- Door jambs seal the sides and top of a door to shut out drafts and insects.
- Available in a variety of forms, including roll-formed and extruded aluminum with vinyl bulbs or flaps.
Don’t be intimidated by tricky terminology peppered throughout DIY books and how-to text. Use this as a dictionary to decode materials needed for any building project.
Door Jamb Weather Strip
- Door sweeps seal the bottom of an exterior door, preventing drafts, water, noise, light and insects.
- Usually made of aluminum extrusions with vinyl flaps.
- Screws into the lower part of the door.
- Some types lift automatically when the door is raised.
- Another type is an aluminum extrusion with a rain-drip flange to prevent the flow of water off a door from collecting on a threshold and flowing under a door.
- Another type is an adhesive-backed plastic door sweep.
Vinyl Gasket Weather Strip
- Vinyl gasket weather strips cushion as it seals.
- Can be used in places with warping or irregularities.
- Caulking cord temporarily fills large gaps around windows.
- Made of soft, rope-like strands of weather strip with the consistency of modeling clay.
- Easily applied by hand and remains pliable so it can be removed when the weather warms.
- Paintable, will not harden or dry out.
V-Type Weather Strip
- V-type weather strips function when the door is closed, forcing the open ends of the V shape together. One end of the V touches the door and the other adheres to the door.
- Forms an airtight seal.
- Spring-metal tension strips are more difficult to install than adhesive-backed tension strips made of vinyl, but are the best permanent type.
Adhesive-Backed Foam Tape
- Adhesive-backed foam tape is installed by pressing into position and sticking permanently.
- Requires no nails or tools.
- One type, pressure-sensitive sponge rubber tape, is suited for larger problem areas.
- Another type, pressure-sensitive vinyl foam or felt, is for average sealing.
- Closed-cell PVC foam compresses to fill irregular gaps and can be used outdoors.
- Open-cell foam is for inside use only.
- High-density foam is extremely durable and long-lasting.
Felt Weather Strip
- Felt weather strips are the least expensive type of weather stripping, but also has the shortest life.
- Installs by gluing, nailing or stapling to the frame or molding around doors so doors close snugly and quietly against it.
- A good choice when appearance is no concern.
- Available in a variety of widths, thicknesses and quality.
- Reinforced felt weather strip is sturdier and designed to last longer.
- Pipe insulation is for insulating water pipes from freezing in the winter. It also helps control heat loss when pipes carry hot water and controls condensation and dripping.
- Available in pre-formed insulating tubes to fit over pipes.
- Another type comes in batt form, which can be wrapped around pipes.
Reflective Foil Insulation
- Reflective foil insulation comes in several types.
- One is made of foil and poly to trap air between the sheets of foil, generally using bubble pack.
- A second type expands when installed between stud spaces. The resistance to heat flow depends on the heat flow direction. This type of insulation is most effective in reducing downward heat flow.
- Comes in long rolls of various widths.
- Can be used in conjunction with many building materials and cut to fit any shape.
- Typically installed between roof rafters, floor joists or wall studs.
- When a single reflective surface is used alone and faces an open space such as an attic, then it is called a radiant barrier.
- Foam sealant installation is similar to foam insulation, but comes in an aerosol can and is best for do-it-yourself use.
- Best used for permanently sealing irregular gaps, such as around plumbing feedthroughs, electrical outlets, vents, etc.
- After curing, it can be trimmed, sanded and painted.
- When installing, only fill the area about 33 percent and the expanding foam will fill and seal the remaining area.
- Formulations include triple-expanding for general-purpose sealing and insulating; minimal-expanding for windows and door frames; and fast-drying for multi-step projects, such as filling cracks before painting.
- Wear gloves and eye protection when applying.
- Remove wet foam with acetone or acetone-based nail polish remover. Cured foam is difficult to remove from skin and clothes.
- Foam insulation comes in a liquid spray form that quickly foams and hardens.
- May have a higher insulating value than blown-in materials, but is more expensive and still subject to shrinking.
- For use only on closed, properly vented exterior wall cavities. It should be sealed from exposure to the interior with vapor- and fume-resistant paints.
- Also suited for sealing cracks around windows, doors and constructions seams.
- Best installed by a professional.
- Rigid insulation can be used on the interior or exterior of the house, or on basement walls.
- Usually comes in board form in a variety of sizes ranging from 8-inch squares to 4x12-foot sheets.
- Some types are made of fiberboard and are popular because of their durability and low cost. Fiberboard repels water, while the asphalt coating eliminates the need for building paper.
- Another type is made of extruded polystyrene. It is very moisture resistant and is most recommended for below-ground use.
- Molded polystyrene board is another type that dissipates water well.
- Of all insulation products, polyisocyanurate sheathing has the highest R-value per inch of thickness. It’s available with aluminum foil or glass fiber-mat facing.
- Encapsulated insulation, also known as batt and roll insulation, is encapsulated for easier handling.
- Encapsulation enables the insulation to breathe and prevents condensation build-up.
- Easier to handle by reducing dust and other irritants associated with insulation installation.
- The non-woven type tends to stay in place better than plastic-wrap insulation. This product must meet all building code requirements for flame spread resistance, as it is flammable.
- Batt insulation is sold in either pre-cut or perforated into shorter lengths.
- Use is similar to roll insulation, but best for use where there are many cross beams or other obstructions, such as in attics.
- Available in R-values of R-11, R-13, R-15, R-19, R-21, R-22, R-30 and R-38. Thicknesses range from 3½ inches to 12 inches thick.
- Batts installed in wall should not be compressed to fit or stuffed behind wires. Rather, cut to fit around them.
- Roll insulation comes in continuous rolls that vary in width and thickness.
- Usually installed between open ceiling joists and wall studs.
- Has a vapor barrier that should be installed with the vapor barrier toward the interior or heated area. Mend torn vapor barriers with tape.
- Available in R-values of R-11, R-13, R-19 and R-25. Thicknesses range from 3½ inches to 8 inches.
- Loose-fill insulation comes compacted in bags and is poured or blown into walls and between joists of the attic floor.
- Good for retrofitting insulation into previously uninsulated homes.
- Each bag is labeled according to federal specifications for both mineral wool and cellulose. Left column lists the R-value, second column tells how many bags are needed to cover 1,000 square feet of attic floor area, and the third column gives the minimum thickness after completing the job.
- Some manufacturers have two columns on thickness for loose-fill and cellulose insulation. The second of these is labeled “settled density”. This is important since cellulose settles quickly.
- Types include fiberglass, rock wool and cellulose. Cellulose is made from waste paper that has been treated to be fire retardant. It is also less likely to cause skin irritation.
- Garage door hinged panels allow overhead garage doors to roll up and down with ball-bearing rollers and a rope pulley on a steel track.
- Some panels have a polystyrene and/or air space between panels to insulate and deaden sound.
- Some doors feature steel-frame construction and a wood-grain raised-panel design, while others combine hardboard panels with a wood frame.
- Comes with extension springs to help the door lift and balance, as well as safety containment cables to guard against injury.
- Vinyl- or aluminum-bottom weather seal counteracts uneven garage floors and protects against weather intrusion.
Pocket Frame Door Kit
- Pocket frame door kits are ideal for wardrobes, dining rooms, bedrooms or anywhere space is at a premium. It frees up floor space by allowing the door to recess into the wall.
- The pocket door kit includes all the pieces needed to convert a regular doorframe into one that will accept a pocket door.
- The door is sold separately, and is typically either a solid wood or hollow frame door that is slightly smaller than the size of the frame where it is being installed.
- Kit includes tracks, rollers, steel/wood wall studs and miscellaneous hardware.
- Storm doors provide extra security for the exterior door, protect against weather and stop drafts through door openings.
- Made of solid wood, or has a wood or foam hollow core inside an exterior skin of metal, aluminum or vinyl.
- Glass should be tempered to safety glass, while fiberglass screens offer durability and do not rust.
- Available in a variety of colors.
- Self-storing models store the windows and the screen at the same time, with many models allowing ventilation at the top or bottom.
- Interchangeable models have the glass and screen removable to allow ventilation through the entire opening.
- Common styles are full view, full lite, cross buck, traditional and security.
- French doors are also known as garden doors.
- Is hinged at the outside of the unit and contains at least two active panels that swing in or out from the center.
- Made of wood, fiberglass or steel.
- Comes in a wide range of glass styles.
- Uses a three-point locking system for improved security.
- Swinging doors are also known as a café doors.
- Hinged to attach to each side of the doorway and swing freely without a latch.
- Features two or three panels and is available in wood, PVC vinyl or insulated steel or fiberglass.
- Tends to be more secure and energy efficient than a sliding door and can be easily installed by the homeowner.
- Sliding doors are made with safety or insulated glass and come with a screen for hot-weather use.
- Low-E glass offers protection from ultraviolet rays and is more energy efficient than regular glass.
- Frames may be wood, aluminum, fiberglass or PVC vinyl in a variety of finishes.
- Aluminum patio doors are generally the least expensive as they are the least durable and energy efficient.
- Can be two-, three- or four-panels wide. A two-panel door has one active (sliding) panel and one inactive (stationary) panel. A three-panel door has one active and two inactive panels. A four-panel door typically has two active panels in the middle and two inactive panels on the outside.
- Bifold doors come in two sections.
- Each section is hinged to its side of the doorway with a single fold down the center of each. When closed, they meet in the middle of the doorway.
- Usually designed for an extra-wide doorway between rooms and on closets.
- Constructed of metal, wood or composite wood. It can also feature decorative glass or mirrored glass for decorative effect.
- Louvered bifold doors are an assembly of slats—or sometimes a combination of panels and slats—that slope downward to permit ventilation while preserving privacy.
- Folding doors come in several styles.
- One style is woven, which is used when ventilation is necessary and usually consists of natural wood or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
- Another style is laminated, the more durable of the two, which is usually PVC laminated to steel.
- The most common size is 32” x 80”.
- Two units or an expansion set can be combined to fit larger openings.
- Fiberglass doors are easy to maintain and require less time to refinish.
- Will not rot, crack or split.
- Comes in a variety of styles including sidelights, transoms and glass.
- Steel doors are typically constructed from galvanized-steel facing with polystyrene, polyurethane, wood or particleboard cores.
- Offers more insulation, durability, fire-resistance and security than wood doors.
- The steel exterior provides structural strength and eliminates cracking and warping.
- Usually used as exterior doors.
Solid Wood Door
- Solid wood doors are made of a tempered hardboard, wood or particleboard with or without a veneer, and from several kinds of solid wood.
- Ash, birch, mahogany, hemlock and pine are commonly used for solid doors.
- Comes in standard widths for front and rear entrances. Narrower widths are sometimes used between house and garage and/or breezeway.
- More fire resistant than hollow-core doors. Particleboard is more fire-resistant than natural wood and it resists warping because of its higher density.
- Available pre-hung, which means the door is hinged in a framework that includes the header and side jambs of the door and the casing trim. The door may also be predrilled for the lockset.
Hollow-Core Wood Door
- Hollow-core wood doors feature wooden or cardboard ribs inside for stability.
- Primarily used as interior doors, as they will warp or disintegrate from weather.
- Size is usually 1-3/8 inch to 1-3/4 inch thick, and usually 30 inches, 32 inches or 36 inches wide.
- Common height is 80 inches.
- Cold-process adhesive is also called lap cement roof adhesive.
- Designed to form a water-resistant and waterproof bond with most coated roll roofing products.
Plastic Roof Cement
- Plastic roof cement is a trowel-grade, general-use sealing compound.
- Makes flashings, seams or patches in roofs and gutters water-repellent.
- Reinforcing fabric is used with roof cement to add strength and flexibility to surface repairs.
- Used with cold-applied roof coatings, meaning they can be applied direct from the container with little to no heating required for application.
- Felt paper is also called building paper.
- Installed under shingles.
- Composed of a tough, fibrous base saturated with asphalt.
- Drip edges are an L-shaped weather-resistant metal.
- Installed at exposed roof edges (eaves) to help shed water and to protect the roof’s wood parts.
- Flashing is strips of sheet metal or roofing material.
- Used to make waterproof joints on a roof.
- Some flashing may be called a “boot”. This kind is specially made to fit around a vent pipe. They are often made of plastic. It fits snugly over the pipe and then slides under the shingles for a waterproof joint.
- Seals with flashing sealant usually sold in a tube and applied with a caulk gun.
- Wood shingles typically are made of cedar, although composite wood shingles are available.
- Flat shape and a smooth texture.
- Usually a half-inch thick.
- Wood shakes are similar, but have a rougher texture. They are usually ½-inch or ¾-inch thick.
- More difficult to install than asphalt shingles.
- Features may include a fire-retardant coating, which only reduces, not eliminates, its flammability.
- Clay tile is a roofing material known for its durability, as it can last up to 50 years.
- May be flat or rounded in shape, and may even have a glossy surface.
- Can be made of clay or concrete.
- Colors include reddish brown as well as blue and green.
- Metal roofing is made of steel panels designed to cover the roof in place of shingles.
- Designed with either exposed or hidden fasteners.
- Metal roofing can be coated with zinc or a mixture of zinc and aluminum for rust prevention. The best steel panels are manufactured with zinc.
- Roll roofing is less expensive than shingles.
- Used on lower-slope roofs or as a supplement to shingles.
- Comes with either a smooth or mineral-covered surface on a heavy felt base that has been saturated with asphalt and then coated on both sides with more asphalt.
- Easy to install.
- A typical roll roofing, known as 90-pound granule-coated, will cover 100 square feet.
- A 45-pound smooth roofing, without granules, will also cover 100 square feet.
- Properly applied roll roofing should last from 10 to 20 years.
Three-Dimensional Asphalt Shingle
- Three-dimensional asphalt shingles, also known as a laminated asphalt shingle, or architectural shingle.
- An inorganic shingle.
- Characterized by a more rugged texture than a standard three-tab shingle.
- Weighs and costs more than standard shingles.
- Made of two or more layers that are laminated to create the three-dimensional look, giving it the appearance closer to wood or slate roofing.
Fiberglass Asphalt Shingle
- Fiberglass asphalt shingles have a base mat of glass fibers covered with ceramic-coated mineral granules.
- Some types may use a polyester or fiberglass blend for the base mat.
- An inorganic shingle.
- Features a better fire rating and often has a longer warranty than other types of shingles.
- Does not absorb water and resists cracking.
- Most come with seal-down strips. These are most effective when applied in warm weather, which allows the asphalt in the strip to soften and adhere to the next shingle.
- An inorganic-based shingle usually has a Class A fire resistance rating from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL also tests for shingle performance in high winds. To qualify for the wind-resistance label, shingles must withstand test winds of at least 60 mph for two hours without a single tab lifting.
- Door shoes are made of extruded aluminum and vinyl.
- Attached to the bottom of a door to help form a seal between the door and the threshold.
- Used primarily in conjunction with a smooth top aluminum threshold to form a proper seal.
- More durable and provides a better weather seal than a door sweep.
- Extension ladders are a non-self-supporting type of ladder with two similar sections linked with internal guides on the bottom of base section and external guides on the top.
- Sections are pulled apart to increase length.
- Used for working in high areas and primarily for exterior applications.
- Available in heights ranging from 16 feet to 40 feet.
- Smaller extension ladders are extended manually and secured with gravity spring lock brackets that rest on the selected rung.
- Larger extension ladders are extended by means of a rope and pulley running down the side of the ladder and secured with a cleat.
- Generally available in all aluminum, and fiberglass with aluminum rungs.
- Rungs can be round or flat and are usually serrated for enhanced slip resistance.
- Ladder shoes pivot to allow full contact with ground. Shoes can also be turned up to penetrate soft ground for extra stability.
- Quality classifications include consumer (household), commercial (mechanic) and industrial grades.
- I-joists are composed of thin oriented standboard (OSB) or plywood web that is bonded to the top and bottom flanges of lumber or LVL.
- Typically 9¼ inches to 30 inches deep and up to 60 feet long.
- Used as a structural component in roof and floor systems.
- Some come with pre-drilled knockouts for easier plumbing and electrical installation.
- Oriented standboard is also known as OSB.
- A structural-use panel used for roof sheathing, subfloors, underlayment, single-layer floors, exterior siding and wall sheathing.
- Composed of elongated, thin strands of wood that are bonded with resin under intense heat and pressure.
- A uniform panel free of knotholes that holds nails and screws securely.
- Available in 4x8-foot panels in thicknesses of 3/8-inches, 7/16 inches, 15/32 inches, 19/32 inches and 23/32 inches.
- Three grades are available: sheathing, single floor and siding.
- Hardboard is also known as wood fiber substrate.
- Made from wood chips that are mechanically reduced to wood fibers and then bonded together into panels through heat and pressure.
- Panels are thin, grainless, dense, uniformly textured, strong and bone-dry.
- Used as an exterior siding, interior paneling, as a garage door panel, perforated boards, for furniture, toys, cabinets, floor underlayment and many other items.
- Can be sawed, shaped, routed and drilled and will accept paint and varnish.
- Not recommended for use in areas with high temperature or humidity because warping can occur.
- Particleboard is a hard, dense composition board made of very small particles of wood bonded together with resin under intense heat and pressure.
- Comes in various thicknesses from 3/8 inches to 3/4 inches and in panels 4x8 feet; 10-foot and 12-foot lengths also are available.
- Often used in non-structural applications, such as interior construction in closets and as an underlayment because it does not warp.
- Should be cut with a carbide blade.
- May swell if it gets wet.
- Batten is used to conceal joints when plywood panels or boards meet.
- Many plywood panels are v-grooved and hide the joint. If they’re not, use this trim.
- Utility sinks are also called a laundry sink.
- Provides an extra deep, multi-purpose single bowl for pre-washing laundry or washing out items like paint brushes not suitable for more expensive sinks.
- Sturdy, durable and often made of fiberglass.
- Countertop lavatories offer the advantage of storage space under and next to the sink.
- The mounting for vanity sinks can be self-rimming, flush-mounted, under mounted or integral. Integral sink basins are typically made of solid surfacing or cultured stone, and any damage to the sink will mean replacing the entire unit.
- In addition to cultured stone and solid surfacing, bath sinks are made of enameled steel, vitreous china, glass, cast iron and stainless steel. Vitreous china is the most common material, since it provides a high-gloss finish and is durable and sanitary.
- For bath vanities, 34 inches to 36 inches is a more comfortable height for adults than the typical height of 30 inches to 32 inches.
- Pedestal lavatory bowls rest on a pedestal and do not have storage space underneath.
- The most common type of pedestal is made of vitreous china, but manufacturers offer other high-end types as well.
- More difficult to install than countertop vanities.
- Garbage disposals use a high-speed rotating table powered by a sealed motor, it flings kitchen waste against a stationary shredder, cutter or grinder.
- This action, together with a full flow of cold running water that must be used while the disposal is operating, reduces the garbage to fine particles and flushes them down the drain to the sewage system.
- Fits standard 3½-inch to 4-inch sink drain openings and are installed under the sink drain.
- Cold water congeals grease and prevents it from coating the drain line. Hard particles, such as bone and eggshell, actually scour the drain line as they whirl down and help keep it clean.
- One type is the continuous-feed disposals. Garbage can be fed while the machine is in operation. These disposals are controlled by a wall switch and operated with a continuous flow of cold water.
- A flexible splashguard at the disposal opening stops backsplash and helps to catch non-food items that may accidentally fall into the opening.
- Batch-feed disposals grind or pulverize food waste one load at a time. The hopper is filled and cold water added. When the cover is put in place, the unit begins operating. Some models have a magnetic switch control in the cover; others require a locking turn of the cover to activate the unit. No other switch is necessary. The safer design of batch-feed disposals makes them more attractive to homeowners with children.
- A sealed motor requiring an electrical hook-up powers most garbage disposals.
- The typical disposal has an overload switch that shuts off the motor if something is jammed.
- Disposals will grind most garbage from the sink and the dishwasher but they are not intended for glass, crockery, leather, metal, newspaper, paper cartons, rubber or plastic.
- Bathtubs come in many varieties.
- Standard drop-in tub installs within a tile or solid-surface surround within three walls of the bathroom, while old-fashioned claw foot tubs are freestanding.
- Standard size for tubs is 60 inches wide, 30 inches deep and 14 inches high.
- Whirlpool and deep tubs, such as Japanese-style tubs, are designed for soaking and relaxation. These tubs can be separate or incorporate a shower combination.
- Cast iron tubs are the most durable and do not stain or scratch easily.
- Acrylic is a better insulating material so the water takes longer to cool, and its light weight and flexibility makes it a better choice for larger tubs.
- Fiberglass tubs are easy to install, but are more apt to fade and scratch.
- Tub and shower combinations are typically made of reinforced fiberglass with a polyester finish.
- Tub surrounds attach to drywall, plaster or most any solid surface.
- Comes in three or more pieces that snap or caulk together for a leak-free fit.
- Inexpensive alternative to tile and good solution for keeping bathroom walls around the shower easy to clean.
- Don’t forget to caulk.
- Shower stall units can be purchased a few different ways.
- Some come in one piece, mainly for new construction or major remodels.
- Some units come in multiple pieces that snap or caulk together to be a leak free.
- Easy to clean, some manufacturers claim they will not chip, crack or peel.
- Don’t forget to caulk.
Towel Bar/Towel Ring
- Towel bars and towel rings often are sold in a style that matches other bathroom accessories, and some manufacturers will match them to light fixtures.
- Mount on the wall or shower door.
- Fancier models are stand alone and heated.
- Sold in a variety of finishes.
- Soap dishes often are sold in a style that matches other bathroom accessories such as towel bars.
- Comes either stand-alone or wall-mounted.
- Ridge vents exhaust from the attic and extends the life of the roof.
- Typical widths are 9 inches and 12 inches.
- Helps keep an attic cool and reduces air conditioning costs.
- Helps prevent ice dams.
- Shingle-over ridge vents incorporate shingles that match the roof and are nailed over the vent.
- Pre-drilled holes make installation easy.
- Most types feature baffles because ridge vents without baffles can allow wind and moisture to enter the attic.
- Soffit vents are an air intake on the soffit or eave.
- Helps balance the flow of air into the attic from the ridge vent.
- Usually made of either aluminum or PVC.
- Reversible soffit vents can be flush or recessed mounted.
- Gable vents are designed to complement most brands of vinyl siding.
- Installs before or after the siding.
- Requires little maintenance.
- Features open louvered joints and built-in screens to keep out bugs and birds.
- Comes in a variety of shapes, including octagon, pentagon, round, square, half-round or rectangular.
- Power ventilators consist of a turbine mounted on a sheet metal cylinder.
- Installed like roof line vents along the face of the roof.
- When the wind blows, it spins the turbine, which in turn draws air up out of the attic.
- Their effectiveness depends on whether the wind is blowing or not.
- Foundation vents are used to ventilate basements and crawl spaces.
- May be constructed of steel, aluminum or plastic.
- Used with brick, block or frame construction.
- Dryer vents provide exhaust for the dryer.
- Most models feature flaps or louvers that remain closed when not in use.
- Available in a kit that includes the vent, ductwork and dryer attachment.
- Mounting blocks offer a waterproof surface for installing outlets, lighting and plumbing fixtures with new siding.
- Used with wood, aluminum, vinyl, stucco, brick or shake siding.
- Siding comes in many varieties.
- Vinyl siding is available in a variety of colors, textures and profiles.
- Benefits include easy installation and low maintenance. Color is solid throughout, so scratches don’t show. Available in lap sizes up to 12 inches wide.
- Aluminum siding is used less frequently than vinyl siding. Has a baked-on enamel factory finish that fades over time and needs to be repainted. Can be installed over any structurally sound surface.
- Must be grounded with a No. 8 or larger wire to the cold-water service or the electrical service ground.
- Wood siding typically comes in redwood and cedar. Wood is a natural insulator and adds to the R-value of the wall. Not as popular as other types of siding as it is high maintenance. May be stained or painted.
- Fiber cement siding looks, feels and installs similar to wood.
- Created by mixing Portland cement, sand, clay and wood fiber and forming it into siding panels with various textures, including wood grain, smooth or stucco texture. Usually comes primed and ready to paint. Has a Class 1 (A) fire rating and resists rot and wood-boring insects.
- Outside corner posts provide a more finished appearance at the outside corner of adjoined walls.
- Inside corner posts provide a more finished appearance at the inside corner of adjoined walls.
- Grab bars are for safety around tubs to help prevent falls.
- Also used as a handrail to help anyone who may have trouble sitting down or standing up.
- Never use a towel rod in place of a grab bar.
- Never install diagonally, as a person’s hand might slide if footing isn’t secure.
- Double-hung windows have a two-sash system
- Each sash slides vertically in a channel common frame.
- It opens from the top and bottom.
- A popular variation is the single-hung window that has a sash that slides vertically. The second sash remains stationary.
- Casement windows have a single sash hinged at one side to swing open by means of a crank or lever.
- Tends to be more weathertight than double-hung, single-hung or sliding windows.
- Utilizes a cam-type lock to draw the sash tightly against the frame when closed.
- Awning windows have a single sash hinged at the top.
- Opens at the bottom with a hand-turned crank.
- More durable than casement windows.
- One type is a basement utility window that is made with a block frame for easy installation in masonry walls.
- Another type is a ranch unit, which has the window framed in a brick mold for installation in garages, cottages and utility buildings.
- Another type is a hopper window, where the window is hinged at the bottom.
Bow and Bay Window
- A bay window is made of three windows: one large unit in the middle and two flanking windows that are usually placed at 30-degree to 45-degree angles.
- A bow window is made of four or more windows that, all together, form a shape that curves outward. It looks like a bay window, but is free of sharp angles.
- Picture windows are a fixed window.
- Has no moving parts or sashes and does not open.
- Sometimes used with another window type, such as an awning window.
- Usually a fixed window available in various shapes, such as an oval, arch, ellipse, octagon or circle.
- Glider windows slide horizontally to open.
- Durable, since the sash is fully supported in the frame.
- The nail-on frame style uses nailing flanges and is used mainly in new construction.
- The block frame style is used either as a replacement window or in block construction.
- Blacktop sealer is used to maintain outdoor asphalt surfaces.
- The ultraviolet rays of the sun damage the asphalt binder used as the paving material. The sealer protects asphalt against oil, tar and gasoline and keeps water from settling in pores.
- Apply at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and requires a dry time of 24 to 48 hours before use.
- A coal-tar type of sealer needs to be resurfaced yearly and may contain hazardous chemicals.
- An acrylic sealer type is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
- Hydraulic cement is used to plug running leaks in masonry surfaces.
- Stops water leaks under pressure and can be used underwater.
- Fast setting.
- Used inside or outside, above or below the ground.
- Carpet is usually constructed of nylon. Polyester, wool, acrylic and polypropylene are also used.
- Styles include level loop pile (berber), multi-level loop pile, cut and loop pile, cut pile and sisal.
- Quality of carpet depends on the density of construction (the denser the better) and the twist, or how many fibers have been intertwined to make the yarn (the tighter the twist, the better the carpet).
- Use with carpet padding to extend the life of the carpet.
- Installation products will include tack strips, a sharp razor-type knife, a chalk line and a straight edge.
- Usually comes in 12-foot widths.
- Carpet padding is installed underneath the carpet.
- Prolongs the life of the carpet and adds to comfort.
- Usually made from felted cushion, urethane, foam rubber or sponge rubber.
- Weight, density and thickness vary by type and the amount of traffic in the area to be carpeted.
- Typically available in 36-inch, 54-inch, 72-inch, 108-inch and 144-inch widths.
- Vinyl flooring is generally available in large, 12-foot rolls in varying lengths, or in square tiles.
- Available in a variety of patterns and colors.
- Most floors have a no-wax surface, although most manufacturers recommend specially formulated floor finish to enhance or restore shine and provide added protection.
- Quality depends on the thickness of the material. In general, urethane floors last longer than vinyl.
- Installed by gluing to the subfloor with an adhesive made for the material.
- The square tile type often has an adhesive backing that makes for easier installation.
- Hardwood flooring is available in planks or parquet tiles.
- Some types install with nails, others with glue.
- Popular types of wood are oak, maple, beech, birch and pecan.
- Has tongue-and-groove joints for a tight installation.
- Engineered flooring is a popular alternative to solid hardwood flooring.
- The surface veneer is made of hardwood such as maple or oak, while tongue-and-groove strips underneath are constructed of plywood.
- Easy to install because it can be installed without a subfloor and requires no sanding or finishing.
- Usually installed by gluing to the subfloor, although some types snap together and do not require glue.
- The size of the veneer will determine the floor’s durability. High-quality engineered floors feature surface veneer of 5/32 inches to 1/8 inches.
- Marble tile is made of natural marble.
- Slick and easily scratched, although scratches can be buffed out.
- Tiles should be sealed after installation.
- Types include travertine (for exterior use), white (translucent) and green (usually installed with water-free epoxy mortars).
- Softwood paneling comes in either knotty grades (2 & Better Common and 3 Common) or clear grades (Superior, Prime, Select, C & Better Select or D Select).
- Hardboard paneling has vinyl, printed or paper surfaces that make them look like genuine wood. Woodgrain finishes are the most popular, but other varieties are available in solid colors, marbleized patterns and novelty designs.
- Another type is plywood wall paneling. On the back of these panels, a stamp will indicate information such as glue type, fire resistance, wood species used and structural description.
- Comes in 4x8-foot sheets in thicknesses from 1/8 inch to 5/32 inch.
- Have either smooth or V-grooved edges.
- Perforated paneling is a type of hardboard paneling that comes in 4x8-foot sheets in thicknesses of 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch. Thicker panels support more weight.
- Western lumber is known for its ease of workmanship and nailing as well as strength and dimensional stability.
- Western lumber includes more than 15 commercially important Western softwood species.
- Most common species are douglas fir and hem-fir.
- Can be classified as High Quality Appearance, General Purpose Board or Radius-Edged Patio Decking Grade.
- The Western Wood Products Association (WWPA) has a rigorous inspection and quality control process. Lumber with the WWPA logo indicates the lumber has passed that quality control process.
- Lumber with only the “WWPA Rules” stamp indicates the lumber has been graded according to the WWPA rules, but not been inspected by WWPA.
Drop Ear Elbow
- Drop ear elbows provide a rigid installation for mounting an elbow to a wall.
- Usually used for installing a shower arm or washer hose valve.
- Some variations include fittings that can transition from plastic to brass or copper.
- Also known as a wing elbow.
Soffit & Fascia Panel
- Soffit panels enclose the underside of an eave.
- Fascia panels enclose the front of an eave.
- J-channels are used to trim out the ends of siding panels where they meet a door or window.
- Also used to cover cut edges of panels around windows and under the eaves.
- Storm windows are sometimes called combination windows because they combine the functions of storm and screen windows.
- Typically made of aluminum
- Easy to install and usually attached directly to the exterior casing surrounding the window.
- The single-track type consists of a piece of glass in a lightweight sash, fixed permanently in a nail-on frame.
- The dual-track style has a glazed sash and screen. The glazed sash is in the top half of the outer track and the screen is in the lower half. Another glazed sash in the inside track covers the screen and can be raised to uncover the screen for ventilation.
- The triple-track storm window has two glazed sash and a screen panel, all in a separate track. This is best for second floor windows.
- Skylights are a window installed on a sloping roof. Also called a roof window.
- Can be stationary or vented.
- Sizes range from 18 inches to 60 inches wide to 18 inches to 60 inches long. Usually, there should be only one square foot of skylight for every 20 square feet of floor space.
- Opening the window can be controlled by a manual crank, sometimes reached with a long pole, or by a remote electronic operation.
- A tubular skylight is one type designed for rooms where a larger, standard skylight may not be practical. Easy to install, it features a one-piece flashing system to eliminate the possibility of leaks.
- A self-flashing or curb-mounted roof window works best with asphalt or fiberglass shingles.
- Gypsum wallboard consists of a core of gypsum plaster covered with two sheets of heavy paper.
- Panels are 4 feet wide and range in length from 6 feet to 16 feet.
- Boards ¼ inch thick are normally used for recovering old walls and ceilings.
- Boards 3/8 inch thick are used in two-ply construction.
- Boards 1/2 inch thick and 5/8 inch thick are used in single-ply new work. Boards in a thickness of 5/6 inch provide better fire resistance and sound control.
- Benefits include low cost and ease of installation. The plain-papered face provides an excellent surface for paint or wallpaper.
- The edges are typically made with a slight taper, which allows for a filled and tapered joint.
- Green board is a type of gypsum wallboard that has a water-resistant (not waterproof) facing and is used in bathrooms and areas that will be exposed to water or steam.
- Premixed concrete contains all the elements needed to mix concrete except water.
- Generally comes in 40-pound, 60-pound or 80-pound bags.
- Typically used for minor concrete repairs or projects such as setting a post or replacing a section of a sidewalk.
- Premixed mortar contains masonry cement and sand, everything but water needed for a mortar.
- Used for laying brick and block as well as patching and filling in around masonry.
Latex Patching Cement
- Latex patching cement is used to patch cracks in concrete.
- Can also be applied in layers as thin as 1/16 inch thick to make it useful for smoothing rough surfaces.
- Comes as a powdered cement and latex liquid, which is mixed.
Vinyl Patching Cement
- Vinyl patching cement is used for patching concrete.
- Consists of a powder mixed with water.
- It has greater adhesive strength than cement and sand mixtures and a greater resistance to cracking and chipping.
- Not affected by repeated freezing and thawing.
- Can be applied in layers as thin as 1/16 inch thick.
- Bonds to brick, tile, marble and concrete.
Epoxy Patching Cement
- Epoxy patching cement is fortified with epoxy to make it one of the toughest masonry patches available
- Comes in a kit of emulsion, hardener and dry cement
- Bonds to ceramic tile, glass and steel.
- Not the ideal choice for minor patching jobs.
- Anchoring cement is used for setting bolts, handrails or anything to be set in concrete.
- Develops strength greater than concrete.
- Concrete patch is a combination of cement and fine sand that the user mixes with water.
- Some products come ready-mixed. They can also come in convenient containers or caulk tubes that make dispensing easy.
- Used to repair cracks and holes in concrete walks, foundations and chimneys.
- Granite tile is made of solid granite.
- Similar to marble, but harder, denser and more durable.
- Must be sealed after installation.
- Commonly used on countertops.
- More difficult to harm than marble, but also more difficult to restore when damaged.
- Slate tile is made of shale with a natural cleft finish.
- Must be sealed after installation.
- Southern pine has high strength, resistance to wear and holds fasteners well. It is often used in homes and other structures.
- Descriptions for this type of wood range from 1 through 4.
- No. 1 has the highest quality and best appearance.
- No. 2 is characterized by tight knots and is generally free of holes.
- No. 3 is good, serviceable sheathing, usable for many applications without waste.
- No. 4 contains usable portions at least 24 inches long.
- Pine shelving lumber is 1-inch thick and of varying widths and lengths.
- Most consumer inventories range from 1x1 inches to 1x12 inches, up to 12 feet long.
- From 1x 1 inches to 1x6 inches, increments increase by 1 inch. Then, lengths increase in 2-inch increments from 1x8 inches to 1x10 inches and 1x12 inches.
- Most consumer sales will be in 4-foot and 6-foot lengths.
- 4 grade pine is commonly called “garage shelving”. Many consumers use it for basements and garages where looks are not important.
Laminated Veneer Lumber
- Laminated veneer lumber is also known as LVL.
- Engineered to span longer distances and support heavier loads than ordinary lumber.
- Common applications include headers, beams, columns and posts.
- Made from veneers glued up to 1¾-inch thick, then sawed to the required size.
- Beams range from 5½ inches to 18 inches deep, in lengths up to 66 inches.
- Will not shrink, twist or split like ordinary dimension lumber.
- This type of lumber may cup when exposed to wetting on one side.
Wall/Ceiling Junction (molding)
- Wall or ceiling junction is trim (molding) used where a wall and ceiling meet.
- Common types include cove, crown, bed, attic and picture.
- Available in many different widths, from 1/2 inch to wider than 5 inches.
- Several types can be combined for more elaborate trim work.
- Picture molding is placed below the ceiling and traditionally was used to support a wire that held picture frames. Today, they are used mostly decorative than functional.
- Floor or wall junction is trim used where a floor and wall meet.
- The most complete is a combination of a base, base shoe and a base cap on top. Often, just a base is used.
- Another popular type is the quarter round.
- Most types are available in many different widths, from 1/2 inch to wider than 5 inches.
- Combination of pieces often depends on the type of flooring in the house or preference of the owner.
- The base shoe looks like a quarter round molding, but is not. It is not an even length on both sides.
- Corner beads are used to protect and decorate the outside corners of an interior wall.
- An alternative to clear plastic corners
- Casing is sometimes referred to as window or door casing.
- Used around windows or doors for trim.
- Styles include colonial, oval, R2E, ranch and molded.
Top of Paneling
- Top-of-paneling is the terminal point where paneling goes part way up the wall.
- It’s also called wainscot.
- The raw edge at the top is finished with this piece of molding.
- Several styles are available, including wainscot cap, ply cap or Dado cap.
- Roof louvers are used for bathroom fan exhausts, kitchen duct outlets and attic ventilation.
- Usually made of aluminum or plastic.
- One type, wall louver, has louvered vanes and can be flush or recessed mounted.
- Another type, the midget louver, helps contain moisture in sidewall construction or other areas.
- Ceramic tile is more durable and easier to maintain than vinyl or wood flooring.
- Glazed tile is made of clay that has been single fired at a high temperature, a process that makes color and shape permanent and a surface that is resistant to stains, burns and scratches.
- Comes with a durability rating from 1 to 4+. Class 1 is the least durable, while 4+ is intended for commercial applications with heavy traffic.
- Available in a variety of colors and patterns.
- Comes in sizes 12x12 inches, and accent pieces can be 2x2 inches, 4x4 inches or 6x6 inches.
- Laminated flooring consists of thin layers of wood or paper products adhered to a resilient foam core.
- Designed to look like wood, stone or marble.
- A coating of aluminum oxide provides hardness for the flooring.
- Easy to maintain and resists scratching, denting or staining.
- A glueless, interlocking design offered by some manufacturers makes it easy to install.
- Not recommended for bathrooms since it can swell when exposed to water.
- Corner blocks are installed at the corners, where two runs of molding meet.
- Makes installation easy, as installer doesn’t have to cut a miter joint.
- Styles include rosettes and plinth blocks.
- Treated lumber resists weather, termites and fungus.
- Treatment involves chemical preservatives forced deep into the cells in the wood under pressure.
- Wood used for decks and other outdoor consumer use is generally treated with an inorganic chemical. In 2004, the EPA outlawed the use of arsenic as a method of treating wood. ACQ and copper azole are the current popular chemicals used.
- Treated wood still absorbs water, and the treatment is not considered waterproof, but rather decay-proof.
- Wood species typically used include Ponderosa pine, Lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, Hem-fir and Southern yellow pine.
- Always wear respiratory protection when cutting treated lumber.
- Exterior plywood construction acceptable for outdoor use.
- A popular grade is A-C EXT, which has one paintable surface and can be used outside.
- Type A-A EXT is also available if both sides will be exposed.
- Plywood siding is also available, and comes in standard patterns such as texture 1-11, reverse board and batten and others.
- A “shop-grade” panel is one that, after its manufacturing process, failed to meet the specifications of a specific grade. The piece can still be used for some applications, but should not be recommended for structural applications.
- A “mill certified” panel does not carry the approval of a quality control agency, but may be used for non-regulated projects such as storage sheds or shelves.
- Interior plywood is a laminate made from thin sheets of wood called veneers.
- Layers are glued perpendicular to the next, creating a strong, stiff panel.
- Varying thicknesses are available. The most common are 1/4 inches thick and 3/4 inches thick.
- Sheets usually measure 4x8 feet. Other sizes may be available.
- Most common wood type is Douglas fir and Southern pine.
- Available in a wide range of grades, with the most common being C-D, Exposure 1 (usually called CDX or sheathing).
- Another popular grade is A-D Exposure 1, which is suitable when only one paintable side is needed.
- Grout is used between the joints of a tile installation.
- Must be sealed after installation.
- Made of cement and is either sanded or non-sanded, some are polymer modified.
- Pre-mixed grout is also available and is for repairs in dry areas only.
- Color of the grout will coordinate with the color of the tile.
- Quarry tile has a shale body, extruded then cut to size with edges ground smooth.
- Can be glazed, but is usually sold unglazed.
- Must be sealed after installation.
- Very durable, and often used in institutional settings.
- Splash blocks divert water away from the foundation of the house.
- Only works if the grade of soil is already pitched away from the house’s foundation.
- Metal strip used to secure a gutter downspout to the side of the house.
Spike and Ferrule
- Spike and ferrules are used to hold a gutter to the eaves of the roof.
- The spike is inserted through the ferrule.
- The ferrule helps hold the width of the gutter constant throughout the run.
- An end cap is used to stop a run of gutter.
- Mitres change the direction of a run of gutter.
- An outside mitre is used for an inside turn of a gutter.
- An inside mitre is used for an outside turn of a gutter.
- Saddle tees join a smaller drainpipe to a larger one, such as a 1½-inch pipe to a 3-inch pipe.
- Used when installing a drain on existing plumbing. Saves the labor of cutting and rejoining the main pipe.
- Some types are made for joining a PVC pipe to a cast iron drain.
- Flanges connect a pipe to a wall, floor or any flat surface.
- Flanges are threaded onto pipe and tightened. Four screw holes allow the flange rim to attach to a flat surface.
- A closet flange is made to connect toilets to drain and vent systems.
- Another type is the offset closet flange that is used when the drain pipe has been incorrectly positioned.
- The adjustable ring on some closet flanges allows for easier toilet alignment.
- Unions are a three-part fitting that connects any standard size pipe where it may be necessary to disconnect later, such as on a water heater.
- Connects to male threaded ends.
- Also known as a ground joint union.
- A transition union joins different types of tubing, such as CPVC to brass.
- Wye bends are also called a Y bend.
- Has three female openings. Two are straight in a line; the third is at a 45-degree angle.
- A reducing wye has two openings of the same size and the third Y opening of a different size.
- A double wye has four openings.
- Tees are three female openings in a T shape.
- Straight tees have the same size openings.
- Reducing tees have two openings of the same size and one of a different size.
- Sanitary tees are used in waste lines. They have a curved branch designed for a cleanout plug and are designed to prevent obstruction of waste.
- Cross tees have four female openings of equal size.
- Wing tees have lugs for fastening the fitting to a wall or stud.
- Compression tees use compression fittings on two or more ends.
- Test tees have a threaded opening to be used in conjunction with a threaded plug for a cleanout opening on a drain pipe.
- Reducers attach directly to pipe threads to reduce pipe size.
- Female threaded.
- Can refer to couplings, tees, or elbows.
- Bushings are male-threaded on one end with a smaller diameter female thread on the other.
- Inserted inside a coupling to reduce the size of the pipe.
- With a reducer bushing, any number of reductions can be made to reduce and couple to another size of pipe.
- Adapter bushing connects different types of pipe, such as PVC to CPVC.
- Redwood sold is mostly heartwood and sapwood grade. Each type comes in several grades, from a fine finish appearance to a rougher, less attractive finish.
- Heartwood contains natural barriers to termites and decay and is suited for applications that come into contact with the ground.
- Sapwood contains cream-colored streaks. It should not be used in contact with the ground.
- Architectural redwood is the strongest redwood. It is normally kiln-dried and used for structural and finish applications.
- Garden redwood comprises lower grades that are not kiln-dried and are commonly used for decks, fences and other outdoor garden uses.
Butyl Rubber Sealants
- Butyl rubber sealants are solvent-based, with a life expectancy of two to 10 years.
- Butyl rubber is good for sealing out water in lap joints, such as gutters. It is also a good choice for metals and masonry, as well as outside for chimneys.
- Probably the best waterproofing sealant for below-grade applications, such as foundations.
- Stringy, difficult to apply and slow curing, they are most efficient when applied to openings between similar surfaces.
- Not recommended for openings wider or deeper than 1/4 inch or in 90-degree corners.
- These sealants offer low- to moderate-movement capabilities.
Synthetic Rubber Caulk
- Synthetic rubber caulk is a relative newcomer to the caulk category, synthetic rubber caulk is perhaps the most flexible product on the market.
- Cures clear and is ideal for exterior joints that typically expand and contract.
- Can be applied in adverse weather conditions (wet and cold).
- Stretches easily without breaking and recovers easily.
- Great for use on roofs, wood siding and joints that frequently show movement.
- Can be painted with latex paint.
- Due to higher VOC content, can’t be used indoors in some parts of the country, although manufacturers have introduced low VOC formulations to the marketplace.
Modified Silicone Polymers
- Modified silicone polymers deliver excellent performance on vinyl, fiber cement, aluminum and wood siding.
- Combines the best characteristics of polyurethane, silicone and water-based products, offering permanent flexibility.
- Great for applying in wet weather and low temperature applications for caulking around exterior windows, doors and vents.
- Can be painted with latex paint.
- Polyurethane foam is used for a variety of jobs, most often around electrical outputs, pipe penetrations and large voids or openings where the elements can infiltrate a structure.
- It expands to fill gaps, holes and voids and is good for insulation purposes.
- It is easy to apply, cures quickly, is paintable and offers good adhesion.
- Available in different expansion rate formulas.
- Silicone caulks are good for use around bathtubs and sinks because it resists mold and mildew.
- It is water resistant and provides excellent adhesion to smooth surfaces, such as metal, glass and tile, but it does not adhere to masonry.
- Remains flexible after curing and is not affected by UV radiation.
- Paint will also not stick to most silicones and it is difficult to apply.
- Does not adhere well to wood.
- Can be applied at nearly any temperature.
- Must be cleaned up with solvents.
Siliconized Acrylic Caulk
- Siliconized acrylic caulk combines silicone with acrylic latex formulas for improved water resistance.
- This medium-performance, water-based caulk can withstand greater movement than acrylic latex.
- Can be used for interior or exterior with good adhesion, even to glass and ceramic tile.
- It also comes in a variety of colors as well as clear formulas.
- It applies easily (though best applied in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit), is non-flammable, paintable, mildew resistant and cleans with water.
- It endures moderate temperature changes, with a life expectancy of about 25 to 35 years.
- Water-based caulks are generally referred to as latex caulks and sealants, water-based caulks are the easiest to work with because they apply easily, are paintable, have little odor and clean up with water.
- Ideal curing conditions are warm (above 40 degrees Fahrenheit), dry weather.
- Effective for filling gaps in baseboard and trim, as well as for caulking around interior window and door frames.
- Generally available in cartridges ranging from 10 ounces to 12 ounces, as well as convenient squeeze tubes ranging from four ounces to six ounces.
- Vinyl latex caulk is usually effective for five years and is most effective on small cracks in baseboards and little gaps around windows. Vinyl latex is non-flammable and paintable but not very flexible. It hardens over time.
- Acrylic latex caulk is a general-purpose caulk—more flexible than vinyl latex caulks. It is water-based, easy to apply, non-flammable and cleans with water. It adheres to most surfaces—best on wood and masonry—and it can be painted shortly after application. It is available in pigments that allow it to match many surfaces. It remains effective for 10 to 15 years. However, it is not recommended for an area that is subject to excessive water collection. It is flexible and it maintains that flexibility over time. It should not be applied in temperatures of less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Tub and tile caulk is a specialty performance caulk with added mildewcide to protect against mildew growth in the areas prone to moisture (kitchens, bathrooms). Some tub and tile caulks are more flexible and crack-resistant. Many formulations include adhesives that combine a sealant and adhesive in one. Like other latex caulks, they apply easily, are non-flammable, clean up with water, and are paintable and mildew resistant. They are available in a variety of colors.
- Construction adhesive, also known as mastic, is a general term for any thick adhesive.
- Used in heavy-duty bonding and construction, mastics are usually applied with a caulking gun or trowel.
- Reduces the need for screws, nails and other fasteners.
- Flexible and waterproof qualities make them ideal for outdoor applications.
- Can be used to join flooring and sub-flooring, paneling, drywall and roofing, molding, tile, masonry and concrete, metal and wood.
Plastic Resin Glue
- Plastic resin glues are powdered urea formaldehyde glue.
- When mixed with water, it makes highly water-resistant bonds.
- Frequently used for furniture repair, it is applied to clean, close-fitting surfaces and cured under pressure for at least 10 hours at 70° F.
- The finished glue is non-toxic and impervious to most materials.
Silicone Rubber Adhesive
- Silicone rubber adhesives are ideal for strong, flexible joints on wood, dissimilar surfaces such as metal, rubber, glass, ceramics, brick, wood and polystyrene foam.
- Resorcinol glues are two-component adhesive of liquid resin and powdered catalyst.
- Used in wood joints, it cures under pressure in 10 hours at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ideal for exterior structural applications because of its waterproof and weatherproof qualities.
- Contact cements can be used on many surfaces, but the joints it makes may come apart under a heavy load.
- Good to bond laminates to countertops and cabinets, or to glue plastic foam, hardboard or metal to wood.
- Instant adhesion makes contact cement difficult to use. It bonds immediately without clamping and resists water, temperature extremes and fungi.
- Contact cement is most effective when one or both surfaces are porous or semi-porous.
- Contains solvents that should be allowed to flash off before assembly. Non-flammable versions are available.
- Polyurethane glues are a one-part adhesive offering the strength of an epoxy without mixing.
- Generally requires four hours to 24 hours to fully cure, but it does bond to most materials.
- Cures in the presence of moisture, so wetting one or both materials to be joined is required.
- Good for a bond between either similar or dissimilar surfaces and is commonly used in woodworking.
- Waterproof, sandable, paintable and stainable.
- Epoxy is one of the strongest adhesives known. It’s designed primarily for the bonding of non-porous surfaces, but can also be used effectively on wood.
- Available in clear, white or metallic finish.
- Most epoxies come in two parts: a resin and a hardener (or “catalyst”) which must be mixed together before the adhesive is used. Once mixed, the material will set permanently in a specified length of time—most will permanently bond, even under water.
- The bond will withstand most solvents when curing is complete.
- Excellent for sealing gaps and will withstand vibration and shock.
- Can be used on pipes, radiators, wood, metal, ceramic tile, china, marble, glass and masonry.
- Since epoxy is toxic and flammable, use extreme caution when handling.
- Instant-setting glues are also called super glue (cyanoacrylates). This glue creates a strong, instant bond with a small amount of glue.
- Regular cyanoacrylates will bond almost all non-porous materials such as ceramic, some plastics, rubber, metal or synthetics.
- Comes in gel form.
- Should be handled with extreme care and kept off of skin.
- Woodworkers’ glue is also called carpenter’s glue.
- Has a faster grab than white glue.
- Set time is usually within 15 minutes.
- Is usually tinted an off-white or yellow color.
- Woodworkers’ glue is used in applications where better water resistance, heat resistance and ease of sanding are desired.
- Aliphatic wood glue, a general-purpose adhesive, is also popular among people who are doing woodwork, including those building or repairing furniture.
- Nontoxic and nonflammable.
- White glues are also known as polyvinyl acetate (PVA).
- A non-waterproof adhesive used mostly for interior woodworking jobs where a waterproof joint is not required.
- Usually packaged in plastic squeeze bottles, these inexpensive, milky-white glues dry clear and are fast setting.
- Bonds paper, fabric, cardboard, cork and leather, as well as wood.
- Can withstand a moderate amount of strain and cleans up easily with soap and water.
- Nontoxic and nonflammable.
- Xylol and xylene are medium evaporating, clear, colorless aromatic hydrocarbon solvents for thinning varnishes and rubber.
Naphtha (VM & P)
- Naphtha is a fast evaporating, clear, colorless solvent.
- Used primarily to thin oil paints, varnishes and enamels for spray applications where mineral spirits drying time is too slow.
- Toluene is a high-solvency thinner for oil based paint, lacquers, varnish and adhesives.
- Also used to thin certain primers and topcoats.
- Soluble in alcohol and insoluble in water.
- Dries quickly.
- Also used to clean tools and equipment.
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
- Methyl ethyl ketone is a fast-evaporating clear, colorless solvent.
- Has solvent characteristics and strengths similar to acetone, but is water soluble.
- Primarily used to thin lacquers and vinyl acetate and vinyl chloride copolymers.
- Acetone is a fast-acting thinner, cleaner and remover for resins, inks, adhesives and contact cement.
- Also used for thinning and cleaning fiberglass.
- A heavy degreaser, it can be used as a metal cleaner prior to painting.
- Rust remover cuts through and dissolves rust from metal surfaces to form a metal shield that can be painted.
- In jellied form, it clings well to vertical surfaces.
- When brushed on, the rust dissolves quickly.
- These products are extremely harsh on the skin; protective gloves should be worn.
- The solution is applied with a stiff brush or aerosol spray and allowed to dry for 12 to 24 hours, depending on humidity (check manufacturer labeling and literature).
Plaster of Paris
- Plaster of Paris is a quick-setting white powder used to repair wallboard, plaster walls and ceilings, set bathroom wall fixtures—towel racks, soap dishes, etc.—and for art projects.
- It usually hardens within 30 minutes.
- No more water than necessary should be added; when water evaporates, the plaster shrinks.
- Patching plaster is a fast-setting powder ready to use by adding water.
- It dries hard to uniform, white color.
- It repairs and covers large holes and deep cracks in plaster walls and ceilings.
- Patching plaster may be drilled, sanded and painted and can be textured to match existing surface.
Drywall Joint Compound
- Drywall joint compound is used in drywall construction as a bedding compound for the joint tape and to finish seams between drywall.
- It is available in powder or ready-mixed form and comes in quarts, one-gallon and five-gallon pails. Some ready-mixed types may also be used as texture paint.
- One pound is sufficient for four lineal yards of joint surfaces.
- Glazing compound is a long-lasting material used for glazing wood or metal sash.
- It remains semi-elastic under a smooth, firm, wrinkle-free film that forms when the material sets.
- It does not dry rock-hard and is easier to remove when re-glazing.
- It resists cold, heat and moisture and is used for patching or sealing small openings or cracks.
- Glazing can be tinted with oil color.
- Window film is a plastic used to reduce heat, prevent heat loss to lower heating and cooling costs and to reduce fade and glare.
- Can block up to 98 percent of UV radiation and about 80 percent of normal heat gain.
- Film made of polyester is coated with water-activated or pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side and with a scratch-resistant coating on the other side.
- Dyed films absorb heat and give a tinted appearance.
- Metallic films can be clear or reflective. Use this type on double-glazed windows.
- Solar screen is used in place of regular insect screening and blocks out most of the sun’s heat while serving as an insect barrier.
- Available in aluminum material or as fiberglass ribbed-weave mesh.
- Helps save energy; aluminum screens can reduce incoming heat by as much as 87 percent and fiberglass solar screen can reduce incoming heat by 70 percent.
- Available in the same widths and colors as regular screen.
- Screen spline is inserted into grooves in screen frame after screen is tucked in to hold screen in place.
- Tightens screen onto frame by pulling screen tight.
- Available in a variety of lengths and thicknesses to fit different size screen channels.
- Bronze screening offers a nostalgic look for accenting old homes.
- Made of 90 percent copper and 10 percent zinc.
- Screen weathers to a dark finish.
- Fiberglass screening is rustproof, corrosion proof and flame retardant.
- Available in a variety of colors and meshes, with silver gray and charcoal and 18×16-inch mesh being the most popular.
- A fine-woven 20×20-inch mesh is used primarily in coastal areas where very tiny flying insects are a problem.
- Large areas such as a pool enclosure may use an 18×14-inch mesh.
- Standard widths are 24 inches and 48 inches, with many manufacturers offering 54-inch, 60-inch- and 72-inch widths as special order.
- Aluminum screening is resilient, rustproof, fire resistant and melt-proof.
- Comes in three standard finishes: bright aluminum, charcoal and black.
- The black finish offers the best outward visibility and is recommended for decks, patios, porches or other applications.
- Standard mesh is 18x16 strands (the number or strands per square inch). It is small enough to screen out most insects.
- Standard widths are 24 inches and 48 inches, with many manufacturers offering 54-inch, 60-inch- and 72-inch widths as special order.
- Glulams are made from standard-dimension lumber glued face to face.
- Lengths are as long as 150 feet, using finger-jointed materials.
- Frequently used as garage door headers and girders.
- A recent development is a glulam that uses fiber-reinforced plastic in the lower part of the beam to create a lighter, stronger and less expensive lumber.
Let’s take a stroll down the winding path of insulation types. What will we see along the way? Reflective foil insulation, foam, rigid, encapsulated and loose-fill insulations, to name a few. It’s a busy road and we’re just getting started. If you need more info on insulation, doors, adhesives, shingles and roofing, you’ve wandered into the right glossary. This one takes care of all the building materials you’ll find as an avid DIYer.