Common Housing Terms
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Cantilever
A projecting beam or joist, not supported at one end, used to support an extension of a structure.

Carriage
The member which supports the steps or treads of a stair.

Casement
A window sash that opens on hinges at the vertical edge.

Casing
Door and window framing.

Cavity Wall
A hollow wall formed by firmly linked masonry walls, providing an insulating air space between.

Chimney Cap
Concrete capping around the top of chimney bricks and around the floors to protect the masonry from the elements.

Chair Rail
Wooden molding on a wall around a room at the level of a chair back.

Chamfered Edge
Molding with pared-off corners.

Chase
A groove in a masonry wall or through a floor to accommodate pipes or ducts.

Chimney Breast
The horizontal projection-usually inside a building-of a chimney from the wall in which it is built.

Circuit Breaker
A safety device which opens (breaks) an electric circuit automatically when it becomes overloaded.

Cistern
A tank to catch and store rain water.

Clapboard
A long thin board, thicker on one edge, overlapped and nailed on for exterior siding.

Collar Beam
A horizontal beam fastened above the lower ends of rafters to add rigidity.

Coping
Tile or brick used to cap or cover the top of a masonry wall.

Corbel
A horizontal projection from a wall, forming a ledge or supporting a structure above it.

Corner Bead
A strip of wood or metal for protecting the external corners of plastered walls.

Cornice
Horizontal projection at the top of a wall or under the overhanging part of the roof.

Course
A horizontal row of bricks, cinder blocks or other masonry materials.

Cove Lighting
Concealed light sources behind a cornice or horizontal recess which direct the light upon a reflecting ceiling.

Crawl Space
A shallow, unfinished space beneath the first floor of a house which has no basement, used for visual inspection and access to pipes and ducts. Also, a shallow space in the attic, immediately under the roof.

Cripples
Cut-off framing members above and below windows.