Common Housing Terms
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Sandwich Panel
A panel with plastic, paper, or other material enclosed between two layers of a different material.

Sash
The movable part of a window-the frame in which panes of glass are set in a window or door.

Scotia
A concave molding.

Scuttle Hole
A small opening either to the attic, to the crawl space or to the plumbing pipes.

Seepage Pit
A sewage disposal system composed of a septic tank and a connected cesspool.

Septic Tank
A sewage settling tank in which part of the sewage is converted into gas and sludge before the remaining waste is discharged by gravity into a leaching bed underground.

Shakes
Handcut wood shingles.

Sheathing (See Wall Sheathing)
The first covering of boards or material on the outside wall or roof prior to installing the finished siding or roof covering.

Shim
Thin tapered piece of wood used for leveling or tightening a stair or other building element.

Shingles
Pieces of wood, asbestos or other material used as an overlapping outer covering on walls or roofs.


Shiplap
Siding Boards of special design nailed horizontally to vertical studs with or without intervening sheathing to form the exposed surface of outside walls of frame buildings.

Sill Plate
The lowest member of the house framing resting on top of the foundation wall. Also called the mud sill.

Skirtings
Narrow boards around the margin of a floor; baseboards.

Slab
Concrete floor placed directly on earth or a gravel base and usually about four inches thick.

Sleeper
Strip of wood laid over concrete floor to which the finished wood floor is nailed or glued.

Soffit
The visible under wide of structural members such as staircases, cornices, beams, a roof overhang or eave.

Softwood
Easily worked wood or wood from a conebearing tree.

Soil Stack
Vertical plumbing pipe for waste water.

Stringer
A long, horizontal member which connects uprights in a frame or supports a floor or the like. One of the enclosed sides of a stair supporting the treads and risers.

Studs
In wall framing, the vertical members to which horizontal pieces are nailed. Studs are spaced either 16 inches or 24 inches apart.

Subfloor
Usually, plywood sheets that are nailed directly to the floor joists and that receive the finish flooring.

Sump
A pit in the basement in which water collects to be pumped out with a sump pump.

Swale
A wide shallow depression in the ground to form a channel for storm water drainage.