Remodeling Glossary

Accent lighting: Focused lighting that highlights display items instead of providing ambient light in a room. Normally used with paintings, objects of art, etc.

Accessible design: Characteristics of spaces or products that comply with particular requirements, such as wheelchair accessible.

Accessories: Items that enhance the appearance of a project – crown moldings, designer hardware, fancy towel racks, etc.

Accreditation: Certification standards set by a professional organization that speak to the capability, competence and integrity of an organization within the profession.

Alcove: A smaller, recessed area within another room.

Alternating current (AC): The type of current normally used in household wiring. The current alternates from positive to negative and back 60 times a second (referred to as hertz)

Ambient: The environmental conditions within a room or space.

Ambient lighting: Lighting intended to illuminate an entire room

Amperes, Amps: Measure of electrical current. Equals watts divided by volts.

Anti-microbial finish: Material applied to a product that prevents the growth of bacteria or fungi.

Appliance: Electromechanical devices that perform normal household tasks – refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.

Apron: Trim below a window sill or table top.

Attribute: A quality or characteristic of an item

Auxiliary Sink: A second kitchen sink for either clean-up or food preparation.

Backerboard: Moisture resistant substrate for walls and floors in wet areas.

Backsplash: The section of wall between the bottom of wall cabinets and the countertop.

Ballast: A device to control current in a fluorescent bulb.

Banquette: a built in table or bench usually located in an alcove (breakfast nook)

Barn door: A door that slides along a wall.

Base cabinets: Floor mounted cabinetry on which a countertop is placed. Typically 34.5” tall and 24” deep.

Beam: A load supporting, horizontal framing member.

Bearing wall: An interior wall designed to support the load above it (ceiling, roof, floor, etc.)

Biological pollutants: Indoor air pollutants from living sources (molds, insects, animal dander, etc.)

Blue board: Wallboard specially treated to provide a bonding surface for plaster or tile adhesive.

Blueprint: A scale drawing showing the rooms, dimensions and floor space configuration for each level or story of the interior.

Boilerplate: Standardized language usually contained in a contract or purchase order.

BTU: British Thermal Unit – A measurement of heat quantity. One BTU is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Building code: Local laws and ordinances that prescribe how a structure may be constructed or modified.

Cable: Two or more wires inside a protective sheath.

Casing: Frame elements around a door or window opening (trim).

Chair rail: A wall trim piece that runs horizontally at the height of a chair back. Intended to prevent damage to the wall from the chair backs.

Chandelier: An ornate lighting fixture containing several small lamps and hung from the ceiling.

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC): Plastic pipe suitable for both hot and cold water.

Circuit breaker: A mechanical device that protects equipment and people from damage or injury caused by an overloaded circuit. When a breaker senses an overload, it automatically trips, breaking the flow of power in the circuit.

Classic crown molding: Decorative molding used to finish off the look of cabinets.

Claw foot tub: Freestanding tub with four legs shaped like claw feet.

Compact fluorescent (CFL): A bulb with a coiled fluorescent bulb.

Compartmentalized bathroom: A bathroom where the shower and toilet areas are separated by a wall or divider.

Concealed hinge: A hinge inside the end panel making it hidden from the cabinet exterior.

Concrete slab: The foundation of a building with no basement or crawl space.

Console sink: A freestanding sink basin supported by legs.

Construction plan: A drawing that shows the existing conditions and changes to be made in a renovation.

Daylighting: The use of natural light to augment or replace artificial lighting. Any opening that permits natural light into a structure.

Decorative overlay: A piece of decorative wood or other material added to a panel or cabinet.

Dormer: A roof structure designed to increase the usable space below or to contain windows.

Drywall: A gypsum-based plaster encased between layers of facing paper. Used to create interior walls and ceilings.

Eco-friendly: Having little or no negative impact on the native ecosystem. Having little or no impact on the native ecosystem.

EER: Energy Efficiency Rating. A standard for rating an appliance’s energy efficiency. The higher the EER number, the more efficient.

Egress: An opening for exiting a room or building.

Elevation: A scale drawing showing the width and height of one wall in a room. An exterior elevation shows the design, style and dimensions of any side of the structure.

Emboss: A raised design on an object.

End panels: Cabinet sections used to finish the end of a cabinet.

Energy Star: An EPA program that rates the energy efficiency of consumer products.

Ergonomic design: The application of human factors to the design of products and spaces to improve the performance and efficiency.

Escalation: The amount or percentage a contract price may be adjusted to reflect unpredictable contingencies – such as an increase in the cost of materials.

Exposed hinge: An external cabinet hinge visible from the exterior.

Fabricators: Workers responsible for completing a part of a project.

Fixture (plumbing): Any plumbing feature that is part of the design – tubs, toilets, etc.)

Fixture (electrical): Any electrical device hard-wired into the home wiring system.

Fixture (lighting): The entire lighting assembly, including mounting base, socket, shade, etc.

Floor plan: Overhead, cut-away drawing showing the entire project.

Gage: Diameter of wire. The lower the gage, the larger the diameter. Thicker wires are designed to carry more current than thin ones.

Girder: Horizontal frame member used to support beams.

Green building: A building that minimizes its impact on the environment.

HVAC: Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning.

Incandescent: Type of light in which an electric current runs through a poor conductor, such as a tungsten carbide filament.

Island: An area of cabinets and countertops that can be accessed from all sides.

Laminate: A thin material (wood or plastic generally) that is glued to the exterior of a cabinet, countertop or other surface.

Lead time: Time between ordering and receiving a product.

Linoleum: Flooring material made of linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone and pigments. This all natural flooring is considered environmentally friendly.

Mechanical Plan: Drawings that show the arrangement of HVAC and Electrical systems within a building.

Molding: A strip of decorative material (wood, plastic, etc.) used to decorate or finish a surface of wall opening.

Mudsetting: Installing ceramic stone tiles by setting them into a bed of mortar.

Nailer: Material attached to the main structure intended for attaching subsequent items.

Particle Board: A panel made from sawdust or wood particles bonded with resin under high pressure.

Pedestal lavatory: Free-standing fixture with a wide top and narrow base to conceal the plumbing.

Pendant: Lighting fixture hung from the ceiling with one or more lamps.

Peninsula: A cabinet or counter area fastened on one side and accessible from the other three sides.

Picture Rail: Horizontal trim piece installed on a wall that provides a means for hanging pictures without damaging the wall.

Plywood: A wood panel made by laminating thin layers of wood.

Pocket door: A door that slides horizontally on a track within a wall.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): Semi-rigid plastic material with many uses, including cold water piping.

Post and Beam Construction: Framing method that uses larger, but fewer structural pieces, providing greater open spaces.

Prefabricated: Building sections that are created in a factory to be shipped and installed at another location.

Project Management: Overall coordination of a project.

Project Plan: A document used to execute the project.

Project Schedule: Activities and anticipated project completion dates.

Rafters: Structural assemblies used to support a roof.

Rendering: a 3D drawing of a completed kitchen or bath design.

Renewable Energy: Energy resources (wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, ocean thermal, etc.) that replenish themselves in a short period of time. Although non-polluting, they may require large tracts of land to operate.

Roll-in shower: A shower fixture large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

Romex: Electric cable containing a hot, neutral and ground wire and encased in a flexible cover.

Rough-in: Location of shower head or other plumbing fitting in the wall or floor.

Scope: All the products and services that are part of the project.

SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating – A standard for rating the annual energy efficiency of appliances.

Service Panel: The distribution center for all household electrical circuits. It contains the main breaker and individual circuit breakers.

Smart House: a structure that utilizes programmable controls and sensors to regulate HVAC, lighting, and other electrical equipment to produce maximum energy efficiency.

Spa: A vessel designed for soaking in heated water.

Studs: Framing members in a wall to which cabinets are fastened.

Terms and Conditions: The legal provisions of a contract. All the provisions and agreements of a contract.

Thinset: A type of mortar designed for mounting tiles.

Toe kick: A space at the base of a cabinet designed to accommodate feet while standing in front of the cabinet.

Veneer: A thin sheet of material bonded to another material.

Wainscoting: The use of decorative wood paneling on the lower half of a wall.

Whirlpool: Bathing fixture that uses jets to circulate water under pressure.

Zone: A building section that is served by one HVAC loop.

Our Health and Safety Commitment
At Service Experts, our top priority is always the health and safety of our customers and team. We are following all COVID-19 (Coronavirus) public safety guidelines and adjusting our business practices as needed to ensure customer and employee wellbeing. As a precautionary measure, anyone working on behalf of Service Experts – including our technicians – is being asked to stay home for the recommended 14 day quarantine period if they are returning from out-of-country, have been exposed to a presumptive or confirmed case, or are feeling unwell. We are providing our technicians and other field employees with additional health and safety guidance to assist in keeping our customers and employees safe. Please be prepared to answer brief health and safety questions with our representative. We will continue to monitor the situation and will adjust our business practices as required. We recognize that this may be a particularly stressful time and want you to know that, we are committed to serving you and making your experience as easy as possible.