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The house that Jack (I mean you) built!

mkitchen counterDo you recall the house that Jack built? It was a troubled home that wasn’t suppose to suffer with so many negative outcomes about animals and people. What began in this rhyme with Jack building his house, soon turned into a fiasco.

What about the house you’re considering building or are you more of renting kind of person? What I’m trying to say is that is doesn’t matter whether you’re building or renting, you deserve and want a foundation that is strong and secure as possible. How would you know? What are the fundamental steps related to building a house when considering what type of home you end up with? There are many style and types of homes. Let’s inspect this process.

The house you live in or plan to live in begins with a mere thought, an idea or concept. From this point, it becomes a drawing or mock-up of rooms, closets, bathroom(s), kitchen, den, living room, etc. Houses come in all sizes, styles, shapes and built to specific specifications of the buyer or architectural prototypes to fill the imagination of what your home could look like. Big or small; it’s great so many more people will now have an affordable home they will enjoy for years to come. Some homes stay in families for generations.

There are some common terms you may hear about the building of a home, and with this blog, I will attempt to help with this glossary of words so when you hear these words, or someone refers to them, they will sound familiar to you.

My goal for this post is to make you comfortable with words about home and/or home building. You will better understand what questions you may ask as you begin the process of building a home or buying/rent one that already exists.

First of all, the most important question that requires an answer before any building begins or choices made about the type of home desired is ‘exactly what are the needs of the family’? There is nothing worse than to get caught up in buying and not have addressed every need or want (for that matter) before deciding what your home will look like. Will you need a small home, perhaps for just 2 people who do not want nor need a space  that has too many rooms, bathrooms, den, living space, etc. Take in consideration, life style of the 2 parties involved, and that will give you a clearer picture of the home you are looking for. Then, there is a medium size home that may accommodate a family of  three (3) plus or a bigger home for a larger family. Now, I am not at all suggesting if there are 2 people living in the home, it need be small. No, some homes are large enough with several bedrooms, den, family rooms, etc. and there are only 2 people living there. It could be for an individual living along. He or she just desires space to move around in. It’s always a personal decision.

Now, I am going to give you a few home building glossary terms to know when you are looking for a home. It doesn’t matter if you’re building from scratch or the home is already constructed and completed…ready for move-in. This list is not every item which may be used in constructing the house, but a general overall description of some things.

  • A/C = air conditioner/conditioning
  • A/C Condenser = outside fan unit of the air conditioning unit. Removes heat from the freon gas and turns the gas back to liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.
  • Air Space=the area been insulation facing and interior of exterior wall coverings. Normally a 1″ gap.
  • Anchor bolts=bolts to secure a wooden sill plate to concrete, or masonry floor or wall.
  • Backing=the replacement of excavated earth into a trench around or against a basement crawl space foundation wall.
  • Backout=work the framing contractor does after the mechanical subcontractors (Heating-Plumbing_Electrical) finish their phase at the Rough (before installation) stage to get the home ready for a municipal frame inspection. Most often, framing contractor repairs anything disturbed by others and completes framing necessary to pass Rough frame inspection.
  • Barge=horizontal beam rafter that supports shorter rafters.
  • CO= abbreviation for “Certificate of Occupancy”. This certificate is issued by the local municipality and is required before anyone can occupy and live within the home. It is issued only after the local municipality has made all inspections and all monies and fees have been paid.
  • Cantilever = an overhang where one floor extends beyond and over a foundation wall. (ex: a fireplace location or bay window ) Normally, not extending over 2 ft.
  • Celotex= ™Black fibrous board that is used as exterior sheathing.
  • Circuit=the path of electrical flow from a power source through an outlet and back to ground.
  • Counter flashing= a metal flashing usually used on chimneys at the roofline to cover shingle flashing and used to prevent moisture entry.

This is just a small, small list of all the things that go into building a house. It doesn’t matter whether it’s being built today or built years ago. There are code requirements in building a house that are a ‘must’ from the building side of the business to the buyer securing a safe home.

If you have questions about other terms or things used in building a home you can contact They have a complete glossary of construction “language” that you can acquaint yourself with. It’s worth knowing, so you will be ready to ask questions of your contractor whether buying brand new or a pre-owned home.

Do you remember the nursery rhymes of the ‘Three Little Pigs? Each one built a house, only to have it blown down by the wolf. Not very sturdy.  This, I figured out as a small child hearing this nursery rhyme. Be certain you are getting a secure home. It takes time and lots of money to secure and/or build a home.  Their house crumbled to the ground with a little huff and puff. Do not make your home the kind the Jack built or the Three Little Pigs. Instead, make certain it’s sturdy, secure and every joint and joist is how it should be, and the home safe and sound for a comfortable life and lifestyle inside and outside of your home. Do the best thing for you and be safe. Making certain to check out the home builder and do not be afraid to ask vital questions about the foundation of the home. Many people just look at the aesthetics of the home and not the nuts of bolts of what will offer a study foundation of the home.

Make certain you ask many questions. Go to the website and review the terms used in building a house. You might want to become familiar with some of the terms, so when you hear them, it will be familiar to you as well. Good Living! comes to you from

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