Flooring is one of those home features that you focus on when buying a house or when it's time to replace the flooring in one or more rooms of your home. There are so many options it's almost scary, with wood floors being the most popular.
Once you decide on wood floors there are still many decisions to make from the type of wood to the color of the stain and finishes to make it easier to maintain your floor. For more flooring tips, check out flooring articles in our homeowner library.
Faced Insulation – Insulation with an attached vapor retarder (kraft paper or foil-backed paper).
Fascia – refers to (1) The board connecting the top of the siding with the bottom of a soffit; (2) A board nailed across the ends of the rafters at the eaves.
Fair market price – is the price which approximates what comparable homes, have sold at in the same area.
Fannie Mae is the shortened name for the Federal National Mortgage Association, a federally sponsored agency which buys mortgages from banks, savings and loans and other lending institutions. Agencies such as Fannie Mae are part of the secondary mortgage market. See Freddie Mac.
Feathering Strips – are tapered wood filler strips placed along the butts of old wood shingles to create a level surface when installing a second roof layer over existing wood shingle roofs.
Fee Simple – means having full title ownership of an estate. The owner and owner’s heirs have the right to occupy the land indefinitely, to use it in any manner desired and to convey it to anyone at any time.
Fenestration – from the Latin word for window, refers to openings in a building or wall envelope. Openings include windows, doors, louvers, vents, wall panels and skylights. Energy codes for these openings are referred to as fenestration codes.
Felt – A fibrous material saturated with asphalt and used as an underlayment of sheathing paper.
FHA Mortgage Insurance – Insurance provided by the Federal Housing Administration to protect banks, savings and loans, and mortgage companies against loss on real estate loans. Borrowers must pay a premium to get a FHA insured loan.
Fiber Glass Insulation – An energy-efficient glass fiber product used to reduce the loss of conditioned (warmed or cooled) air and noise.
Fiber Glass Mat – is an asphalt roofing base material manufactured from glass fibers.
Field Tile – The primary ceramic tile used to cover a wall or floor.
Fine Mineral Surfacing – Water-insoluble inorganic material, more than 50% of which passes the 500 pm (No. 35) sieve, used on the surface of roofing.
Finger Blisters – Finger-shaped blisters or wrinkles in the plies of a built-up roofing or waterproofing membrane.
Finish – The surface coating on pre-finished flooring. Usually either urethane or wax finish.
Finishes (Interior) – These finishes are the materials and fixtures added to the ceilings, walls and floors of a house.
Finish Flooring – Visible floor covering, often vinyl, carpet, or tongue and grooved hardwood strips.
Finish Grade Line – The slope of the ground away from the foundation; to prevent rain water from collecting near the basement wall, the ground should slope gently away from the foundation approximately 6 inches in a 10- foot area.
Firebrick – A type of brick that is especially hard and capable of withstanding the heat of direct fire, it is used to line the fireplace.
Fishmouth – (1) A half-cylindrical or half-conical opening formed by an edge wrinkle of the membrane; (2) In shingles, a half conical opening formed at a cut edge.
Fixture – An item that is attached to the property, e.g. a dishwasher or air conditioner, and usually sold with the property.
Flashing – Pieces of metal or roll roofing used to prevent seepage of water into a building around any intersection or projection in a roof, such as vent pipes, chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers and valleys. Galvanized metal flashing should be minimum 26-gauge.
Flashing Cement – An asphalt-based cement used to bond roofing materials; also known as mastic.
Flat – An apartment that occupies one whole floor of a building. Often, each flat in a building has its own entrance from the outside.
Flat Ceiling – A ceiling with no change in elevation.
Flue Liner – A terra-cotta or fire-clay lining protecting the chimney from damage caused by smoke, gas, heat, and condensation.
Floating – Installation method in which individual boards are glued only at edges and end joints, without direct attachment to the sublfoor.
Floating Floor – A floor that does not need to be nailed or glued to the subfloor and can be installed over most existing floors, including concrete, ceramic, vinyl, wood and even some indoor/outdoor carpet, except high pile carpet.
Floor Protectors – Screw-on attachments for the bottom of chair and table legs to distribute the weight of furniture evenly to reduce indentations in resilient floors. Abrasions can be prevented with unique, replaceable felt pads on the floor protectors.
Foam Underlayment – Three foot wide foam layer installed under laminate flooring for sound reduction and smoothing of subfloor irregularities.
Foil-Faced Vapor Retarder – Created by coating a foil-backed paper with a thin layer of asphalt adhesive. The coated side of the foil-backed paper is then applied to the unfaced insulation material. The asphalt adhesive bonds the foil-backed paper and the insulation together.
Footing – An enlargement at the base of the foundation wall that spreads and transmits the weight of the house to the ground.
Footing Drain Tile – A pipe, with cracks between sections or small perforated holes along its length, to collect and move ground water away from the foundation. (Note: Drain tile helps prevent wet basements.)
Foreclosure – Legal procedure used by creditors to take a mortgaged property from a debtor who has defaulted on the loan.
Fossil Fuels – Coal, oil and natural gas made by the decomposition of fossilized plants and animals.
Foundation Wall – A wall of poured concrete or concrete block resting on the footing and supporting the full weight of the house, its contents, and inhabitants.
Freddie Mac – Another name for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, a federally sponsored agency which buys and sells mortgages. Along with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mae is a major player in the secondary market.
Free and Clear Title – Title to a property, which is free from any mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance.
Freely assumable – Term used to describe a loan, which may be assumed by anyone without permission from the lender. In such a situation, however, the original borrower is usually held liable in the event the loan is not repaid. See assumption.
Front Ratio – Ratio of monthly housing costs (principal, insurance, taxes, and interest) to gross monthly income used by lenders to evaluate an applicant qualification for a loan. Lenders will typically allow a front ratio between 28 and 40 percent. See back ratio.
Full Bathroom – A bathroom with sink, toilet and bathing facilities including one or more of the following – shower, bathtub (may be Jacuzzi or whirlpool) or sauna.
Full Spread Adhesive – An installation system for linoleum, felt-backed vinyl sheet products, fiberglass vinyl sheet products, and luxury vinyl tile in which adhesive is spread across the entire underside of the floor before it is placed down for installation.
Furring Strips – Flat pieces of lumber used to build up an irregular framing to an even surface, either the leveling of a part of a wall or ceiling.