Glossary

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gable: The end of a building, as distinguished from the front or rear. The triangular end of an exterior wall from the level of the eaves to the ridge of a double-sloped roof. In house construction, the portion of the roof above the eave line of a double-sloped roof.

gable end: An end wall having a gable.

gable roof: A type of roof with sloping planes of the same pitch on each side of the ridge; having a gable at each end.

galvanize: To coat a metal with zinc by dipping it in molten zinc after cleaning.

gambrel roof: A type of roof whose slope is broken by an obtuse angle so that the lower slope is steeper than the upper slope; a double-sloped roof having two pitches.

gang-nail plate: A steel plate attached to both sides at each joint of a truss. Also called a fishplate and a gusset.

garbage: The animal and/or vegetable waste resulting from the preparation and/or consumption of food.

gas lateral: The trench or area in the yard where the gas line service is located, or the work of installing the gas service to a home.

gaskets: Pre-formed shapes, such as strips, grommets, etc., of rubber or rubber-like composition used to fill and seal a joint or opening either alone or in conjunction with a supplemental application of a sealant.

gate valve: A valve that allows the complete stopping of flow of liquid within a pipe without the ability to modulate the flow.

gauge: The thickness of sheet metal, wire, etc.

gauge board: Board used to carry grout needed to patch small jobs. Also called a spot board.

general contractor: A contractor responsible for all facets of construction of a building or renovation project. Also called a prime contractor.

general home inspection: A non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components (as delineated by applicable standards) that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work for such inspection may be modified by the client and inspector prior to the inspection process to exclude certain items normally inspected and/or to expand the inspection to include items not normally inspected. Also called a home inspection and a standard home inspection.

general home inspection report: Identifies, in written/electronic format, defects within specific systems and components (as delineated by applicable standards) that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. Such inspection reports may include photos, and additional comments and recommendations.

GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter; GFI): A special device that is intended for the protection of personnel by de-energizing a circuit, capable of opening the circuit when even a small amount of current is flowing through the grounding system.

GFRC (glass fiber-reinforced concrete): A thin, cementitious material that is laminated to plywood or other lightweight backing for use in wall systems that resembles concrete but generally does not perform as well.

girder: A main horizontal beam made of steel, reinforced steel or wood upon which floor joists rest and used to support other structural members or concentrated loads at isolated points along its length.

glass: A hard, brittle and typically transparent substance made by fusing silicates under high temperatures with soda, lime, etc., and used as panes in windows, lites in French doors and transoms, skylights, etc.

Glass-Base?: A roll-roofing product built on a fiberglass base sheet, constructed with a heavyweight TAMKO? fiberglass mat and coated with weathering-grade asphalt. Used as a base sheet in select TAMKO?-modified asphalt and fiberglass roofing systems and as an alternative to TAMKO? Type 43 Coated Base Sheet in any TAMKO? specification. Generically, hot asphalt applied or mechanically fastened.

Glass-Seal?: A three-tab, self-sealing TAMKO? fiberglass shingle roofing product with a traditional square-tab design. A thick layer of weathering-grade asphalt gives it extra waterproofing protection. These shingles are UL Class A fire-rated and backed by a 20-year limited warranty. Algae-resistant granules are optional.

glaze coat: In roofing, a light, uniform mopping of bitumen on exposed felts to protect them from the weather, pending completion of the job.

glazing: (1) A generic term used to describe an infill material, such as glass, panels, etc. (2) The process of installing an infill material into a prepared opening in windows, door panels, partitions, etc.

glazing bead: A strip surrounding the edge of the glass in a window or door that holds the glass in place.

glazing channel: A three-sided, U-shaped sash detail into which a glass product is installed and held in place.

globe valve: A valve in a pipe that allows the adjustment of the flow of liquid to any rate between fully on and fully off.

gloss: A paint or enamel that contains a relatively low proportion of pigment and dries to a sheen or luster.

gloss enamel: A finishing material made of varnish and pigments sufficient to provide opacity and color, but little or no pigment of low opacity. Such an enamel forms a hard coating with maximum smoothness of surface and a high degree of gloss.

glue-laminated beam: A structural beam composed of wood laminations (or lams) that are pressure-bonded with adhesives to attain a typical thickness of 1-1/2 inches, and looks like five or more 2x4s glued together. Also called glue-laminated lumber, Boise GLULAM®, and (generically) glulam.

GPF (gallons per flush): The unit of measurement by which the flow rate of toilets is measured and regulated. Current U.S. regulations permit a maximum of 1.6 GPF.

GPM (gallons per minute): The unit of measurement by which the flow rate of faucets and showerheads is measured and regulated.

grade: (1) An accepted level or standard, or a position in a scale of size, quality, etc., such as a grade of lumber. (2) The degree of inclination of a slope, road, or other surface. (3) The level at which the ground surface meets the foundation of a building.

grade beam: A foundation wall that is poured level with or just below the grade of the earth. An example is the area where an 8- or 16-foot overhead garage door block-out is located, or where a lower walk-out basement foundation wall is poured.

Grade MW: Moderate-weather grade of brick used for moderate resistance to freezing, such as that used for outdoor planters, etc.

Grade NW: No-weather grade of brick intended for use as a back-up or for interior masonry.

Grade SW: Severe-weather grade of brick intended for use where high resistance to freezing is desired.

graduated payment mortgage (GPM): A fixed-rate, fixed-schedule loan. It starts with lower payments than a level payment loan; payments rise annually, with the entire increase being used to reduce the outstanding balance. The increase in payments may enable the borrower to pay off a 30-year loan in 20 years or less.

grain: The direction, size, arrangement, appearance or quality of the fibers in wood.

granules: Mineral particles of a graded size that are embedded in the asphalt coating of shingles and roofing.

gravel: Loose fragments of rock in sizes varying from 1/8-inch to 1-3/4 inches used for surfacing built-up roofs.

grease: Animal fat, vegetable shortening and/or oil used in preparing food or resulting from cooking.

grid: The completed assembly of main and cross tees in a suspended ceiling system before the ceiling panels are installed. Also, the decorative slats or muntins installed between glass panels.

ground: Refers to electricity's habit of seeking the shortest route to earth. Neutral wires carry it there in all circuits. An additional grounding wire or the sheathing of a metal-clad cable or conduit protects against shock if the neutral leg is interrupted.

ground iron: The plumbing drain and waste lines that are installed beneath the basement floor. Cast iron is used in older homes and buildings, and black plastic pipe (ABS) is now widely used in new construction.

ground system: The connection of current-carrying neutral wire to the grounding terminal in the main switch which in turn is connected to a water pipe. The neutral wire is called the ground wire.

ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI; GFI): A special device that is intended for the protection of personnel by de-energizing a circuit, capable of opening the circuit when even a small amount of current is flowing through the grounding system.

grounded: Connected to earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.

grounded, effectively: Intentionally connected to earth through a ground connection or connections of sufficiently low impedance, and having sufficient current-carrying capacity to prevent the buildup of voltages that might otherwise result in undue hazards to connected equipment or personnel.

grounding electrode: A device that establishes an electrical connection to earth.

grounding rod: A conductive rod used to ground an electrical panel.

grounds: Guides consisting of narrow strips of wood or of wide sub-jambs at interior doorways used around openings and at the floor line to strike off plaster. They provide a level plaster line for installation of casing and other trim.

groundwater: Water from an aquifer or sub-surface water source.

grout, grouting: A hydrous, cement mortar whose consistency allows it to be placed or pumped into small joints and cavities between pieces of ceramic clay, slate, tile, etc., and various mortar mixes used in masonry work to fill them in order to make them solid, as well as in foundation work to fill voids in soils, usually injected through drilled holes.

gun consistency: Sealant formulated in a degree of viscosity suitable for application through the nozzle of a caulking gun.

gunnite: A construction material composed of cement, sand and/or crushed slag and water mixed together and forced through a cement gun by pneumatic pressure, used in the construction of swimming pools.

gusset: A flat wood, plywood or similar type of member that is fastened by nails, screws, bolts or adhesive to provide a connection at the intersection of wood members, commonly at the joints of wood trusses. Also called a gang-nail plate and a fishplate.

gutter: A trough made of metal, wood or other material installed at the eaves of a roof that is used to carry rainwater from the roof to the downspout.

gutter strap: A metal band used to support the gutter.

guy wire: A strong steel wire or cable strung from an anchor on the roof to any tall, slender projection for the purpose of support.

gypsum board: Drywall or wallboard used at the interior.

gypsum Keene's cement: Material used to obtain a smooth finish coat of plaster, for use over gypsum plastic base coats only in areas not subject to moisture. It is the hardest type of plaster.

gypsum plaster: Gypsum formulated with the addition of sand and water for use as a base coat plaster.