Inspection Glossary – B – Back Band Casing to BX Electrical Cable

Back Band Casing:

A back band casing is common or butt casing with molded and/or mitered trim piece around its outer edge.


Backfill:  The gravel or earth replaced in the space around a building wall after the foundation is in place.

Backwater valve:   An automatic valve placed in the sewer lateral to prevent sewage form backing up during flood periods.

Baffle:   A plate for regulating the flow of a liquid or gas; a metal plate used between the cylinders of an air-cooled motor engine to break up a stream of heated gases.

Balcony:  A balustrade or railed platform that projects from the face of a building above the ground level; it has an entrance from the building interior and is usually  supported by columns.

Balloon Frame:   In construction, a type of framing in which the studs extend from the sill to the roof, the second floor is supported by a horizontal ribbon or ledger board and joists that are nailed to studs.

Baluster:   A short pillar or post that supports a rail, usually circular and tapered at the top; uprights supporting the handrail of a staircase.

Balustrade:   A row of balusters surmounted by a rail, coping or cornice. Base
In building construction, the lowest part of a wall, pier, pedestal or column.

Baseboard:   A piece of finishing material placed at the bottom of interior walls to conceal the area where the base of the wall meets the floor.

Baseboard Heating:   A system of perimeter heating with radiators, convectors or air outlets located at the base of the wall where the baseboard would be; may be hot water, forced air or electric. Also called panel heating

Base Flood Elevation (BFE):   The height of the base flood usually in feet, in relation the National Geodetic Vertical Daturn of 1929 or other daturn as specified.

Base Flashing:   That portion of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.

Basement:   Any area of a building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.

Base Mold:   A decorative strip of molded material laid along the top of a baseboard.

Base Plate:   The horizontal member at the bottom of a column or post which transmits the column loads to its foundation.

Bathroom:   A room containing a toilet, a lavatory and a bathtub or shower.

Batten:  A narrow strip of wood used to cover a joint between boards or to simulate a covered joint for architectural purposes.

Bay:   An opening in a wall.

Bay Window:   A window that forms a bay in a room and projects outwardly from the wall; it is supported by its own foundation, as distinguished from an oriel or box bay window, which lacks foundation support.

Beam:   A principal load-supporting member of a building, may be made of wood, steel or concrete. The lumber in a rectangular cross section of a building, five or more inches thick and eight or more inches wide.

Beamed Ceiling:   A ceiling with beams exposed. A false beamed ceiling has ornamental boards or timbers which are not load-bearing.

Bedroom:  A room containing bed and other furniture whose primary use is to sleep. This room must contain a built-in closet, heating and ventilation and at least one electrical outlet.

Bevel:   To angle an edge on a piece of wood or other material.

Blind Nail:   To drive a nail into a piece of material (such as flooring or paneling) so the nail will be hidden when the next piece is installed.

Blisters:  Bubbles that may appear on the surface of asphalt roofing after installation.

Block:   A preformed structural component made of concrete and used in construction.

Blower:   Motor-driven fan that moves air through the ducts of a heating or cooling system or through vents.

Board:   Lumber measuring two inches (2″) or less in thickness.

Board and Batten:   A type of siding, typically vertical, composed of wide boards and narrow battens. The boards are nailed to the sheathing with a half of a space between them and the battens are nailed over these spaces.

Boiler Heat:   A system which circulates either steam or hot water to individual room radiators or convectors.

Bolt:  Any of several types of strong fastening rods, pins, or screws, usually threaded to receive a nut. A movable bar or rod, which when slid into a socket, fastens a door, gate, etc.

Bond:   Adhesion of glue or other adhesive to materials being joined; pattern formed in laying brick or other masonry units.

Bond Beam:   A continuous beam placed in masonry walls to tie them together, add lateral stability and distribute concentrated vertical loads along the wall; usually made of reinforced concrete but sometimes of reinforced brick or concrete block.

Bottom Plate:  The bottom horizontal member of a frame wall.

Bottom Rail:   A horizontal member that forms the bottom of a window or paneled door. Also called bottom stile.

Bowstring Truss:  A steel or wooden truss with a top member that resembles a bow or an arch.

Brace:   A structural member that reinforces a frame or truss.

Bracket:   A horizontal projecting support that bears an overhanging weight, e.g., a cornice, eaves.

Brands:   Airborne burning embers released from a fire.

Breakaway Walls:   Walls which are designed to break away form their structural supports when subjected to wind and/or water loads.

Brick Cavity Wall:   A wall with a space between the inner and outer tiers of brick, the space may be filled with insulation.

Brick Ledge:  That portion along the exterior of a slab on a grade foundation which is reserved for and supports the brick veneer.

Brick Masonry (Bond):   The arrangement or overlapping of brick, blocks or stones to tie a masonry wall together longitudinally stretchers and transversely (headers) and of great importance to the strength of the wall.

Brick Veneer:   A non-load bearing single tier of brick applied as the facing to a wall of other materials.

Bridging:  Cross members inserted between joists to hold the joists in position.

BTU:   British Thermal Unit; a standard unit for measuring heat equal to the amount required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In the United States, the rated capacity of furnace and boilers is expressed in terms of BTU’s emitted per hour.

Buck:   Wood framework in a door opening in masonry wall to which jambs and casings are attached.

Building:   A structure, usually roofed and walled, that is erected for permanent use.

Building Code:   A set of rules specifying requirements in building for health, safety and welfare. A local or state ordinance or regulation that controls the design, construction, alteration, repair, quality of materials use and occupancy of any building in its jurisdiction; enforced by police power in the interest of public health, safety and welfare.

Building Exposure Category C.:   ASCE 7-93 term for building located in fairly open terrain with scattered obstructions less than 30 feet in height.

Built-Ins:   Items such as cabinets, counters desks, benches, shelving, equipment, which are permanently attached to the building structure and could not be removed without leaving evidence of removal.

Built-up Roof:   A flat or low-sloped roof consisting of multiple layers of asphalt and ply sheets.

Bundle:   A package of shingles. There are usually 3,4, or 5 bundles per square depending on shingle weight.

Butt:   A door hinge.

Butt Casing:   A very plain casing formed by installing a piece across the top of an opening and bringing up two side pieces to butt against it from beneath.

Butt Edge:   The lower edge of the shingle tabs.

Butterfly Roof:   An inverted gable roof with two sides that slope downward and inward, forming an inverted ridge in the center. The two gables resemble the wings of a butterfly.

Butt Joint:   Formed when tow members are placed end to end without overlapping.

Buttress:   An external structure, usually of brick, stone or concrete, that supports a wall or building by receiving lateral pressure acting at a particular point in a single direction.


BX Electrical Cable:  

A BX Electrical Cable is an electrical cable with metal sheathing used in the 1930’s-50’s.