Property Tax Terms Flashcards Preview

Assessor II > Property Tax Terms > Flashcards

Flashcards in Property Tax Terms Deck (497):
1

Ad valorem tax

In reference to property, a tax based upon the value of the property.

2

Annual Assessment Report (AAR)

A USPAP required report completed by the assessor for their client, the municipality, which explains how the assessor completed their assessment work for the year. This report must be completed within 30 days after the finaladjournment of the Board of Review.

3

Apportionment

A proportional distribution of the levy of a taxing jurisdiction amongmunicipalities based upon the value of the municipalities or parts of municipalities.

4

Assessed Value

A dollar amount assigned to the taxable property, both real (by parcel)and personal (by owner), by the assessor for the purpose of taxation. Assessed value isestimated as of January 1 and will apply to the taxes levied at the end of that year.Assessed value is called a primary assessment because a levy is applied directly against itto determine the tax due. Accurate assessed values ensure fairness between propertieswithin the taxing jurisdiction. (See Equalized value for fairness between municipalities).

5

Assessment district

An assessor’s jurisdiction; it may or may not be an entire tax district. Any subdivision of territory whether whole or part of a municipality where aseparate assessment of taxable property is made. Such districts may be referred to astaxing districts, administrative districts, or special purpose districts. (See sec. 70.08, Wis. Stats.)

6

Assessment District

Any subdivision of territory whether whole or in part of a municipality in which a separate assessment of taxable property is made. Such districtsmay be referred to as taxation jurisdictions, administrative districts, special purpose districts. etc. (See sec. 70.08 Wis. Stats.)

7

Assessment Level

The relationship between the total assessed value and the equalizedvalue of non-manufacturing property minus corrections for the prior year over and under charges within a municipality-town, village, or city. For example if the assessed value of all the property subject to property tax in the municipality is $2,700,000 and the equalizedvalue in the municipality is $3,000,000 then the “assessment level” is said to be 90% ($2,700,000/$3,000,000 = .90 or 90%).

8

Assessment level

The ratio of the assessed value to the market value of all taxable property within a district (town, village, or city). For example if the assessed value of all thetaxable property in Town “A” is $2,700,000 and the market value of all taxable property inTown “A” is $3,000,000 then the “assessment level” is said to be 90%.

9

Assessment Ratio

The relationship between the assessed value and the fair marketvalue For example, if the assessment of a parcel which sold for $150,000 (fair market value)was $140,000, the assessment ratio is said to be 93% (140,000 divided by 150,000). Thedifference in the assessment level and the assessment ratio is that the level typically refers to the taxation district; the ratio refers to the individual parcel. The assessment ratio doesnot apply to agricultural lands, agricultural forest, or undeveloped lands.

10

Assessing

The act of valuing a property for the purpose of establishing a tax base.

11

Assessment

See Assessed value.

12

Assessment roll

The official listing of all properties within a given municipality (Town,Village, City) by ownership, description, and location showing the corresponding assessedvalues for each. The completed assessment roll is an official listing which contains owners and legaldescriptions of all real estate parcels and items of personal property within a taxationdistrict, acreages of most parcels, the statutory classification and assessed value, accordingto land and improvements, of general taxable parcels.

13

Assessment year

The period of time during which the assessment of all propertieswithin a given assessment district must be completed; the period between tax lien dates.

14

Assessor

The administrator charged with the assessment of property for ad valoremtaxes; the precise duties differ from state to state depending upon state statutes.

15

Board of Review

A quasi-judicial board charged with the responsibility of raising orlowering assessments proven incorrect as well as correcting any errors in the assessmentroll. The Board of Review consists of a clerk and selected municipal officers (other than theassessor) or citizens. It hears all objections to the amount or valuation of property ifobjections are made in writing and filed with its clerk prior to adjournment of publichearings. The Board examines the assessment roll or rolls and corrects all apparent errorsin description or computation, adds all omitted property to the assessment roll and determines whether an assessor’s valuation is correct from evidence brought before it. The Board cannot determine exempt or taxable status of property.

16

CDU rating

A composite rating of the overall Condition, Desirability and Usefulness of astructure as developed by the Cole-Layer-Trumble Company and it is used nationally as asimple, direct and uniform method of estimating accrued depreciation.

17

Certified Assessment Evaluator

A professional designation (CAE) conferred by theInternational Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) upon qualifying individuals.

18

Certified property tax

An ad valorem property tax where the assessment ratio variesfor different property classes. This differs from state to state depending upon state statutes.

19

Doomage assessment

The process of arriving at an assessment from the best information available when the assessor is denied the opportunity to physically inspect aproperty; making an assessment without actually viewing the property or receiving and/oraccepting the taxpayer’s declaration of personal property.

20

Electronic Computer Exemption Report

The Electronic Computer Exemption Report was previously known as the Computer Exemption Report. The Computer ExemptionReport is an electronically filed report filed by the assessor with the Department of Revenue by May 1st. Amended filings can be submitted through September 1st. This report provides the value of all exempt computer and peripheral equipment, as its true cash value.

21

Equalized Value

The estimated value of all taxable real and personal property in eachtaxation district, by class, as of January 1 and certified by DOR on August 15 of each year.The value represents market value (most probable selling price), except for agriculturalproperty, which is based on its use (ability to generate agricultural income) and agriculturalforest and undeveloped lands, which are based on 50% of their full value.

22

Equalization

The process of establishing the January 1 market value (or use value foragricultural land) by class of real property and item of personal property for each taxationdistrict.

23

Equated Value

The dollar amount placed on individual parcels of manufacturingproperty in a taxation district for tax collection purposes. It is calculated by multiplying themarket value assessment of the property as determined by DOR times the assessment levelof all other property within the taxation district.

24

Equity

In reference to property taxes, a condition in which the tax load is distributedfairly (or equitably), based on the concept of uniformity provided in the state constitution (i.e. each person’s share of the tax is based on each property’s value compared to the total value of all taxable property). Typically, this would require periodic reviews of the assessments (local revaluations) to account for the constantly changing economic factorsimpacting property. In practical terms, you have equity in taxes when the assessed value ofeach property bears the same relationship to market or use value. In reference to value, it is the owner’s financial interest in the property remaining afterdeducting all liens (including mortgages) and charges against it.

25

Estimated Fair Market Value-As found on tax bills

The assessed value of each locally assessed parcel (except those including agricultural land) divided by the entiretaxation district’s level of assessment (titled average assessment ratio on the tax bill). Thisestimate gives the property owner a basis for comparison of their perception of the marketvs. what is being used to base their share of taxes on. Since the level of assessment is anaverage for the taxation district, and there is naturally going to be some variance in thelocal assessor’s accuracy on every parcel. Minor differences between the estimated fair market value and the property owner’s opinion of value shouldn’t raise concern. Large differences require further investigation.

26

Exempt property

See tax exemption.

27

Expert help

Is employed when the governing body of a municipality not subject toassessment by a county assessor determines it is in the public interest to appoint such help to aid in making the assessments in order that they may be equitably made and in compliance with the law. The expert help may be a private firm or person, or an employeeof the Department of Revenue.

28

Field crew

The total staff assigned to a specific appraisal project, including datacollectors, reviewers, staff appraisers, clerical and administrative supporting personnel.

29

Forest cropland

Land taxes at a set amount per acre, must contain at least 40 or moreacres, is more suitable for the growing of timber than for other purposes, assessed by thelocal assessor, subject to review under Chapter 70 and is open to the public for hunting andfishing.

30

Fractional assessment

When the assessment is made at some percentage of the fullvalue as determined by policy by the government.

31

Full Value

(1) Throughout this manual this term means the value at 100% of the valuestandard. This is the value that should be applied in assessing the property per Wisconsinstatutes, see pages 7-6 and 7-7. (2) The same as equalized value, however is often usedwhen referring to the value of school and special districts.

32

General property tax

The following elements must be present: (1) a dollar amount oflevy; (2) total assessed values of individual properties (parcels of real property/personalproperty items); and (3) uniform rate of taxation within the same common area is to be applied to all taxable real and personal property within that area.

33

Improvement

An addition to raw land intended to increase the value. Examples includebuildings, structures, and attachments or annexations to land that are intended to remainso attached or annexed, such as sidewalks, trees, drives, tunnels, drains, and sewers.

34

Inequity

See equity.

35

Land value maps

A map used in conjunction with mass appraising, generally drawn tosmall scale and showing comparative unit land values, on a block to block basis.

36

Level of Assessment

See Assessment Level

37

Levy

The amount of tax imposed by a taxation jurisdiction or government unit.

38

Lien

A charge against property whereby the property is made the security for the payment of a debt.

39

Market value

The definition of market value is the most probable price which a propertyshould bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale,the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price isnot affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale asof a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: 1) Buyer and seller are typically motivated; 2) Both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their own best interests; 3) A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market; 4) Payment is made in terms of cash in U.S. dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and 5) The price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.

40

Mass appraisal

The process of valuing a universe of properties, as of a specified date,utilizing standard methodology, using common data and allowing for statistical testing.

41

Mass appraisal model

A mathematical formula or equation reflecting how supply anddemand factors interact on a market level.

42

Mill rate

A mill is one-thousandth of one dollar. Tax rates are often expressed in millsper dollar. Example: Tax = $3,000 Taxable assessed value = $100,000 Mill rate = 3,000/100,000 = 0.03 of a dollar per dollar of taxable assessed value

43

Municipal Assessment Report

The Municipal Assessment Report was previously known as the Assessor’s Final Report (AFR). The Municipal Assessment Report is anelectronic report filed by the assessor with the Department of Revenue. It can be filed as an“Estimate” (before the Board of Review), as a “Final” (after the Board of Review), or as an“Amended” report to make changes to a previously filed “Final” version. This electronic report provides changes in assessed values and reasons for the changes between the prioryear’s assessed values and the current year’s assessed values of the entire taxation district.An estimated or final version of this report must be filed by the second Monday of June.

44

Notice of Changed Assessment

A written notification to a property owner of theassessed value of certain properties described therein; mandated by law to be given to eachproperty owner following a change in value of the property.

45

Over assessed

A condition wherein a property is assessed proportionately higher thancomparable properties.

46

Parcel identification number (PIN)

An identification number, assigned to a parcel of land to uniquely identify that parcel from any other parcel within a given taxing jurisdiction.

47

Preferential assessment

An assessing system providing preferential treatment in theform of reduced rates to a particular class of property, such as a system providing for farmproperties to be assessed in accordance to their value in use as opposed to their value in theopen market.

48

Property class

A division of like properties generally defined by statutes and generallybased upon their present use. The basis for establishing assessment ratios in a classified property assessment system.

49

Property record card

A document specially designated to record and process specifiedproperty data; may serve as a source document, a processing form; and/or a permanentproperty record.

50

Real Estate Transfer Return

The form required to be filed with the register of deeds bythe grantor when recording real estate which has been conveyed to a different entity. Theform’s primary use is for the assessor to use in implementing the uniformity provisionArticle VIII of the State Constitution. Among other things, the form documents the property transferred, the grantor, grantee and the value placed on the property.

51

Reassessment

The revaluation of all properties within a given jurisdiction for the purpose of establishing a new tax base. When a written complaint is made to the Department of Revenue by the owners of 5% ormore of the assessed valuation of the property within a municipality stating that theassessment of property in the municipality is not in substantial compliance with the lawand that the interest of the public would be promoted by a reassessment, the departmentcan order such actual doing over of the assessment roll (reassessment) of all or part of the taxable property in municipality.

52

Revaluation

Placing new values on all taxable property for the purpose of a new assessment. The previous year’s assessment roll is not affected. The term is often used in conjunction with sec. 70.055, Wis. Stats., where expert help can be hired to work with theassessor in revaluing the district.

53

Sales ratio study

A statistical analysis of the distribution of assessment or appraisal-to­sale ratios of a sample of recent sales made for the purpose of drawing inferences regardingthe entire population of parcels from which the sample was abstracted.

54

Tax bill

An itemized statement showing the amount of taxes owed for certain propertydescribed therein and forwardable to the party or parties legally liable for payment thereof.

55

Tax exemption

Either total or partial freedom from taxation granted by specific state statute.

56

Tax Increment District Assessment Report

The TID Assessment Report was previously known as Tax Incremental Assessor’s Final Report (TID AFR). The TID Assessment Report is an electronically filed report filed by the assessor with the Department of Revenue. Like the Municipal Assessment Report, the TID AssessmentReport can be filed as an “Estimate” (before Board of Review), as a “Final” (after Board ofReview), or as an “Amended” report. Amended reports make changes to a previously filed“Final” version. This electronic report provides the total assessed value of all locallyassessed property in each Tax Increment District, by School District, Union High District (ifany), and Special District. An estimated or final version of this report must be filed by the second Monday of June.

57

Tax Incremental Financing District

A contiguous geographic area, within a city orvillage defined and created by resolution of the local legislative body. It is targeted towardeliminating blighted areas, rehabilitating areas declining in value, and/or promotingindustrial development. The taxes generated due to value increase are used to pay for TIFeligible projects such as public improvements.

58

Tax levy

In reference to property taxes, the total revenue realized by the tax.

59

Tax mapping

The creation of accurate representations of property boundary lines atappropriate scales to provide a graphic inventory of parcels for use in accounting,appraising and assessing. Such maps show dimensions and the relative size and location ofeach tract with respect to other tracts. Also known as assessment maps and cadastral maps.

60

Tax rate

The rate generally expressed in dollars per hundred or dollars per thousand(mills) applied against the tax base (assessed value) to compute the amount of taxes. The tax rate is derived by dividing the total amount of the tax levy by the total assessed value ofthe taxing district.

61

Tax roll

The official list showing the amount of taxes, special assessments, and chargeslevied against each parcel and item of personal property in the municipality.

62

Tax sale

The sale of a taxpayer’s property to collect delinquent taxes from the proceeds ofthe sale when the taxpayer has failed to redeem it within the statutory period.

63

Taxation

The right of government to tax property to support the government.

64

Taxation District

A town, village, or city. If a city or village lies in more than onecounty, that portion of the city or village which lies in each county. (See sec. 74.01(6), Wis.Stats.).

65

Taxation Jurisdiction

An entity which is authorized by law to levy taxes on generalproperty which is located within its boundaries. (See sec. 74.01(7), Wis. Stats.). In additionto towns, villages and cities, this includes school districts, sewerage districts and lakerehabilitation districts, for example.

66

True Cash Value

The statutory reference to the market value of personal property (sec. 70.34, Wis. Stats).

67

Uniformity

The constitutional requirement that the taxable property must bear itsproportionate share of ad valorem basis taxes. As applied to assessing, a condition whereinall properties are assessed at the same ratio to market value, or other standard of valuedepending upon the particular assessing practices. Following a 1974 amendment to theconstitution, agricultural land may be non-uniform with other property, but must be uniform within its class. The standard for value for agricultural property is its value in use.

68

Use Value

The value a specific property has for a specific use. Beginning in 2000,agricultural property is assessed according to its use as farmland instead of its marketvalue as indicated by sales. The guideline values are based on 5-year average income andexpense data modified by the tax rate in each taxation district in the state.

69

Use Value Assessment

An assessment based on the value of the property as it iscurrently used, not its market value. This only applies to agricultural land. The guidelinesfor the use values are based on administrative rules, and developed by DOR staff serving assupport for the Farmland Advisory Council who adopts the values.

70

Value Standard

The basis for the methods used in estimating values for the equalized orassessed values. There are two basic values used in the process, the market value (‘full value’ for real property and ‘true cash value’ for personal property), which is the basis forvalue of all property except agricultural land. The market value is based on the most probable selling price of the property. Agricultural land, as defined by administrative rule,is based on a valuation standard which analyzes the ability to generate income as it iscurrently being used, hence ‘use value’.

71

Woodland tax lands

Land taxes at a set amount per acre, containing at least 10 acresbut less than the acreage required for forest croplands, located outside villages and cities,void of an improvement having assessed value in itself and more suitable for the growing oftimber than for other purposes.

73

Aggregate ratio

As applied to real estate, the ratio of the total assessed value to thetotal selling price.

74

Average deviation

In a distribution of values, the average amount of deviation of all thevalues from the mean value equal to the total amount of deviation from the mean dividedby the number of deviations.

75

Coefficient

A value prefixed as a multiplier to a variable or an unknown quantity.

76

Coefficient of dispersion

As applied to an assessment-to-sale ratio distribution, a measure of dispersion in a given distribution equal to the average deviation of the ratiosfrom the mean or median ratio divided by the mean or median ratio.

77

Frequency distribution

A display of the frequency where each value in a given distribution occurs; or in a grouped frequency distribution, a display of the frequency of the values within various intervals, or value groupings occur.

78

Mean

A measure of central tendency equal to the sum of the values divided by the number. Also referred to as arithmetic average or arithmetic mean.

79

Median

A measure of central tendency equal to that point in a distribution above which50% of the values fall and below which 50% of the values fall. The 50th percentile is the 2ndquartile.

80

Mode

A measure of central tendency equal to the value occurring most frequently in agiven distribution. In a grouped frequency distribution, the mode is equal to the midpoint ofthe interval with the greatest frequency.

81

Multiple Regression analysis

A statistical technique for making statements as to thedegree of linear association between a criterion (dependent) variable and one or more predicator (independent) variables; a simple linear regression having one independentvariable, and multiple linear regression having more than one independent variable.

82

Normal distribution

A distribution in which all the values are distributed symmetrically about the mean value, with 68.26% of the values falling between +1 standard deviation, 95.44% between +2 standard deviations, and 99.74% between +3 standard deviations.

83

Percentile rank

The relative position of a value in a distribution of values expressed inpercentage terms; for instance, as applied to an assessment-to-sale ratio distribution, aratio with a percentile rank of 83 would indicate 83% of the ratios were lower and 17% ofthe ratios were higher than that particular ratio.

84

Population

As applied to real estate, all the parcels of a given type in the group understudy, i.e., all the parcels of a given neighborhood, district, etc.

85

Precision

As applied to real estate, it refers to the closeness of estimated value to actualselling price on an aggregate basis.

86

Price related differential

As applied to real estate, an analytical measure of thevertical uniformity of values in a given distribution calculated by dividing the mean ratio bythe aggregate ratio; a ratio of more than one being generally indicative of the relativeundervaluation of high priced properties as compared to the less valuable properties,whereas a ratio of less than 1 would indicate the converse relationship.

87

Quartile

Positions in a distribution at 25 percentile intervals; the first quartile being equal to the 25th percentile, the second quartile being equal to the 50th percentile or the median, and the third quartile being equal to the 75th percentile.

88

Range

The difference between the highest and lowest value in a distribution.

89

Ratio

A fixed relationship between two similar things expressed in terms of the numberof times the first contains the second; the quotient of one quantity divided by anotherquantity of the same type, generally expressed as a fraction.

90

Sample

As applied to real estate, a set of parcels taken from a given universe which isused to make inferences about values for the universe.

91

Random sample

A sample where each parcel in the universe is given equal chance of being included.

92

Selective sample

A sample where each parcel in the universe being chosen by othercriteria, is not given an equal chance of being included. Essentially all assessment-to-sale ratio studies are non-probability samples.

93

Sample size

As applied to real estate, the number of parcels needed from a universe toachieve a desired level of precision, given the total number of parcels in the universe andthe standard deviation thereof.

94

Standard deviation

A measure of dispersion, variability or scatter of values in a givendistribution equal to the square root of the arithmetic mean of the squares of deviationsfrom the mean.

95

Standard error of the mean

A measure of the statistical variability of the mean equalto the standard deviation of the distribution divided by the square root of the sample size.

96

Stratified sampling

The selection of sample parcels from distinct groups within thetotal universe based upon the known sizes and characteristics of these distinct groups.

98

Absorption field

A drainage system consisting of a series of pipes laid in trenches filledwith sand, gravel or crushed stone, through which septic tank effluent may seep or leachinto the surrounding ground.

99

Acoustical tile

A ceiling or wall tile finishing material with an inherent property toabsorb sound; usually made of mineral, fiber, or insulated metal materials.

100

Addition

Part of building added or joined to an existing building. Living areas built ontoresidence after original construction; single wall in common with residence, usually onlyone door connects the two.

101

Aggregate

Any of various hard, inert materials, like sand, gravel, or pebbles added to acementing or bonding agent to make concrete, plaster, etc.

102

Anchor bolt

Long bolts cemented into the top of a foundation wall, and to which the sillof the structure is bolted.

103

Apartment hotel

A building designed for non-transient residential use divided intodwelling units similar to an apartment house, but having such hotel accommodations asroom furnishings, lounges, public dining room, maid service, etc.

104

Apartment house

A multi-family residence containing three or more non-transient residential living units and generally providing a number of common facilities and services.

105

Apron

A finish strip applied below the stool of a window to cover the rough plaster ordrywall edge. A paved or hard packed area abutting a garage door or other opening.

106

Arcade

A series of arches and their supports, which provides covered passage between buildings. A roofed walkway or passageway, frequently with shops on both sides.

107

Arch

A curved structural member used to span an opening, so designed that vertical loads are transmitted as vertical or oblique stresses on either side of the opening.

108

Areaway

An uncovered space next to a building, for entrance of light, air or access.

109

Asbestos cement

A mixture of asbestos fibers, Portland cement, and water which can be formed into building products with high fire and weather resistance.

110

Ashlar

A wall facing of masonry slabs (stone, terra cotta) applied over the bearing masonry of exterior walls.

111

Asphalt

Bitumen mixed with mineral aggregates used as a hard surface for driveways, streets, etc.

112

Asphalt flooring

Consists of limestone dust and coarse aggregate incorporated with either asphaltic bitumen or equal proportions of asphaltic bitumen and asphalt.

113

Attic

An unfinished or semi-finished portion of a building lying between the highest finished story and the roof and wholly within the roof framing.

114

Awning

A roof-like shelter extending over a doorway window, porch, etc., which provides protection from the sun or rain.

115

Backfill

The material used for refilling an excavation.

116

Backing

Rough inner face of a wall; earth deposited behind retaining wall.

117

Backup

The inner, load bearing or structural portion of a masonry wall, usually finished with face brick, stone, ashlar, stucco or other decorative or protective veneer.

118

Balcony

A balustraded or railed elevated platform projecting from the wall or a building ,usually cantilevered or supported by columns.

119

Balusters (bannisters)

A short pillar or post, usually circular, slender above and building below, supporting a rail; the uprights supporting the handrail of a staircase.

120

Balustrade

A row of balusters surmounted by a rail, coping or cornice.

121

Base molding

Finishing wood to cover construction joints between baseboard and floor.

122

Basement

A building story which is wholly or partly below grade level.

123

Batten

Narrow strips of wood or other material used to finish and cover the vertical joints where two boards meet.

124

Batter board

One of a pair of horizontal boards nailed to posts set at the corners of anexcavation, used to indicate the desired level of the foundation, also as a fastening forstretched strings to indicate outlines of foundation walls.

125

Bay

(1) a horizontal area division of a building usually defined as the space betweencolumns or division walls; (2) an internal recess formed by causing a wall to project beyondits general line.

126

Bay window

A window, or group of continuous windows projecting from the main wall ofa building. A bay window has its own foundation.

127

Beam

(1) a long structural load-bearing member which is placed horizontally or nearly soand which is supported by both ends, infrequently, at intervals along its length; (2) a principal load supporting member of a building; may be of wood, steel, or concrete; transmits load horizontally to vertical posts, columns, or bearing walls.

128

Beam, spandrel

A wall beam supporting the wall above, as well as the floor.

129

Bearing area

The area of contact between a bearing member (beam, girder, footing) andits underlying support (column bearing wall, load bearing ground).

130

Bed

Horizontal surface on which structural members or slabs are laid or supported.

131

Bent

A transverse frame of a building designed to support either horizontal or verticalloads.

132

Beveled wood siding

Siding board of varying widths, with lower edge thicker thanupper edge is covered by lower edge of board above. Types include Dolly Varden, andshiplap.

133

Board foot

A unit of measure represented by a board one foot long, one foot wide, andone inch thick, or 144 cubic inches.

134

Boiler

Metal vessel for heating water for generating steam.

135

Bolster

A horizontal timber on a post for lessening the free span of a beam.

136

Bond

The arrangement of individual masonry units in certain overlapping patterns togive the finished structural unit additional strength and to allow the individual elements toact together as a cohesive, integrated unit.

137

Brace

A structural member reinforcing a frame or truss.

138

Bridging

A method of bracing floor joists by fixing lateral members between the joists.

139

Building

Any structure partially or wholly above ground designed to shelter people,animals or goods.

140

Building, fireproof

A building in which all parts carrying loads or resisting stresses(frame) and all exterior and interior wall, floors, and staircases are made of incombustiblematerials and in which all metallic structural members are encased in materials which remain rigid at the highest possible temperature in case its contents are burned, or whichprovide ample insulation from such a temperature.

141

Building, paper

Tarred felt paper sheathing for walls and roofs, to stop drafts andinsulate against dampness.

142

Building service systems

Those units or systems providing plumbing, sewerage,heating, ventilating, air conditioning, lighting, power, vertical transport, fire protection andspecial services such as public address or oxygen to a building.

143

Building, single-purpose

A building designed for a specific purpose that cannot be usedfor another purpose without substantial alterations, e.g., a theater or church.

144

Built-ins

Items like cabinets, counters, desks, benches, shelving and equipmentpermanently attached to the building structure that cannot be removed without leavingevidence of removal. These items are not considered personal property.

145

Built-up roofing

Two or more layers of tarred felt, joined with bonding or sealing compound.

146

Bulkhead

A retaining structure of timber, steel, or reinforced concrete erected along thewater for shore protection. Solid fill is usually placed behind it to extend the shore to thebulkhead line.

147

Bungalow

One-story dwelling unit somewhat more pretentious than a cottage.

148

Buttress

An external structure, usually brick or stone, built against a wall to support orreinforce it.

149

Caisson foundation

A foundation system where holes are drilled in the earth to bearingstrata and then filled with concrete.

150

Chamfer

To bevel or round off a right angle corner.

151

Canopy

An ornamental roof-like covering supported by posts or suspended from a wall.

152

Cant strip

A wedge or triangular-shaped piece, generally installed on flat roofs aroundperimeter or at the junction of that roof and an adjoining wall.

153

Cantilever

A structural member projecting horizontally well beyond its vertical support.

154

Cap

The capital or uppermost part of a column or post; its function is to transmit supported loads to the column.

155

Casement window

A type of window having a sash with hinges on one side, allowing window to open vertically like a door.

156

Catch basin

A chamber designed in a drainage system to intercept solids and prevent their entrance into the system.

157

Causeway

A raised or paved way (road).

158

Cavity wall

A masonry or concrete wall consisting of two wythes with air space between them; the inner and outer wythes are tied together with metal ties.

159

Cellular concrete

Cement based concrete, mixed with fine sand and large amounts of air pockets no aggregate. Lightweight.

160

Chimney cap

A large stone or formed concrete which finishes the top of a chimney.

161

Chimney pots

Cylindrical earthenware pots at the top of the chimney shaft.

162

Clapboard

Siding board of varying widths, with lower edge thicker than upper edge that is covered by lower edge of board above.

163

Cleat

A strip fastened across something to give strength or hold in position.

164

Clerestory window

A window or series of windows in a wall above the primary roofline; designed to provide additional lighting and ventilation for the central part of the building.

165

Cofferdam

A temporary box-like structure used to hold back water or earth while work is being done inside it.

166

Column

(1) a structurally isolated vertical member which is at least eight to ten times as long as its least lateral dimension designed to carry loads. (2) a vertical structural member supporting horizontal members (beams, girders) designed to transmit load to bearing material at base of column.

167

Common brick

Local inexpensive clay brick, no uniform face or precision mold.

168

Composition siding

A manufactured wall covering, often finished in an imitation brick pattern.

169

Concrete

A hard stone-like material made by mixing sand, an aggregate such as crushed stone or gravel, cement, and water, and allowing the mixture to harden.

170

Concrete block

Concrete formed into the shape of a block and allowed to set until it hardens. Used as a masonry unit.

171

Conduit

A pipe or tube. An artificial tunnel used to enclose wires or pipes or to convey water or other fluids.

172

Construction, brick

A type of construction where the exterior walls are bearing walls(q.v.) made of solid brick and tile masonry.

173

Construction, brick veneer

A type of construction where the exterior walls are one-layer brick curtain walls backed by a wood frame.

174

Construction, mill

A type of construction where the exterior walls are substantial masonry bearing walls, the structural members are of heavy timber and further characterized by an open design and other safeguards against fire hazards.

175

Construction, reinforced concrete

A type of construction where the principalstructural members, such as the floors, columns, etc., are made of concrete poured aroundisolated steel bars or steel meshwork in such manner that the two materials act together inresisting forces.

176

Construction, steel frame

A type of construction where a framework of steel structuralmembers for the support of all loads and the resistances of all stresses.

177

Construction, wood frame

A type of construction in which there is a framework ofwooden structural members for the support of all loads and the resistance of all stresses.

178

Continuous windows

Windows designed for saw-tooth roofs or roof monitors of industrial buildings; generally top hinged and opened by mechanical operators.

179

Coping

A special capping at the top of a wall, serving principally as a watershed.

180

Corbel

A supporting bracket of stone, brick or wood projecting from side of wall.

181

Cornice

A projecting element at the top of a wall, serving principally as a decoration oras part of the coping.

182

Cottage

One-story to two-story dwelling unit of small size and humble character.

183

Course

A uniform horizontal layer of brick, stone, terra cotta, shingles, or some otherstructural material, extending continuously around a building or along a wall.

184

Court

An open space bordered on two or more sides by the walls of a single building, or oftwo or more buildings, and by a lot line or a yard on any side not so bordered.

185

Craneway

The steel or concrete column and girder supports and rails on which a cranetravels. Oftentimes the craneway is attached to the building frame.

186

Crawl space

An unfinished, accessible space below the first floor, generally less than full story height.

187

Cupola

A small building-like structure on a roof.

188

Curtain wall

An exterior wall that encloses but does not support the structural frame of a building.

189

Damp proofing

The coating of a surface to prevent the passage of moisture.

190

Dead load

The weight of the structure itself plus any permanent fixed loads.

191

Dome

A roof shaped like a hemisphere or inverted bowl, so constructed as to exert equal oblique thrust stresses in all directions.

192

Dormer

1) a relatively small structure projecting from a sloping roof, 2) a window set upright in the face of such a structure.

193

Double hung window

A type of window containing two movable sash sections that slide open vertically.

194

Double tee

A structural member of pre-cast concrete composed of two beams connected by a common slab.

195

Double wall

An exterior frame wall with siding, sheathing and interior lining.

196

Downspout

A pipe for carrying rainwater from roof gutters to the ground or the storm sewer system.

197

Drain tile

Burnt clay tile pipe, rendered impervious to water by glazing; laid with loose unsealed joints or plastic perforated pipe laid next to the foundation wall for drainage.

198

Dressed and matched

Boards which are finished, or dressed on 1 or 2 sides and tongue and grooved on the edges.

199

Drilled caisson

A hole drilled into the ground then filled with concrete. Depending on soil conditions, a pipe lining may be included.

200

Drip edge

A projecting part of a sill or cornice that sheds rainwater and protects structural parts below.

201

Drop panel

In reinforced concrete slab construction, a thickened portion of the ceiling around a column head for load distribution.

202

Drywall construction

Any type of interior wall construction not using plaster as a finish material; e.g., wood paneling, plywood, plasterboard, or other type of wallboard.

203

Duct

A pipe to convey warm or cooled air; pipe containing electrical wires or cables.

204

Dwelling

Any building or portion thereof designed or occupied in whole or in part as a place of residence.

205

Dwelling, attached

A multi-family dwelling where the dwelling units are separated vertically by means of common or party walls. See “terrace.”

206

Dwelling, double

A two-family dwelling that the dwelling units are separated vertically, by means of a common or party wall.

207

Dwelling, duplex

A two-family dwelling in which the two dwelling units are separated horizontally with a private street entrance for each; i.e., a two-family flat.

208

Dwelling, multi-family

A building designed as a place of residence for more than two families or households; e.g., an apartment house or tenement.

209

Dwelling, row

Any one of a series of similar single-family, two-family, or multi-family dwellings having one or more contiguous common, or party walls.

210

Dwelling unit

Any room or group of rooms designed as the living quarters of one family or household, equipped with cooking and toilet facilities, and having an independent entrance from a public hall or from the outside.

211

Eaves

The portion of a sloping roof projecting beyond the wall of a building.

212

Elevation

A drawing representing a projection of any one of the vertical sides or vertical cross-sections of a building or of any other object.

213

Excavation

A hole or hollow dug in the earth.

214

Facade

The face of a building, especially one that is decorative or imposing.

215

Face brick

Generally, a hard burned brick of smooth or rough-texture face, of selected color and size; used to finish the exterior walls of a building.

216

Fascia

Any relatively broad flat vertical surface like that on the outside of a cornice. A finishing board used to conceal rafter boards.

217

Felt paper

A paper sheathing on walls and roofs insulating against heat, cold and dampness.

218

Fenestration

The design and disposition or arrangement of windows or other openings in building walls.

219

Fiber plank

A decking material composed of wood fibers with moisture and fire-resistive binders often used with bulb tees.

220

Fiberboard

Fine spun filaments of glass made into yarn, used in wooly masses as insulation. May be added to gypsum or concrete products to increase tensile strength.

221

Fill

The material used to equalize or to raise topography to a desired grade.

222

Firebrick

A brick made of fire clay that is capable of resisting high temperatures; used toline heating chambers and fireplaces.

223

Fire door

Door consisting of a core and external surfaces especially constructed toprevent the spread of fire.

224

Fireproofing

The use of incombustible materials to protect structural components of abuilding so it can withstand a complete burnout of contents without losing structuralintegrity.

225

Firewall

A wall of fire-resisting material erected between two parts of a building toprevent the spread of fire from one part to the other.

226

Flashing

Small metal strips used to prevent leaking of roofs around chimneys, dormers,hops and valleys.

227

Flat

Any one floor of a building two or more stories high each floor of which constitutes asingle dwelling unit and has a private street entrance.

228

Float finish

The surface of concrete finished by a continuous spreading of the materialwith a flat board.

229

Floating foundation

(Mat, raft or rigid foundation) consists of concrete slabs usually 4 to 8 inches thick covering the entire foundation area.

230

Floor finish

Top, or wearing surface made of hardwood, linoleum, terrazzo, tile, or otherfinish materials.

231

Flue

The duct or space within a chimney through which combustion gases and smoke areallowed to escape.

232

Flue lining

The tile or pipe inside a chimney.

233

Fluorescent light

Produced from a fluorescent-coated tube that glows as electrons passfrom one end to the other.

234

Footing

A spreading base to a wall, column, or other supporting member, which serves towiden the ground area to which structural loads are transmitted.

235

Formica

The trade name for a hard, durable plastic sheeting used for table, sink andcounter tops or for wall covering resistant to heat and chemicals.

236

Forms

The temporary panels, usually of wood, plywood, or metal that contain and controlthe shape of poured concrete until it hardens.

237

Foundation

The structural members below grade level, or below the first tier of beamsabove grade level, which transmit the load of a superstructure to the ground.

238

Foyer

The lobby of a theater or hotel; the entrance hall of a house.

239

Frame

The skeletal supporting structure of a building or construction component.

240

Frieze

A decorative horizontal band at or near the top of a wall.

241

Furring

The strips of wood or metal applied to a wall or other surface to make it level, to form an air space, or to provide fastening surface for a finish covering.

242

Gable

(1) The triangular portion of a wall between the slopes of a double sloping roof. (2) The whole of the wall containing such a triangular portion. (3) A portion of a building extending from the remainder of the building and covered with a gable roof.

243

Gambrel roof

A ridged roof, with sides having two pitches or slopes.

244

Giant tee

A structural member of pre-cast concrete composed of a beam connected to a slab.

245

Girder

(1) A large or principal beam (q.v.) used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length. Girders usually support the beams and structure above. (2) Any main horizontal supporting member or beam.

246

Girt

A secondary horizontal framing member extending between columns or studs to stiffen the framing system; also to provide support for the siding or sheathing.

247

Glazed concrete block

Concrete block with a glossy vitreous material surface.

248

Grade

The plane of the natural or finished surface of the ground.

249

Grade beam

A horizontal load-bearing foundation member, end-supported like a standard beam, not ground-supported like the foundation wall.

250

Granolithic

An artificial stone of crushed granite and cement.

251

Grillage

A system of beams laid crosswise to form a foundation to evenly distribute the load.

252

Groin

The sharp curved edge formed at the junction of two intersecting vaults.

253

Grout

A thin, fluid mortar used to fill small joints and cavities in masonry work.

254

Gutter

A trough or channel along or under the roof eaves which carries rainwater to downspouts or conductors.

255

Gypsum

A common mineral, hydrated calcium sulfate, found in rocks; used in plaster of Paris.

256

Gypsum plank

A lightweight pre-cast roof deck of gypsum core with steel mesh reinforcement.

257

Gypsum plaster

Substance obtained by heating gypsum that sets in a firm, hard masswhen mixed with water.

258

Gypsum wallboard

A prefabricated sheet used in drywall construction as a substitute for plaster. Made of gypsum covered with paper that can be painted, textured or wallpapered.

259

Hardboard

Boards formed by combining shredded wood chips and glue with pressure.

260

Header

1) A structural member which is laid perpendicularly to a parallel series ofsimilar members and against which the latter members abut. 2) A brick or other piece ofmasonry laid in a wall in such manner that its longest dimension extends along thethickness of the wall.

261

Hearth

The floor of a fireplace.

262

Heat exchanger

Cylinder with coils in it; used to transfer heat from one gas or liquid to another.

263

Hip

(1) A sloping line along which two roof surfaces meet to form an external angle ofmore than 180 degrees. (2) A hip rafter (q.v.). Compare “Ridge”; “Valley.”

264

Hotel

A building designed for transient or semi-transient residential use, divided intofurnished single rooms and suites and having such accommodations as lounges, publicdining rooms and maid service, etc.

265

Hotel, apartment

See “Apartment hotel.”

266

I-beam

Steel beam with cross section resembling the letter “I” now designated “S” for American Standard Beam.

267

Incandescent light

Light emitted from a lamp with a fine wire filament which produceslight as a current passes through it.

268

Insulating board or fiberboard

A building board made of compressed plant fibers suchas wood, cane or cornstalks, usually formed by a felting process, dried and pressed tospecified thickness.

269

Insulation

Any material used to reduce the transfer of heat, cold or sound.

270

Jack rafter

Shorter than a full-length rafter. Is found in hip roofs where the top edge of aroof slope is not horizontal, and in roofs with valleys.

271

Jalousies

Adjustable glass louvers in doors or windows to regulate light and air orexclude rain.

272

Jamb

The side framing or finish of a doorway or window.

273

Joist

One of a series of small parallel beams laid on edge and used to support floor andceiling loads, and usually supported in turn by larger beams and girders.

274

Keene’s cement

A white, hard finish durable plaster that sets quickly; used in bathrooms and kitchens.

275

Keystone

The central topmost stone or piece of an arch which holds the other in place.

276

King post

The vertical member at the center of a triangular truss.

277

Lally column

A concrete filled steel pipe used as a vertical framing support.

278

Lath

Strips of wood or expanded metal used as base for plaster walls.

279

Lattice

Any openwork panel of crossed strips, rods, or bars of wood or metal, used as a screen.

280

Leader

Pipe to conduct rainwater from roof gutters to ground or storm sewer system.

281

Lean-to

A small structure with a single pitch roof; built against an outside wall of a building.

282

Light

A window pane or section of a window sash for a single pane of glass.

283

Lintel

A beam over a wall opening, such as a door or window, designed to carry the load of the wall over such opening.

284

Live load

Any moving or variable load applied to a structure, expressed in pounds per square foot of floor areas for various types of building occupancy.

285

Load bearing wall

Weight of wall and portion of floor/roof load are supported by the wall, remainder is supported by the interior framing.

286

Lobby

An entrance passage or waiting area in a theater, hotel or other public building.

287

Loft

An unpartitioned or relatively unpartitioned upper story of a building, designed for storage, wholesaling, or light manufacturing.

288

Lookout

A short timber support for an overhanging roof at a gable.

289

Louver (or louvre)

A ventilator containing slats placed lengthwise across the ventilator opening, each slat being slanted in such manner as to overlap the next lower slat and topermit ventilation but exclude rain.

290

Luminous ceiling

A suspended ceiling of translucent materials, above, which is installeda system of fluorescent tubes, making the entire ceiling the source of light, a practice thatgreatly reduces glare and shadows.

291

Mall

Originally a shaded walk. Now adopted to designate an area for pedestrians in aretail section or shopping center.

292

Mansard roof

A roof with two slopes or pitches on each of the four sides, the lower slopessteeper than the upper. Convenient for adding another story to a building.

293

Marquise

A flat roof-like structure sheltering a doorway, having no floor beneath it andis usually supported wholly from the walls or the building.

294

Masonry

Anything constructed of stone, brick, concrete tile, concrete block, using mortaras a bond.

295

Mastic

An adhesive material used to cement two surfaces together. Flooring materialsapplied to the base floor in a stiff plastic state by spreading, rolling and troweling.

296

Mercury vapor lamp

Produced by an electric arc discharging through mercury vapor in a tube. White light.

297

Metal pan joist

A floor or roof system using metal pans to form a system of closelyspaced beams and connecting slabs.

298

Mezzanine

Low story formed by placing a floor between what would ordinarily be thefloor and ceiling of a high story.

299

Mill construction

A type of fire-resistant or slow burning construction; masonry, heavytimber framing, and planked or laminated wood floors much thicker than ordinary joistconstruction.

300

Millwork

All of the wooden portions of a building, whether frame construction or otherwise, which are customarily purchased in finished form from a planing mill, such asdoors, windows, trim, balusters, etc.

301

Mineral wool

Insulation material made by blasting molten slag or rock with steam. Suchmaterials are known as rock wool, glass wool, etc.

302

Molding (moulding)

A curved section formed in the edge or face of wood and/or stone,chiefly for the sake of ornament. Mostly used to fill corners. Classified by its purpose (bed,crown, shingle) or by design, cove, ogre, quarter-round.

303

Monitor roof

A raised structure on a roof having windows or louvers for ventilating orlighting a building such as a factory or warehouse.

304

Monolithic

Poured floor or structure in one piece.

305

Mortar

The bonding agent in masonry work made of lime, sand, and cement mixed with water.

306

Newel

The vertical post that the steps of a winding staircase turn. The post at the top orbottom of a staircase supporting the handrail or a balustrade.

307

Non-bearing wall

A wall that supports only its own weight.

308

On center

The distance from the center of one structural member to the center of another. Term used for spacing studs, joists, rafters, etc.

309

Oriel

Window type; ordinarily projects beyond exterior face of wall; octagonal or hexagonal in plan, commonly corbelled or cantilevered out.

310

Overhang

A finished portion of a building having full story height that extends beyondthe foundation wall line if part of the ground story, or beyond the exterior walls of theground story if part of any higher story.

311

Overhead structure

Similar to overhang above ground story, such as overhead pedestrian walkway.

312

Panic device

Door opening operator usually consisting of a door-wide bar at waist heightwhich, when pushed against, pulls back the door latching mechanism allowing the door to open.

313

Parapet

A low wall along the edge of a roof, balcony, ridge, or terrace. Also a parapet wall.

314

Parging

A coating of cement on a masonry wall, frequently used to waterproof theoutside surface of a basement wall.

315

Parquet floor

A hardwood floor laid in small rectangular or square patterns, not in long strips.

316

Partition

See “Wall, partition.”

317

Penthouse

A structure or enclosure on a roof for housing stairway to roof, elevatormachinery, utility room or water tank.

318

Pier

(1) A thick, solid mass of masonry that is fully or partially isolated from a structuralstandpoint and which is designed to transmit vertical loads to the earth; (2) a structureprojecting from land into water for use in loading and unloading vessels. Compare “Column.”

319

Pilaster

A flat-faced pillar projecting somewhat from but engaged in, the wall of abuilding and used for decorative purposes or to help support truss and girder loads or both.

320

Pile

A heavy timber, metallic, or masonry pillar forced into the earth to form a foundationmember.

321

Pitch

The slope of any structural member, such as a roof or rafter, usually expressed as asimple fraction representing the rise per lateral foot.

322

Plan

A drawing representing a projection of any one of the floors or horizontal cross-sections of a building or of the horizontal plane of any other object or area. Compare “Elevation.”

323

Plaster

A mixture of lime, sand and water. Used as a finished surface for walls and ceilings.

324

Plate

A horizontal structural member laid across the top of a row of studs, serving as theframe for interior partitions, and exterior walls. The purpose of a plate is 1) to providelateral rigidity for the wall by “tying” the studs together and 2) to serve as a support forupper story floor joists, ceiling joists and as the lower support for rafters.

325

Plumb (bob)

Exactly perpendicular vertical.

326

Plywood

A fabricated wood product constructed of three or more layers of veneer joinedwith glue; usually laid with grain of adjoining piles at right angles.

327

Porcelain

A vitrified, glass-like, coating of ceramic materials bonded to a base metal by fusion.

328

Post

A vertical structure member carrying stresses in compression, used where strengthin bending is not a requisite.

329

Pre-cast concrete

Concrete structural components that are cast separately, either at aseparate location or on a building site; not formed and poured in place in the structure.

330

Pre-engineered building

A building constructed of pre-designed, pre-manufactured,and pre-assembled units such as wall framing, floor and roof panels. Pre-engineered unitsare simply erected at the construction site.

331

Pre-stressed concrete

A structural member with reinforcing strands placed under tension either before or after the concrete sets.

332

Purlin

A beam running along the underside of a sloping roof surface and at right anglesto the rafters, used to support the common rafters, and usually supported in turn by largerstructural members, such as trusses or girders (usually run along length of building).

333

Radiant heat

Heat transmitted from heated surface by radiation rather than conduction or convection.

334

Rafter

Structural member placed, as a rule, in a sloping position and used as the supporting element for the structural material forming the plane of the roof.

335

Rafter, hip

A rafter placed in an inclined position to support the edges of two sloping roof surfaces which meet to form an external angle of more than 180 degrees.

336

Rafter, valley

A rafter placed in an inclined position to support the edges of two sloping roof surfaces which meet to form an external angle of less than 180 degrees.

337

Rake

A board or molding plate along the sloping sides of a frame gable to cover the ends of the siding.

338

Ramp

An inclined plane connecting two different floor levels and used in lieu of steps.

339

Reinforcement

A system of steel rods or mesh for absorbing tensile and shearing stresses in concrete work, complementing the inherent compressive qualities of concrete.

340

Reservoir

Below-ground fluid storage tank built with concrete walls, floor and roof.

341

Residence

See Dwelling.

342

Resilient tile

Flooring which includes a number of products such as asphalt, linoleum, cork, vinyl, and rubber.

343

Ridge

A horizontal line along which the upper edges of two roof surfaces meet to form an external angle of more than 180 degrees.

344

Rise

(1) In general, any vertical distance, (2) specifically, the rise of a roof, being the distance between the top of an exterior wall and the peak of the roof; the rise of a stair, being the distance from tread to tread.

345

Roll roofing

A roofing material made of compressed fibers saturated with asphalt, supplied in rolls.

346

Roof, curb (or curbed)

A roof where the pitch of the upper part of a sloping side is less than the pitch of the lower part.

347

Roof, flat

A roof that is flat or sloped only enough to provide proper drainage.

348

Roof, gable

A double-sloped roof having a cross section similar to the shape of the inverted letter “v”.

349

Roof, gambrel

A curbed gable roof.

350

Roof, hip (or hipped)

(1) In general, any roof having one or more hips, (2) usually, a roof with four sloping sides meeting along four hips or along four hips and a ridge.

351

Roof, lean-to

(1) A roof having a single sloping side that is supported at the upper edge by the wall of an attached building or of a larger and higher portion of the same building, (2) any roof with a single slope.

352

Roof, mansard

A roof with two slopes or pitches on each of the four sides, the lower slopes steeper than the upper. Convenient for adding another story to a building.

353

Roof, monitor

A type of gable roof, commonly found on industrial buildings, having small raised portion along the ridge with openings for the admission of light and air.

354

Roof, pyramid

A roof having four sloping triangular sides, usually of equal pitch, meeting together at the peak.

355

Roof, saw tooth

A roof with a series of parallel sloping surfaces interspersed between a series of vertical surfaces which rise from the lower edges of such sloping surfaces and contain windows for the admission of light and air.

356

Roof, single pitch

A roof with a single slope other than a lean-to roof.

357

Rotunda

A circular building or room covered by a dome.

358

Rubblework

Masonry built of rubble or roughly dressed stones laid in irregular courses.

359

Sandwich panel

A core of insulation covered on both sides with materials such as concrete, metal, or asbestos.

360

Sanitary sewer

A sewer carrying only waste material, not surface water.

361

Sash

The wooden or metal framework in which the glass of a door or window is set.

362

Saw kerf

A notch made by a saw in a board.

363

Scratch coat

The first coat of plaster applied to a wall, scratched or scored to provide a bond of the second coat.

364

Scuttle

A framed opening in a ceiling or roof, fitted with a lid or cover.

365

Shake

A shingle formed by splitting a short log into a number of tapered radial sections.

366

Sheathing

The covering, usually of rough lumber, placed immediately over studding or rafters.

367

Sheet piling

Planking or steel shafts driven close together vertically to form a temporary wall around an excavation.

368

Shingle

A roof or wall covering of waterproof material.

369

Shoring

Structural bracing used as temporary support for a building during construction.

370

Shutter

Hinged door that covers a window.

371

Siding

A finish covering for exterior walls of a building.

372

Sill

(1) The lower horizontal part of a door-case (the threshold) or of a window; (2) thelowest horizontal structural member of a frame building, upon which the superstructure issupported.

373

Skin wall

External wall covering of aluminum, porcelain enamel, steel or other material. Slab on ground—A building floor (usually concrete) that rests on, or touches the ground. Slate—A hard, fine-grained rock that cleaves naturally into thin, smooth-surfaced layers. Sleeper—A structural member laid horizontally on the ground or upon a masonry base as a support to a floor or other superstructures.

374

Sodium vapor light

Produced by electric current passing between electrodes in lampfilled with sodium vapor. Orange light. Soffit—The undersiding of a building member such as an arch, cornice, overhang, or stairway.

375

Soil stack

A general term for the vertical main of a system of soil, waste or vent piping.

376

Span

The horizontal clear distance between supports as between those of a bridge, or between columns of a structure.

377

Spandrel

A beam that lies in the same vertical plane as the exterior wall.

378

Specifications

A detailed description of the dimensions, materials, quantities, structural procedures, etc. applicable to a projected or completed piece of construction.

379

Staging

A temporary scaffolding to support workmen and materials during construction.

380

Stair riser

Vertical part of a step in a staircase.

381

Stair tread

The part of a step actually trodden on when stairs are climbed.

382

Stile

The upright or vertical outside piece of a sash, door or panel.

383

Storm sewer

A sewer that only carries rain or surface water.

384

Story

The portion of a building enclosed by a floor, a ceiling and the exterior walls.

385

Story, ground

The first story lying wholly above the ground level.

386

Story, half (or one-half)

(1) For buildings with a mansard or gambrel roof, a finished portion of a building which lies above the wall plate or cornice and has a usable floor areasubstantially less than that of the next lower story, (2) for all other buildings, a finishedportion of a building which is above one or more full stories which is wholly or partly withinthe roof frame and has one or more exterior walls substantially lower than the full height ofthe story.

387

Story, one

A building having no finished story above the ground story.

388

Stretcher

A brick or other masonry unit laid length wise in a wall.

389

Stringer

Inclined member supporting the treads and risers of a stair.

390

Structural floor

Floors above the ground resting on walls or columns.

391

Strut

Any structural member that holds apart two or more other members by counteracting a pressure that tends to bring them together.

392

Stucco

A cement plaster used as an exterior wall surface finish; usually applied over a metal or wood lath base.

393

Stud

One of a series of small slender structural members placed vertically and used as the supporting element of exterior or interior walls.

394

Subfloor

The flooring laid directly on top of floor joists but beneath the finished floor.

395

Superstructure

The part of a building above the foundation or ground level.

396

Tenement

A building, usually of obsolete nature, designed primarily for non-transient residential use and divided into three or more dwelling units having common stairs, halls, and street entrances, and sometimes common bath and toilet rooms.

397

Termite shield

A sheet metal shield placed to prevent the entry of termites into the wooden portion of a structure.

398

Terrace

An unroofed level area covered with grass or masonry or both, raised above the surrounding ground level, and having a vertical or sloping front.

399

Terra cotta

A hard-baked pottery molded into decorative tiles, brick, etc. and used particularly for facing and trim on buildings.

400

Terrazzo

A durable floor finish made of small chips of colored stone or marble embedded in cement and polished in place to a high glaze.

401

Thickened edge slab

A type of concrete floor slab foundation where the slab is thickened around the edge in lieu of a foundation.

402

Threshold

A strip of wood, stone or metal placed beneath a door.

403

Tie

Any structural member that binds together two or more members by counteracting a stress that tends to draw them apart.

404

Tilt-up concrete panels

Concrete wall sections that are cast horizontally and tilted or lifted into building position.

405

Trim

(1) The wooden portions of a plastered room, such as the doors, windows, wainscotting, and molding, or the corresponding portions of a room finished otherwise than with plaster, (2) the contrasting elements on the exterior of a building which serve nostructural purpose but are intended to enhance its appearance; e.g., the cornice, occasionally, the hardware of a house, such as locks, hinges, doorknobs, etc.

406

Trowel finish

The surface of concrete finished by smoothing with a trowel.

407

Truss

Any of various structural frames based on the geometric rigidity of the triangle andcomposed of members subject only to longitudinal compression and tension; rigid underanticipated loads, spans large area without interior support, i.e., Bowstring, Cambered,Flat Roof, Sawtooth, Scissors and Triangular.

408

Unit heat

Heat produced by factory-built, gas or electric fired heater, which contain a fanto direct heat to a specific area.

409

Valley

A sloping line along which two roof surfaces meet to form an external angle or lessthan 180 degrees.

410

Vapor barrier

Material used to retard the passage of vapor or moisture into walls andfloors, thus preventing condensation.

411

Veneer

A thin ornamental or protective facing which does not add appreciably to thestrength of the body to which it is attached.

412

Vent (ventilator)

Allows air to circulate in areas susceptible to dampness or condensation. (Basement, foundation, attic, roof and eave.)

413

Waffle pan construction

Flat, reinforced concrete slab foundation with a grid of projections on its lower surface to give additional rigidity. Used when bearing capacity ofsoil is poor or not firm enough to support a plain flat slab foundation.

414

Wainscot (or wainscoting)

(1) A wooden facing on the lower portion of a contrastinginterior wall, (2) by extension, a facing of marble tile, or the like on the lower portion ofinterior walls.

415

Wall, bearing

A wall designed primarily to withstand vertical pressure in addition to its own weight.

416

Wall, common

A wall owned by one party but jointly used by two parties, one or both areentitled to such use under the provisions of a lease.

417

Wall, curtain

A nonbearing wall which is supported by columns, beams or other structural members, and whose primary function is to enclose space.

418

Wall, partition

An interior bearing or nonbearing wall separating portions of a story.

419

Wall, party

A wall jointly used by two parties under easement agreement and erected ator upon a line separating two parcels of land held under different ownership.

420

Wall, retaining

A wall designed primarily to withstand lateral pressures of earth orother filling or backing deposited behind it after construction.

421

Waterproofing

To render impervious to water or dampness.

422

Weep hole

A series of small holes in a retaining wall or similar structure that permitsthe drainage of water through the wall and hence reduces the pressure against the wall.

424

Abandonment

(1) Cessation of the use of right of way or activity thereon with nointention to reclaim or use again. (2) The act of vacating real property and/or the leaving offixtures or other attachments.

425

Abstract

To reduce a legal description of a property to another form; also, to identify aproperty from its legal description.

426

Access

(1) The means or way by which a property is approached. (2) The means or method of entrance into or upon a property.

427

Access Rights

(1) The right of ingress to and egress from a property which abuts upon anexisting street or highway. It is an easement in the street that is appurtenant to abuttingproperty and is a private right as distinguishable from the rights of the public. It is well-established law in the United States that the right of access cannot be denied or unreasonably restricted unless other reasonable access is available or provided or compensation is awarded. (2) The right of a riparian owner to pass to and from the watersupon which the premises border.

428

Accrued depreciation

See Depreciation.

429

Acre

A land measure of 160 square rods or 43,560 square feet.

430

Actual Age

The number of years elapsed since an original structure was built. Sometimes referred to as historical or chronological age.

431

Aerial photo

Airplane photography of entire U.S. land mass taken by Federal Government every few years. Available from County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Office.

432

Age/Life Method

A method of estimating accrued depreciation founded upon the premisethat, in the aggregate, a mathematical function can be used to infer accrued depreciationfrom the age of a property and its economic life.

433

Agricultural property

Land and improvements devoted to or best adaptable for theproduction of crops, fruits, timber and the raising of livestock.

434

Air rights

The right to inclusive and undisturbed use and control of a designated airspace within the perimeter of a stated land area and within stated elevations. Such rightsmay be acquired for the construction of a building above the land or building of another, orfor the protection of the light and air of an existing or proposed structure on an adjoininglot.

435

Alley influence

The enhancement to the value of a property rising out of the presence ofan abutting alley, most generally applicable to commercial properties.

436

Allocation

The allocation of the appraised total value of the property between the landand improvements.

437

Allowance for Vacancy and Income Loss

That amount deducted from Potential Annual Gross Income to reflect the effect of probable vacancy and turnover, or non-paymentof rent by tenants; commonly expressed as a percentage of Potential Annual Gross Incomeand then converted to a dollar figure, the percentage of vacancy and income loss is thecomplement of the occupancy ratio.

438

Amenities

In reference to property, the intangible benefits arising out of ownership;amenity value refers to the enhancement of value attributable to such amenities.

439

Anticipation, principle of

Affirms that value is created by the anticipation of futurebenefits. (Value may be defined as the present worth of all rights to future benefits.)

440

Appraisal

An estimate or opinion of value, usually in written form of the describedproperty as of a specified date; may be used synonymously with valuation or appraisedvalue.

441

Appraiser

One who estimates value. More specifically, one who possesses the expertiseto execute or direct the execution of an appraisal.

442

Appreciation

Increased value of a property, in terms of money, from all causes. For example, or a property of any sort may appreciate as a result of inflation.

443

Arm’s-Length Sale

A sale between two parties neither of whom is related to or underabnormal pressure from the other. See Market Value.

444

Assemblage

The combining of two or more continuous parcels into one ownership or use.

445

Aesthetic value

A value, intangible in nature, which is attributable to the pleasingappearance of a property.

446

Azimuth

The angle between true north or true south and an object. In surveying, it ismeasured clockwise from north.

447

Balance, principle of

Holds that value is created and maintained in proportion to theequilibrium attained in the amount and location of essential uses of real estate. The degree of value of a property is governed by the balance or apportionment of the four factors inproduction, land, labor, capital and management.

448

Base price

A value or unit rate established for a certain specified model, and subject toadjustments to account for variations between that particular model and the subject property under appraisement.

449

Bearing

(1) The situation or horizontal direction of one point or object with respect toanother, or to the points of the compass. (2) That portion of any member of a building thatrests upon its supports.

450

Blighted area

A declining area or district characterized by structural deteriorationand/or environmental deficiencies.

451

Book value

The capital amount of property shown on the books of an accountant. Usually, it is the original cost less reserves for depreciation plus additions to capital.

452

Boring test

A study of load-bearing qualities of subterranean surface by analysis of boreor drilling residue (core samples).

453

Building Capitalization Rate

A rate which includes return on and return of capitalinvested in improvements, separate, and apart from capital invested in the underlyingland; used in the residual techniques which separate property income into componentsattributable to land and to improvements.

454

Building Residual Technique

A technique used to estimate the value of a propertyfrom a knowledge of normal net income, the discount rate, the remaining economic life ofthe property, the value of the land, the income stream attributable to the building, and theincome stream attributable to the land. The technique estimates total value by discountingthe income stream attributable to the building and adding the result to an independentestimate of the value of the land.

455

Bundle of Rights Theory

Ownership of a parcel of real estate embraces six rights.These include the right to buy; the right to sell it in whole or part; the right to bequeath;the right to lease; the right to use the real estate and the right to do none of these.

456

Capitalization

A mathematical procedure for converting the net income which a property is capable of producing into an indication of its current value.

457

Cash Flow Analysis

A study of the anticipated movement of money into or out of an investment.

458

Central business district

The center of the city in which the primary commercial,governmental and recreational activities are concentrated.

459

Certificate of title

A document usually given to a home buyer with the deed, statingthat the title to the property is clear. It is usually prepared by an attorney or qualifiedperson who has examined the abstract of title for the property. It is only an opinion that thetitle is good, not to be confused with title insurance.

460

Change, principle of

Holds that economic and social forces are constantly at work andbecause changes brought about by these forces affect real property. The appraiser viewsreal property and its environment as in transition, observing evidence of trends which mayaffect the property in the future. The law of change is fundamentally the law of cause andeffect.

461

Chattel

In law, any property other than a freehold or fee estate in land. Chattels aretreated as personal property, although they are divisible into chattels real and chattelspersonal.

462

Comparables; comparable sales

Properties that have recently sold that are similar in important respects to a property being appraised. The sale price, and the physical,functional and locational characteristics of each of the properties are compared to theproperty being appraised in order to arrive at an estimate of value. By extension, the term comparables is sometimes used to refer to properties with rent or income patterns comparable to a property being appraised.

463

Competition; principle of

Hold that profit tends to breed competition and excess profit tends to breed ruinous competition.

464

Component part-in-place method

The application of the unit-in-place method to unitgroupings or construction components. See unit-in-place method.

465

Condemnation

The act of government (federal, state, county, municipal), and of dulyauthorized units of government and public utility companies invested with the right ofeminent domain, to take private property for public use and benefit, upon the payment ofjust compensation. It is the act of the sovereign in substituting itself in place of the ownerand/or the act of taking all or a part of the rights of an owner.

466

Condominium

A form of fee ownership of whole units or separate portions of multi-unitbuildings by statute which provides the mechanics and facilities for formal filing andrecording of a divided interest in real property, where the division is vertical as well ashorizontal. Fee ownership of units in a multi-unit property and joint ownership of thecommon areas. Not to be confused with “Cooperative.”

467

Conformity, principle of

Holds that the maximum of value is realized when a reasonable degree of homogeneity, sociological as well as economic, is present. Thus, conformity in use is usually a highly desirable adjunct of real property, since it createsand/or maintains maximum value.

468

Consideration

The amount of money and other valuable goods or services upon which abuyer and a seller agree to consummate a sale.

469

Consistent use

Maintains that a property in transition to another use cannot be valuedon the basis of one use for the land and another for the improvements.

470

Contour line

Outline of a figure, body, mass; lines representing such an outline as theedge of the water of a lake. A line on a topographic map or chart connecting the points on aland surface which have the same elevation.

471

Contract rent

Payment for the use of property as designated in a lease. Used to establish the fact that the actual rent designated, or contract rent, may differ from market rent.

472

Contribution, principle of

A valuation principle which states that the value of an agentof production or of a component part of a property depends upon how much it contributes tothe value of the whole; or how much its absence detracts from the value of the whole. The Principle of Contribution is sometimes known as the Principle of Marginal Productivity.

473

Corner influence

The enhancement of the value of a property rising out of its cornerlocation; most generally applicable to commercial properties.

474

Cost approach

One of the three traditional approaches to value by which an indicationof the value of a property is arrived at by estimating the value of the land, the replacementor reproduction cost new of the improvement, and the amount of accrued depreciation to theimprovement. The estimated land value is then added to the estimated depreciated value ofthe improvements to arrive at the estimated property value.

475

Cost factor

A factor or multiplier applied to a replacement or reproduction cost toaccount for variations in location and time, as well as for other elements of construction costs not otherwise considered.

476

Cover crop

A crop planted principally for the purpose of controlling wind or watererosion during the dormant season. It is normally plowed under and not harvested.

477

Crop rotation

The practice of alternating, usually on an annual basis, field crops, such as corn or wheat, with legumes in order to maintain or improve the structure and productivity of the soil.

478

Cubic content

The cubic volume of a building within the outer surface of the exteriorwalls and roof and the upper surface of the lowest floor.

479

Cubic yard

A measure of volume that is three feet wide, three feet high, and three feetdeep. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard.

480

Curable depreciation

Those items of physical deterioration and functional obsolescencethat are economically feasible to cure and hence are customarily repaired or replaced by aprudent property owner.

481

Deed

A written instrument that conveys an interest in real property. A quit claim deedconveys the interest described therein without warranty of title. A trust deed conveysinterest described therein to a trustee. A warranty deed conveys the interest described therein with the provisions that the freehold is guaranteed by the grantor, and the grantor’s heirs or successors.

482

Delinquent taxes

Taxes remaining unpaid on and after a date upon which a penalty fornonpayment is normally attached.

483

Depreciation

Loss in value from all causes; may be further classified as physical,referring to the loss of value caused by physical deterioration; functional, referring to theloss of value caused by obsolescence inherent in the property itself; and economic, referringto the loss of value caused by factors extraneous to the property. Accrued depreciation refers to the actual depreciation existing in a particular property as ofa specified date. Normal depreciation refers to that amount of accrued depreciation one would normallyexpect to find in buildings of certain construction, design, quality and age.

484

Depreciation allowance

A loss of value expressed in terms of a percentage of replacement or reproduction cost new.

485

Depth factor

A factor or multiplier applied to a unit land value to adjust the value inorder to account for variations in depth from an adopted standard depth.

486

Depth table

A table of depth factors.

487

Design factor

A factor or multiplier applied to a computed replacement cost as anadjustment to account for cost variations attributable to the particular design of the subject property which were not accounted for in the particular pricing schedule used.

488

Deterioration

Impairment of structural condition evidenced by the wear and tear causedby physical use and the action of the elements, also referred to as physical depreciation.

489

Drain tile

A specially designed pipe used in a drainage system.

490

Easement

A non-possessing interest held by one person in land of another personwhereby the first person is accorded partial use of such land for a specific purpose. An easement restricts but does not abridge the rights of the fee owner to the use and enjoyment of the easement holder’s rights. Easements fall into three broad classifications:surface easements, subsurface easements and overhead easements.

491

Economic life

The life expectancy of a property during that it can be expected to be used profitably.

492

Economic obsolescence

Loss in value of a property (relative to the cost of replacing itwith a property of equal utility) that stems from factors external to the property. For example, a buggy-whip factory, to the extent that it cannot be used economically foranything else, suffers substantial economic obsolescence since automobiles have replacedhorse drawn buggies.

493

Economic rent

The rent which a property can be expected to bring in the open market asopposed to contract rent which is the rent the property is actually realizing at a given time.Also called market rent.

494

Effective age

The typical age of a structure equivalent to the one in question withrespect to its utility and condition. Knowing the effective age of an old, rehabilitated structure or a building with substantial deferred maintenance is generally more informative than knowing its chronological age.

495

Effective depth

In reference to property valuation, that depth, expressed in feet, uponwhich the selection of the depth factor is based.

496

Effective gross income

The estimated gross income of a property less an appropriateallowance for vacancies and collection losses.

497

Effective valuation date

In reference to a revaluation program, the date as of which thevalue estimate is applicable.

498

Eminent domain

The right by which a sovereign government, or some person acting inits name and under its authority, may acquire private property for public or quasi-publicuse upon payment of reasonable compensation and without consent of the owner. The rightor power of the government to take private property for public use upon making justcompensation.

499

Encroachment

The displacement of an existing use by another use.

500

Engineering breakdown

A method of estimating accrued depreciation under whichseparate estimates are made for the individual components and then totaled.