Home Construction Terminology: R

Home Construction Terminology:  R


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Home Construction Terminology

Home Construction Terminology


Rafter:  One of a series of single roof frame pieces spanning between supports to carry the roof sheathing and roofing.

Rafter, Hip:  A rafter that forms the intersection of an external roof angle.

Rafter, Valley:  A rafter that forms the intersection of an internal roof angle. The valley rafter is normally made of double 2x members.

Rake:  Sloped or slanted.

Rake Fascia (aka Barge Rafter):  The vertical face of the sloping end of a roof eave.

Rebar (aka Reinforcing Bar):  Ribbed steel bars installed in foundation, concrete walls, footers, and poured in place in concrete structures designed to strengthen concrete. Comes in various thicknesses and strength grades.

Receptacle:  An electrical outlet.

Redhead (aka Wedge Anchor):  A substitute for anchor bolts that is added (into a drilled hole) after the concrete has set.

Reducer:  A fitting with different size openings at either end and used to go from a larger to a smaller pipe.

Refrigerant:  A substance that remains a gas at low temperatures and pressure and can be used to transfer heat. Freon is the most well known example.

Register:  A grill placed over an HVAC duct to direct/balance air flow.

Relief Valve:  A device designed to open if it detects excess temperature or pressure, such as the T & P valve on a water heater.

R Factor (or R Value):  A measure of a materials resistance to the passage of heat. Home walls are usually insulated with 6″ of batt insulation with an R value of R-19, and 12” of ceiling insulation of R-38.

Ridge:  The horizontal line at the junction of the top edges of two sloping roof surfaces.

Ridge Blocks:  Framing members that tie rafters or trusses together at the peak.

Ridge Cap:  Shingles used to cover the ridge.

Rim Joist:  A joist that runs around the perimeter of the floor joists.

Rise:  The vertical distance from the eave line to the ridge. Also the vertical distance from stair tread to stair tread (and not to exceed 7 3/4″).

Riser:  Each of the vertical boards closing the spaces between the treads of stairways.

Riser and Panel:  The exterior vertical pipe (riser) and metal electric box (panel) the electrician provides and installs.

Roll, Rolling:  To install the roof or floor joists or trusses in their correct place. (To “roll the roof” means to install the roof trusses).

Roof Jack (aka Boot):  Sleeves that fit around roof penetrations at, and are nailed to the roof sheeting to prevent water leaks.

Roof Joist:  The rafters of a flat roof.

Roof Sheathing or Sheeting:  The wood panels (OSB) fastened to the roof rafters or trusses on which the shingles or other roof covering is laid, and which creates a structural diaphragm.

Roof Valley:  The “V” created where two sloping roofs meet.

Rough Opening:  The horizontal and vertical measurement of a window or door opening at rough framing.

Roughing-In:  The initial stage of a plumbing, electrical, heating, carpentry, and/or other project, when all components that won’t be seen after the finishing phase are assembled and installed.

Run, Roof:  The horizontal distance from the eaves to a point directly under the ridge. One half the span.

Run, Stair:  The horizontal distance of a stairway from end to end.


If there is a term that you are looking for and you do not find it here, please let me know by leaving a Comment in the Comments section below. If appropriate, I will add it to the list.


Thank you,

CJ Dodaro