One of the most popular homeowner projects is painting. When you want to change the mood or personality of a room, a fresh coat of paint is about the most cost effective way to usher in the new look and feel. Exterior painting isn't as exciting but it's critical to maintaining your home and our homeowner glossary includes all the painting terminology you need to learn.
Painting seems easy but the magic is in preparing the surfaces being painted. You've got to fill gaps, cracks and holes and make sure the surface is clean and ready to accept the paint. To get lots of homeowner painting tips, visit our library.
Parapet – A wall or top portion of a wall extending above an attached horizontal surface such as a roof, terrace or deck. Often used to separate combustible adjoining room areas or to provide a safety barrier at a roof edge.
Parquet – Inlaid woodwork in geometric forms, sometimes of contrasting woods, used in flooring. A common example is individual pickets of wood flooring, adhered together in groups of six pickets – then four picketed squares are alternately adhered to form a tile pattern.
Parge – In masonry construction, a coat of cement mortar on the face of rough masonry.
Patching Compound – Compound used to fill or smooth subfloor irregularities in preparation for installing a new vinyl floor.
Paver Tile – Ceramic tile having a facial area of more than 6 square inches.
Payment Cap – A limit on the amount that the monthly payments on an adjustable rate mortgage can increase or decrease at each adjustment period. For example, if your monthly payments start at $1,000 and the ARM has a payment cap of 7.5%, the next adjustment cannot exceed plus or minus $75 per month regardless of how much the loan’s index changes. This can lead to negative amortization if the interest rate goes up and the monthly payment amount is too small to cover the increased interest charges.
Pedestal – Concrete or masonry pad, 2 to 3 inches high, used to prevent moisture from damaging wooden posts.
Pergola – Also called an arbor, a pergola is a garden feature that provides shade from direct sunlight, either a walkway or a sitting area.
Perimeter Spread Adhesive – An installation system for felt-backed vinyl sheet floors in which adhesive is spread around the perimeter, or outside edge, of the underside of the floor before it is placed down for installation.An installation system for felt-backed vinyl sheet floors in which adhesive is spread around the perimeter, or outside edge, of the underside of the floor before it is placed down for installation.
Permeability – The ability of a waterproofing material or substrate to allow the passage of water vapor through itself without blistering.
Permeance – The rate of water vapor transmission per unit area at a steady state through a membrane or assembly, expressed in ng/Pa s m2 (grain/ft2 h in. Hg).
PEX Tubing – PEX or polyethylene with cross-links, is a new type of tubing used in residential plumbing systems.
Phased Application – The installation of a roofing or waterproofing system during two or more separate time intervals; a roofing system not installed in a continuous operation.
Photovoltaic (PV) Panels – Solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity. Power is produced when sunlight strikes the semiconductor material and creates an electrical current. While initial costs to buy and install these panels are still high, incentives and rebates as well as savings in utility bills offset the purchase price.
Pinhole – A tiny hole in a film, foil or laminate comparable in size to one made by a pin.
Pitch – The degree of roof incline expressed as the ratio of the rise, in feet, to the span, in feet.
Plank – Boards that are 3″ in width or greater.
Plate – Flat horizontal wooden members connected to the top (top plate) and bottom (sole plate) of studs to them square, rigid, and evenly spaced.
Ply – A layer in a built-up roofing membrane.
– A fee charged by lenders at settlement equal to one percent of the loan amount. Points are charged so as to raise the lender’s yield above the apparent interest rate.
Polyurethane – A type of finish used on hardwood to protect it from damage. Polyurethane finishes do not require waxing.
Polyethylene Vapor Barrier – Plastic film used to prevent moisture from passing through unfaced insulation. Both 4- and 6-mil polyethylene are preferred because they are less likely to be damaged during construction.
Pond – A surface that is incompletely drained.
Positive Side Waterproofing – An application wherein the waterproofing system and the source of hydrostatic pressure are on the same side of the structural element.
Post – Major wooden or steel vertical structural member supporting the weight of girders, floor, and wall framing.
Pot Life – The length of time a waterproof material or system is workable or applicable after having been activated.
Precycling – When you consider alternatives to buying products that generate waste, you avoid the need to recycle.
Prefinished – Hardwood floors that are stained with color and sealed with a protective finish by the manufacturer prior to installation.
Primer – A thin liquid bitumen applied to a surface to improve the adhesion of heavier applications of bitumen and to absorb dust.
Printed Construction – A printing process that provides accurate reproductions of a wide variety of patterns and designs in intricate detail. Also known as the “rotogravure” process.
Prepayment Penalty – A charge which a lender may assess a borrower if a loan is paid off before the due date.
Prequalification – The process of establishing a borrower’s qualification for a loan of a particular amount based on income and expenses. Prequalification does not guarantee that the loan amount will be approved, but can be used to demonstrate financial capability to an agent or seller.
Primary Lender – A financial institution which actually makes mortgage loans from its funds. For example, if you obtain a mortgage from a bank and the bank then sells the mortgage to the secondary market, the bank is the original, or primary lender. Examples of primary lenders are banks, savings and loans, mortgage companies, and credit unions. See secondary market.
Prime Rate – The rate of interest charged by a lender to its best customers.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – Mortgage insurance available for a premium which allows a borrower to take out a loan with a down payment of less than 20%. Unlike VA or FHA insurance, PMI is not backed by any government agency.
Processing Fee – A fee charged by a lending institution for processing the paperwork on a loan. This is in addition to any points which the lender may charge. See also origination fee.
Production Home Builders – These builders build hundreds of houses every year, creating communities and neighborhoods across the US.
Property Appraisal – An estimate of the value of the property. Common methods of appraisal include: the prices comparable houses have sold for in the recent past and the value of the land plus the cost to build the home minus building depreciation.
Property Disclosure Statement – is a document where the seller must disclose all known problems and defects to the buyer.
Pull Bar – Tool used to tighten up tongue and groove joints used during the installation of laminate flooring.