Glossary of Construction Terms

Do you ever feel as if your contractor is selling you polyisocyanurate foam when what you really needed was a setback thermostat? Here is a handy guide to common (and not so common) construction terms. Scroll through the glossary below or sort by the letter that starts the word you're looking for. For example, to find polyisocyanurate foam, select P and click Submit.

A (7) | B (6) | C (18) | D (8) | E (9) | F (8) | G (2) | H (4) | I (1) | J (1) | L (4) | M (3) | O (2) | P (11) | R (10) | S (19) | T (7) | U (1) | V (1) | W (4) | Z (2)
Title Definition
Zone Heat

While most homes need some heat during the cold seasons in order to prevent moisture and freeze damage, it is not necessary to heat all parts of the house to your comfort level. For example, you should be able to keep all parts of a home at 55F in order to prevent damage and use a zone heating system to heat the room(s) that are in current use at the your comfort level. Such zone heating can be accomplished in a variety of ways. For example, good quality gas fireplaces can heat an area of your home and even by used as the primary heating source for that area.

A note of caution: portable electric heaters cause many fires. If you intend to use such heaters then it is mandatory that the electrical system and the heaters are safe and have the capacity for such an electrical Load.

Another note of caution: many Kerosine Heaters are not intended for interior use. They may produce Carbon Monoxide as does the burning of charcoal!


A governmental process and specification which limits the use of a property e.g. single family use, high rise residential use, etc.

See also: Topics: A Building and Remodeling Checklist, Topics: Purchasing Undeveloped Land