Learn To Speak "Contractorese" With A Little Help from Horizon.
Understanding Remodeling and Renovation terminology will make you a smarter consumer.
Below is a list of common terms and phrases used in the Building & Improvement Industry that
will better prepare you for the Renovation experience now - and for years to come!
Our Service Area includes:
• Forest Oaks
High Point, NC
• Siler City
• Chapel Hill
• Wake Forest
Special tile for walls and ceilings made of mineral,wood, vegetable fibers, cork, or metal.
Its purpose is to control sound volume, while providing cover.
Adhesive-Backed Foam Tape
Installed by pressing into position and sticking permanently. Requires no nails or tools.
Available in different types.
Comes in two styles: locking and non-locking. Non-locking styles feature an adjustable end opening
with little provision made for slippage. The locking style also has an adjustable head, but uses a locking
mechanism to secure jaws in desired position, eliminating the need for constant readjustment.
When properly adjusted to a nut or bolt, it will not slip.
Pipes that carry warm air and cold air to rooms and back to furnace or air conditioning system.
The rate of flow of electricity through electric wires.
Locates angles and pitches (slopes) from 0 to 90 degrees. It is commonly used when installing drain
lines to check for proper fall of pipe and generally reads slope or pitch with inches per foot rise scale.
Contains marked adjustments to permit clamping at different angles. It can also be adjusted to a flat
position and used as a regular vise.
A paved area, such as the juncture of a driveway with the street or with a garage entrance.
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter
An arc fault occurs when the insulation surrounding wire and cable is damaged or deteriorates.
The arc fault can flare at temperatures in excess of 10,000ºF and ignite surrounding combustible
material. Standard circuit breakers do not respond quickly enough to arc faults. An arc fault circuit
interrupter (AFCI) recognizes an arcing fault and acts instantly.
Also called compound leverage snips. Cuts easier because of double fulcrum, compound leverage action.
Has a single sash hinged at the top. Opens at the bottom with a hand-turned crank.
The gravel or earth replaced in the space around a building wall after foundations are in place.
Is a thick-bladed saw with a stiff, reinforced back to provide the rigidity necessary in precision cutting.
It varies in length from 10" to 30" and is found in tooth counts from seven to 14 teeth per inch.
It is also used with miter boxes to cut miters.
Upright supports of a balustrade rail.
A row of balusters topped by a rail, edging a balcony or a staircase.
Has a clamping device built on a flat bar, which is usually made of steel. The length of the bar determines
the capacity of the clamp, which is the dimension of the largest object that can be accommodated between
its clamping jaws.
A sliding lock mechanism used to provide security for average weight doors and windows.
It is surface mounted where the bolt slides into a catch on the other side of the door.
A board along the floor against walls and partitions to hid gaps.
Insulation in the form of a blanket, rather than loose filling.
Small thin strips covering joints between wider boards on exterior building surfaces.
A bay window is made of three windows: one large unit in the middle and two flanking windows
that are usually placed at 30- to 45-degree angles.
One of the principal horizontal wood or steel members of a building.
A wall that supports a floor or roof of a building.
Bench Band Saw
This saw has a band or loop-like blade that comes in various widths & strengths for different cutting purposes.
Tool that mounts on a workbench or table to hold work pieces securely in place between two flat jaws.
Bib or Bibcock
A water faucet to which a hose may be attached, also called a hose bib or sill cock.
Seeping of resin or gum from lumber. This term is also used in referring to the process of drawing air
from water pipes.
Heavy-duty cutters that cut bolts, threaded rods, cables and other metals from 1/16" to 5/8" thick.
The longer cutters have greater strength.
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.
Box (Box-End) Wrench
Has enclosed head and provides more leverage by completely enclosing the nut.
Some are offset to provide knuckle room and clearance over obstructions.
General utility tool with up to eight adjustments, allowing for jaw openings up to 4-1/2".
Either multiple hole or tongue-and-groove designs available.
Lighter and smaller than common nails with a larger head. Used for framing and applications
where shifting is minimal, such as nailing subfloor to floor joists and attaching roof base to rafters.
Consists of a tubular steel frame and a saw blade for fast cutting of all woods. The bow saw's frame is
important, since the thin blade, usually 3/4" wide, must be held under high tension for fast cutting.
The advantages of this general-purpose saw are its all-around utility and light weight.
A piece of wood or other material used to form a triangle and stiffen some part of a structure.
Construction technique using posts and cross-bracing for greater rigidity.
Used for setting or splitting bricks, and chipping mortar from bricks. It features a curved, chisel-like
pick and a small, square striking surface.
Brick used as the outer surface of a framed wall.
Small wood or metal pieces placed diagonally between floor joists.
Heavy paper used in walls or roofs to damp-proof.
A roofing material applied in sealed, waterproof layers, where there is only a slight slope to the roof.
Fits between the butt of the door and the frame and only the hinge pin is exposed on the inside of the door.
Joining point of two pieces of wood or molding.
Electricity cable wrapped in rubber with a flexible steel outer covering.
Cabinet Slotted Tip Screwdriver
Similar to standard slotted, but tip is straight and has no flare. For use with small screws and
countersinking screws where regular tips with a flare would mar the wood or material on the side
Refers to a collection of two or more strands of wire or conductors. Basically, cable has a “hot” line to
carry the current and a “neutral” line to complete the loop. They often have a third wire as that acts
as a grounding wire.
A Tool consisting of two curved pieces of metal that are joined at one end with a pivot that has a
screw to adjust the distance between the two pieces. It is used for transferring measurements from
a model or prototype to a part being produced.
A projecting beam or joist,not supported at one end, used to support an extension of a structure.
Has a plastic or metal flat cap at the head. Used for installing foam insulation to exterior surfaces.
Some types are made for hammering into masonry as well.
Tool that employs bubble vials positioned in the center and both ends to check vertical and horizontal
surfaces for level or plumb.
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.
The member which supports the steps or treads of a stair.
Has a square shoulder under the head that pulls into soft materials such as wood and prevents the bolt
from turning while the nut is tightened. It also has coarse, partial threads and a smooth, rounded head.
Cartridge fuses for circuits above 60 amps are also known as knife-blade cartridges. They look like rifle
cartridges with metal caps and blades sticking out of each end. Cartridges fuses for circuits 60 amps or
less are also known as ferrule contact or round cartridge fuses. They look like rifle cartridges with plain,
capped ends. Used in high-current applications, such as in the main service box and in clamp- or
bar-type fuse boxes that serve electric ranges, water heaters, clothes dryers and air conditioners.
A window sash that opens on hinges at the vertical edge.
Door and window framing.
Similar in appearance to a finishing nail, but is thicker and has a flat head. Used to secure case molding.
Temporarily fills large gaps around windows. Consists of soft, rope-like strands of weather strip with the
consistency of modeling clay.
A hollow wall formed by firmly linked masonry walls, providing an insulating air space between.
The most common type of clamp—consists of a C-shaped frame, made of either forged steel or cast iron,
into which an adjustable screw is assembled to change the jaw opening.
Also known as a junction box or splice box. Used to anchor ceiling fixtures and serves as a junction box
where wires can meet and run to other areas of the room.
A Pipe wrench used for tightening and loosening odd-shaped objects, such as pipes and square objects.
It has an adjustable chain that wraps around the object, with ends that connect teeth of chain to
engage and turn the object.
Concrete capping around the top of chimney bricks and around the floors to protect the masonry
from the elements.
Wooden molding on a wall around a room at the level of a chair back.
Molding with pared-off corners.
A groove in a masonry wall or through a floor to accommodate pipes or ducts.
The horizontal projection-usually inside a building-of a chimney from the wall in which it is built.
A safety device which opens(breaks) an electric circuit automatically when it becomes overloaded.
Also known as a test lamp, a voltage tester, a neon tester or a test light. Used to determine if there
is electricity running through a circuit or if it is properly grounded.
Circular in shape, this tool is used for leveling flat surfaces over a 360 degree plane, such as table
tops and appliances. Also called Bull’s Eye or Surface Level.
A tank to catch and store rain water.
A long thin board, thicker on one edge, overlapped and nailed on for exterior siding.
A horizontal beam fastened above the lower ends of rafters to add rigidity.
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.
The tip has four points of contact and will lock into the screw head when turned counter-clock-wise.
Because of the many contact points, the tip will not damage the screw head under high torque situations.
A cold chisel should be used only for cutting and chipping cold metal (unhardened steel, cast and
wrought iron, aluminum, brass and copper), never masonry.
More versatile than regular snips. These snips are used for straight and moderately irregular cuts
in either direction and ranges in size from 7” to 16” in length.
Has a grooved blade and head that can be adjusted (by loosening the thumbscrew) to many locations
along the 12” blade to provide different measurements and for scribing. One edge of the head has a
90-degree fence for crosscutting while the other has a 45-degree angle for use as a miter square.
Has a box and an open end on opposite sides of the same wrench. Both ends are usually the same size.
Used for working on machinery and is the most popular of all fixed-end wrench styles. Also available
is a reversible ratcheting combination wrench that allows the user to quickly tighten nuts and bolts
without lifting the wrench off and repositioning it after each rotation.
Used in general carpentry and wood framing typically used with harder woods. Applications include
house foundation, floor joists, rafters and internal studding.
Compact Fluorescent Bulb
Compact fluorescent bulbs offer different style and performance from standard fluorescent bulbs.
Their color nearly equals that of Soft White incandescents, and they offer superior energy efficiency
and long life.
Compass or Keyhole Saw
Cuts curved or straight-sided holes. The saw blades are narrow and tapered nearly to a point to fit
into most spaces. Keyhole saws are small compass saws with finer teeth that can cut metal.
Compound Miter Saw
Uses a circular blade that is pivoted to the correct angle then dropped onto the material, which is clamped
stationary on a plate. In addition to a simple pivot action, the blade tilts to make compound cuts.
Used to connect lengths of conduit. Can make straight or bent connections.
Used to fasten conduit to a wall or other framing member.
It has slots or openings on the inside designed to receive male receptacles or plugs.
Also called piano hinges. Comes in sizes up to 72” long and is made to fit along the entire length of the door.
Contractor Table Saw
This saw is bulky and originally intended only for temporary use at a job site. It has a circular saw blade
extending up through a slot on a flat table. Motor and drive mechanism is located under the table.
Tile or brick used to cap or cover the top of a masonry wall.
Used for cutting irregular shapes, curves and intricate decorative patterns. The saw consists of a
thin blade and a C-shaped steel tension frame.
A horizontal projection from a wall, forming a ledge or supporting a structure above it.
A strip of wood or metal for protecting the external corners of plastered walls.
Designed to hold miter or butt joints at a 90º angle. They can be used for gluing picture frames,
cabinets, molding and trim.
Horizontal projection at the top of a wall or under the overhanging part of the roof.
Versatile fastening device that is made of ferrous and nonferrous wire. The are inserted into a hole
in a bolt, shaft or similar part. An eye on one end prevents the pin from going through while
prongs at the other end are bent back to lock the pin in place.
A horizontal row of bricks,cinder blocks or other masonry materials.
Concealed light sources behind a cornice or horizontal recess which direct the light upon a reflecting ceiling.
A shallow, unfinished space beneath the first floor of a house which has no basement, used forvisual
inspection and access to pipes and ducts. Also, a shallow space in the attic,immediately under the roof.
Multi-purpose electrician's pliers to crimp solderless connectors, strip most common gauge wire,
cut and hold or bend wire. They also have sheaving holes that cut common sizes of screws without
Cut-off framing members above and below windows.
Designed for cutting across wood grain and produces a smoother cut than rip saws. The best cutting
angle for this saw is about 45º.
Cut Flooring Nail
Has a blunt tip to prevent splitting of flooring and is used to attach wood to concrete.
Comes in side, end or diagonal types. Side cutters have a cutting blade on one side only and are
available in long-, curved- and short-nose types. End cutting nippers have cutting blades on the
end and are used to make sharp, clean cuts close to the surface on wires, bolts and rivets. Diagonal
cutters have two cutting blades set diagonally to the handle. They offer leverage when pulling
cotter pins and are used by mechanics and electricians for general cutting.
Delayed Action Switch
keeps the circuit open for a few minutes after the switch is turned off. A good use is in a garage where,
after the user turns off the switch, it allows the light to remain on in time exit.
A Tool used for measuring inside and outside diameters of cylinder-shaped objects, such as drill bits
and pipe. The dial readout provides accurate measurements in 1/64” or .01”.
Controls the amount of current in a light circuit and allows for varying levels of light.
The rough frame of a door.
Door Jamb Weather Strip
Used to 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.
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.
Seals the bottom of an exterior door, preventing drafts, water, noise, light and insects.
Usually made of aluminum extrusions with vinyl flaps.
Attaches to the gutter to carry water down the side of the house.
The projecting frame of a recess in a sloping roof.
An insulating window paneformed of two thicknesses of glass with a sealed air space between them.
Double Hung Windows
Windows with an upper and lower sash, each supported by cords and weights.
Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit. Mounted in an electrical box.
Has four brass terminal screws.
Similar to a backsaw, with stiff reinforced back, only smaller with finer teeth. It is Used for fine finish cuts,
such as cutting dovetail joints in woodworking. Also a common saw for trimming molding and furniture
repair, as well as cutting plastics and laminates.
The screw is threaded on both ends and is used or assembling pieces of furniture end to end.
Downspout A spout or pipe to carry rain water down from a roof or gutters
Used for boring holes in precise, repetitive cuts. With the appropriate accessories, the drill press
can also shape, carve, sand, grind, buff and polish.
Drill Press Vise
Great for holding work piece still when drilling, tapping and reaming on a drill press. Most models
have grooves machined on both sides for mounting to machine table.
The projecting part of a cornice which sheds rain water.
L-shaped weather-resistant metal. Installed at exposed roof edges (eaves) to help shed water and to
protect the roof’s wood parts.
Made of high-strength spring steel or of aluminum with a stainless steel pin for use in hard materials.
The anchor is driven into a hole where it is compressed and forced against the walls of the hole.
Expandable concrete anchors are set in pre-drilled holes and accepts standard coarse thread bolts
or threaded rod. Drop-in style anchors do not require patching after sinking.
A wall surface of plasterboard or material other than plaster.
Used when installing drywall or decking material and is coated to prevent rust.
Used to score, sheet and set nails for drywall work. It features a scored head and a notched blade
instead of a claw and the notch in the blade is used to remove exposed nails.
Ring-shanked nail used for attaching sheets of drywall gypsum board to interior wood wall studs.
The flat, slightly countersunk head permits driving just below the surface, forming a depression
that can be covered with drywall joint compound or spackling.
Resembles a kitchen knife in design and is used to cut drywall and plasterboard in the same fashion
as a keyhole saw, such as for sawing holes for electric outlets and switchplates. The saw is self-starting
with a sharp point for plunge cuts.
Useful tool for measuring and marking 4’x8’ sheets of drywall, plywood and other 4’x8’ building materials.
Often used as a guide to score drywall.
Also called circular snips. These snips feature long nose design and are used for cutting tight circles
or other curved designs in either direction.
Has a double head to allow for easy removal in temporary construction applications.
Used for concrete forming and scaffolding.
The extension of roof beyond house walls.
White powder that forms on the surface of brick.
Treated sewage from aseptic tank or sewage treatment plant.
Three-way clamp resembling a C-Clamp with a third screw located in the middle of the throat.
It is used to apply pressure at a right angle to the side of the work surface.
Diverts the direction of the downspout by 45 degrees
Batt and roll insulation 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.
Used to stop a run of gutter
Also known as lead shield and is used with lag and machine bolts.
A flat horizontal member of a cornice placed in a vertical position.
Also called building paper. Installed under shingles. Composed of a tough, fibrous base saturated with asphalt.
Used to pull and cut staples in fencing and other work involving wire. It is the only tool needed for
work on wood or metal posts.
Fiberglass Asphalt Shingle
Has a base mat of glass fibers covered with ceramic-coated mineral granules. Does not absorb water and
resists cracking. Features a better fire rating and often has a longer warranty than other types of shingles.
Loose insulating material which is applied by hand or blown into wall spaces mechanically.
Used for general carpentry, finishing and cabinet making. The head size is generally between 7 oz. and 16 oz and
has a smooth striking face so errant strikes don’t leave marks on the wood.
Used around windows, finishing areas, trim and paneling where nails cannot show. The small head size allows
the nail to be driven beneath the wood surface so the hole can be filled and finished.
Also known as a snake. Used for pulling the electrical cable or wire through the wall or through electrical
Non-corrosive metal used around angles or junctions in roofs and exterior walls to prevent leaks.
Floor Band Saw
This saw has a band or loop-like blade that comes in various widths and strengths for different cutting purposes.
It mounts on the floor and usually has wheels sized from 12” to 36” in the industrial models.
Designed to remove flooring material. This chisel has a larger head design, generally 3”, to increase the striking
Used for laying tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring and is screw-shanked.
Framing pieces which rest on outer foundation walls and interior beams or girders.
A passageway in a chimney for conveying smoke, gases or fumes to the outside air.
Fluorescent bulbs can vary from straight tubes 6" to 96" long to U-shaped tubes and circular tubes. Wattages for
home use range from 4 to 75 watts. Features include a long lamp life, relatively low brightness and low heat
content and glare, compared with incandescent lamps.
Comes in a liquid spray form that quickly foams and hardens. 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.
Installs 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 around the home. After curing, it can be trimmed, sanded and painted.
Square that conveniently folds for easy storage. Locking mechanism locks tool securely for use. It marks angles
from 0 to 60 degrees and is often used in tiling projects.
Concrete base on which a foundation sits.
Lower parts of walls on which the structure is built. Foundation walls of masonry or concrete are mainly below
Used to ventilate basements and crawl spaces. Used with brick, block or frame construction.
Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit. Used in connection with three-way
switches to control one circuit from three or more points.
The rough lumber of ahouse-joists, studs, rafters, and beams.
90 degree L-shaped tool made from one piece of material (steel or aluminum), with the long end (blade) usually
24" and the short end (tongue) 16". Also known as carpenter’s or rafter square because this tool is generally used
for laying out rafters and marking stair stringers.
Helps the cabinet door stay shut and operates by pressure of the catch on the strike. The catch mounts on a
doorframe, jamb or underside of a shelf while the strike mounts on the door so that upon closing, it is inserted
into the catch.
Thin wood, or metal applied to a wall to level the surface for lathing, boarding, or plastering, to create an
insulating air space, and to damp proof the wall.
A short plug in an electric panel box which opens (breaks) an electrical circuit when it becomes overloaded.
Connects wires with a twisting action.
The triangular part of a wall under the inverted "v" of the roof line.
Designed to complement most brands of vinyl siding. Features open louvered joints and built-in screens to keep
out bugs and birds.
A roof with two pitches,designed to provide more space on upper floors. The roof is steeper on its lower slope and
flatter toward the ridge.
Consists of an L-shaped screw that screws into the post. The L shape holds a strap that is screwed into the gate.
Stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Used to protect against ground faults, which occur when a person
comes into contact with a live electrical wire.
A main member in a framed floor supporting the joists which carry the flooring boards. It carries the weight of a
floor or partition.
Fitting glass into windows or doors.
Slides horizontally to open. Durable, since the sash is fully supported in the frame.
The point at which the ground rests against the foundation wall.
Also known as flex conduit. A hollow spiral metal jacket that resembles BX cable. Used for installing wiring in
Lumber which has been inadequately dried and which tends to warp or "bleed" resin.
Used to cut and grind metal, concrete and masonry, for sharpening all tools, cutting into corners and tight spots,
polishing, buffing and wire brushing.
It allows you to use a plug with three prongs in a receptacle that has only two slots. Cube-shaped plastic or
rubber. Has a small U-shaped piece that is to be attached to the screw in the middle of the receptacle.
Pieces of wood embedded in plaster of walls to which skirtings are attached. Also wood pieces used to stop the
plaster work around doors and windows.
A brace or bracket used to strengthen a structure.
A channel at the eaves for conveying away rain water.
A fine-toothed saw designed to cut metal or plastic. Hacksaws consist of a blade held in a steel frame with
relatively high tension to hold the blade rigidly straight. High-tension models (with tension to 32,000 p.s.i.) are
Halogen bulbs produce light by passing current through a coiled tungsten wire. More energy-efficient than
standard incandescent bulbs. They generate up to 30 percent more light for the same electricity.
Hand Drilling Hammer
Has short handles and is used for pounding hardened nails into concrete or for using with tools that drive nails
and pins into concrete or brick. It's the only hammer to use with star drills, masonry nails, steel chisels and nail
Also called a cabinetmaker’s clamp, it consists of two hardwood clamping jaws adjusted to the work by two
opposing steel screw spindles assembled into the jaws.
The close-grained wood from broad-leaved trees such as oak or maple.
Consists of a metal hinge and an anchoring bolt so locks can be secured to gates, sheds and garages.
Double wood pieces supporting joists in a floor or double wood members placed on edge over windows and doors to
transfer the roof and floor weight to the studs.
Also known as rigid conduit. Used for carrying wire outdoors and underground.
The end of a rafter that rests on the wall plate.
Hex-key wrenches are short, L-shaped tools designed to turn bolts or screws with hexagonal heads.
Hex Nut Driver
Similar to a screwdriver, but has a tip like a wrench socket. It is used mainly on small hex nuts and in confined
areas such as electronic equipment, car ignitions and plumbing jobs.
High Intensity Discharge Bulb
Used primarily for area and security lighting. They feature a lifespan of 20,000 to 24,000 hours. They come in
a variety of shapes and in medium and mogul bases.
A roof that slants upward on three or four sides.
The external angle formed by the juncture of two slopes of a roof.
This is the screw portion of a “C” clamp, designed to be secured onto any surface, with the screw used to apply
Hollow-Core Wood Door
Has wooden or cardboard ribs inside for stability. Primarily used as interior doors, as they will warp or
disintegrate from weather.
Windows with movable, horizontal glass slats angled to admit-ventilation and keep out rain. This term is also
used for outside shutters of wood constructed in this way.
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.
An upright surface that lines an opening for a door or window.
Has a rotating head that is held by the forefinger to steady the screwdriver while the thumb and middle finger
turn the screwdriver to remove or install small screws. Mainly used by jewelers and hobbyists and others who
often work with very small screws.
Used to smooth the edges of wood and help remove warps. This tool can cut flat surfaces and is often combined
with a planer.
A small rectangular sectional member arranged parallel from wall to wall in a building, or resting on beams or
girders. They support a floor or the laths or furring strips of a ceiling.
Artificial drying of lumber, superior to most lumber that is air dried.
The center post of a truss. Large, heavy screws, used where great strength is required, as in heavy framing or
when attaching ironwork to wood.
Lag Screw Shield
Used inside drilled holes to provide anchors in the hole for lag bolts as they are wrenched into the shield.
Lag-Screws or Coach-Screws
Large, heavy screws, used where great strength is required, as in heavy framing or when attaching ironwork to
A steel tube sometimes filled with concrete, used to support girders or other floor beams.
Also called laser chalk lines, they are used to level and provide reference lines for hanging pictures, tile work, etc.
One of a number of thin narrow strips of wood nailed to rafters, ceiling joists, wall studs, etc. to make a
groundwork or key for slates, tiles, or plastering.
Used on in-opening doors because it reinforces the door and prevents the spreading of the frame.
Generally, an LB fitting is placed outside at the point where the conduit leaves the house. Connects at a 90º
angle. Has thick gaskets to make it impervious to moisture.
Tiles in the trenches carrying treated wastes from septic tanks.
A piece of wood which is attached to a beam to support joists.
Used for checking level over distances, such as when installing a patio, floor or a suspended ceiling, and when
there is no flat surface available.
Also called electrician’s pliers. Used by professionals engaged in electrical, communications and construction
work. They are used for cutting, holding, shaping and twisting wire.
Used to interrupt the flow of electricity on cords, most often for lamps and appliances.A variety of styles are
available, and they can operate with a toggle, rotary or push-button action.
The top piece over a door or window which supports walls above the opening.
A strong wall capable of supporting weight.
Adjustable, vise-type locking pliers that can be locked on to a work piece and operate like a clamp. It features an
adjustment screw that changes the jaw size to apply the correct clamping pressure.
Through a locking action, jaws can be locked in a holding position with pressure up to 1 ton. Available with both
curved and straight jaws
Comes compacted in bags and is poured or blown into walls and between joists of the attic floor.
An opening with horizontal slats to permit passage of air, but excluding rain, sunlight and view.
Comes with regular, square, hex, button or countersunk heads. The square heads fasten joints and materials
where bolt requirements are not too severe. The button heads work best where smooth surfaces are necessary,
and use the countersunk heads for flush surfaces.
Can have round, oval, flat and fillister heads and are intended to be screwed into pre-threaded holes in metal.
The come in coarse (24 threads per inch) and fine (32 threads per inch) sizes.
Has rubber, plastic, wooden or rawhide head and is used to drive chisels or hammer joints together.
Walls built by a mason,using brick, stone, tile or similar materials.
Used when cutting masonry, such as concrete block and brick.
Made of hardened and tempered steel and the shank comes round, flat, fluted or square. Often used to fasten
framing parts such as sills, furring strips, window and door trim to masonry and concrete.
A small triangle-shaped square with a flanged edge for butting against the edge of a work piece to draw 90-
degree or 45-degree angles. It is also used as a cutting fence for circular power saws.
Steel panels designed to cover the roof in place of shingles. Designed with either exposed or hidden fasteners.
A caliper shaped like the letter “P” used for close tolerance work on tools such as drill presses and lathes. These
devices can make inside, outside and depth measurements to within .001".
Include straight, chain, round, end-cutting, diagonal-cutting and flat-nose pliers in extra-small sizes. They are
used by professionals such as electronic technicians who work with small objects in confined areas.
Used to help cut exact angles for wood trim and rafters. The better models provide a mechanism for a backsaw.
Also known as a chopsaw. Used for making repeated straight or miter cuts and it uses a circular blade that is
pivoted to the correct angle, then dropped onto the material, which is clamped stationary on a turntable.
Changes 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.
Treated paper or metal that retards or bars water vapor, used to keep moisture from passing into walls or floors.
A strip of decorative material having a plane or curved narrow surface prepared for ornamental application.
These strips are often used to hide gaps at wall junctures.
Also known as an expansion bolt. When the sleeve is inserted into a pre-drilled hole and the screw is turned, the
Turns on the light as you enter the room. Good for both convenience and security.
Offers a waterproof surface for installing outlets, lighting and plumbing fixtures with new siding. Used with
wood, aluminum, vinyl, stucco, brick or shake siding.
Slender framing which divides the lights or panes of windows.
Allows the user to have a number of different types of tips in one tool. Some models store the interchangeable
tips in a self-contained unit.
Like the table tap, it plugs into an existing outlet to increase the number of outlets at a location. It typically has
four to six plugs.
Used for general carpentry, household chores and nail pulling, and should be used only with non-hardened,
common or finishing nails.
Also called long-nose pliers, they have a pointed nose for doing work in tight places. They are used frequently for
electrical and electronics work and most have side cutters for cutting wire.
The upright post or the upright formed by the inner or smaller ends of steps about which steps of a circular
staircase wind. In a straight flight staircase, the principal post at the foot or the secondary post at a landing.
The rounded edge of a stair tread.
Screws onto the threaded end of a bolt to help tighten the bolt.
A rough coat of mortar applied over a masonry wall as protection or finish; may also serve as a base for an
asphaltic waterproofing compound below grade.
Phillips Tip Screwdriver
Used on cross-slotted screw heads with modified U-shaped slots of uniform width. Sizes range from 0 to 4, with 0
being the smallest.
operates with a photoelectric cell. It turns off during the day and turns on during the night.
A fixed window. Has no moving parts or sashes and does not open.
A projection or the foundation wall used to support a floor girder or stiffen the wall.
Can be mounted to standard threaded or unthreaded pipe to clamp boards together while gluing.
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.
Pipe (Stillson) Wrench
Screws pipes into elbows or other threaded devices. Jaws actually bite into the surface to hold it for turning.
They should never be used on plated pipe installations because they will badly mar the finish.
The angle of slope of a roof.
Used to determine the exact thread pitch needed for replacing screws and nuts
Mounts at the top and bottom of the door leaving a small wafer of metal exposed. Commonly used on furniture
doors or where doors are intended to be inconspicuous.
Used to square up, resize or smooth wood in width or thickness. Best for larger flat surfaces.
Plasterboard (See Dry Wall)
Gypsum board, used instead of plaster.
Pieces of wood placed on wall surfaces as fastening devices. The bottom member of the wall is the sole plate and
the top member is the rafter plate.
Use inside and outside. Best for burying underground as it will not corrode with water.
Plastic Pipe Saw
Designed to cut PVC and ABS plastic, but it can also cut wood and drywall.
Plastic Screw Anchor
Used with wood or sheet metal screws. It is inserted into a pre-drilled hole and then the screw is driven through
the anchor into the wall.
A chamber which can serve as a distribution area for heating or cooling systems, generally between a false
ceiling and the actual ceiling.
Connects to the power supply through the receptacle.
Adapts a light socket for use as a single outlet.
Also known as Edison base fuse, plug-in fuse or glass fuse. A safety device that breaks an electrical circuit when it
A small, tapered, pointed weight suspended from string or cord used to measure true vertical plumb or depth.
Specially designed for sawing plywood, veneers, laminates and moldings. specially designed for sawing plywood,
veneers, laminates and moldings.
Treatment of joints in masonry by filling with mortar to improve appearance or protect against weather.
Wall construction in which beams are supported by heavy posts rather than many smaller studs.
Used to set and plumb posts and columns. It attaches to the post and displays level in two directions.
Power Drive Fastener
Designed specifically for use with power equipment. Usually uses a Phillips or hex screw head for better driving
power. Includes a wide variety of special-purpose designs, including special fasteners for particle board, cabinets,
wood, masonry, drywall and decks.
Turbine vents that 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.
Construction of components such as walls, trusses, or doors, before delivery to the building site.
Similar to most traditional saws except the teeth are designed to cut with a pulling motion. Pull saws cut wood
faster and with less effort because of the thinner and more flexible blade.
A groove cut in a board to receive another board.
Radial Arm Saw
Uses a circular saw blade, but instead of the blade dropping onto the material, the saw moves across it along a
track. It is used for a variety of cuts, including crosscuts, rips and miters. When used with accessories, the saw
can perform dados, sanding, shaping, sabre sawing, surfacing and routing.
Coils of electricity, hot water or steam pipes embedded in floors, ceilings, or walls to heat rooms.
One of a series of structural roof members spanning from an exterior wall to a center ridge beam or ridge board.
Comes in many styles and is used to draw grease, heat, steam, smoke, odor and hazardous gases away from the
stove and out of the kitchen.
Ratchet (Socket) Wrench
Available in a variety of handle shapes and lengths and used with sockets to make turning nuts and bolts easier
than with a conventional wrench.
Features a reversible ratchet mechanism in the handle that eliminates the need to grip and re-grip during the
driving process. It usually comes with interchangeable tips.
Taps the electrical circuit to provide power at a given location. Available in flush- or surface-mounted designs. A
single- or double-wipe contact refers to the area of the inserted prong where the contact is made.
Reflective Foil Insulation
Comes in long rolls of various widths. This type of insulation is most effective in reducing downward heat flow.
Typically installed between roof rafters, floor joists or wall studs.
Concrete strengthened with wire or metal bars.
Comes in a variety of designs and is engineered for the blades to either retract or fold back into a plastic or
A thick longitudinal plank to which the ridge rafters of a roof are attached.
Vents exhaust from the attic and extends the life of the roof. Helps keep the attic cool and reduces air
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” squares to 4’ x 12’ sheets.
Has large, chisel-shaped teeth, usually 5-1/2 teeth per inch, and is made to cut with the wood grain. This saw is
best held at a 60º angle to the surface of the board being cut. The ripping action of the saw produces a coarse,
ragged cut that makes the saw unsatisfactory for finish work.
The upright piece of a stair step, from tread to tread.
Securely fastens something that can be reached from just one side. It is used in metal, plastic and composite
materials and is ideal for installing gutters and drop ceilings or repairing large appliances. Can have dome,
countersunk and large flange head styles.
operates the same as a standard switch, but instead of a toggle, it operates with a rocker action.
Roller Spring Catch
Helps the cabinet door stay shut. This catch is available in single and double roller types.
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
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. Used
on lower-slope roofs or as a supplement to shingles.
Has large heads and diamond points, is galvanized to resist corrosion and has a barbed shank for greater holding
Used for bathroom fan exhausts, kitchen duct outlets and attic ventilation.
Sheets, usually of plywood,which are nailed to the top edges of trusses or rafters to tie the roof together and
support the roofing material.
Rotary Laser Level
Most units come with either a self leveling or manual leveling base as well as floor and wall mounts. It is
generally accurate to 1/4 ” at 100’ for manual leveling units and 1/8” at 100’ for self-leveling units
A panel with plastic,paper, or other material enclosed between two layers of a different material.
The movable part of a window - the frame in which panes of glass are set in a window or door.
A concave molding.
Has a small, thin blade activated by a far-reaching arm that permits handling wide material. It's operated by an
up-and-down motion of the blade at more than 1,000 cutting strokes per minute, cutting intricate patterns in
wood, plywood, light metal and plastic.
A small opening either to the attic, to the crawl space or to the plumbing pipes.
A sewage disposal system composed of a septic tank and a connected cesspool.
Features an adjustable pivot with handles that allow compound movement. They have deep teeth and curved
jaws that stay parallel as the handles are squeezed and are designed to provide additional leverage and gripping
Self-Tapping Concrete Screw
These are hardened steel screws designed to cut threads in pre-drilled holes. The head styles come in Phillips, flat
or hex-washer. Typically used in poured concrete, concrete block or masonry.
A sewage settling tank in which part of the sewage is converted into gas and sludge before the remainingwaste is
discharged by gravity into a leaching bed underground.
Prevents bolts from loosening due to vibration and is used to secure wood together. This screw comes in a variety
of types: the thumb screw type can be tightened by hand; the headless set screws are tightened with a
screwdriver; the square head set screws are tightened with a wrench; and the socket set screws are tightened
with a hex wrench.
Hand cut 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
Sheet Metal Screw
Fastens thin metal to thin metal. Its entire length is threaded and can have flat, oval, round or binding heads.
Starting holes are either drilled or punched and should be slightly smaller than the screw diameter.
A screw eye consists of screw thread at one end and a ring at the other, where as a screw hook consists of screw
thread at one end and a hook at the other. They are used to hang tools or utensils or for holding them together.
Thin tapered piece of wood used for leveling or tightening a stair or other building element.
Drives roofing nails, assures proper shingle spacing, trims composition and fiberglass shingles. It typically
includes a slotted, retractable cutting blade
Pieces of wood, asbestos or other material used as an overlapping outer covering on walls or roofs.
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.
Used for applying residential wood lap siding to plywood or fiberboard sheathing.
The lowest member of the house framing resting on top of the foundation wall. Also called the mudsill.
Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit. Mounted in an electrical box. Has
two brass terminal screws. Controls current from one circuit from one point.
Narrow boards around the margin of a floor; baseboards.
Concrete floor placed directly on earth or a gravel base and usually about four inches thick.
Used for jobs where great force is required such as breaking up concrete or driving heavy spikes.
Strip of wood laid over concrete floor to which the finished wood floor is nailed or glued.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Uses a circular blade that is pivoted and/or tilted to the correct angle, then dropped onto the material, which is
clamped stationary on a plate. This saw also has a sliding action that allows it to cut wider material than a
standard miter saw.
Sliding T-Bevel Square
Used for locating and transferring any angle between 0 to 360 degrees. It has a movable blade that can adjust to
any angle by loosening and tightening wing nut or locking mechanism. Also used for bisecting angles for
mitering when used with a compass.
General utility pliers with two jaw-opening size adjustments. They are used to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts
and some have a shear-type wire cutter to cut small-gauge wire.
Screws into light sockets to adapt them for use as two outlets while keeping the function of a light socket. Also
known as a current tap or socket switch.
Socket (Hinge Handle) Wrench
Combines an offset handle with a male drive piece that has a spring-loaded bearing to lock on various size
sockets. They can be used at almost any angle since handles may be attached to the head by a jointed hinge
The visible underside of structural members such as staircases, cornices, beams, a roof overhang oreave.
An air intake on the soffit or eave. Helps balance the flow of air into the attic from the ridge vent.
Easily worked wood or wood from a cone-bearing tree.
Vertical plumbing pipe for waste water.
Spike & Ferrule
Used to hold a gutter to the eave of the roof. The spike is inserted through the ferrule. The ferrule helps hold the
width of the gutter constant throughout the run.
Also called a Yankee Screwdriver or Yankee Push Drill. It drills and removes screws using a ratchet mechanism
similar to a push-pull drill, with the driving action provided by pushing straight down on the handle.
Diverts water away from the foundation of the house. Only works if the grade of soil is already pitched away
from the house's foundation.
Used for detailed shaping of curved work, such as chair legs and seats, as well as for chamfering edges.
Replaceable cutters adjust for depth of cut and shaving thickness and are generally 10” in length.
Similar to a clothes pin, this clamp consists of two metal jaws to which clamping pressure is applied by use of a
Closes the door automatically.
Square Tip (Robertson) Screwdriver
Has a square tipped head to help grip the screw on all four sides to provide more torque. It ranges in sizes from 0
to 3 and jumbo and is popular with decking projects.
Standard Slotted Tip Screwdriver
Used for driving and removing standard, slotted screws. The slots generally range in size from 1/6” to 1/4" and
can have a square or round shank.
Star (Torx) Tip Screwdriver
Designed for use with star head screws and bolts to reduce slippage. Tips have six lobular drive surfaces to
provide additional contact surface with the screw head.
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
Used to hold light metals or wood. The heads can be flat, oval or round, are slotted for a screwdriver. Usually
supplied with a nut and is intended for use with a nut.
Also called regular snips. Cutting edges are sharpened at 78 degree to 85 degree angles.
Strap Used to attach the gutter downspout to the side of the house
Specifically designed for surface applications that provides greater support for wide doors.
The metal plate the latch slides into is on the doorjamb or frame. All new locksets come with strikes, but some
homeowners may want to replace them with high-security strikes or replace damaged ones.
Along, 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.
Stud finders are devices that help locate wall studs, enabling customers to hang pictures, mirrors and shelves
securely. It comes in two basic types—electronic, which finds the stud by measuring the density of the wall, and
magnetic, which detects nails and/or metal studs in the wall.
In wall framing, the vertical members to which horizontal pieces are nailed. Studs are spaced either 16 inches or
24 inches apart.
Usually, plywood sheets that are nailed directly to the floor joists and that receive the finish flooring.
A pit in the basement inwhich water collects to be pumped out with a sump pump.
A wide shallow depression in the ground to form a channel for storm water drainage.
Also known as a plug-in strip or plug-in outlet adapter. Increases the number of outlets available at a single
Shaped like the letter T. The vertical strap is secured to the frame while the horizontal strap is secured to the
Also known as EMT (electric metallic tubing).Steel pipe used to carry house wiring in places where it is exposed.
Not used underground.
Three-Dimensional Asphalt Shingle
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. 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.
Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit. Mounted in an electrical box. Has
three brass terminal screws. Controls one circuit from two separate points.
A wood member which binds a pair of principal rafters at the bottom.
Open-joint drain tiles laid to distribute septic tank effluent over an absorption area or to provide subsoil drainage
in wet areas.
Time Delay Fuse
Similar in appearance to a plug fuse. Provides a minimum time delay for small household motors that cause an
electrical surge when started. That surge would cause a regular fuse to blow needlessly.
Used in low-voltage control, alarm and communication systems. Most common types are braided, twisted and
plastic-jacketed types. All three use solid copper conductors and are twisted and insulated with plastic.
Also called bent-nose pliers, since the nose is bent at about an 80-degree angle so it can be used to grip and force
wire through odd angles or reach around objects.
Driving nails at an angle into corners or other joints.
Used where the back of the wall is inaccessible. This bolt works on a spring principle. The holding arms open after
the screw and holder are inserted into the hole, gripping the wall as the screw is tightened.
Carpentry joint in which the jutting edge of one board fits into the grooved end of a similar board.
Good for gripping and applying limited torque to round, square, flat and hexagonal objects. Jaws may be
straight, smooth or curved and sizes generally range from 4-1/2” to 20-1/4” in length.
Also called Panel Saw or Short Cut Saw. Good for ripping, crosscutting and general cutting of lumber, plywood
and particle board and plastic materials.
Usually 9" long and 1” wide, it is used for obtaining readings in close quarters where a typical carpenter’s level
won’t fit. Because of its compact size, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, hobbyists and homeowners often choose
Designed to permit an operator to determine applied torque on bolts, nuts and other fasteners. Many torque
wrenches are available with dual scales for conventional and metric measurements.
A system of movable lights wired to a metal track that makes a great accent lighting choice for living rooms,
bedrooms and dining rooms.
A bend in a water pipe to hold water so gases will not escape from the plumbing system into the house.
The horizontal part of a stair step.
Rod with continuous thread from one end to the other. Used where extra-long bolts are required and can be bent
to make U-bolts, eye bolts and J-bolts.
A combination of structural members usually arranged in triangular units to form a rigid framework for
spanning between load-bearing walls.
An L-shaped tool used as a guide for pencil markings of 90 degree cuts and to check the edges and ends of boards
for squareness. Also used to determine whether a board is the same depth for its entire length.
Used to tighten wire or for bracing doors. Consists of a barrel-shaped metal device with a threaded rod inserted
into each end. The rods have eyes at both ends, or some types have a hook on one end and an eye on the other.
Twin Light Adapter
Adapts a single light socket for a double light socket. Y shaped and holds bulbs at an angle from one another.
Type S Fuse
Also known as Fustats & trade; or Non-tamperable. Similar in design and use to a plug fuse. However, it prevents
anyone from replacing a lower-rated fuse with a higher one. Has two parts: the fuse and the adapter. The
adapter has a different diameter for each fuse ampere rating. Once the adapter of a particular size fuse has been
inserted into the fuse socket, it cannot be removed. Only fuses with the same rating can be used in that socket.
Light-duty vise that has a lever-operated suction cup on the bottom to secure to tabletop or other work surface.
The depression at the meeting point of two roof slopes.
Material such as paper,metal or paint which is used to prevent vapor from passing from rooms into the outside
A window with one large fixed central pane and smaller panes at each side.
A pipe which allows gas to escape from plumbing systems.
The edge of tiles, slates or shingles, projecting over the gable of a roof.
Vinyl Gasket Weather Strip
Weather stripping that cushions as it seals. Can be used in places with warping or irregularities.
V-Type Weather Strip
Once the door is closed, the open ends of the V shape close together, with one end of the V touching the door and
the other adhered to the door. Forms an airtight seal.
The lower three or four feet of an interior wall when lined with paneling, tile or other material different from the
rest of the wall.
Used for housing switches and receptacles. Made of metal or plastic and have the capability to be mounted to a
wall or stud.
Wall Driller Anchor
For light-duty use on drywall. The fastener makes its own hole in the drywall. Do not use overhead.
Also known as faceplates or covers. A flat metal, plastic or wooden piece that covers the openings in the wall
made by receptacles and switches.
Sheets of plywood, gypsum board, or other material nailed to the outside face of studs as a base for exterior siding.
Small metal circles that provide a hard surface against which you tighten a screw. The washer matches the size
of the screw it is being used with and comes in flat, countersunk or flush shapes.
Also known as an outdoor box. Used for exterior switches or receptacles.
Metal, wood, plastic or other material installed around door and window openings to prevent air infiltration.
Also called band clamps, they apply even clamping pressure around irregular shapes or large objects to hold
tight by means of a spring-loaded locking fixture.
A small hole in a wall which permits water to drain off.
Also called Locking “C”-Clamp or welder’s pliers. A unique type of clamp ideal for holding work while welding.
Wire is grouped by gauge number, running from 0000 to No. 40. The smaller the number, the thicker the wire.
For home use, the most common gauges are between 10 and 20.
Wire Brad & Tacks
Used for household jobs requiring small fasteners where heads will be concealed.
Also known as raceway. Metal or plastic channels used to house wiring installed on the surface, instead of behind
Used to connect the bare ends of two wires inside a box. At least two are required at every circuit connection.
Used for general-purpose wire cutting and stripping insulation from wire. Features adjustable stops to remove
wire insulation without damaging conductors.
Comes in a variety of sizes and styles: butt chisel, firmer chisel, medium-duty chisel, and paring chisels.
Usually made of unhardened steel, stainless steel, aluminum or brass. The threads on this screw run from the
point along three-fourths of the length and heads are slotted.
Typically made of cedar, although composite wood shingles are available. Flat shape and a smooth texture.
Has jaws made of wooden pads to hold work piece securely in place without marring surface of work piece.
Horizon Renovations LLC is a trusted Professional, Licensed & Insured company.
With over 30 years of combined experience in the remodeling, renovation and improvement industries, Horizon
is the trusted choice for your property. You will only do business with us - not several sub-contractors.
|CLICK HERE for complete listing.