Custom Building Glossary

Luxury Home Designer Essential Terms

Serving the Houston, TX Area

The first step toward being a well-educated home buyer is to understand the terms that the professionals use. We’ve assembled this handy glossary to help you educate yourself. Read through the terms, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Important Terms

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Annual cost of credit over the tenure of a loan, which includes service charges, interest, points, loan fees, mortgage insurance, and other matters.

Architectural Ceilings: Commonly known as tray ceilings. These kinds of specially designed ceilings are normally designed by an interior architectural designer and not by an architect or designer of the home.

Bath Accessories: These comprise the toilet tissue holder and towel bars. They are generally metal or ceramic.

Bi-fold Door: Doors that are generally hinged in the middle part for the purpose of opening in a smaller area than standard swing doors. They are often used for closet doors.

Builder’s Risk Insurance: The insurance coverage for a construction project during the construction, including extended coverage that could be added to the contract for the customer’s protection.

Building Codes: The local and state regulations governing the way in which a home may be constructed or modified.

Certificate of Occupancy: It is issued by the County Building Department once the home has passed all of the required inspections made by the County Building Department authorities. It is necessary before anyone can occupy and move into the home.

Clearances: The minimum distances that have to be maintained from electric utility lines due to safety issues. They are set by various governmental entities.

Commercial Service: Any electric service used for non-residential jobs.

Downpipe: A portion of an exposed pipe that originates from the meter. It can be tied to the underground conduit.

Dormer: A gable-topped structure extended from a roof.

Drip Loop: A U-shaped bend in the wire that lets water drip off, so as to stop it from entering the service entrance. The drip loop is usually part of the service entrance and is the responsibility of the homeowner. Its presence reflects that the wires are properly secured. It is situated at the top of the weather head.

Easement: A right given to a third party to use a portion of the property for certain purposes, such as water mains or power lines.

Elevation: The exterior side of a particular home, including the building materials used on that face.

Framing: The construction of framework of a house.

Floor Plan: An architectural drawing presentation the overall layout of a home. The size and shape of every room is shown on the floor plan.

Footprint: The outline of a home’s foundation; this measures the home’s outermost points and is actually used for site planning.

Meter Socket: An apparatus which supplies support and means of electrical connection to a watt-hour meter.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): A commonly used thermoplastic polymer that is most frequently used in construction applications.

Residential Service: The electric service supplied solely for domestic purposes in independently metered home units, where permanent residency is established, as well as the separately metered non-commercial-use services of a residential client.

Shake Roof: A roof structure appropriate for either shakes or asphalt composition shingles.

Sidelight: A vertical window next to a door or a window.

Service Equipment: The customer’s equipment which operates the electric service and contains the switching and over current protective devices generally situated near the entry point of the service entrance conductors into the building.

Site Address: It is the location where the construction is being done.

Temporary Electric Service: A service proposed to be used for a limited duration, such as for construction and exhibit purposes. The temporary facility will be taken out at the completion of its use. This may also be termed as temporary or construction service.

Underground Distribution: A distribution system where the conductors are buried underground with or without enclosing ducts. Transformers, switches and other equipment are usually over the ground, or enclosed in vaults or other enclosures.

Upgrade: A higher level of material or style selected by the homeowner at an additional cost.

Walk-Through: A buyer’s final inspection of a newly constructed home prior to move-in.

Warranty: A plan to fix or repair particular items of your home according to the warranty terms and conditions. All factors of the warranty are surveyed with the homeowner at the time of the walk-through.

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