Terms of the Trade

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Terms of the Trade: What Is Spray Insulation?

Insulation can lower a home's heat loss by up to 75 percent!

Terms of the Trade: Beadboard Ceiling

Here are some pros and cons to installing a beadboard ceiling.

Copper vs Plastic Plumbing Pipe

Many homeowners opt for plastic for various reasons.

Terms of the Trade: Hand Plane Versus Power Planer Tools

Both hand planes and power planes can be used to complete many carpentry projects.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Gambrel Roof?

A gambrel roof consists of two slopes with a gabled structure at both ends.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Wood Turning Parting Tool?

A wood turning parting tool is a small chisel used to cut grooves into wood while it's turning.

Terms of the Trade: Power Tool Grinder

A power tool grinder is one of several power tools used to smooth and polish different kinds of surfaces.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Membrane Roofing?

Membrane roofing is placed on flat roof surfaces to protect against ultraviolet rays and weathering.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Bull Float?

A bull float is a device used to smooth the surface of newly poured concrete.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a French Drain System?

A French drain system is essentially a ditch filled with gravel to protect foundations from runoff.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Rim Joist?

This piece of lumber is an important part of flooring or decking.

Terms of the Trade: What Does Antique Mean?

Vintage and antique are two words you hear a lot when discussing DIY projects.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Torpedo Level?

A torpedo level is generally a 6 to 12 inch-long level in the shape of a torpedo.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Stick-built Home?

A stick-built home is a home built on-site instead of in a factory.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Camshaft?

A camshaft is part of a vehicle's engine. It is used to open and close engine valves.

Terms of the Trade: What Are Chair Rails?

Chair rails are moldings applied on the wall a few feet from the ground.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Plumb Bob?

A plumb bob is used to make sure something is plumb, or vertical.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Alternator?

An alternator is an electric generator.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Ohmmeter?

An ohmmeter measures electrical resistance.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Hardscape?

A hardscape is a rocky landscape.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Dormer Window?

A dormer window is a window that sticks out of a sloped roof.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Gasket?

A gasket is a seal which fills the space between surfaces.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Faceplate?

A faceplate is commonly used to describe light switches and sockets.

Terms of the Trade: What is Emulsion?

Emulsion is a water-based paint.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Top Dressing?

Top dressing is putting a compost, sand, or soil mix on the surface of a lawn.

Top 10 DIY Terms Explained

Learn what the top 10 DIY terms mean, and you’ll learn lots more about DIY.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Newel?

A newel is a supporting pillar, or column, on a staircase.

Terms of the Trade: What Are Companion Plants?

Companion plants are plants that grow better when planted together.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Bastard File?

A bastard file is a file with coarseness between “coarse” and “second cut.”

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Hawk?

A hawk is a square board with a handle in the middle.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Scrub Plane?

A scrub plane is used to remove wood from lumber.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Billhook?

A billhook is a cutting tool generally used for cutting wood, pruning, and chopping branches.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Dibble?

A dibble is a gardening tool used to make holes in the ground.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Anvil?

An anvil is a large block made of steel or iron.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Gimlet?

A gimlet is used for drilling small holes.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Scriber?

A scriber is used to mark lines.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Trowel?

A trowel is a tool used to spread and smooth plaster.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Cinder Block?

The term "cinder block" actually refers to what's technically known as a concrete masonry unit, or CMU, that's used in building construction.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Face Nailing?

You've likely done this and not even knew it!

Terms of the Trade: What Is Greywater?

The use of greywater reduces the need of a fresh water supply for tasks such as crop and landscape irrigation.

Terms of the Trade: What Does It Mean to Backfill?

Backfilling is often done when working around building foundations, underground structures, or landscaping.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Painters Holiday?

A painters holiday isn't when they take a break from the work. It actually refers to a missed spot on a project when using a roller, which is detected when you can see the previous color coming through. The origin of this phrasing dates back to the 1700s when people would use pitch or tar to "paint"

Terms of the Trade: What Is Overlamping?

Overlamping can cause a house fire, but it's easily prevented.

Terms of the Trade: What Are Casement Windows?

A casement window is a great option for ventilation.

10 Terms Every DIYer Should Know

Learn must-know DIY terms, tools, and tricks in this glossary that shouldn't be missed.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Colorant?

Colorant is what's used to give paint its color.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Taproot?

If you're weeding, pay attention to the taproot.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Chop Saw?

Use this saw if you're into cutting some serious lumber.