Home inspection company of Kenosha, WI Advanced Property Inspection

(714) 270-5548

Orange County Real Estate Inspection Services



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Abacus - The slab that forms the uppermost member of a column capital.

Abode - Living quarters or residence.

Abrasion Test - Material abrasion test measures the ability of warp and weft yarns to withstand friction from wear.

Abstract - Design elements showing general forms instead of a detailed and realistic representation.

Acanthus - Ornamental design motif representing leaves of the acanthus plant, native to the Mediterranean.

Acknowledgments - The paperwork forms that the supplier sends to the designer to indicate what the supplier interpreted the designer’s order to be.

Acrylic - A water-soluble paint made with pigments and synthetic resin; used as a fast-drying substitute to oil paint.

Addenda - Corrections or changes are made to the contract documents by the issuance of addenda. Addenda are written by the person or firm responsible for the original set of contract documents.

Adit - A sloping tunnel or shaft driven through a hill or mountainside to reach beds of rock.

Aga - A closed iron range fueled by coke, oil, or gas.

Agrillaceous - A fine-grained sedimentary rock with grains less than 1/16mm, e.g. clay.

Alabaster - A fine-textured, regularly white, gypsum that is easily carved and translucent when thin.

Allied Board of Trade - A national credit agency that specializes in the interior design industry.

Aluminum - A lightweight, silver-colored metal used extensively in commercial applications, and occasionally by metal artists.

Analogous Color - Hues that are next to one another on the color wheel. Examples would be red and orange or blue and green.

Appliqué - A technique whereby pieces of fabric are layered on top of one another and joined with decorative stitches.

Aquatint - Printmaking process used to create areas of solid color, as well as gradations of white through black tones. Usually has the appearance of transparent watercolor.

Arcade - A series of arched columns.

Architrave - The lower horizontal band of an entablature, located below the frieze.

Articulation Class - A single-number summation of how effective a ceiling is in absorbing sound reaching it from over low partitions.

Articulation Index - Measures the performance of all the elements of a particular configuration working together, including ceiling absorption, space dividers, furniture, light fixtures, partitions, background masking systems, and HVAC system sound.

Asahi Ware - Pottery made at Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, since the 17th century. Tends to be made of coarse, sandy clay. Kiln is still in making and is well recognized for its modern, computer-controlled technology.

Ashlar - A block of stone with straight edges for use in building.


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Back Band - Additional molding piece adhered to the outer edge of casing to create a more substantial appearance.

Baluster - The vertical supports of stair railing. Can range from very simple to very ornate turned pieces.

Balustrade - The railing that is supported by the balusters.

Bargeboard - Elaborately carved trim used around the edge of gables, most commonly found on gothic revival homes.

Bas-Relief – Literally - Raised or indented sculptural patterns that remain close to the surface plane.

Base Molding - The molding placed at the juncture of the floor and wall.

Batik - A method of applying dye to cloth that is covered, in part, with a dye-resistant, removable substance such as wax. After dyeing, the resist is removed, and the design appears in the original color against the newly colored background.

Beading - The process whereby decorative beads are sewn, glued, or otherwise attached to a surface.

Beam - The primary horizontal load-bearing element in a structure.

Bed - A coating of sedimentary rock.

Bedding Plane - Surface in sedimentary rock parallel to the original surface on which the sediment was deposited.

Beveled Glass - Plate glass that has its perimeter ground and polished at an angle.

Bidet - A sanitary fixture for cleansing the genitourinary area of the body.

Bills of Lading - The form that the supplier provides to the truck driver to show what is being shipped and who has title to the goods.

Bleaching - Using chemicals, such as bleach, to dramatically lighten or to remove color in a wood.

Bleed - Color penetrates through another coat of paint.

Board-and-Batten - A form of vertical siding composed of boards laid side by side, with the resulting joints covered by narrow strips of wood, or battens.

Bonded Glass - Glass pieces that have been adhered together by glue, resin, or cement.

Bonsai - The art of dwarfing trees or plants by growing and training them in containers.

Book Match - A look achieved when alternating pieces of veneer are placed so that adjacent edges meet. The name comes from the final appearance, which resembles the pages of an open book. This is one of the most common veneer methods.

Box Burns - Furniture damage caused when the shipping carton rubs against the fabric or frame materials.

Bracket - Supporting element found below an eave.

Brass - An alloy of copper and zinc. Brass is yellow in color, and though harder than either of its constituents, it is appropriately malleable for jewelry making.

Breccia - A clastic sedimentary rock with angular fragments.

Brickmould - Exterior wood moulding to cover the gap between a door or window and its frame.

Bronze - Habitually, an alloy of copper and tin generally used in casting. The term is often applied to brown-colored brasses.

Burl - A dome-shaped growth on the trunk of a tree. Intricately patterned burl wood is often used by wood turners and furniture makers.

Burl - A swirl or twist in wood grain, usually occurring near a knot. This unusual pattern is used for decorative elements such as cabinet panels and veneers.

Butcher Block - A surface made from thick cubes or strips of hardwood used for cutting or chopping food items.

Butt Hinges - Two metal plates joined with a pin, one being fastened to the door jamb or frame and the other to the door.


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Candlepower - Is the unit of luminous intensity approximately equal to the horizontal light output from an ordinary wax candle.

Capital - The top component of a column.

Casement Window - A tall, narrow window that opens by swinging outward from the side.

Casing - The type of molding found around openings such as windows or doors. Casing hides the seam between the structure and the adjoining wall.

Casting - The process of pouring molten metal or glass, clay slip, etc. into a hollow mold to harden. Some casting processes permit more than one reproduction.

Caulk - To fill a joint with resilient mastic.

Celadon - French name for a green, gray-green, blue-green, or gray glaze produced with a small percentage of iron as the colorant.

Celadon - French name for a green, gray-green, blue-green, or gray glaze produced with a small percentage of iron as the colorant.

Ceramics - The art and science of forming objects from earth materials containing or combined with silica; the objects are then heated to at least 1300°F to harden.

Chair Rail - A molding that normally falls at a height of three to four feet and bands an entire room. Originally incorporated for wall protection, chair rails are now used primarily for decoration, to cap wainscoting, or as a divider between different wall treatments.

Chasing - A technique in which steel punches are used to decorate and/or texture of metal surface.

Chasing - A technique in which steel punches are used to decorate and/or texture of metal surface.

Check - A lengthwise separation of a wood board that extends across the annual growth rings.

Chi - The life force or essential energy of the universe. Chi can be either auspicious or inauspicious.

China Paint - A low-temperature overglaze fired onto previously glazed and fired ceramic.

Chinking - The weatherproofing material placed between logs in a log home.

Clastic - Sediments formed from the breaking up of earlier rocks.

Cleavage - The tendency of some rocks to split or break along smooth planes that are more or less parallel.

Closed-Grain - A wood that exhibits narrow, inconspicuous, annual growth rings is considered closed-grain. Examples are cherry and maple.

Column - A rounded vertical structural element. Can be functional or decorative.

Columnar Jointing - In igneous rocks, a regular six-sided form of jointing that produces regularly shaped pillars or columns.

COM (Customer’s Own Material) - When a designer uses a fabric on a special-ordered upholstered furniture item other than of the fabrics available from the furniture manufactured.

Composite - One of the architectural orders. The composite column was the result of combining both the Ionic and Corinthian columns.

Conglomerate - A rock composed of rounded fragments, anything from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter.

Conifer - A softwood tree type, with needles and cones rather than flat, broad leaves.

Contrast - The difference in illumination level between one point and nearby points.

Convection Oven - Heated air flows around the food.

Conventional Oven - Food is cooked by radiation.

Corbel - A decorative bracket carved from wood; used under shelving, vent hoods, countertop overhangs, and mantel shelves.

Corinthian - The Corinthian column, featuring acanthus leaves on its capital, is the most ornate of the architectural orders.

Cornice - The top horizontal band of an entablature, found above the frieze.

Cost Plus Percentage Mark-Up - A design fee method that allows the design firm to add a specific percentage to the net cost of the merchandise being purchased by the client.

Cost Price - The price that the designer must pay for the goods.

Cost Price - The price that the designer must pay for the goods.

Country-rock - CThe rock or rocks into which an igneous intrusion is placed.

Coving - Angled sides of firebox.

Critical Path Method (CPM) - A preparation method that begins by identifying the interrelationships of the tasks to be performed. This study shows the designer, which tasks must be completed before the next or other tasks can be performed, thus establishing the vital path.

Crown Molding - A decorative molding used at the juncture of the wall and ceiling; it can be flat or sprung, plain or complex.

Crystallized - The stone forms into crystals.

Cure - Maintaining the humidity and temperature of freshly poured concrete for a period of time to keep water present so the concrete hydrates or hardens properly.

Curtains - Like draperies, curtains use fabric, but they are usually hung with in the window frame and close to the glass.

Custom Grade - Is the most common grade and still produced a high-quality job.


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Dado - The lower part of an interior wall, which has been treated with decoration.

Dentils - A small square block used in series in Ionic, Corinthian, Composite, and, more rarely, Doric cornices.

Descriptive Specification - Describes, often in intricate detail, the materials, workmanship, manufacture methods, and installation of the obligatory goods.

Design Development Phase - Involves the preparation of all final plans, presentation graphics, and specifications required to explain design concepts to the client.

Dichroic Glass - A thin metallic coating on any type of glass. This coating is applied at a high temperature in a vacuum chamber.

Die Forming - The process of placing metal between two steel dies or stamps and squeezing them together under high pressure. The process shapes and strengthens the metal.

Digital Imaging - Refers to the creation, manipulation, and production of images by use of computer technology, including software printers.

Diptych - Artwork on two panels that are hung together. Historically, a hinged, two-paneled painting or bas-relief.

Direct Labor - The time the various employees spend directly involved in the generation of the revenues of the firm.

Doric - Featuring a fluted, tapered shaft and a square abacus capital, the Doric column is the simplest of the architectural orders.

Double-Hung Window - A window with two vertical sliding sashes, that can be raised and lowered independently of each other.

Dovetail joint - A joint where a mortise and tenon combine to form a solid structure. Created entirely from wood.

Drapery - One of the most common types of window covering in residential and commercial interiors.

Dyke - An igneous intrusion, rather like a wall, into the surrounding rocks.


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Earthenware - Ceramic ware with a permeable or porous body after firing (usually to a temperature of 1600°F to 1900°F).

Egg and Dart - A decorative pattern consisting of alternating shapes of ovoid and arrow, usually used for molding.

Elements - The five elements in Chinese belief – earth, wood, fire, metal, and water – that offer essential clues to the practice of Feng Shui.

Enameled Glass - Glass decorated with particles of translucent glass or glass-like material, usually of a contrasting color, which fuses to the surface under heat. Multicolored designs can be created, as well as monochrome coatings.

Encaustic - A paint medium in which pigment is suspended in molten wax and resin. After applying the paint to a panel or canvas, the artist passes a heat element over the work to fuse the colors into a fixed, uniform film.

Engaged Column - A half column that is set against a wall or into a wall.

Engineered wood flooring - Flooring that is created from layers of wood bonded together through adhesive. Makes for a very dimensionally stable floor, ideal for areas prone to changes in temperature and humidity.

Engraving - An intaglio printing process in which a design is incised into a metal plate. Characterized by sharp, clean lines and high definition.

Entablature - The horizontal element that rests upon the columns in classical architecture. Consists of the architrave, frieze, and cornice.

erformance Specification - A specification establishing product requirements based on exacting performance criteria. These criteria must be based on the qualitative or measurable statements.

Etched Glass - Glass decorated, carved, or otherwise marked by sandblasting or the use of hydrofluoric acid. The glass is partially covered with an acid-resistant wax or gum and the exposed are is etched.

Etching - A printing method in which compound agents are used to deepen lines drawn onto a printing plate.

Ethical Standards - Define what is correct and incorrect in relation to the professional behavior of the members and even the practice of the profession.

Extrusive Rock - The cooling of magma on the earth’s surface creates an igneous rock.


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Façade - The front portion of a building.

Fan light - A semicircular window with ribbed bars, normally found over a door or another window.

Fault - A fracture within a rock mass where the rocks on one side have moved in relation to those on the other side.

Feasibility Studies - In-depth estimates of the cost of planning and specification of a project undertaken prior to any actual planning.

Fenestration - Refers to the use of windows on a wall.

Feng Shui - Literally, “wind/water,” the Chinese system of balancing the energy patterns of the physical environment.

FF & E (Furniture, Furnishings, and Equipment) - Nickname for projects that have minimal or no construction work involved.

Fiddleback - A unique figure on the face of a wood, giving it a washboard effect.

Figure - The pattern produced in wood by annual growth rings, rays, knots, color variation, and the manner in which the log was cut.

Firebox - The box or chamber containing the fire of a furnace or fireplace.

Firesurround - Shelf and side elements framing a fireplace. Also called chimneypiece or mantelpiece.

Firing - Heating clay, glaze, enamel, or other material to the temperature needed to achieve a desired structural change. Most ceramics are fired in a kiln to temperatures ranging from 1600°F to 2300°F.

Fluorescent - Contains a mixture of an inert gas and low-pressure mercury vapor.

Fluted - Marked by a series of vertical grooves, as on the shaft of a column, a pilaster, or a decorative molding.

FOB (Free on Board) - The shipper must assume that expense of loading the goods onto the truck as well the expenses and risk for shipping the goods to the FOB destination.

FOB, Destination - The manufacturer retains ownership of the goods, pays all shipping expense, and assumes all risks until the goods reach the delivery destination.

FOB, Factory - The buyer assumes ownership or title of the goods when they are loaded on the truck at the factory. The buyer assumes the transportation expenses and all risks.

Forged - A blacksmithing technique, in which metal is shaped by hammering, usually while at red or white heat.

Form - Is the basic shape and configuration of an object or space.

Fossiloferous - A rock containing fossils.

Frequency - The number of cycles completed per second and is measured in Hertz.

Frieze - The central horizontal band of an entablature, found below the cornice and above the architrave.

Fuming - A vapor deposition process in which a thin film of metal (usually silver, platinum, or gold) condenses on the surface of a hot piece of glass or clay, resulting in an iridescent surface.

Fused Glass - Glass that has been heated in a kiln to the point where two separate pieces are permanently joined as one without losing their individual color.

Futon - Padded mattress and quilt, which are pliable enough to be folded and stored out of sight during the day.


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Giclee - French term meaning “sprayed.” A process by which an image is rendered digitally by spraying a fine stream of ink onto archival art paper or canvas. Similar to an airbrush technique.

Gingerbread - Ornate scroll-sawn wood applied to gothic-revival homes.

Girt - A heavy horizontal beam located above the posts in seventeenth-century framed homes. These beams often supported the floor joists.

Glassblowing - The process of gathering molten glass onto the end of a blowpipe and forming it into a variety of shapes by blowing and manipulating it as the glass is rotated.

Glaze - Glassy melted coating on a clay surface. Glaze has a similar oxide composition to glass, but includes a binder.

Glaze - Glassy melted coating on a clay surface. Glaze has a similar oxide composition to glass, but includes a binder.

Gouache - A opaque watercolor paint, or work so produced. Gouache is applied like watercolor, but reflects light due to its chalky finish.

Grade - A classification of lumber based on its aesthetic appearance.

Grain (stone) - The individual mineral pieces or crystals that make up a rock.

Grain (stone) - The individual mineral pieces or crystals that make up a rock.

Grain (wood) - The stratification of wood fibers in a piece of wood.

Granite - Is an igneous rock with visible grains.

Grilles - Used to modify strong light or minimize an undesirable view while still providing some visual connection between the inside and outside.

Groundmass - The main part of an igneous rock made up of finer grains in which the larger crystals are set.


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Half-timbered - A method of construction that uses timber frames (post and beam) for internal and external walls. Brick and plaster are normally used to fill the gaps between timbers.

Hand-planned finish - A distressing treatment by which a new floor or board is scraped with blades by hand to give an undulating and worn effect.

Hardwood - A botanical group of trees featuring board leaves. The term does not necessarily refer to the hardness of the species.

Hearth - The paved or tiled floor of a fireplace.

Heartwood - The wood that extends from the true center of the tree to the sapwood is referred to as heartwood. This wood is normally darker and more resistant to rot and decay than the sapwood.

Heterogeneous - Stone formed from several types of material.

Hibachi - An indoor brazier used to provide warmth, boil water for tea, or warm sake. It is made in a variety of sizes and materials, especially wood and ceramic, and is filled with sand and ash. Charcoal is arranged in the center under a trivet, which supports a kettle.

High-Intensity Discharge - Produce light by passing an electric current through a gas or vapor under high pressure.

Homogeneous - Stone formed from just one material.

Hood - The canopy overhanging a fireplace to increase the draft.

Hue - The pure state of any color.


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Igneous - Rocks which have solidified from a molten state.

Igneous - Rocks which have solidified from a molten state.

Ilfochrome - A trademarked photographic paper and the process of making prints with such paper. Ilfochrome prints are produced from slides or transparencies, not color negatives.

Illuminance - The density of luminous flux incident of a surface in lumens per unit area.

Impact Noise - Sound resulting from direct contact of an object with a sound barrier, can occur on any surface, but it generally occurs on a floor and ceiling assembly.

Impasto - A thick, uneven surface texture achieved by applying paint with a brush or palette knife.

Incalmo - The glassblowing technique used to create horizontal or vertical bands of color by forming and connecting cylinders or colored glass.

Inclusions - Particles of metal, bubbles, etc., that occurs within glass or is added for decorative effect.

Inglenook - A recess for a bench seat or two next to a fireplace. Popular in Shingle style and Craftsman homes.

Inlay - A decorating technique in which an object is incised with a design, a colorant is pressed into the incisions, and the surface is then scraped to confine the colored inlay to the incisions.

Intaglio - A printmaking process in which an image is created from ink held in the incised or bitten areas of a metal plate, below the surface plane. Engraving, etching, mezzotint, and aquatint are examples of the intaglio process.

Intrusive - Igneous rock formed by the cooling of magma inside the earth’s crust.

Ionic - Of the architectural orders, the Ionic column is recognized by its scrolling capital.

Iridized Glass - Flat or blown glass sprayed with a vapor deposit of metal oxides for an iridescent finish. The iridized layer, which resembles an oil slick, can be selectively removed for a two-tone effect.

Iris Print - The trademarked name for a digital print produced by an Iris Graphics inkjet printer.


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Jamb - The side elements of a firesurround supporting a mantel.

Joist - One of the series of parallel beams used to support floor and ceiling loads.


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Kiln - A furnace for firing clay, forming glass, or melting enamels; studio kilns can achieve temperatures up to 2500°F and can be fueled with gas, wood, or electricity.

Kiln-Forming - A glass-forming process that utilizes a kiln to heat glass in a refractory or heat-resistant mold, slump glass over a form, or fuse two or more pieces of glass together.

Kinetic - Active. Kinetic sculpture has parts that move, whether by air currents (as with a mobile) or by motors and gears.

Knot - The portion of wood that displays an area of growth around a tree branch.


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Laminated - Composed of layers bonded together for strength, thickness, or decorative effect.

Lampwork - The technique of manipulating glass by heating it with a small flame. An open flame is advantageous in very detailed work.

Lancet - A narrow window with a sharp, pointed arch, commonly associated with gothic revival architecture.

Leaded Glass - Glass containing a percentage of lead oxide, which increases its density and improves its ability to refract and disperse light. Leaded glass is used for ornaments and for decorative and luxury tableware.

Limited Edition - Artworks produced in a deliberately limited quantity. All items in the edition are identical and each one is an original work of art. The limited size of the edition enhances the value of each piece.

Line - An object or form whose actual or visual length greatly exceeds any actual width or depth it many have.

Linocut - A relief print process similar to woodcut. Wood blocks covered with a layer of linoleum are carved with woodcut tools, coated with ink, and printed by hand or in a press.

Lintel - A horizontal supporting beam that spans the distance between an opening, often above a window or doorway.

List Price - Generally accepted to be the same as suggested retail price – a price to the consumer.

Lithography - A planographic printmaking process based on the repellence of oil and water and characterized by soft lines and blurry shapes.

Loose knot - A knot in timber that is not sound and may end up becoming dislodged over time.

Low-fire Glazes - Glazes – Low-temperature ceramic glazes, usually associated with bright, shiny colors.

Lumber - Timber of logs dressed for use.

Lumen - Is the unit of luminous flux equal to the flux in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform point source of one candlepower.

Luminaire - A complete lighting fixture with all components needed to be connected to the electric power supply.

Luster - A brilliant iridescent film used on a ceramic glazes; formed from metallic salts.


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Magma - Liquid or molten rock material, it is called lava when it reaches the earth’s surface.

Majolica - An opaque glaze, usually white, with a glossy surface. Typically decorated with bright overglaze stains.

Market - In reference to designer resources, a term that many interior designers use to mean they are going to visit one of the annual shows held at the marts.

Market Centers - Concentrations of trade sources in one area of a city.

Marquetry - Decorative patterns formed when thin layers of wood (and sometimes other materials, such as ivory) are inlaid into the surface of furniture or other wood products.

Marts - Where many firms have located in one building.

Mechanics Lien - A legal recourse related to the labor and materials payment bond. It is an action that prevents the owner of the property of giving or selling the property to anyone until the lien is satisfied.

Merchant - Anyone who is involved with the buying and/or selling of the kinds of goods with which he or she is dealing. A person acting in a mercantile capacity.

Metamorphic - Rocks which changed from another rock by the action of heat, pressure, or both.

Mezzotint - An intaglio printing process that produces areas of tone rather than clean lines.

Ming - Chinese dynasty that ruled form 1368 to 1644 and was noted for artistic works produced during its reign.

Mission Statement - A philosophical statement of what the firm sees as its role in the profession. It contains broad statements of what the company wishes to achieve during an unspecified time period.

Modillion - Ornamental bracket found under a cornice, similar in appearance to dentil, only larger.

Molding - A strip of contoured wood applied to a wall or other surface, normally used to hide seams between materials or to add a decorative element to a wall or structure.

Monoprint - A print produced by painting directly onto an already-etched surface and printing the image by hand onto the paper.

Monotype - A print made when an artist draws or paints on a glass or metal plate and then prints the image onto paper.

Mortise - A carved slot in a timber shaped to receive a tenon placed at the end of another post or beam, ensuring to secure it.

Mosaic - The process of creating a design or picture with small pieces of glass, stone, terra cotta, etc.

Mullion - A vertical element that divides a window into a separate lights or panes.

Muntin - A strip of wood that separates panes of glass in a window.

Murrini - A small wafer of glass bearing a colored pattern. Formed by bundling and fusing colored glass rods together and then heating and pulling the resulting cylinder to a very small diameter. When cut into cross-sectioned wafers, each piece bears the original pattern in miniature.


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Nogging - The infilling between the timbers of half-timbered homes in the seventeenth century, normally composed of brick or plaster.

Ogee - A pointed arch with a curve near the apex.


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Oil Paint - A paint in which natural oil-usually linseed-is the medium that binds the pigments.

Oolite - The small round particles which make up a sedimentary rock. On mass they look just like fish eggs.

Open Competitive Selection - When clients such as government agencies advertise impending bids so that anyone interested in the project who meets qualifications may submit a bid.

Open Grain - A wood grain where the annual growth rings are pronounced and there is an obvious difference between the pore size of springwood and summerwood. Oak and ash and examples of open-grained wood.

Open Specification - A bid specification written in such a way as to allow multiple numbers of products for the item being required.

Opencast - The method of mining near the surface, by cutting into it from above rather than digging underground.

Orders - Columns influenced by the Greeks and Romans are placed into specific orders, such as Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Composite, and Tuscan.

Oriel - bay window supported by corbels or brackets. Normally found on the second story of a home.

Origami - Art of folding paper to form figures and objects.

Overburden - The unusable rock and matter lying over the stone to be quarried.

Overflow - A pipe in bathtubs and lavatories used to prevent flooding. The pipe is located just below the rim or top edge of these fixtures.

Overlay Door - The door is on the outside of the frame and, when closed, the door hides the frame from the view.


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Palladian Window - A three-part window in which the center window is arched and larger than two smaller, often-rectangular windows flanking it on either side.

Palladium - A photographic process in which the image is produced by palladium crystals deposited on the paper.

Paneling - Wood used to cover the entire expanse of a wall, from top to bottom.

Parquetry - Geometrically patterned wood inlay.

Pastel - A crayon of ground pigment bound with gum or oil. Pastel crayons have varying ratios of pigment to chalk and gum; the more pigment, the more intense the color.

Pate De Verre - A “paste” of finely crushed glass that is mixed, heated, and poured into a mold.

Patera - A round or oval raised surface design.

Patina - A surface coloring, usually brown or green, produced by the oxidation of bronze, copper, or other metal. Patinas occur naturally and are also produced artificially for decorative effect.

Pattern - Is the repetition of a decorative motif on a surface.

Pediment - Awn ornamental detail placed over a door, portico, or window, often found in a triangular shape.

Performance Bond - Required of the winning bidder as a guarantee that the designer/vendor will complete the work as specified and will protect the client from any loss up to the amount of the bond as a result of the failure of the designer/vendor to perform the contract.

Petrology - The study of rocks, their origin and what they are made from.

Photoetching - A printmaking technique in which a light-sensitive metal plate is exposed to photographic film under ultraviolet light.

Photogravure - A printing process based on the production, by photographic methods, of a plate containing small ink-receptive pits.

Pilaster - A shallow rectangular column built into a wall for decorative purposes.

Pin Knot - A knot smaller that one-half inch in diameter.

Pitch Pocket - An opening between growth rings that may contain resin or bark or both.

Plain sawn - The most common way in which a log is cut, tangentially to the growth rings. Results in the common flam-grain appearance.

Pleasing Match - A veneer method where attention is given to matching color and grain for a pleasing final effect.

Plenum - The space between a suspended ceiling and the floor above.

Plinth - A square or rectangular base for a pilaster or column.

Plutonic - Igneous rocks which have formed from magma at a great depth in the earth’s crust.

Point - Is perceived when a two-dimensionally perceived object appears relatively small in relation to the plane against which it is seen.

Polaroid Transfer - A trademarked named for the process by which an image recorded by the camera’s lens is reproduced directly onto a photosensitive surface, which functions as both film and photograph.

Polychromatic - Having various or changing colors.

Polyurethane - A paint and varnish resin that forms a protective coating on wood. Sold under the names Varathane, Urethane, and Durathane.

Porcelain - A clay body that is white, strong, and hard when fired. When sufficiently thin, it is also translucent.

Portico - A covered entry structure normally supported by columns.

Power - The quality of acoustic energy as measured in watts. It is this power that people perceive as loudness.

Premium Grade - Gives the highest level of quality in materials, workmanship, and installation.

Print - An image made from an inked surface. Prints are usually, but not always, produced by multiples.

Proportion - Is the relationship between one part of an object or composition and another part and to the whole, or between one element and another.

Proprietary Specification - Names the products and materials by manufacturer’s name, model number, or part number.

Purlin - A horizontal timber laid parallel to the wall plate and ridge beam, providing extra support for common rafters.


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Quartersawn - Lumber that has been cut so that the grown rings are at an angle of between 45 and 90 degrees to the board face.

Quartzite - The metamorphic equivalent of a quartz sandstone, which has recrystallised into closely fitting granules.


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Rafter - One of the series of members designed to support roof loads.

Raku - The technique of rapidly firing low-temperature ceramic ware. Raku firings were used traditionally in Japan to make bowls for tea ceremonies.

Random Match - A way to join veneer where no particular attention is paid to the color or grain of the material or the pattern in which it meets. Considered a rustic or casual look.

Relief Print - A process in which a print is produced from the relief carving on a metal plate or a wood or linoleum block.

Repousse - An ancient process in which sheet metal is hammered into contours from both the front and the back.

Residential Interior Design - oncerned with the panning and/or specifying of interior materials and products used in private residences.

Reverse Painting - A technique where paint is applied to the back side of the surface (typically glass) and viewed through the front. This process requires the painting to be done in reverse order; what appears closest to the viewer, as a detail or highlight must be painted first rather than last. Any lettering must likewise be painted in the mirror image4 so it will appear right facing when viewed from the front.

Rhythm - Is the repetition of elements in a regular patter.

Ribbon Window - A continuous band of windows.

Riftsawn - Wood that haws been cut so that growth rings are at an angle of 30 to 60 degrees to the board face.

Ring Porous - Hardwood that shows a distinct zone between early and late wood, such as oak and ash.

Riser - The vertical board that spans that space between the stairs treads.

Rock - Any natural material formed of a single mineral or various minerals.

Roman Shades - Pull up with a cord into accordion folds.

Rosette - A decorative element featuring a floral design often used with a plinth and fluted molding in Victorian architecture.

Rug - A soft floor covering laid on the floor but not fastened to it. It does not cover the entire floor.

Rumford fireplace - A fireplace specially constructed to maximize heat output and minimizes smoke problems.

Running Match - A veneer method in which each face is complied from as many veneer leaves as needed, resulting in one of the most affordable veneers, with a varied and unequal appearance.


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Sake - Brewed, alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.

Salt Glaze - A glaze created during high-temperature firings. Sodium, usually in the form of rock salt, in introduced into the fully heated kiln and forms a clear coating on the clay, often with an orange-peel texture.

Sand Casting - An ancient and still widely used casting method in which moistened sand is packed against a model to make a mold – usually for metal.

Sandblasting - A method of etching the surface of material by spraying it with compressed air and sand.

Sapwood - The pale wood near the outside perimeter of a log.

Scagliola - A material developed in the 17th century in Northern Italy to duplicate marble. It is made from colored plaster and isinglass with inset marble chips. It can be polished to give a gloss finish.

Scale - Is the relative size of something as related to another element of known size.

Schematic Design Phase - Involves preliminary design decisions for plans and specifications.

Scribe Piece - Is an oversized piece of plastic laminate or wood that can be trimmed in the field to follow any minor irregularities of the wall.

Seamless Flooring - A mixture of a resinous matrix, fillers, and decorative materials applied in a liquid or vicious form that cures to a hard, seamless surface.

Sedimentary - Rocks formed by the transformation of existing rocks by gravity, atmosphere and living organisms.

Sepia - Warm, reddish-brown pigment produced from octopus or cuttlefish ink, used in watercolor and drawing ink. In photography, some toning processes produce similar color in the print.

Shape - Is the unique characteristic of an object or space that defines it as distinct from adjacent objects or spaces.

Shoe Molding - A flexible trim piece that is used in conjunction with baseboard molding. This trim is used to hide any variances in height between the base molding and flooring.

Silkscreen Printing - A printing process in which paint, ink, or dye is forced through a fine screen onto the surface beneath. Different areas of the screen are blocked off with each layer of color.

Sill - An igneous intrusion that is more or less horizontal but forms into a single step shape.

Silver Gelatin - A photographic process that uses silver halide crystals suspended within the photographic emulsion to produce the image. The most popular type of black-and-white photograph produced today.

Slate - A fine-grain metamorphic rock that is easily split into thin slabs, making it ideal for flooring as well as roofing.

Slip Match - A veneer method commonly used with quartered and rift-sawn material, where successively cut pieces are joined together to form a repeating pattern. The grain does not math up at the joints.

Slumped Glass - Preformed flat or three-dimensional glass that is reheated and shaped in a mold.

Soffit - Underside of an overhang.

Softwood - A botanical grouping of trees that displays needles and cones rather than broad, flat leaves.

Solid wood flooring - Solid wood flooring – Flooring that is constructed from solid wood boards, rather than laminated or veneered boards. Normally three-quarters of an inch thick.

Sound knot - A knot that is solid across its face, and remains intact.

Spalted - Wood that contains areas of natural decay, giving it distinctive markings.

Statuary Marbles - Those marbles used for sculpture.

Steeling - Mending a vent (hairline) crack by cutting grooves on the reverse side of a slab of stone and inserting strips of metal.

Still Life - A depiction of a group of inanimate objects arranged for symbolic or aesthetic effect.

Stoneware - A gray, red, or buff clay body that matures (becomes nonporous) between 1900°F and 2300°F.

Strata - Layers or beds of sedimentary rock.

Stringer - A long horizontal timber used to connect uprights in a frame, or to support a floor.

Structure - The overall character of a rock.

Summer beam - The largest beam spanning wall to wall, supporting the smaller floor joists in seventeenth-century timber-framed homes.


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Tatami - A straw mat covered with woven rush, approximately 6’ x 3’, used as flooring material.

Tenon - The projecting member of a piece of wood, which is inserted into a mortise to create a secure joint.

Terra Cotta - Low-fired ceramic ware that is often reddish and unglazed.

Terra Sigillata - A thin coating of colored clay or clays applied with a glaze. A terra sigillata solution is composed of fine particles of decanted clay and water.

Terrazzo - A floor or wall finish made by setting marble or other stone chips into a layer of mortar and polishing the surface.

Texture (fabric) - In fabric, is the surface quality of a material.

Texture (stone) - In stone, texture is the characteristics of a rock given by the size and shape of its grains.

Tile - Small, flat finishing units made of clay or clay mixtures.

Timber - Wood suitable for construction or a finish carpentry.

Tongue-and-groove - A tight joint created by fitting together a tongue on one end of a board with a groove on the other end. Common for floors, paneling, and wainscoting.

Tread - The flat surface of a stair.

Treenail - A wooden peg made from dry compressed timber, made to swell when placed in its hold and moistened.

Triptych - A three-paneled artwork. Historically, triptychs were hinged together so that the two side wings closed over the central panel.

Trompe L’Oeil - Literally, “fool the eye.” (French). An object or scene rendered so realistically that the viewer believes he or she is seeing the real thing.

Trumeau - The stone mullion supporting the middle of a tympanum of a doorway.

Turned - Wood or other materials shaped by tools while revolving around a fixed axis, usually a lathe. Cylindrical forms (dowels, rungs) and circular designs (bowls) are made in this way.

Truss - An assembly of members combined to form a rigid framework, interconnected to form triangles.

Tufting - A process in which the pile yarn is punched through the backing with rows of needles, much like the method employed by a sewing machine.

Tuscan - A plain and unfluted column, the Tuscan is the simplest of the architectural orders.


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Varnish - A coating that lacks pigment, offering a transparent finish for a wood surface.

Velocity - The medium in which the sound is traveling and the temperature of the medium.

Veneer - Decorative or prized wood cut very thin and applied to an inferior wood.

Venting - A natural hairline crack in the stone.

Vernacular - A type of building method common to a specific region, often build with wood indigenous to the area.

Viga - A heavy rafter, most commonly a log, used for roof support in southwestern architecture.

Vignette - A display of furniture and furnishings in a store or showroom that is done to simulate an actual room.

Vitreograph - A print made from a glass plate that has been prepared by sandblasting or etching.

Vitreous - Clay fired to maturity, so that it is hard, dense, and nonabsorbent.

Volume - Is the true three-dimensional aspect of interior design because an object with volume is clearly perceived as a spatial form having length, width, and depth.

Volutes - The scroll-like details on the capital of a Ionic column.


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Wainscoting - Wood panels or boards that cover the lower portion of a wall, often capped with molding.

Walk-Through - A final inspection of the job to be sure that everything ordered is present, and that any omissions or damaged goods are noted.

Wallpaper - Is available in a range of colors, patterns, textures, and materials for direct application to plaster or gypsum wallboard partitions.

Watercolor - Watercolor paints are made with pigments dispersed in gum arabic and are characterized by luminous transparency.

Wattle and daub - Woven sticks smeared with clay to fill the spaces between the posts and beams of half-timbered homes.

Weaving - Is the traditional method of making carpet by interlacing warp and weft yarns.

Whiteware - A generic term for white clay bodies.

Woodcut - A relief printing process in which a picture or design is cut in relief along the grain of a wood block.


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Zen - Meditation school of East Asian Buddhism.