Glossary of Construction Terms

Do you ever feel as if your contractor is selling you polyisocyanurate foam when what you really needed was a setback thermostat? Here is a handy guide to common (and not so common) construction terms. Scroll through the glossary below or sort by the letter that starts the word you're looking for. For example, to find polyisocyanurate foam, select P and click Submit.

A (7) | B (6) | C (18) | D (8) | E (9) | F (8) | G (2) | H (4) | I (1) | J (1) | L (4) | M (3) | O (2) | P (11) | R (10) | S (19) | T (7) | U (1) | V (1) | W (4) | Z (2)
Titlesort icon Definition
Hydronic Heating

A heating system which uses various types of fuel to heat water which is then distributed through pipes to radiators located in various portions of the house.

See also: Topics: Heating Your Home, Q&A: Heating Fuel Choices

Hot Water Heating

See, "Hydronic Heating."

See also: Topics: Heating Your Home

Home Owner Association

The Home Owner Association(HOA) is the governing body of a condominium association. The HOA's roles and responsibilities are delineated in the by-laws of the association. The scope of this responsibility varies from one association to another and may also be defined by local and state laws.

The original by-laws are usually written by the developer of the condominium complex. In most cases they can be modified by subsequent owners.

The HOA board is usually elected by the individual owners of the the units. The actual maintenance work can be carried out by the members or performed under contract with a management company.

See: Condominiums

Heat Pump

A device which uses compression and decompression of gas to heat and/or cool a house.

See also: Topics: Heating Your Home, Q&A: Propane Heat vs. Heat Pumps