Common Housing Terms
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Backfill
The gravel or earth replaced in the space around a building wall after foundations are in place.

Balusters
Upright supports of a balustrade rail.

Balustrade
A row of balusters topped by a rail, edging a balcony or a staircase.

Baseboard
A board along the floor against walls and partitions to hid gaps.

Batt
Insulation in the form of a blanket, rather than loose filling.

Batten
Small thin strips covering joints between wider boards on exterior building surfaces.

Beam
One of the principal horizontal wood or steel members of a building.

Bearing Wall
A wall that supports a floor or roof of a building.

Bib or Bibcock
A water faucet to which a hose may be attached, also called a hose bib or sill cock.

Bleeding
Seeping of resin or gum from lumber. This term is also used in referring to the process of drawing air from water pipes.

Brace
A piece of wood or other material used to form a triangle and stiffen some part of a structure.

Braced Framing
Construction technique using posts and cross-bracing for greater rigidity.

Brick Veneer
Brick used as the outer surface of a framed wall.

Bridging
Small wood or metal pieces placed diagonally between floor joists.

Building Paper
Heavy paper used in walls or roofs to dampproof.

Built-Up Roof
A roofing material applied in sealed, waterproof layers, where there is only a slight slope to the roof.

Butt Joint
Joining point of two pieces of wood or molding.

Bx Cable
Electricity cable wrapped in rubber with a flexible steel outer covering.