged by many structural engineers because it can severely damage the concrete unless used skillfully.
Gang More than one switch installed in a single electrical box.
Gasket Soft pliable material used to prevent joint leakage.
Gauge Refers to the thickness of metal. A heavier gauge means that the metal is thicker but it is noted by a smaller number.
General category items Main line items that represent more specific line items that can be placed or associated within a category (i.e. Appliances, Cleaning, Doors, Electronics, Light Fixtures, Painting, Roofing, Siding etc.)
Geotechnical engineer Scientist who performs the necessary calculations to determine the types and sizes of footings which must be used to ensure safe and proper support of the building by the soil. Also called a Soils engineer.
Girder Large horizontal beam which may be used to provide structural support at specific bearing points along its length. A girder is held up in position by columns or a bearing wall.
Glazed tile Tile shingle with a color glaze compound put on its surface that produces a smooth and shiny face. Glazed clay tiles are baked. Glazed concrete tiles dry chemically. Glaze usually adds significantly to the cost of clay tiles, but adds only moderately or not at all to the cost of concrete tiles.
Glazed wall tile Tile which come in a variety of sizes but are usually about 100 x 100 mm and typically have a high gloss or matte glaze applied to the finish surface. See ceramic mosaic tile and quarry tile.
Glide Hardware attached between a cabinet drawer and the cabinet box which holds the drawer in a level position as the drawer is pulled out of and pushed into the cabinet box. See full extension glide.
Glue-lam beam Short for glue-laminated beam, it is made of several layers of dimensional lumber glued together so that the joints in each layer are overlapped by other layers to provide strength. Glue-lam beams always have a slight arch or bow called a camber. They are always installed so the camber is up.
Glue-up tile Roof tile that is glued into place. Glue up tile is usually 300 x 300 mm.
Goose neck A long, curving handrail piece that is used to step down and make a long vertical transition between handrail parts on a stair balustrade. See top rail, volute, one-quarter turn, and balustrade.
Grade beam Concrete beam that rests on grade (ie: on the soil) but is supported by piers or columns rather than the soil directly underneath. A grade beam may appear to be a footing or short foundation wall unless one inspects carefully enough to discover the connections to the top of the piers or columns underneath.
Grade stake Stake which is placed in the ground and marked at the point where the grade should be found once the building part is in place. Grade stakes are often placed and marked to indicate where the top of the concrete will be located once the pour is complete. Grade stakes used as a guide for establishing the final level of the concrete are usually pulled out and their holes filled with wet concrete once the wet concrete has been leveled at the proper grade.
Granular loss Granular loss occurs when mineral granules embedded in a composition shingle are loosened by the impact from a hailstone when the hailstone does not bruise or fracture the shingle. See fractured composition shingles and bruised composition shingles.
Grass cloth wallpaper Wall covering made of loosely woven vegetable fibers.
Greenfield conduit Type of flexible metal conduit.
Grid Molding that fits over a single pane to make it appear as if the window unit has many separate lights. Also see muntin.
Grommet Circular eyelet which reinforces a hole that has been punched into a piece of material.
Ground Electrical connection from a circuit or equipment to the ground.
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) Special electrical circuit which will immediately stop power from flowing through an outlet or electrical device if there is a hazardous event such as dropping an electrical device into water. All outlets in a bathroom should have GFCI protection. GFCIs can be built into an outlet or into a circuit breaker.
Ground wire Electrical conductor that leads to an electric connection at the earth.
Groundwater Water concentration below the surface of the ground. The level of this water in the soil is called the water table.
Grouping code A grouping code is a unique ID assigned to each object in the estimate. It can be used as a variable or it can be used in a calculation. Object names, by comparison, allow spaces and are not unique—meaning an estimate can have more than one object with same name.
Grout Mixture of cement, water and aggregate. The course aggregate in grout is always 6 mm in diameter or less. Grout is used to fill in the block cells which contain rebar. This holds the rebar joints in place and strengthens the block. The primary differences between mortar, grout, and concrete are the ratio of materials used and the size of the aggregate.
Gun nails Most modern framers use nail guns and rarely use a hammer. Gun nails come in strips or coils so they can be easily loaded in the nail gun. They usually have a hooded or "T" shape so the nails can fit closely together. See common nails, box nails and sinkers.
Gusset Plates fastened to the face of the truss to hold together members where they join.
Gutter Channel or trough positioned along the lower edge of the roof to catch and control roof water, directing it to the downspout. May be made of wood, metal, or plastic.
Gutter Brace A place where the gutter is attached to the structures fascia. On seamless aluminum gutter the gutter brace contains usually a large nail and the nail head can be seen on the face of the gutter.
Gypsum-based underlayment An underlayment made from fiber reinforced gypsum which is easy to cut and install and is highly resistant to indentation. See underlayment, particleboard underlayment, plywood underlayment, lauan plywood underlayment, cement board underlayment, and untempered hardboard underlayment.


Half Bond Course of brick in which the vertical joint between bricks is half-way across the length of the brick in the course below it. Also referred to as running bond and stretcher bond.
Half laced valley Pattern formed in the valley of a roof by overlapping the valley with shingles from one side of the valley and cutting shingles from the other side so they end at the center of the valley.
Halogen burner Electrical burner which instantly becomes hot when the burner is turned on. See ceran top and halogen burner.
Hand texture Any texture that is applied to drywall by hand, without the use of a machine. This include brush textures and hocl textures.
Hand-split and resawn shake Wood shake with a rough, split face and a sawn back.
Hand/feet rule A rule for safe use of a ladder. The hand/feet rule states that when climbing a ladder you should always have either one foot and two hands or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.
Haunch Extension out of a foundation wall used to support a concrete part such as a step.
Header Part of a weight-bearing system, a header is placed over an opening in the wall and distributes the weight supported by the members above it onto other parts which distribute the weight down to the footings. The header is usually supported by trimmers under each end.
Header jamb Specific name for the jamb found on the top of the inside of window and door openings.
Hearth Fireproof material in the area surrounding the front of the fireplace.
Heartwood Wood found at the center of the tree. Generally higher quality wood than sapwood, with less and tighter knots and more resistant to decay.
Heat blister Bubble which forms in the shingle when the asphaltic coating does not properly bond to the mat.
Heat exchanger Device which transfers heat from a source, such as a flame, to a conductor, such as air or water.
Heat line A distinct line left on walls by superheated smoke that was stopped at the ceiling. The bottom edge of this superheated smoke often leaves a line on the walls.
Heat pump system System which heats or cools the air by using refrigerant gas to either take heat out of the structure or bring heat into the structure.
Heating zone Room or group of rooms that is heated or cooled as a unit, usually controlled through a single thermostat.
Herringbone wood floor installation Installation where wood strips are installed in a zigzag pattern. See straight wood floor installation and diagonal wood floor sintallation.
High density urethane foam pad A urethane foam pad that looks much like a thin wrestling pad. Unlike most other types of pad, water can be extracted from high density urethane foam pads. See synthetic felt pad, waffle type sponge rubber pad, and rebond pad.
High gloss paint Paint with a highly reflective finish.
High-low range cooker A self-contained, usually freestanding unit which contains an oven below, with top burners and an upper oven which is often a microwave oven. See range cooker and restaurant style range cooker.
Hip External angle or convex intersection created at the joint of two roof planes. A regular hip roof has four hips, one from each corner of the exterior walls to the ridge.
Hip jack Type of jack rafter that runs from the hip rafter to the wall top plate.
Hip rafter Rafter which forms the hip line of the roof from the ridge to the outside corner of the exterior walls.
Hip roof Roof style with four sloping planes. Both the sides and ends of the hip roof slope down from the peak or ridge to the top of the exterior walls.
Hock texture Finish applied to drywall with a hock.
Hold-down Used to connect the outside of the framing to the foundation. The hold-downs are placed in the foundation while the concrete is still wet.
Holidays Bubbles resulting from the separation of plies in multiple ply membrane roofs due to improper installation. Holidays will break over time.
Home run The electrical lead that runs between the breaker panel or fuse box and the first outlet or device in an electrical circuit.
Honeycombing Flaw in a concrete wall finish indicating air pockets remained in the mix where the concrete failed to settle properly against the forms during the pour. These air pockets produce a result that resembles the pattern found in a honeycomb. Can be overcome by proper tamping and vibration of the concrete while it is in a highly plastic state.
Hopper window Window unit that opens by moving the top of the window sash inward. The bottom of the window sash is attached with hinges.
Hot mop insullation method Installation method where bonding materials are heated and mopped onto roofing materials to form a bond between layers, overlapping seams, or flashing. On modified bitumen roof systems, a method whereby SBS type modified bitumen roofing is adhered to the base sheet.
Humidifier Device which transfers moisture to the air.
Hurrican tie Manufactured metal bracket used to tie the roof truss to the top of the bearing wall.
Hurricane clips Fasteners which overlap the side of roofing tile, designed to keep the tiles in place even under hurricane-force winds.
HVAC Abbreviation for Heating / Ventilating and Air Conditioning.
Hydration The chemical process that occurs when water and cement combine to form the adhesive paste that holds the aggregate together and makes concrete harden. The correct mixture of water, cement, and temperature is needed for proper hydration to occur.
Hydraulic shock The instantaneous pressure caused when flowing water is stopped by a closed plumbing valve.
Hypotenuse The long side on a right triangle found opposite the 90 angle.


I-joist Wood beams that have top and bottom chords made out of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or dimensional lumber and the center web made out of either plywood or oriented strand board. I-joists are stronger than joists made out of dimensional lumber and can often span from basement wall to basement wall, although in most cases a center bearing wall is still required.
Ice-damming Condition that occurs when snow melts on the heated portion of an improperly ventilated roof. The water drips down to the unheated portion where it freezes into ice. Eventually the build up of ice will cause the roof to leak.
Identification The third of the six points of estimation, identification is where the estimator decides what an item is. For example, identification occurs when an estimator decides that a skirting board is 75 mm paint-grade skirting board.
Indoor-outdoor carpet Type of carpet that may be used in interior or exterior applications. Originally, indoor-outdoor carpet was made to imitate grass, but today it imitates many types of traditional interior carpet. See wool carpet, nylon carpet, berber carpet, sculptured carpet, and shag carpet.
Injected insulation Insulation that is injected into place. There are two types of injected insulation. The first is foam that is injected into holes and cracks through tubes. The second is insulation that is injected through mesh into a framing cavity.
Inside corner Corner formed where two walls meet at less than a 180 degree angle.
Inspection wizard The Inspection wizard flags anything in the estimate that does not meet the predefined criteria that has been established for a given profile. For example, flooring added to a room that exceeds the total square footage of the room is flagged as a violation, since this would fall under the Xactware rule of Excess. Depending on the Profile's Preferences settings, the inspection is Run on Complete and/or Run on Print. The inspection can also be run at any time within the estimate.
Insulated flue Flue consisting of an inner pipe and an outer pipe with the space between the two filled with heat-resistant insulation.
Insulation board Board used as a barrier against thermal or sound transmission. Insulation board may be made from fiber, pressed wood, or foam.
Insulation stop Material placed in the roof system to prevent insulation from falling through the space between the top of the exterior wall and the bottom of the roof sheathing.
Insurance carried/required Insurance Carried/Required is a ratio of insurance coverage to the value of the property insured. This field on the Loss Recap report, defaults to 1, which is correct unless the property is under-insured. This factor is calculated by dividing the insurance carried by the insurance required. For example, if an insurance policy requires 80% insurance to value (coinsurance) and, if a building were currently valued at $100,000, the Insurance Required for that building would be 80% of $100,000 or $80,000. If the Insurance Carried for the same building were only $60,000, you would calculate the Insurance Carried/Required ratio as follows: Insurance Carried ($60,000) ÷ Insurance Required ($80,000) = .75.
Integral drawer Type of drawer in which the face serves as the front piece of the drawer. The drawer sides attach directly to the drawer face. See attached drawer.
Interior plaster Plaster that is used as a wall or ceiling finish inside the structure.
Interlocking shingle Shingles with interlocking edges; designed so that the wind cannot lift them. The most common type of interlocking shingle is the T lock.
Interlocking siding Siding made from metal or vinyl with edges that interlock as the pieces are installed forming a weathertight seam.
Isolation membrane A protective layer of material which is installed between tile and a substrate. The isolation membrane protects tile from movement in the underlying systems absorbs water that penetrates the tile surface. A mortar bed and cement board are two types of isolation membranes. See thinset tile, mortar bed, and cement board.
ITEL ITEL is an independent third party that provides unbiased analysis of damaged materials. A sample of the flooring and/or siding is sent with an ITEL Request Form. After the sample is received, ITEL performs a detailed analysis to determine the pertinent material specifications so that an appropriate match can be found. This feature requires a customized profile.
Item codes Abbreviations of line items for purposes of grouping and separating.
Item definitions Displays specifically what this activity includes and what it excludes; also displays any notes relating to the item. Displays a graphic of the item.
Item sales tax Displays the tax type and rate for the selected item, as well as a breakdown of the sales tax total, the item price before tax and the taxed unit price.


Jack rafter Short rafter that runs either from the valley rafter to the ridge board or from the hip rafter to the wall top plate.
Jalousie window Window unit with numerous glass louvres that pivot simultaneously outward from the bottom.
Jamb Wood or metal parts around the top and sides of the inside of window and door openings. The window frame is made up of the jambs (side jambs and header jamb) and the window sill.
Joist hanger Metal part used to provide permanent support for joists and headers that do not rest on top of a bearing member.
Joists Parallel, horizontal framing members to which floor or ceiling boards are attached. Joists may be made from wood, steel, or concrete.
Junction box Box which protects splices in electrical wires and provides access. Switches, outlets, and boxes for light fixtures are junction boxes.


Kiln drying Lumber drying process where lumber is placed in a kiln or oven and heated until the excess moisture is removed. Kiln drying is about 10 times faster than surface drying.
King stud Full-length stud located at each end of the header and parallel to the trimmer. The King stud holds the header and the trimmer in position.
Knob and tube wiring Wiring system used before 1945. Two strands of copper wire are run along framing by connecting them to porcelain knobs and through framing inside porcelain tubes.
Knock down texture Any type of drywall texture which is flattened or smoothed. Texture may be knocked down when it is semi-dry with a drywall knife or it can be sanded after it is dry.
Kraft paper A heavy brown paper made of a sulfate pulp that is often used to face batt insulation. Kraft paper is not resistant to fire, so kraft-faced batt insulation must be covered with a fire-resistant material.


L flashing L-shaped flashing made from one continuous piece of metal.
L-v-l beam Laminated veneer lumber or micro-laminated beam, made from thin layers of wood, called veneers, that are glued together. The veneer segments may run either perpendicular or parallel to the load and they have no arch or camber.
Labor burden tax Labor burden is the cost of employing a worker. State and Federal Unemployment taxes, Pollution Liability, and FICA are examples of labor burden taxes. These taxes, along with their respective rates appear in the Burden Taxes menu of the Price List Editor.
Labor overhead Is intended to account for all additional costs incurred, and internal markups required by the employer to arrive at the billable hourly rate for the tradesperson. Some examples of costs that may be included in Labor Overhead are non-employee-owned tools, vehicle operational costs, uniforms, markup on material and labor, sub-contractor, O&P, etc.
Laced valley Interlocking pattern formed in the valley of a roof by overlapping shingles in alternating rows, making a basket-weave pattern.
Laminated shingle Most expensive type of composition shingle with laminated overlay strips which enhance the roof appearance. Laminated shingles may have an imprinted texture on their surface and may have from one to three laminated strips. Laminated shingles are commonly referred to as architectural or dimensional shingles.
Laminated square edge (countertop) Edge on a countertop which is made by covering the square front corner with plastic laminate. See plastic laminate countertop.
Lap siding Horizontal siding that is installed by overlapping the top edge of each course with the bottom edge of the course directly above it.
Laser level Tool used in building construction that projects a light beam out on a level plane for use as a reference in aligning objects so they are level (e.g. grade stakes).
Lath A wood, gypsum, or metal base over which plaster is spread.
Lauan plywood underlayment A plywood underlayment made from lauan wood. See underlayment, particleboard underlayment, plywood underlayment, cement board underlayment, gypsum-based underlayment, and untempered hardboard underlayment.
Laundry room pan Pan that is placed under a washer to catch water should the washer overflow. The pan may catch and hold the water or channel the water into a drain.
Layout board Board which has been marked to show the distance between each of the trusses, used while trusses are being installed to ensure they are positioned properly.
Lazy susan Type of specialty shelves which revolve.
Lead Electrical conductor.
Level When something is parallel to the surface of the earth, forming a line that would be the same as the surface of a liquid at that height. See plumb.
Level cut True horizontal cut, when a member is installed. The actual angle required for a level cut is determined by the slope of the member to be installed. A level cut is at right angles to the plumb cut.
Light Each individual opening in the window unit that holds a window pane.
Line item tags Line item tags give you the ability to append pieces of data to line items (including price list items and contents items). These tags don't have any effect on the default functions in the estimate; they are used to collect data such as a franchise number, a resource, a date, etc. (all line items are automatically tagged with the date that the line item is entered).
Linoleum A type of flooring made from ground cork and linseed oil. Although linoleum is no longer made in North America, it can still be imported from Europe. Many people outside the construction industry say linoleum when they mean vinyl. The two terms are not interchangeable.
Lintel Horizontal structural member above a door or window opening. Used to support the weight over the opening by distributing the weight to each side.
Live load Temporary weight that will be placed on the structural part, including things such as snow, people, and furniture.
Lookouts Members which extend out from the roof system to support the fly rafter.
Loop pile Carpet pile in which fibers are looped and both ends are attached to the carpet backing. See pile and cut pile.
Low E Membrane that is placed between double panes of glass to filter light coming through the window. Transfers more heat through the glass in the winter and blocks heat in the summer.
Low voltage wiring Wiring commonly used for television antennas, door bells, thermostats, intercoms, and some specialty lighting systems.
Low-profile water closet Water closet with a short tank which cannot usually be detached from the bowl. See water closet and turbo toilet.
Lower unit (cabinet) A cabinet unit that is designed to sit on the floor. Also called a base unit. See vanity cabinet, upper unit, and full height cabinet.


Machine texture Any texture that is applied to drywall using a machine.
Main disconnect A set of large switches or breakers which allow electricity to the structure to be turned off without removing the meter. On newer structures the main disconnect is located on the meter base.
Mansard roof Roof style with four sides similar to a hip roof but each side is divided into an upper and lower section, the lower section having a steeper slope than the upper section. Often, the center of the mansard roof consists of a flat roof.
Mantel Trim or shelf above and around the fireplace opening.
Market conditions If you adjust a unit price for an item, the difference between the price list amount and your adjusted unit price will be displayed in the Market Conditions field in this window. Market Conditions should not be used to make routine unit price adjustments. The concept of market conditions is intended to be used for short-term situations, such as catastrophes. In these cases, unit price levels are temporarily affected by shortages combined with high demand, but can be reasonably expected to revert to traditional levels when the situation has returned to normal.
Masking Important part of the painting process, done before the paint is applied. Masking involves placing tape on materials adjacent to the surface being painted to keep them clean. Typically masking is done on trim that will not be painted the same color as the wall.
Masonry Stonework or brickwork which is assembled by a mason.
Mass produced cabinets Milled cabinets that are built in large quantities and in standard sizes. They are sold in high volume through retailers. See built-in cabinets, milled cabinets, and custom cabinets.
Matching items List of items populated based off of key words used in the Search field used to find desired line item.
Material Displays the totals for all materials costs for the activity. The breakdown between Contractor Supplied and Non-Contractor Supplied material can be specified in the Price List Editor's Components window or entered directly if you are just adding the materials to an activity.
Material Identification An indicator such as a SKU number or Serial Number that uniquely identifies a particular material component or a third party analysis performed to identify a reliable material match.
MCM (Micro Circular Mills) American standard gauge unit of measure for wire sizes that are larger than four aught. Also see American standard gauge.
MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) Type of pressed fiberboard often used in cabinet building.
Measurements Dimensions (area, length, and width etc.) of line items, rooms and areas to be used for determining pricing and estimations for projects, rebuilds, remodels, etc.
Measuring tape A basic tool used to determine dimensions. A measuring tape has marks on it which make it possible to read dimensions with accuracy of up to 1/16th of an inch or more. Measuring tapes often have special marks at each 300 mm interval for easy location of 16-inch-on-center framing members.
Melamine A thin veneer of plastic which is usually bonded directly to the surface of medium density fiberboard (MDF). See plastic laminate.
Membrane Solid sheet of waterproof material that covers an entire roof area. The membrane is able to hold moisture for a short period of time until it drains off of the roof so it can be used on roofs with very slight slope.
Messenger cable On an overhead electrical drop, the messenger cable is one of the three intertwined cables in the drop wire which contains the neutral lead and carries the weight of the other leads.
Metal stirrup Used to connect a wood column or post to a concrete part. It holds the wood member securely while preventing the long grains of the wood from directly contacting the moist concrete. This keeps the moisture that collects on the concrete from being pulled into the wood by capillary action.
Meter base The base into which the power meter is attached.
Mill finish Surface finish found on aluminum when it is extruded at the mill.
Milled cabinets Cabinets built by a manufacturer in a cabinet mill. See built-in cabinets, custom cabinets, and mass produced cabinets.
Mineral fibers Material made from steel or copper slag. Mineral fibers do not burn easily and may be used as batt or blown-in-place insulation. A common type of mineral fiber insulation is called rock wool.
Minimum charges Minimum amount charged for repair in lieu of line item costs.
Miter joint Siding joint made by dividing the angle of the intersecting walls in half and then cutting the pieces of intersecting trim at that angle so that they fit together. Most commonly, a 90 degree angle is formed by cutting the intersecting members at 45 degree angles, then joining them together.
Modified bitumen roof system Single membrane roof system made from either asphalt or coal tar pitch with added plasticisers. Installation methods for modified bitumen systems include both hot mop and torch down.
Mono truss Truss that has only one slope so that its outline is a triangle. Generally installed to rest on an exterior wall and on an inside bearing wall or they will bear on the vertical member at the high end of the truss. Mono trusses may be used to form the outside portion of a mansard roof.
Monolithic pour Also called mono-pour, it means "one-pour." A monolithic pour includes the footings, foundation, and floor slab. They are all formed and then poured at the same time. Rebar is installed either before or during the placement of the wet concrete at the same positions it is found in other types of foundation/floor system construction where multiple pours are used.
Mortar Mixture of cement, aggregate and water which is placed between blocks or bricks to bond them together. The primary differences between mortar, grout, and concrete are the ratio of materials used and the size of the aggregate. No coarse aggregate such as gravel is used in mortar. Sand is used as the only aggregate.
Mortar bed A type of isolation membrane which is made by spreading a layer of mortar, usually between 12 mm to 40 mm thick, over the substrate. After the mortar bed dries, the tiles are attached. See thinset tile, isolation membrane, and cement board.
Mortise A recess cut into a surface to receive a tenon or lock.
Mullion Vertical part used to connect side-by-side window units. Not to be confused with muntins.
Multiple ply membrane Roof system with more than one layer. Multiple ply membrane roof systems are also called built-up roofs and hot tar roofs. They are usually made from roll roofing materials that are bonded together with asphalt. A three-ply roof has a base sheet, ply sheet, and cap sheet. A five-ply roof has a base sheet, three ply sheets, and a cap sheet. Hot tar (asphalttarmac) is used to bond the plies and make the roof water-tight.
Muntin Vertical or horizontal molding that divides the glass into separate lights. Also see grid and mullion.
Muriatic acid Commercial grade of hydrochloric acid used to clean mortar off stone and other masonry.


Nail gun See stud gun and pneumatic nailer.
Natural break A naturally occurring transition in a material. For example, on walls natural breaks occur at corners or where one material such as painted walls intersects another type of material such as wallpaper.
Net yield The actual labor productivity which is the result of factoring in assumed time for breaks, set-up, clean-up, etc. The net yield is achieved by applying a waste percentage supporting event factor to the direct yield.
Neutral conductor One of three electrical conductors provided to a residential structure. Is connected with one of the current carrying leads to provide 120 volt power.
Newel post Vertical anchor post at the top and bottom of a stair system as well as at other transition or anchor points to which the top and bottom rails are attached. See balustrade.
Non-bearing wall Any wall that does not support a load above it, also called a partition wall. The primary purpose of a non-bearing wall is to provide privacy. A non-bearing wall is a non-structural part.
Non-recoverable depreciation Non-recoverable depreciation is the amount of depreciation that will be permanently deducted from the amount the insured receives for the loss. Depreciation is the reduction in value of tangible property caused by physical deterioration or obsolescence. If a damaged carpet were to be replaced, depreciation would be higher for an older carpet that had nearly achieved its life expectancy.
Non-structural part Part of a building that is not essential for supporting a load or for keeping the structure intact.
None No value assigned.
Number The fourth of the six points of estimation, number is where the estimator calculates how many units of an item will be replaced. For example, number includes calculating things such as the cubic yards of concrete in a slab or the square feet of drywall on a ceiling.
Number one common oak grade Grade of oak strip flooring which may have bright spots of sap, pinworm holes, machine defects, streaky or inconsistent color, grain variations and a few knots. See select and better oak grade and number two common oak grade.
Number two common oak grade Grade of oak strip flooring which may have pronounced bright spots of sap, pinworm holes, machine defects, streaky or inconsistent color, grain variations, and knots. Some defects found in number two common oak grade are so severe that the installer will want to cut out some bad spots or even discard some severely flawed strips of wood. See select and better oak grade and number one common oak grade.
Nylon carpet A carpet made from man-made nylon fibers. See wool carpet, berber carpet, indoor-outdoor carpet, sculptured carpet, and shag carpet.


On center The distance between two parallel framing members measured from the center of one member to the center of the next. Typical wall framing is 12, 16, or 24 on centre.
One quarter bond Course of brick in which the vertical joint between bricks is one fourth of the way across the length of the brick in the course below it.
One third bond Course of brick in which the vertical joint between bricks is one third of the way across the length of the brick in the course below it.
One-call An agency which will mark the location of all utility easements on a lot, usually using stakes or painting lines. This service is not available in all areas and the name of the agency varies from state to state.
One-dimensional calculations Items that are simply counted or measured in just one direction. "Each" and "Lineal Feet" are examples of one-dimensional units of measure.
One-quarter turn A handrail piece that is used to turn a 90 degree corner. See top rail, volute, goose neck, and balustrade.
Open valley Method of flashing the valley of a roof in which the corrosion-resistant flashing material is left exposed while shingles from each side overlap the edges of the flashing.
Orange peel texture Finish applied to drywall with a machine that splatters mud onto the walls leaving a bumpy texture that is similar to the pattern on an orange peel.
Order of operations The mathematic rules which specify the order in which mathematic operations must be accomplished to produce the correct result. The order of operations is as follows: 1. Operations inside parenthesis 2. Squares and square roots 3. Multiplication and division 4. Addition and subtraction.
Organic shingles Composition shingles made with an organic mat.
Organization The second of the six points of estimation, organization is the method used to document the loss. Organization often begins with an accurate and detailed interior and exterior areas. The interior is organized by levels, such as the basement, main floor, and attic. Each level is then broken down into rooms. The estimate should usually start in the room and level where the damage point of origin is found. Other rooms are estimated in a clockwise (or counter-clockwise) direction from the first room. Center rooms and halls are estimated last. When all rooms in a level are complete the estimator moves to the next level and repeats the procedure, usually starting in the most heavily damaged room.
Oriented strand board (osb) Type of wood product used for sheathing, it is produced by gluing together three layers of wood chips or strands that are smaller than the chips used in waferboard and are longer than they are wide. The chips in the top and bottom layers are parallel to the length of the panel and the chips in the center layer are perpendicular.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Federally funded agency in the Department of Labor which seeks to develop job safety and health standards.
Outside corner Corner formed where two walls meet at more than a 180 degree angle.
Overhang Horizontal distance that an eave or rake extends beyond the exterior wall of the structure.
Overhead & Profit (O&P) Overhead and Profit (O&P) are the terms used together to represent the expenses not charged (attributed) directly to the work being performed (O) and the added cost of profit (P) of a project.
Overhead door Door commonly found on garages, mounted in a track or frame enabling it to move above the opening when in the open position. See also up and over door.
Overlap joint Siding joint made by placing the edge of a piece of siding over a previously installed piece of siding.
Overlapping seam Waterproof seam created by placing the edge of one long side of a metal roofing panel over the long edge of the panel adjacent to it. A gasket may be placed along the seam.
Overlaying shingles The process of laying a new layer of shingles on top of an old layer of shingles. Overlaying shingles can make a roof more susceptible to hail damage.
Overspray Fine particles of paint that are carried in the air from the paint sprayer. These particles may then land on other surfaces which are not intended to be painted.


P Trap A plumbing part—shaped like the letter P—that holds water inside which traps sewer gases in the line and prevents them from entering the structure.
Paint grade material Trim material which has flaws or joints that will be hidden if the material is painted.
Paint sprayer High pressure paint pump that sprays paint through a sprayer tip or nozzle onto the surface. The two types of paint sprayers are air powered and airless.
Pan tile U-shaped roofing tile that forms the troughs in a barrel tile roof.
Paper burns Tiny fibers that are raised in the drywall surface when sanded excessively.
Parallelogram A 4-sided shape in which the diagonals drawn from opposite corners are not equal and opposite sides are parallel to each other.
Parapet wall Often found around flat roof systems, a parapet wall is a low wall around the perimeter of the roof which rises above the roof deck.
Parquet flooring Wood floor which consists of small pieces of wood that are arranged into a specific design. Parquet flooring is generally made from pre-manufactured interlocking blocks. See plank flooring, strip flooring, and plug-and-plank flooring.
Particleboard underlayment An underlayment made from small wood chips or particles which are glued together. Particleboard is the most common type of vinyl floor underlayment. See underlayment, plywood underlayment, lauan plywood underlayment, cement board underlayment, gypsum-based underlayment, and untemplered hardboard underlayment.
Partition wall Also called a non-bearing wall, a partition wall is any wall that does not support a load above it. Its primary purpose is to provide privacy, it is a non-structural part.
Passage hardware Interior door hardware which does not lock. See privacy hardware.
Pattern layer (vinyl flooring) One of three layers of material typically found in vinyl floor covering. The pattern layer is the inner foam layer which is sandwiched between the backing and the wear layer. See wear layer and backing layer.
Pattern rafter Rafter used as a guide for making all other common rafters.
Paver Any tile or masonry unit that can be used as a surface upon which one may drive or walk.
Pb (polybutylene) A type of plastic plumbing pipe made from polybutylene or PB.
Pb manifold system A system which distributes hot and cold water to individual plumbing fixtures from a single panel of valves.
Pea gravel Aggregate or stones roughly the size of peas.
Peak Highest part of the roof where the roof planes meet, also called the ridge.
Penny A measurement of nail size, usually indicated by a "d." For example, 2d indicates a 2 penny nail. The higher the number of pennies the longer the nail. A 2d nail is 25 mm long and a 60d nail is 150 mm long. The most common framing nail is 16d which is 90 mm long. See common nails, gun nails, box nails, and sinkers.
Percolation General movement of liquid through soil.
Perimeter The measurement around the outside of an object. The Perimeter of a rectangle or triangle is the sum of the lengths of its sides. On a circle the perimeter is also referred to as the circumference, and is calculated by multiplying pi (3.14) times the diameter.
Perimeter backing A type of backing used on some types of specialty vinyl floor covering which should be installed with adhesive placed around the perimeter of the room only. Trowel marks in the adhesive will often show through vinyls with perimeter backing. See backing layer.
Perimeter drain Drain line that runs around the perimeter of the structure. Usually constructed from pipe that is perforated so that water can seep into it and then be carried away. The drain pipe is usually buried in washed, course aggregate or crushed rock, and covered by a silt barrier. Designed to drain off ground water before it can overcome the foundation dampproofing system.
Perspective The first of the six points of estimation, perspective is where the estimator gains an understanding of the loss and decides where and how to proceed. Perspective includes such things as determining the type of structure, learning what caused the damage, noting subrogation issues, locating the damage point of origin, taking photos, and developing a theory of the total effect of the damaging event.
Pi A mathematical constant used in many calculations involving circles. PI is equal to 3.141596... but is often rounded to 3.14.
Pier Vertical column that provides support for a large load. The sizes and numbers of piers are determined by a structural engineer. The base of the pier is usually sized so that it is large enough to act as a footing.
Pier and grade beam structure Structure utilizing piers and grade beams to lower the footings down to a level where they will rest on bedrock or stable soil. This type of construction is commonly used on steep hillsides. The piers act like cleats to hold the structure on the hillside and the grade beams rest on the piers to support the structure.
Pile Carpet fibers which have been attached to a carpet backing. See loop pile and cut pile.
Pipe dope Compound placed on threads that helps to seal threaded pipe joints.
Pipe flashing Flashing that is placed around any pipe that penetrates the roof. A gasket-like sleeve fits around the pipe and its base slides under the upper shingle and over the lower shingle.
Pitch Expression of the angle of a rafter as a ratio of total rise over span.
Plain sawing A method of cutting boards from a log by sawing from one side of the log to the other. The grain in plain sawn boards can vary from a 45 degree angle to the face of the board to a grain that is almost parallel to the face of the board depending upon where the board was cut from the log. See quartersawing.
Plan A set of pictures of a building showing it from different views. A plan provides instruction for the construction of the building depicted.
Plan view Another name for floor plan.
Plank flooring Wood floor that contains wood strips that are over 83 mm wide. See strip flooring, parquet flooring, and plug-and-plank flooring.
Plaster Made from concrete, water and aggregate as are concrete, grout and mortar. It is mixed using sand as its aggregate, using no course aggregates such as gravel. It produces a hard, concrete-like surface. Plaster is often used as a finish coat on the exterior of a block wall.
Plastic laminate countertop Type of countertop in which plastic laminate veneer is glued over supporting material that is usually made from plywood or medium density fiberboard (MDF). In practice, many people refer to plastic laminate by the brand name formica. See solid surface countertop, solid plastic countertop, wood block countertop, cultured countertop, cultured marble countertop, stone countertop, and tile countertop.
Plasticisers Additive that increases the flexibility of a material. Examples of plasticisers include SBS and APP.
Plasticity Refers to the softness of concrete or how easy it is to mold and shape. Concrete that has a high plasticity flows easily and is easy to work with. When concrete loses its plasticity it becomes hard and can no longer be worked with.
Plate Horizontal framing member of the wall that is used to hold the studs in place, specifically called the bottom or top plate depending on its location.
Plate glass mirror Mirror made from high quality glass that can be up to 30 mm thick. A plate glass mirror can be glued directly to the wall, held in a frame that is hung on the wall, or held in place with plastic clips.
Plenum Main ducts that connect to the furnace.
Plot plan One of the five basic views found on a plan. Plot plan is a view as though you are looking directly down on the lot or plot of land showing the structure in place along with the lot boundaries and easements.
Plug-and-plank flooring Wood flooring which is installed by installing fasteners through the tops of boards. Holes for fasteners are pre-drilled along with a countersink hole. After the fasteners are tightened into place, the holes are filled with plugs which are usually sanded level with the finish floor. See plank flooring, strip flooring, and parquet flooring.
Plumb When something is exactly straight up and down. It is perpendicular to a level line.
Plumb cut True vertical cut when a member is installed. The actual angle required for a plumb cut is determined by the slope of the member. A plumb cut is at right angles to the level cut.
Plumbing stack A vertical pipe in a waste system that extends from the underground drain line up through the roof. The plumbing stack provides a central collection point which carries waste to the sewer lateral.
Ply sheet Layer of built-up roofing sandwiched between the base sheet and the cap sheet. The more plies included in the multiple ply membrane roof system, the higher the quality.
Plywood Type of wood product used for sheathing, it is produced by gluing together several thin layers or veneers of wood. Each layer is called a ply. The grain of each ply runs perpendicular to the next ply. There is an odd number of plys so that the exposed surface grain on both sides runs in the same direction.
Plywood underlayment An underlayment made from plywood that has been specially manufactured for use as a vinyl floor underlayment. See underlayment, particleboard underlayment, lauan plywood underlayment, cement board underlayment, gypsum-based underlayment, and untempered hardboard underlayment.
Pneumatic nailer Tool which uses compressed air to drive a nail, usually into wood, but can drive special nails into hard surfaces like concrete.
Pocket door Sliding door which rolls on a track and opens into a cavity in the wall.
Point of origin The point from which the damage began. For example, in a fire the point of origin is where the fire started.
Polyvinyl acetate (pva) Water-based primer commonly used on drywall. When used on wood PVA can cause raised grains.
Popcorn texture Finish applied to drywall ceilings that contains large clumps of texturing material that leave a heavy texture, similar to popcorn or cottage cheese. Also called acoustic texture or cottage cheese texture.
Post and beam structure Foundation system or building support system made from posts and beams. Diagonal supports are often installed to help keep the posts vertical.
Post-formed countertop Type of plastic laminate countertop that includes an integral rolled backsplash and a rolled front edge. Postformed countertops are fabricated in a shop. See plastic laminate countertop and flat-laid countertop.
Poured-in insulation Loose insulation which comes in bags and is poured into place. Most commonly used to fill cavities in masonry walls.
Power roller Paint roller with a pump unit attached to bring the paint onto the roller so it can be spread evenly on the surface.
Power vent Electric fan in the vent is turned on by a thermostat to pull the air through the attic space. May be placed inside a vent placed on the roof deck or inside a gable vent.
PPFA (Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association) An association which produces standards and methods for joining and installing plastic pipes and fittings.
Pre-hung door Door unit which comes with the jamb assembled, door stop in place, and the slab connected to the jamb with hinges.
Pre-pasted wallpaper Wallpaper with adhesive that was applied to the paper then dehydrated. Pre-pasted wallpaper can be attached by dipping it into water and then placing it on the wall. In practice, many installers will apply a thin layer of paste.
Pressure tank Used with a water pump to provide pressure in plumbing lines when the pump is not running. The pressure tank contains water and air. As water is pumped into the pressure tank the air compresses. When a faucet is opened the air pressure in the tank pushes the water through the lines. When pressure drops below a preset limit the pump turns on. When the pressure in the tank reaches a preset high level the pump turns off.
Pressure-treated lumber Lumber which has had chemicals forced into it by pressure to make it more resistant to moisture-related rot.
Pressurized irrigation water Water that is not fit for human consumption but is provided to a structure for use as irrigation water for plants and lawns.
Price note When you are entering price list items into an estimate and the pricing information for a line item isn't immediately available, you can enter a price note to replace the price. For example, if your estimate contains a custom-made item for which you have not yet received a bid, you can add the price note "Bid Pending."
Price list A price list contains commonly used items and their associated costs, from which an estimator can select when creating an estimate. In Xactimate, you can create and store as many price lists as they want in order to cover different jobs and geographical areas. Xactware researches and publishes separate, localized price lists for nearly 500 individual markets in North America, with costs based on local and regional material, labor, equipment, and unit cost information, as surveyed from suppliers who service each individual market. Published price lists can be used and edited to fit a company's needs. During the estimating process in Xactimate, users can use a published price list cost for items, or can choose to enter line item costs for individual tasks, summarized costs for each phase of the job, or the total job price as miscellaneous items.
Price List Audit Report On the Price List Audit Report you can compare a modified price list with it's original. A modified price list is a price list that has been changed, duplicated, or created via Compare/Merge.
Price List Editor The Price List Editor allows you to view, edit, duplicate and delete items in non-read-only price lists.
Price List Filter The Price List Filter Editor lets you create and/or edit a price list filter, which you can then use to filter out price list items that you don't want to see when scoping your estimate(s).
Price List Merge Wizard With the Compare/Merge Price List Wizard you can evaluate the differences between two price lists as you combine (merge) them. This would be helpful, for example, if you have customized some aspects of a price list according to your specific needs and then receive a new version of that list with updated pricing data. In the information windows you can modify the Source price of a selected component prior to merging it into the Target price list in the Compare/Merge Price Lists Wizard.
Price List Supporting Events The Price List Editor Supporting Events menu displays indirect activities (such as waste) that are used by price list items, along with a list of all items that use the selected supporting event. For instance, the supporting event FCRLINO (linoleum floor waste due to handling, cutting and fitting) is used in both price list item FCRLINO (Linoleum floor covering sheet goods) and FCRRUB (Rubberized floor surface—glued sheets, poured or rolled).
Pricing Numerical amount(s) individually and holistically of line items, materials, equipment and labor of a given project(s).
Primer First coat of paint applied to a surface in order to seal the surface and provide a good base to which the paint may adhere.
Privacy hardware Interior door hardware which locks. See passage hardware.
Profile manager With the release of Multiple License Versions by Xactware, certain carriers approve specific versions of Xactimate for use with their profiles. The Profile Version Manager allows you to view the version to which each profile is set.
Project Filter In the Project Filter/Search window you can temporarily filter out projects from the Projects List. This is helpful if you have a large number of active projects and need to find specific kinds of projects. For example, you can create a filter that displays only estimates that you personally created, temporarily removing the projects created by other Xactimate users.
Project Merge Wizard With the Project Merge Wizard you can create several, separate estimates for a single claim and then merge them into a one estimate prior to completing the claim. This is helpful when you want to assign several different adjusters to work on a claim that has many similar rooms, such as an apartment, flat or condo complex.
Project Preview pane The Project Preview pane appears by default in the upper right corner of the Control Center Dashboard window. It displays the lowest level of the sketch for the estimate highlighted in the Recent Projects List. The arrows at the bottom of the Project Preview pane allow you to view other levels of the sketch.
Project SmartList The Projects SmartList displays all current projects, regardless of status, type, profile, or user ID. The Projects SmartList allows you to quickly open existing projects, edit projects, create new projects, and view estimates or valuations. In the Project Information window you can view information about a project, rename or reassign a project, and modify and print notes.
Protected pattern A pattern left on a surface that was exposed to heat and smoke. Items on the surface, such as appliances and dishes, protect the areas they rest on from heat and smoke. When the surface is cleaned a pattern remains because the exposed areas discolor more than do the areas that were covered.
Psi Common abbreviation for pounds per square inch; unit of measure used to specify the strength of concrete.
Pull A handle used on drawers and cabinet doors.
Pulse system Furnace which produces heat through multiple explosions of gas.
Purlin Horizontal member that spans across adjacent rafters or beams, commonly installed to provide a fastening surface for the roofing material.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Type of plastic which is used to make elastomeric roof membranes as well as plumbing pipes and fittings, conduit, and fences.
Pythagorean theorem A mathematic relationship between sides of right triangles specifying that the length of the hypotenuse (longest side) squared equals the sum of the lengths of the other two sides squared. It is often expressed as: "a squared + b squared = c squared. " The theorem can be used to solve for any side of a right triangle where the lengths of the other two sides are known. To solve for side "a," use the formula "a = c - b." To solve for side "b," use the formula "b = c - a."


Quad outlet An outlet/electrical socket with four ports.
Quarry tile Type of tile that is generally used for interior floors or exterior pavers. Quarry tiles are generally between 9 mm and 51 mm thick and can be made from porcelain, slate, or natural clay. See ceramic mosaic tile and glazed wall tile.
Quartersawing A method of cutting boards from a log by sawing from the bark side of the log in toward the center axis of the log. Called quartersawing because logs are usually split into quarters before they are sawn. Quartersawn boards have a consistent grain that runs at a 45 to 90 degree angle to the face of the board. See plain sawing.
Quick copy With the Quick Copy option, you can create an exact replica of the estimate that you currently have opened.
Quoin Large stones, usually rectangular, used as decorative corners. Generally installed to protrude or recess from the structure.


Rabbet joint Siding joint made by thinning the edge of two boards to about half their width and then overlapping the two thinned edges.
Radiant heat Heat that travels in waves and increases the temperature of objects that it encounters. Examples of radiant heat systems include electric heat panels in ceilings, hot water tubes in floors, steam and hot water radiators, and fireplaces.
Radiator Heating device that transfers heat from water or steam running inside of it to the air and objects around it.
Radius A line extending from the center of a circle to the outside edge. It is equal to one-half the diameter of the circle.
Rafter Sloped roof framing member that supports the roof sheathing as well as live and dead loads that are placed on the roof.
Rail The side supports of a ladder into which the rungs attach.
Rail (cabinet) A horizontal member on the cabinet face frame. See stile.
Raised panel A solid wood panel used in a frame and panel cabinet door. The edges of the panel are shaped to a thin edge so the panel will fit into the slots in the surrounding frame. See frame and panel cabinet door, slab cabinet door and flat panel.
Raised panel door Door made from panels, usually framed and held in place by stiles and rails. Simulated raised panel doors are also made from pressed-wood fibers.
Rake Edge at the end of a sloping roof plane. For example, the roof edge at the top of the gable end wall is a rake.
Raked joint Mortar joint between courses of brick in which the mason uses a tool called a rake to remove the excess mortar to a uniform depth.
Range cooker A self-contained, usually freestanding unit which contains an oven and top burners. See high-low range and restaurant style range.
Rasp Coarse file used to smooth and shape wood.
RCV (Replacement Cost Value Reinstatement Value) RCV is the cost to purchase a new item to replace damaged or lost property, with no deduction for depreciation or obsolescence.
Ready-set tile Type of small mosaic tile which come pre-fastened to a mat. Ready-set tile are much faster to install than individual mosaic tile.
Rebar Common type of reinforcing steel used in concrete to increase the strength of the structural part. The number of a rebar refers to its diameter in 1/8 inches. For example, number 3 rebar is 3/8ths inch in diameter. Rebar is usually heavily ribbed so that when concrete hardens around these ribs the bar will be held firmly in place.
Rebond pad A urethane foam carpet pad made by gluing small pieces of foam together. See synthetic felt pad, waffle type sponge rubber pad, and high density urethane foam pad.
Recess-mount medicine cabinet Medicine cabinet which is recessed into the wall, usually between two studs. See surface-mount medicine cabinet.
Recoverable Recoverable depreciation is depreciation taken on a loss that the insured is entitled to recover upon completion of the restoration or replacement of the item. It is depreciation temporarily withheld until the job or task is completed.
Recoverable depreciation Recoverable depreciation is depreciation taken on a loss that the insured is entitled to recover upon completion of the restoration or replacement of the item. It is depreciation temporarily withheld until the job or task is completed.
Recycle bin The Projects recylce bin contains copies of your recent estimates. This allows you to refer back to earlier versions of the estimate if an error has been made. By default, the Recycle bin keeps back-up estimates for 7 days. Depending on your hard drive size or other factors, you can change this default to be shorter or longer. You can also change the default location in which Xactimate stores back-up estimates on your computer.
Red label shingles Shingles made from high-grade wood with some slight sapwood and very little flat grain. Most residential structures use red or blue label shingles.
Reference area You can place a reference area anywhere on a sketch, inside or outside of a room, to indicate the location of a detail that you want to show on the sketch. For example, you might use a reference block to show tiled or carpeted area of a room, such as a tiled entryway. The properties of a reference area can be edited.
Reference block You can place a reference block anywhere on a sketch, inside or outside of a room, to indicate the location of a detail that you want to show on the sketch. For example, you might use a reference block to show a patio slab. The properties of a reference block can be edited.
Reference line You can place a reference line anywhere on a sketch, inside or outside of a room to indicate the location of a detail that you want to show on the sketch. For example, you might use a reference line to show a cable the runs along the perimeter of a room. The properties of a reference line can be edited.
Reference point You can place a reference point anywhere on a sketch, inside or outside of a room to indicate the location of a detail that you want to show on the sketch. For example, you might use a reference point o show a light fixture in a room. The properties of a reference point can be edited.
Refrigerant gas Gas which expands as it absorbs heat and compresses as it gives off heat.
Reinforcing steel Steel which is buried in the concrete to provide added strength. Usually a reinforcing bar called rebar, it contributes substantially to the strength of the concrete structural part.
Release film Thin strip of plastic attached to the underside of composition shingles to prevent shingles from sticking together during shipment. When installed, the release film lines up with the sealant strip on the face of the shingle in the course below. When heated by the sun asphalt penetrates the release film and bonds to the sealant strip of the shingles in the underlying course.
Release powder Powder spread on the concrete surface before a concrete stamp is used. Prevents the concrete stamp from sticking to the concrete and adds a second color to the concrete.
Repairability The process of determining whether an item is repairable or should be replaced. If an item can be made to look and function the same as it did before the damaging event—at a cost that is less than replacement cost—it should be repaired. If not, it should be replaced.
Repairs Not Performed Repairs not done and either not included in the original estimate or indicated as not performed in subsequent estimates.
Repairs/Replacement Replacement material and repairs done as part of an estimate.
Replacement cost loss The amount of loss based on the cost of replacing the item or structure.
Restaurant style range A gas range that generally has six burners and two ovens. Some of the burners may be replaced with a griddle or fryer and one or both of the ovens may be convection. See range and high-low range.
Retail labor The labor component of a unit price (retail labor rate) is designed to reflect an assumed appropriate market rate a contractor will use when billing for time on an hourly basis, as opposed to the hourly wage actually paid to the worker.
Reverse Board and Batten Vertical siding in which narrow boards called battens are installed first with gaps between them. Wider boards are then installed over the gaps.
Ridge Highest part of the roof where the roof planes meet, also called the peak.
Ridge board Upper-most framing member on a roof to which the tops of the rafters are nailed. It is also sometimes called the ridge rafter or the ridge piece.
Ridge vent Vent placed along the ridge of the roof. It allows ventilation of the roof by raising the level of the ridge slightly leaving room for air flow. A filtration fabric placed in the side vents allows air to move through while preventing insects from entering.
Right triangle A three sided shape which includes a 90 degree angle between two of its sides.
Rimless sink Sink with edges that overlap the hole in the countertop. Rimless sinks are usually made of heavy materials such as cast iron.
Rimmed sink Sink with a rim that attaches to the edge of the sink and to the countertop.
Rise Vertical height of the roof as measured from the level of the wall top plate to the ridge board.
Riser Part of a stair that is placed vertically between two treads.
Rodding Tamping technique that involves pushing concrete around and under the window bucks and rebar using a push stick or rod.
Roll roofing Roofing material produced in rolls, made by saturating organic mat with asphalt or coal-tar pitch and embedding mineral granules on the surface exposed to the weather.
Roll tiles Tile shingles that use caps and pans that form a series of peaks and valleys on the finished roof. Roll tiles include barrel and s tiles.
Rolled type standing seam Standing seam roof in which the panels are placed next to each other with standing edges touching. The edges are then mechanically crimped to fasten and seal the seam.
Rolled wall covering Any wall covering that is provided in rolls. Examples include: fabric, vinyl, and paper.
Romex Common type of residential clustered wiring. Also see clustered wiring.
Roof deck Surface of the sheathing placed over the roof framing.
Roof diaphgram The entire roof system including rafters or trusses, bracing, sheathing, rough fascia, ridge boards, fasteners, and so forth. All elements of the roof system work together to form a diaphragm that resists wind and other forces and secures the top of exterior walls.
Roof drain Used with a roof membrane system, it fastens in to the roof deck and carries water into a drain pipe. It is usually covered with a strainer that filters out leaves and other debris that may clog the drain pipe.
Roof system This includes the roof framing, sheathing, trusses, and roofing material. It is a structural part because it helps to hold the bearing walls in place, resisting forces which attempt to move the walls such as wind and earthquakes.
Roofing felt Asphalt-saturated organic mat that is produced in rolls. Used as shingle or siding underlayment, or anywhere a moisture-resistant barrier is needed. Also called tar paper or organic felt.
Rosette A circular or oval decorative wood piece used at the termination of a stair rail into a wall.
Rough electrical Any electrical device or part that will be hidden by, or embedded in, the finish wall.
Rough fascia Horizontal member which is fastened to the vertical edge of the rafter tail or truss and which is later covered by the fascia. Also commonly referred to as the sub-fascia.
Rough level The initial process of placing wet, plastic, concrete at the approximate level desired. The final level is applied when the surface is finished to the desired texture later, after the concrete has lost some, but not all of its plasticity.
Rough-in Initial construction work that will be hidden by the wall and/or ceiling finish. Rough-in work for the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical trades is completed prior to covering the walls and ceilings. Completion of the rough-in usually means all parts which penetrate through the wall, floor and roof sheathing are in place. The rough-in work for these four trades is reviewed in the four-way inspection before the walls or ceilings are covered.
Rounding decimals A common practice in construction is to round numbers to the 2nd place after the decimal point. If the 3rd digit after the decimal point is five or higher, increase the 2nd digit after the decimal point by one; if the 3rd digit after the decimal point is four or lower, leave the 2nd digit as is.
Rounding dimensions When rounding, all dimensions should be rounded to the nearest inch rather than just some of them. Measurements ending with a fraction less than 1/2 inch should be rounded down to the next lower inch. Measurements ending with fraction of 1/2 inch or more should be rounded up to the next higher inch.
Rounding to a unit Rounding up a material quantity calculation so that a fractional portion is equal to a multiple of the amount contained in the smallest package in which the material may be purchased.
Router Power tool used to cut holes or openings into wood panels without the need to start at an edge. Also used to make decorative pattern cuts in wood.
Rowlock A course of brick laid on edge with their ends exposed.
Rubberized asphalt Shingle underlayment which adheres to the roof deck and seals around shingle nails driven through it during installation. Also referred to as bituthene, ice shield, or storm shield, it is placed on the roof where ice-damming may occur to prevent water that may pass through the shingles from damaging the structure.
Run Distance from the outer face of the exterior wall to the point directly below the ridge of the roof is the run of one side of the roof.
Rung A rod or bar that forms the step in a ladder. Rungs attach to the two side rails of the ladder.


S tile Tile with a serpentine "S" shape. Also commonly referred to as Spanish tile.
Saddle T Connection which is used to tap into existing water supply lines. The saddle T is clamped onto the pipe. When the valve is opened a drill-bit like point pierces the pipe and allows water into the saddle T and the pipe connected to it.
Sailor course Course of brick with each brick set vertically with the face, the long-wide side, of the brick exposed.
Sales tax base functions Labor refers to the total amount of all Labor items in the estimate. Material refers to the total amount of all Materials items in the estimate. Equipment refers to the total amount of all Equipment items in the estimate. Total refers to the total amount of the estimate. Overhead refers to the total amount of all overhead for the estimate. Profit refers to the total amount of all profit for the estimate.
Sales tax jurisdiction A sales tax jurisdiction consists of a combination of sales taxes that apply to a geographical region. These taxes, along with their respective rates appear in the Sales Taxes menu of the Price List Editor.
Sapwood Wood found near the surface of the tree, between the bark and the heartwood. Sapwood is lighter in color and less resistant to decay than heartwood.
Saw kerf Groove cut by a circular saw blade.
Saw kerf counterflashing Specially shaped counterflashing that is pressed into a saw kerf cut in masonry to prevent water penetration.
SBS (Styrene Butadine Styrene) Plasticiser used in the hot-mop type of modified bitumen roof systems.
Scissor truss Truss where the bottom chord is not horizontal, used where a sloped ceiling is desired in the inside of the building. The slope of the bottom chord is always less than the slope of the top chord.
Scratch coat Base coat of stucco. The purpose of the scratch coat is to cover the mesh or metal attached to the exterior wall and provide a surface to which successive coats may bond. See also brown coat and finish coat.
Screed Piece of wood or other material used to align newly poured concrete to reference marks established prior to the pour.
Sculptured carpet Type of premium carpet in which the carpet pile is cut in varying lengths to produce designs in the carpet. See wool carpet, nylon carpet, berber carpet, indoor-outdoor carpet, and shag carpet.
Scupper Opening in a parapet wall, usually several inches above the roof deck, that provides a secondary system for water to drain from a flat roof system if the roof drains fail. On some older structures scuppers are the primary roof drain system and are positioned right at the roof deck line.
Seal tab See sealant strip.
Sealant strip Strips of asphalt placed on the face of the shingle where they will be covered by shingles in the course above. The sealant strip aligns with the release film on the underside of the overlapping shingle.
Sealer A coat of paint that is designed to seal a stain so it doesn't leach through the paint. At the same time sealer provides a chemically ideal surface into which the finish paint coat can bond.
Sealer coat A finish coat applied to wood floors which protects the wood floor from being stained by any materials which may drop or spill on it.
Seamless gutter Aluminum gutter is often called "seamless gutter" because each straight section is made in one long piece with no soldered seams.
Section One of the five basic views found on a plan. A section is a view of the building as though it had been sliced through vertically and opened up so you could see what is inside. It may be thought of as a view showing a dissection of the building.
Security groups Security groups are sets of access rights that determine the program features available to each user. Concern about security can vary. Some organizations need to restrict access to certain features, while others allow full access.
Select and better oak grade Grade of oak strip flooring in which at least 50% of the wood is clear of defects except for a few small bright spots of sap. The other 50% may have pinworm holes, machine defects, and no more than one small tight knot for every three lineal feet of wood. See number one common oak grade and number two common oak grade.
Selector code The selector code identifies a particular item within that category or trade.
Self-cleaning oven An oven designed to clean materials that may have splashed or spilled inside by heating to such high temperatures that the material falls off the surfaces of the oven or can easily be brushed off. See continuous-cleaning oven and convection oven.
Self-tapping screw Type of screw, commonly used with light gauge metal, that has a drill-bit style tip that forms its own hole in the metal.
Semi-gloss paint Paint with a medium reflective finish. Semi-gloss paint has a higher sheen than flat paint, but a lower sheen than high gloss paint.
Septic tank Holding tank which treats waste with the help of bacteria and discharges clarified liquid into the soil through a drain field.
Serpentine seam (carpet) A carpet seam that is made by seaming two pieces of carpet that have been cut in meandering curved or S-shaped patterns. Serpentine seams are more time consuming and difficult to install than straight seams, but are believed to make the seam less visible. See straight seam.
Set back Distance from the property line to the foundation of the structure. Minimum set backs are established by local government to maintain desired appearance standards by keeping structures from being built too close to the edge of the property.
Sewer lateral Pipe which connects the structure to the city sewage system or septic tank.
Sewer stub or septic tank stub Short section of pipe connected to the main sewer line or septic tank and extending toward the home. It is designed so the drain line coming from the home can easily be connected to it. The footings on a full basement home should be positioned so that the stub is lower than the bottom of the footings. This ensures a downhill slope for a sewer line extending from under the footing out to the stub.
Shag carpet Carpet with a long pile. See wool carpet, nylon carpet, berber carpet, indoor-outdoor carpet, and sculptured carpet.
Shake felt Thirty pound roofing felt in rolls half as wide.
Shake roof Roof constructed from roofing material made from hand-split wood. Shakes come in three thicknesses: thin, medium, and heavy, and are usually made from cedar with relatively straight grain and free of knots. See also hand-split and resawn shake and tapersawn shake.
Shaper Machine with revolving cutters which is used to cut moldings and other irregular outlines.
Shear force Pressure required to break the attachment between two members, causing them to slide across each other. For example, if the nail attaching two panels is severed by shear force, the members will slide.
Shear panel Usually a plywood or oriented strand board sheet that covers the wall from the top plate to the bottom plate. When nailed in place, this sheet resists shear force applied to the wall which try to move it out of square.
Sheathing The covering placed over the top of floor joists, roof trusses, or on the exterior of the walls of a structure. Usually a lumber product such as plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), wafer board, or dimension lumber.
Shed roof Roof style that consists of a single plane that slopes in one direction.
Sheet siding Exterior finish material that comes in sheets, usually 2440 mm x 1220 mm or 1525 mm x 3050 mm.
Sheet stock Materials such as plywood and medium density fiberboard which come in sheets.
Shim Thin, tapered piece of wood used to adjust or fill the space between two building members such as the window and the rough framing.
Shingle Thin piece of roofing material made from wood, asphalt, fiberglass, slate, concrete, tile, or other materials. Shingles are attached to the roof in courses that overlap to provide water-proofing to sloping roofs by moving the water down and away from the structure.
Shingle tack coat On composition shingles, the shingle mat after it has been saturated with asphalt or coal tar pitch but before granules, talc, or other materials have been embedded into the surface.
Shiplap siding Horizontal siding which has been rabbeted on both long edges. A weathertight connection is formed when the rabbet joint on the upper piece overlaps the rabbet joint on the bottom piece.
Shovel footing Footing form that is typically made by thickening the concrete floor slab. Usually formed by using a shovel to trench the area to be filled by the shovel footing. They generally lie directly under the center bearing walls of a structure.
Shower pan Non-corrosive pan that covers the base of the shower and runs partway up the wall.
Side jamb Specific name for the jamb located on each side of the inside of window and door openings.
Siding Common exterior finish installed on walls to keep moisture and wind out of the building and to provide an attractive appearance. Siding may be made from wood, pressed wood byproducts, hardboard, vinyl, or metal.
Siding batten Long, narrow strip of trim commonly used to cover vertical joints on vertical exterior siding.
Sill piece Framing member that forms the bottom edge of the window opening.
Silt barrier Material placed over the course aggregate of a perimeter drain system which allows water to enter the drain system while preventing silt (ie: dirt) from filtering down and clogging the system.
Single hung window Window unit that opens by sliding the lower window sash up, over the fixed upper sash.
Single membrane Roof system with just one waterproof layer. The most common types of single membrane roofs are modified bitumen and elastomeric roof systems.
Single pane glass Window pane that has only one sheet of glass. See also thermal pane and triple pane.
Single wall flue Flue consisting of a single metal pipe.
Sinkers Teflon-coated common nails used to minimize splitting of the lumber because they are easier to hammer into the wood. Disapproved of by some engineers because the Teflon coating that allows them to slip into the wood more easily also may allow them to slip out of the wood more easily.
Six points of estimation A method for estimating a loss using six steps. Combining the first letter of each step spells the word points. The six points of estimation are perspective, organization, identification, number, technique, and supporting events.
Sizing Compound which holds wallpaper to the wall until it is wetted. When wetted it releases the wallpaper without damaging the wall.
Sketch In Sketch, you can draw accurate graphical representations of the rooms or buildings being estimated, similar to a floor plan. When you create a drawing in Sketch, variables are calculated to save time while scoping an estimate.
Sketch inspections window The Sketch Inspections window displays the issues found for the active level of your Sketch drawing.
Sketch levels Sketch tracks the level heights using an elevation system. The benchmark elevation that all other elevations are based on is the height of the top of the floor surface for the ground floor, which is set at 33.180 m. For example, the height of the top of the second floor is calculated at 33.18 m (based on an 2.4 m wall and the floor system on top of that wall measuring about 3 m). The height of the basement floor would normally be 27.78 m (calculated by deducting 2.7 m from the 33.18 m elevation assumed for the top of the ground floor). These figures can be adjusted if the wall heights are more or less than 2.4 m (2.7 m including the floor system).
Skirt Decorative trim, usually made from a wood board, that is installed on the wall below exposed stairs which trims the area around or just below the exposed ends of the treads and risers. See stair bracket and balustrade.
Slab cabinet door A cabinet door made from a single piece of material. A flush slab door is typically made from medium density fiberboard (MDF) or plywood and is either painted or covered with veneer. Sometimes decorative patterns are carved into its surface or decorative moldings are attached. See frame and panel cabinet door.
Slate Heavy metamorphic rock available in several different colors. Used in flooring, roofing, and wall panels. Roofing slate comes in a variety of colors classified as unfading or weathering. Unfading colors stay very close to their original color throughout their life. Weathering colors change as they age.
Sleeper Strip of wood, plywood, or any material which will isolate wood flooring from contact with a concrete floor. The most common sleepers are made from wood strips. Sleepers are placed over a concrete floor, then the wood flooring is nailed to the sleepers.
Sliding T-bevel Hand tool with an edge that can be adjusted and then locked into position to mark angles for specific layouts.
Sliding window Window unit that opens by sliding one window sash past another horizontally.
Slip matched veneer Veneer produced by sliding or slipping pieces of veneer next to each other. The grain of slip matched veneer appears to run along the entire surface. See veneer, whole piece veneer, book matched veneer, and unmatched veneer.
Slip sheet Light roofing paper or thin fabric which allows the PVC roof membrane to easily slip over the foam insulation without rubbing and suffering damage.
Slope Incline of the roof. Amount of rise for every twelve inches of run.
Slump block Masonry unit that is made by removing the forms before the concrete is completely dry. The concrete sags, or slumps, causing the block to have a rounded look. Slump block may be colored with a concrete dye admixture or by painting the surface of the block. Also called slump stone.
Smoke shelf Ledge in the masonry flue which prevents downdrafts and moisture from entering the firebox.
Smoothwall texture Drywall finish with no visible texture. To prevent flashing the entire surface is coated with a thin surface coat.
Snap type standing seam Standing seam roof in which the cap edge is snapped into place over the underlying edge to lock the edges in place and provide a water-tight seal.
Soffit Horizontal member that fills the gap between the exterior wall and the FASCIA.
Soils engineer Scientist who performs the necessary calculations to determine the types and sizes of footings which must be used to ensure safe and proper support of the building by the soil. Also called a Geotechnical engineer.
Soldier course Course of brick with each brick set vertically with the edge, the long-narrow side, of the brick exposed.
Solid plastic countertop Class of countertops made from plastic resins. Includes cultured countertops and solid surface countertops. Solid plastic materials are also used to make tub and shower surrounds. See plastic laminate countertop, solid surface countertop, wood block countertop, cultured countertop, cultured marble countertop, stone countertop, and tile countertop.
Solid surface countertop Countertop made from plastic resin. Solid surface materials are also used to make tub and shower surrounds. See plastic laminate countertop, solid plastic countertop, wood block countertop, cultured countertop, cultured marble countertop, stone countertop, and tile countertop.
Soot mapping A phenomenon that occurs when soot collects on a wall in a way that reveals or maps materials that are hidden in the wall finish such as drywall tape, the edges of drywall boards, and screws or nails.
Space saver microwave oven Microwave oven which attaches to the bottom of an upper cabinet unit and may have an integrated range hood.
Spaced sheathing Sheathing material that is installed to allow air to flow between it and in and around wood shingles installed on it. Spaced sheathing is used because it helps wood shingles last longer by keeping them uniformly dry.
Spalling Condition where the surface of the concrete flakes off. It can be caused by premature trowling, overworking the concrete, exposure to high heat or chemicals, or water penetrating the surface and freezing.
Span Horizontal distance covered by a roof from one exterior wall to the exterior wall directly opposite. On a typical roof, the span can be determined by adding together the run from both sides of the roof.
Spiral stair Stair system that winds in a circular pattern around a center supporting post. The treads in a spiral system are wedge-shaped.
Splice Location where two pieces of material are joined together.
Sponge texture Finish applied to drywall with a sponge.
Square A two-dimensional measurement of surface area equal to 100 square feet.
Square foot A two-dimensional calculation equal to the area of a square measuring one foot on each side.
Square yard A two-dimensional calculation equal to the area of a square measuring one yard on each side. There are 9 square feet in a square yard.
Squaring a wall Pulling the corners of the wall so that the diagonal distance from corner to corner is equal which means that the wall section forms a perfect rectangle. A wall is held in this shape by let-in-bracing or shear panels.
Stable door Door that contains two half slabs mounted one above the other. Each slab is attached to the jamb with hinges and may swing independently of the other. Also known as a dutch door.
Stack bond Course of brick in which each brick is directly over the brick in the course below it, making all the vertical joints form a line.
Stain-grade material Trim material which has few flaws and is suitable for use in materials that will be stained, leaving the grain exposed.
Stair bracket Decorative trim which is attached to the wall or skirt below each stair tread. See skirt and balustrade.
Stair clamps After the framer has determined the riser height and tread width, he or she marks these dimensions on the framing square by attaching stair clamps to each leg of the square. The framing square with the stair clamps attached is used to lay out the stringer. The framer places the framing square on the stringer board until the clamps touch the board, then traces the square.
Stair-step pattern Reference to the installation of several courses of shingles simultaneously with the lowest or bottom course extending further than the next course up and so forth. The result is a zig-zag or stair step outline.
Standard baseboard skirting and casing Standard baseboard skirting is usually 7 mm or 15 mm high. Standard casing is usually 9.5 mm.
Standard cabinet door hinge A cabinet hinge which is attached to the door on one side and to the cabinet stile on the other side. Standard cabinet door hinges usually cannot be adjusted once they are installed. See European style cabinet door hinge.
Standing seam Metal roof seam made by turning the long edges of the panels up and then over. The three common types of standing seams are rolled type, snap type, and batten type.
Starter course First row of shingles at the eave line. The starter course for composition shingles usually consists of shingles that are installed wrong side down or is made from rolled starter strip material. The starter course for wood shingles or shakes is usually made by sawing two to three inches off the length and installing the wood shingles or shakes right side down. The first course of wood shingles or shakes completely overlaps the starter course. The starter course for tiles is also the first course. Tiles are lifted or boosted at the front edge of the tile with a furring strip, bird stop, or booster tile.
Starter strip First row or course of material, especially in reference to roofing and siding. The starter strip of siding may be made from metal, wood, or a similar product and is installed under the bottom course.
Steel beam Two common types are the wide flange steel beams that look like the letter "H" laid sideways and beams that look like the capital letter "I".
Stepped flashing Short, L-shaped metal flashing often installed at the intersection of a wall or chimney and a sloped roof.
Stick A single piece of dimensional lumber.
Stile (cabinet) A vertical member on the cabinet face frame.
Stone countertop Countertop made from stone such as granite or marble. See plastic laminate countertop, solid surface countertop, solid plastic countertop, wood block countertop, cultured countertop, cultured marble countertop, and tile countertop.
Stool Member which forms the horizontal shelf at the bottom of the window.
Storm window Additional window unit, complete with a window pane installed in a window sash, installed over the original window unit to provide an extra layer of glass insulation.
Story pole Pole with lines on its surface that mark the height for each row of brick being laid.
Straight seam A carpet seam that is made by seaming two pieces of carpet that have been cut in a straight line. See serpentine seam.
Straight wood floor installation Installation where wood strips are installed in straight rows which are usually parallel to at least one of the walls. See diagonal wood floor installation and herringbone wood floor installation.
Stringer Part of a stair that is under the treads and risers to support them. There are at least two and usually three stringers for each stair.
Strip flooring Wood floor that contains wood strips that are 80 mm wide. See plank flooring, parquet flooring, and plugand-plank flooring.
Strippable wallpaper Wallpaper with a face that easily strips from the backing. Also called peelable wallpaper.
Structural damage Damage that affects the ability of a part or parts to hold and carry parts of the structure it was designed to hold and carry. Also see cosmetic damage.
Structural engineer Person trained to determine the material type, grade, size and placement requirements for safe construction of the structural parts used in a building.
Structural part Part of a building that is essential in supporting a load or keeping the structure intact. A structural part cannot be removed without weakening the structure.
Struts Member positioned between two other members to keep them a specific distance apart, giving them added strength.
Stubbed out Term used to describe leaving the end of a part exposed for easy connection later in the construction process. Rebar may be stubbed out of the footing for connection to the foundation concrete, or a short section of sewer line may be stubbed out from the septic tank or main sewer line for easy connection to the sewer lateral later in the construction process.
Stucco Hard, concrete-like surface used as an exterior finish.
Stucco sheathing Wall covering on which synthetic stucco is installed. Common materials used are foam board and exterior grade gypsum board.
Stud gun Tool which uses gunpowder contained in a .22 caliber cartridge to drive a nail into a hard surface like concrete.
Studs Vertical members in walls, usually placed 300 mm, 400 mm, or 600 mm on centre, that give the wall much of its strength.
Subcontractor Contractor who specializes in performing a specific building trade such as drywall, masonry, or painting. A subcontractor will often enter into a subcontract with a general contractor to perform specific work in the construction for an agreed upon price.
Substrate Surface or support onto which a finish surface is placed.
Supporting events The sixth of the six points of estimation, supporting events is where the estimator includes work that must be done on undamaged items that is required in order to fix damaged items. For example, if a countertop must be replaced, an undamaged sink must be detached and stored until the countertop has been replaced, then reset. Because it was not damaged, detaching and resetting the sink is a supporting event to the countertop replacement. (ie. for the highlighted assembly item.)
Surface drying Lumber drying process where lumber is allowed to remain exposed to the air long enough to allow it to lose its excess moisture. Lumber dried in this way is marked with an S-Dry stamp.
Surface-mount medicine cabinet Medicine cabinet which is attached to the surface of the wall. See recess-mount medicine cabinet.
Surfacing Name of the process when rough cut lumber is planed down to make the surfaces smooth. Sharp knives are run over the surface of the lumber cutting away 7 mm of the board. When lumber is surfaced on two sides it is called S-2-S and when it is surfaced on all 4 sides it is called S-4-S. Framing lumber is generally S-4-S. The resulting dimensions of the board are called nominal dimensions.
Suspended ceiling system Non-structural ceiling which is suspended from the structural ceiling with wires.
Symbols Found on plans, symbols are used to represent common objects such as doors and light switches.
Synthetic felt pad A carpet pad made from man-made felt which is highly resistant to tearing. See waffle type sponge rubber pad, rebond pad, and high density urethane foam pad.
Synthetic stucco Stucco that comes pre-mixed by the manufacturer. It is usually applied in two coats which are much thinner than common stucco. It is applied on stucco sheathing.


T & P valve Valve that releases water pressure when temperature and pressure exceed a preset limit.
T Lock shingle Most common type of interlocking shingle. Produces a basket-weave pattern by sliding the lower edge of the shingle into slots at the top of the downhill shingles.
T1-11 (texture 1-11) Sheets of wood siding, textured with a series of evenly spaced vertical grooves.
Tabbed shingle Common type of composition shingle. A tabbed shingle has from two to six tabs, but three is the most common number of tabs. Tabbed shingles may have an imprinted texture on their surface.
Talc Soft mineral used to finish areas of composition shingles that will not be exposed on the finish roof like the top of the shingle and the backside.
Tamping The process of pressing plastic material into a confined space using a bar or rod so that it compacts the material, removes air pockets, and causes it to mold completely to the shape of the space into which it is being pressed. Tamping concrete, which is also called rodding (because a rod is often used to do the tamping), causes the concrete to flow around rebar and under and around window bucks while removing the air pockets which cause honeycombing.
Taper siding Siding with one edge much wider than the other. The thicker edge may have a groove or rabbet cut out of it so that it fits snugly over the thin edge of the course of siding directly below it.
Tapersawn shake Wood shake that is resawn on both faces.
Technique The fifth of the six points of estimation, technique is where the estimator decides how a damaged item will be restored to its original condition. For example, technique is where an estimator decides whether an item should be repaired, replaced, cleaned, or painted.
Teflon tape Tape made from Teflon that helps to seal threaded pipe joints.
Tegular tile Ceiling tiles with recessed edges that allow the tile to hang below the ceiling grid.
Tempered glass Glass that is heated and then rapidly cooled, a process which makes it two to four times stronger than ordinary glass. Tempered glass must be used on tub or shower doors.
Tension Pulling or stretching force. Opposite of compression.
Termite shield Inorganic material placed between the concrete foundation and the lowest wood framing member. Shaped with downward sloping edges, it deters the entry of non-flying termites by forcing them to crawl over backwards to scale its edge.
Terne Material used to make metal roofing panels. Made from steel mixed with two per cent copper.
Terrazzo Type of stone flooring made from marble or other stone chips that are mixed in Portland cement, poured in place, allowed to dry, and then polished.
Thermal break Insulating layer located between the inside and outside parts of an aluminum window frame to block the flow of heat through the window frame.
Thermal pane glass Window pane with two sheets of glass and a spacer between them. Most common residential pane unit. See also single pane and triple pane.
Thermostat Automatic temperature device that turns on at one temperature and turns off at another.
Thinset tile Tile which are attached directly to a substrate such as drywall. See isolation membrane.
Three-dimensional calculations A process by which the number of three dimensional units (e.g. cubic yards) is determined for a given structural part. Three dimensional units of measure include all those that are measured in three directions (e.g. length, width, and height). Three-dimensional units of measure deal with volume. Examples are cubic feet, cubic yards and board feet.
Three-way switch Electrical switches used to control the same fixture from two different areas, such as two ends of a room.
Threshold Horizontal piece at the bottom of the door opening. When the door is closed, the threshold fills the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.
Throat Area at the top of the firebox between the face of the smoke shield and the top of the flue.
Tile base Specialty tile trim piece installed on a wall that covers the corner of a floor and the wall. See cap mold piece, cove piece, and double bullnose.
Tile countertop Countertop made from tiles that are glued to a substrate. See plastic laminate countertop, solid surface countertop, solid plastic countertop, wood block countertop, cultured countertop, cultured marble countertop, and stone countertop.
Tin-can stud Construction slang for a lighter-gauge metal stud.
Toe kick Bottom portion of a lower cabinet unit that is recessed to reduce damage from shoes and to and hide marring that occurs as shoes hit against the finished material.
Toe-nailing Nailing through one framing member at an angle into another framing member. Usually done to connect framing members that intersect at right angles and should involve having half of the nail in each member.
Ton Unit of measure used to indicate the amount of cooling an air conditioning unit provides. A ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs. An air conditioning unit in a typical home provides from one to five tons of cooling.
Tongue and groove Type of edge often found on materials to be used for sheathing, each panel has one long edge with a tongue and the other long edge with a corresponding groove. The tongue of one sheet will fit into the groove of the next sheet to form a seam or joint. This produces a much stronger joint than placing two square edges together.
Tool marks Marks left in material by the knives used to create the shape such as those in a shaper or molder.
Tooled joint Mortar joint between courses of brick in which the mason removes the excess mortar so that it is flush with the face of the brick. A tool is then used to shape the mortar.
Tooling Process of removing unwanted material from a finish carpentry joint through the use of a chisel, rasp or other sharp instrument.
Top chord Upper or top member of a truss.
Top chord bearing Flat trusses that are hung from their top chord.
Top rail Top hand rail used on a balustrade. The tops of balusters are attached into the underside of the top rail. See balustrade and bread loaf top rail.
Topping mud One of two types of drywall mud. Topping is used for final coats and contains less adhesive chemicals than does all purpose mud.
Touch down installation method Installation method where roofing materials are heated with a torch until the material liquifies and forms a bond between layers, overlapping seams, or flashing. On modified bitumen roof systems, a method whereby app type modified bitumen roofing is adhered to the base sheet.
Transformer Electrical device that converts the high voltage in power lines into a lower voltage that may be used by homes and businesses.
Trapezoid A 4-sided shape with only two parallel sides. Usually the parallel sides are the top and base.
Travelers Two leads that are connected between three-way switches which allow power to a fixture to be switched on or off from either switch.
Tread Part of a stair that supports your weight as you walk up it, also called the step.
Triangle A 3-sided shape. When one of the angles is a right angle, equal to 90, it is called a right triangle.
Trimmer (single or double) Vertical framing member (stud) that is trimmed to the height of a door or window so it fits between the bottom plate and the header. It actually holds up the header and transfers the weight that it supports to the bottom plate. The trimmer is held in place by the king stud. Usually, interior wall openings will have a single trimmer under each end of the header and exterior wall openings will have a double trimmer under each end of the header; if the opening spans more than 6 feet, a double trimmer is usually used.
Trimmer bit Type of router bit that contains a roller which guides the blades along a straight edge.
Triple pane glass Window pane using three sheets of glass for extra insulation. See also single pane and thermal pane.
Trowel Tool with a flat surface, used to finish the concrete surface. Usually the last tool used to smooth the concrete surface. Its use must be timed carefully. Should be used after the concrete has lost its weep moisture but before it loses all of its plasticity.
Trowel pattern finish Exterior concrete finishes which are created by skilled craftsmen when the concrete is ready to be troweled.
Truss Structural part used to provide the primary support for the floor or roof sheathing. A roof truss system, including the trusses, sheathing, bracing and fasteners also provides support for the tops of the exterior bearing walls.
Tube form Cylindrical tube made from compressed and resin impregnated paper and used to hold wet concrete until it cures. Also known by trade names such as Sonotube, Sleek Tube, and Smooth Tube.
Tuck carpet installation method Method of installing carpet on a stair in which the carpet is wrapped around the nose of the tread, is attached to the riser, and then to the inside edge of the tread below. See waterfall carpet installation method.
Turbine vent Vent which creates a vacuum in the attic by turning as the warm air escapes thereby pulling more air out.
Turbo toilet Specialty water closet that uses the water pressure from the plumbing lines to force water into the bowl. The turbo toilet uses less water than most other types of water closets. See low-profile water closet and water cloest.
Turtle Vent Vent positioned several feet below the ridge. Turtle vents have no moving parts, air is vented through them because it rises as it heats.
Two-dimensional calculations A process by which the number of two dimensional units (e.g. square feet) is determined for a given structural part. Two dimensional units of measure include all those that are measured in two directions. Determining the area of a surface that is measured in two dimensional units, such as square yards or square feet, is a typical two-dimensional calculation.
Type X drywall Drywall with a gypsum core which contains reinforcing fibers for added fire protection.


U-block Block which looks the same as a standard block from the front or back, but whose cells are open on the top so that grout can flow outward to the other block on each side. The U-block provides for placement of horizontal reinforcing steel and grout to form a bond beam within the course (i.e. layer) where it is used.
Ufer ground Type of ground where the ground wire is connected to the rebar system inside a footing and foundation system. Named after Thomas Ufer, the first person to specify it.
Under-slab utilities Heating, plumbing, electrical or other utilities which are placed under the floor slab. They are generally placed in trenches that are then covered with compactible fill before the concrete floor slab is poured.
Undercoursing shingles Shingles made from low quality wood with sapwood, flat grain, and possibly loose knots. Usually used under higher quality shingles since it will not waterproof a roof.
Underlayment Material that is installed over the substrate. Vinyl floor covering is attached to the underlayment. See particleboard underlayment, plywood underlayment, lauan plywood underlayment, cement board underlayment, gypsum-based underlayment, and untempered hardboard underlayment.
Unit of measure Each item quantity is expressed in terms of a two-letter code representing a standard unit of measure. For example, the default unit of measure for drywall is SF (square feet); the unit for light fixtures is EA (each); etc.
Unmatched veneer Strips of veneer placed according to the veneerers judgment of how the strips look together or with no regard to graining or pattern. Also called pleasing matched veneer. See veneer, whole piece veneer, book matched veneer, and slip matched veneer.
Untempered harboard underlayment An underlayment made from hardboard. Only untempered hardboard should be used. Tempered hardboard is not a suitable vinyl floor underlayment. See underlayment, particleboard underlayment, plywood underlayment, lauan plywood underlayment, cement board underlayment, and gypsum-based underlayment.
Up and over door Door commonly found on garages, mounted in a track or frame enabling it to move above the opening when in the open position. See also overhead door (commonly used in the U.S).
Upflow furnace Furnace which forces air up and out the top.
UPP—Unscheduled Personal Property UPP includes furniture, some appliances, clothing, kitchen utensils, and other household goods of almost every description. However, there are specific categories with limited coverage such as jewelry, furs, silver and money that must be insured separately.
Upper unit (cabinet) Any cabinet unit that is designed to hang on the wall, usually above a lower unit or appliance. See lower unit, vanity cabinet, and full height cabinet.
Usable wall space Any section of wall along which a piece of furniture or an appliance may be placed. Hallways are generally not considered usable wall space.


Valley Inside intersection created at the joint of two roof planes. It looks like a trough and channels water.
Valley flashing Flashing which lines the valley of a roof system. Valley flashing may be completely covered with shingles or left partially exposed.
Valley jack Type of jack rafter that runs from the valley rafter to the ridge board.
Valley rafter Rafter that runs along the valley, forming the valley line.
Vanity cabinet Type of lower unit cabinet that is designed to hold a bathroom sink. A standard vanity cabinet is slightly shorter than a standard lower unit. See lower unit, upper unit, and full height cabinet.
Vapor barrier Layer of material placed on the exterior of the structure to prevent moisture from penetrating the surface of the structure.
Veneer A thin surface layer, usually wood, which is glued to a base made from less expensive materials such as medium density fiberboard (MDF) or plywood. See whole piece veneer, book matched veneer, slip matched veneer, and unmatched veneer.
Vibration Technique that involves the use of a mechanical device to shake concrete so that it settles tightly around the rebar and window bucks and removes the large air pockets which otherwise cause honeycombing. Vibration causes the concrete to settle tightly and smoothly against the forms.
View A specific way of looking at a building, there are five basic views on a plan—elevation, floor plan, plot plan, section, and detail.
Vinyl cove Vinyl which wraps a short distance up the wall.
Vinyl faced wall covering Type of wall covering with a vinyl face that is strippable from a paper backing.
Volute A decorative, circular handrail piece used at the bottom of a stair top rail that is installed over a bull nose starting step. The newel post connects into the bottom of the volute. See top rail, goose neck, one-quarter turn, and balustrade.


Waferboard Type of wood product used for sheathing, it is produced by gluing large wood chips or "wafers" together that are at least 50 mm x 50 mm.
Waffle type sponge rubber pad A sponge rubber pad which has been shaped to a pattern of alternating bumps and dimples. See synthetic felt pad, rebond pad, and high density urethane foam pad.
Wainscot A section of wall covering material which starts at the bottom of the wall, then proceeds upward until it is interrupted by a visible border such as chair rail.
Walers Horizontal bracing, usually 2 x 4s, secured to concrete wall forms to stiffen them so they can be more easily straightened. After attaching the walers, the straightening is accomplished by placing a string parallel to the wall form, then moving the form into alignment with the string, and attaching bracing to hold the wall in position. The walers help hold the areas between the bracing in the straightened position.
Wall tie Used at the intersection of two walls to provide a backing for the end stud of the connecting wall. The two types of wall ties are corner ties and wall channels.
Waste Material that must be purchased but cannot be used. Waste can result from trimming, rejection because of defect or other efforts to maintain acceptable quality of the structural building part containing that material. A per cent of waste should be included in virtually all material calculations.
Water closet Plumbing fixture which flushes waste to a waste pipe. A water closet is also referred to as a toilet. See low-profile water closet and turbo toilet.
Water softener Device which removes minerals from water.
Water table Upper surface of groundwater.
Waterfall carpet installation method Method of installing carpet on a stair in which the carpet overlaps the edge of the tread and falls in a straight line to the inside edge of the tread below. See tuck carpet installation method.
Waterproofing Process of coating the part of the foundation system that will be below the soil level with a material that can withstand long term exposure to water. Not the same as dampproofing which can only withstand short term exposure to water.
Wear layer (vinyl flooring) One of three layers of material typically found in vinyl floor covering. The wear layer is the top layer. See pattern layer and backing layer.
Weather head Device that prevents moisture from entering into the top of the conduit.
Web Diagonal supporting members running between the top and bottom chords of a truss.
Weep holes Small openings in a masonry wall to allow water to drain through the masonry to the outside of the foundation wall. Weep holes may be filled with a fibrous material that allows water to drain out but prevents insects from entering.
Weep moisture Excess water contained in the concrete mix which is not needed for hydration. It escapes through all the surfaces of the concrete as the mixture settles and forces it out.
Weeping mortar Mortar between courses of brick that has not been troweled or otherwise smoothed after pressing the brick in place.
Welded wire mesh (wwm) Grid of heavy gauge wires welded together and used to reinforce concrete slabs. Also known as re-mesh or wire mesh.
Wet-set method Roof tile installation method used on roofs with less than a 7/12 slope and usually over a mineral faced hot-mopped underlayment. Mortar is used to hold the tiles in place. The tile is wet before installation so that the mortar will better bond to it. Most commonly used in the Southeastern United States where high winds and high moisture combine. Also referred to as mortar-set method or mud-on method.
Whole piece veneer A piece of veneer that is large enough to cover an entire surface. See veneer, book matched veneer, slip matched veneer, and unmatched veneer.
Wind locks Metal fastener inserted in the nail hole of a tile shingle and designed to overlap the lip of the next higher tile, providing additional means of holding it in place. Also called tile locks.
Window buck Special form for the basement window opening placed between the foundation wall forms to produce the window opening. Once the poured concrete is in place and has lost its plasticity, the window buck is removed leaving a properly sized and shaped opening for the window unit.
Window fin Part of the window unit that serves as the flashing when siding is installed over it.
Window pane Glass part of a window unit; each light in a window unit has a window pane.
Window sash Frame that holds the window pane.
Window sill Bottom horizontal member of the window frame.
Window stop Horizontal or vertical piece that prevents the window from falling out of the window frame. The window stop also forms the groove which the window slides in across the surface of the jamb.
Wire gauge Unit of measure used to indicate wire size. The thicker the wire, the larger the gauge number. Also see American standard gauge.
Wire nut Connector that cinches down on the ends of bare wire. The cinching action causes the wire to press together, making a good connection.
Wire reinforcement Metal reinforcing mesh placed inside the mortar joints along specified courses or rows of block to tie and reinforce the block. Like the bond beam, courses containing wire reinforcement within the mortar joint tie and reinforce the masonry wall horizontally. A structural engineer specifies which courses should contain the wire reinforcement.
Wood block countertop Countertop made from solid blocks of wood glued together. Although once common, wood block countertops are no longer popular because of their tendency to harbor germs. See plastic laminate countertop, solid surface countertop, solid plastic countertop, cultured countertop, cultured marble countertop, stone countertop, and tile countertop.
Wood edge (countertop) Edge on a countertop which is made by trimming the square front corner with a decorative strip of wood. See plastic laminate countertop.
Wood shingle roof Roof constructed from wood shingles that are sawn out of logs and are about 10 mm thick. Grades of wood shingles are blue label, red label, black label, and undercoursing.
Wool carpet A carpet made with natural wool fibers. See nylon carpet, berber carpet, indoor-outdoor carpet, scultured carpet, and shag carpet.
Worker's wage is the amount paid to the worker as an hourly rate.
Wythe Single, vertical masonry wall one unit thick. A double wythe wall is two units thick.



Yield See Direct yield and Net yield.


Z flashing Z shaped flashing placed so that its top is under the upper sheet and its bottom is over the lower sheet. Installed to prevent water from leaking into the structure.
Zero clearance fireplace Another term for factory built fireplace that is not used in Xactimate because the term is misleading. "Zero clearance" indicates that combustible materials can touch the assembly, when in reality no combustible materials should ever touch a factory built fireplace.
Zip code matching The Zip/Postal Code Price List Matching feature automates the process of selecting the correct price list for your estimates by automatically assigning a price list based on the zip/postal code of the primary address used in the estimate.

How Did We Do?

Powered by HelpDocs (opens in a new tab)