Home Building Glossary


To help you through some of the home buying and building processes we've provided some words and terms you'll hear frequently along the way. 


2 Month Visit

This visit occurs 2 months after the home is complete. During this visit the assigned warranty service member will review manufacturer suggested care of home components, revisit the warranty process and guidelines, and explain the procedure for requesting service.

11 Month Visit

This visit occurs 11 months after the home is completed. During this visit the assigned warranty service member will review the performance of various home components, revisit the warranty guidelines and timelines, and explain the procedure for requesting service.




Small, removable extension at the tip of a sink faucet that mixes streaming water with air to reduce splashing and conserve water.


The space between roof insulation and roof sheathing which allows for movement of air.


Soluble mineral salt or mixture capable of neutralizing acids

Anchor bolts

Bolts that secure a wooden sill plate to a concrete or masonry floor or wall

Architectural Design (Elevation)

This is the term for what the front of your home looks like. Most home plans are available with choices between several different elevations, meaning that although they are the same home plan they will look different from the front, with different roof lines, porch sizes, or placement of windows.




A decorative and protective wood molding positioned where the wall meets the floor


A structural member transversely supporting a load.


An inclined piece of framing lumber applied to wall or floor to stiffen the structure . Often used on walls as temporary bracing until framing has been completed.

Brick veneer

A facing of brick laid against and fastened to sheathing of a frame or tile wall.




Molding of various widths and thicknesses used to trim door and window openings at the jambs


a building joint  sealant used where two dissimilar materials are joined . Caulk should be renewed prior to any painting

Circuit breaker

A switching device located in the main electrical panel, that opens and closes electrical circuits and automatically shuts off electricity to a circuit should it become overloaded. Once the electrical load is reduced, the breaker switch can be turned back on to resume normal service


The conclusion of the loan transaction, which includes delivery of a deed, financial adjustments, the signing of notes and the disbursement of funds necessary to finalize the sale or loan transaction. Once the main office is notified of funding, the keys are released and can be picked up at the community sales office.

Closing Costs

Money paid by the borrower or the seller for various services provided in connection with the closing of a mortgage loan. This generally involves an origination fee, discount points, appraisal, credit report, title insurance, attorney's fees, survey and prepaid items such as taxes and insurance escrow payments.

Closing Documents

The documents which are signed at closing. These include: the Deed of Trust or Mortgage with attachments, Promissory Note, Truth-in-Lending Disclosing, and other documents related to the transaction.


An exterior unit that is part of the air conditioning system which expels heat into the outside

Conduit, electrical

A pipe, usually metal, in which insulated electrical wire is installed

Conventional Mortgage

A mortgage not insured or guaranteed by a federally insured program (such as FHA or VA).

Corner bead

An angled metal edging used to protect and form an edge where drywall panels meet at outside edges

Credit Report

A report by an independent credit bureau that lists the applicant's credit history and the credit rating as reported by the creditor. In addition, the credit bureau may perform some investigative functions and research of other public records.




The separation of the top piles or laminate from the base to which they are attached. In vanity and kitchen countertops , the warping or detachment of laminate material from the wood substrate


The loosening and/or removal of matted grass and leaves from existing lawns, which allows the grass to breathe and therefore promotes healthy growth.


A pipe, usually of metal, for carrying water from roof gutters.


Also known as gypsum board or sheetrock , these large sheets are attached to the wall studs and ceiling framing to construct the walls and ceiling of the home.



Earnest Money

A portion of the down payment delivered to the seller or an escrow agency by the purchaser of real estate with a purchase offer as evidence of good faith.


The margin or lower part of a roof projection over a wall.


A white powdery substance that can form on new block, brick, or stucco finishes . It is composed of water soluble salts that are present in masonry materials and that rise to the surface via water evaporation.



Face frame

The front of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, to which the hinged doors attach

Face nailing

Nailing through a finished , exposed surface so that the flat top of the nail head is still visible after nailing

Facia or Fascia

The exterior horizontal trim around rafters. Also positioned directly behind gutters and over gable trim boards

FHA (Federal Housing Administration)

A division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Its main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders against loss in the event of a foreclosure. It sets standards for construction and underwriting. FHA does not lend money, nor plan, nor construct housing.

Filler board

Cabinet grade wood used to fill gaps that occur between cabinets and wall openings


Sheet metal or other material used in roof and wall construction to protect a building from rain water penetrating the house structure


A vertical duct, constructed of sheet metal or clay, that channels smoke from a fireplace, or exhaust from a gas furnace out of the home.


A masonry section, usually concrete, in a rectangular form wider than the bottom of the foundation wall or pier it supports


The supporting portion of a structure below the first­ floor construction, or below grade, including the footings

Frame construction

A type of construction in which the structural parts are wood or depend upon a wood frame for support




Portion of the roof above the eave line of a double-sloped roof

Gabled louvers

A vent with louvers located at the peak of table ends.

Graphite lubricant

A finely powdered graphite used as a lubricant.

Ground fault circuit interrupter

A specialized electrical device that will interrupt electrical power where a weak electrical loss of ground occurs. Installed in areas where water may be present.


A white or colored plaster-like mortar compound used to fill spaces between ceramic tiles.




A heavy timber and/or concrete beam that spans open spaces in walls, over doors and windows, and provides support to structural members above it

Hip roof

A roof that rises by inclined planes from all four sides

Home site

The home site is the location of your new home; the property it will sit on.

Home Site Reservation

A homes site reservation allows you to put $1,000 to reserve a home site for up to 7 days.


In concrete, an open cell-like surface texture that occurs while pouring the concrete




Any material high in resistance to heat transmission that, when placed in the walls, ceilings, or floors of a structure, will reduce the rate of heat flow.

Inventory Home

When construction begins on a home but it has not been purchased yet, it is called an inventory home. These homes are designed by the community sales manager and include many of today's most popular home features. 




Side and head-lining of a doorway, window or other opening.


The horizontal supports used in constructing a floor.




An opening with a series of horizontal slats so arranged as to permit ventilation but to exclude rain, sunlight or vision.




Stone, brick, concrete, hollow-tile, concrete block, gypsum block or other similar building units or materials, or a combination of the same, bonded together with mortar to form a wall , pier, buttress or similar mass.

Master-planned Community

A suburban plan that includes homes and commercial, work, educational and community facilities.


Shaped strips of ornamental wood used around doors and windows. Also used for base molding, tile molding, as chair rails and for exterior area molding. Moldings finish the junction of different materials or shapes.


A legal instrument that conveys an interest in real property given as security for the payment of a debt. In some states, a Deed of Trust or Deed to Secure Debt is used in place of a mortgage.

Mortgage Insurance

Insurance which protects the lender against loss which could result from a mortgage default.



Nail pops

Nails that come loose from a stud and push joint compound up. Caused by normal wood shrinkage and settlement.

New Home Orientation 

This occurs 1 week prior to Home Delivery. The New Home Orientation is a scheduled meeting with the Homeowner facilitated by the assigned Superintendent  This meeting provides the Homeowner an opportunity to view their home prior to Home Delivery. Any corrective items identified by the Homeowner are documented and resolved prior to Home Delivery. Note: Since the home is to be 100% complete by Internal Acceptance, there should be no or few items identified.

New Home Presentation

During the new home presentation the final steps towards purchasing your home are achieved. Including finalizing your loan, and Payne Family Homes selling you the home.



You may choose other options beyond the standard features for your new home, and these features are in addition to the base price. Each home collection has a list of options, such as a specific type of appliance, flooring, or windows that you may select to create the perfect home for you




The collection of water on driveways, walkways , or lawns. Excessive ponding over time is indicative of grading problems.

Pre-Construction Meeting

The Pre Construction Meeting is a scheduled meeting with the Homeowner to introduce their superintendent after the color selection is finalized. The homeowner is educated on the construction process and expectations are set. Options and schedules are reviewed as well as lot orientation, set-backs, utility placement, easements, etc.

PDO (Pre-Drywall Orientation)

The PDO (Pre-Drywall Orientation) is a scheduled meeting with the Homeowner, your Field Manager, and your Orientation Rep to establish quality expectations. This will be the first introduction of the Orientation Rep to the Homeowner. The Field Manager will educate the Homeowner on the construction process to include a demonstration of behind the wall features combined with function and benefit. The Orientation Rep will explain the QPR (Quality Performance Review) process.

Purchase and Sales Agreement

A written agreement between competent parties stating terms and conditions of a sale for mortgage loan purposes on real estate.



Quality Inspection

This occurs a few days prior to the New Home Orientation. The Quality Inspection is conducted by the Project Manager. The Manager will conduct a review of the home and sign an internal document representing that the home is 100% complete and ready for the New Home Orientation. If one or both Managers feel that the house is not 100% complete, the homeowner will be notified of a rescheduled New Home Orientation date.




One of a series of structural members of a roof designed to support roof loads. When/where stick framed

Resilient flooring

Vinyl flooring used in areas such as kitchens, halls, bathrooms and laundry rooms. It is capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation.

Ridge vent

An open vent system located along roof trusses/ peaks, which in conjunction with soffit vents , creates ventilation through the passage of natural air.

Roof sheathing

Boards or sheet material fastened to roof rafters on which the shingles or other roof covering is laid

Rough-in Plumbing

In homes that have a basement, pipes are often placed in the basement of the home to give you the convenience of adding a bathroom at a later date. The addition of these pipes is called “rough-in plumbing.”


The resistance of insulation materials (including windows) to heat passing through it. The higher the number, the greater the insulating value.



In concrete, the breaking away of the top surface of the concrete, caused by a freeze/thaw cycle.  In painting, the flaking or peeling away of paint.


The structural covering, usually wood boards or plywood, used over studs, trusses or rafters of a structure . Structural building board is normally used only as wall sheathing.


Roof covering of asphalt, wood , tile, slate or other material cut to stock lengths, widths and thicknesses


The finish covering the outside walls of a frame building, whether made of horizontal, vertical boards with battens, shingles or other material.

Sill plates

A support member laid on the top of the foundation wall that serves as a base for the wall or floor framing


A synthetic lubricating compound with high resistance to temperature change and water. When added to caulking, it extends elasticity properties and increases the life of the caulk


Usually the underside of an overhanging cornice cantilever or roof.


Flaking or chipping of stone or other masonry material. Similar to scaling, but the chips and flakes are larger

Standard Features (aka Included Features)

Standard features are options that are included in the base price of your new home. Examples include a specific type of appliance, flooring, or windows, and vary by home collection.


One of a series of slender wood or metal vertical structural members placed as supporting elements in walls and partitions


A wood sheet flooring directly over the joists that supports the underlayment or floor covering.


The soil contour on a building lot deliberately shaped to channel rain water away from the home. 


Tack strips

Wood strip with exposed tack points that is attached to the sub-flooring and holds stretched wall-to-wall carpeting in place.


The evidence of the right to or ownership in property. Title may be acquired through purchase, inheritance, gift, or through foreclosure of a mortgage.

Title Company

The company that researches the title of the property and guarantees that the research is correct, provided a title policy is issued.


Horizontal board in a stairway on which the foot is placed


The finish materials in a building, such as moldings, applied around openings or at the floor and ceilings of rooms.


Engineered wood structural members used to construct floors and roofs.


An additional section of driveway where cars can be turned around.




A flooring layer over the base subflooring , over which tile or resilient floor covering is laid


The process of analyzing the loan application and supporting information to decide whether the loan is acceptable and at what terms.



VA (Veterans Administration)

An independent agency of the federal government. The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program is designed to encourage lenders to offer long-term, low down payment mortgages to eligible veterans by guaranteeing the lender against loss in the event of a foreclosure. 


The internal angle formed by the junction of two sloping sides of a roof.

Valve seat

An interior part of the faucet valve assembly where the valve rests



Wall ties

Metal pieces that tie masonry veneer to the frame of the home, or, when pouring concrete , the metal pieces that hold concrete foundation wall forms in place until the concrete cures.


Round, rigid rubber or plastic disc used as a sealing device in water faucet valves

Weather stripping

A weather  insulating strip of material placed around doors and windows to reduce water entry into the home. Also reduces air infiltration into the home or the escape of conditioned air out of the home.

Window balance

A counter balance device in window housings that assists with the opening and closing of a window, and then keeps the window in position