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Glossary - L

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Labor Hour: A standard in which one person's labor is performed in one hour.

Ladder, Fixed: A ladder which is permanently attached to a building.

Laminated Glass: Two or more lights of glass permanently bonded together with one or more inter-layers.

Laminated Shingles: Shingles that have added dimensionality because of extra layers or tabs, giving a shakelike appearance. May also be called "architectural shingles" or "three-dimensional shingles."

Laminating: Bonding together two or more layers of materials.

Landing: A platform between flights of stairs or at the termination of a flight of stairs.

Lap: To extend one material partially over another; also, the distance so extended.

Lap Cement: An asphalt-based cement used to adhere overlapping plies of roll roofing.

Lateral (Electric, Gas, Telephone, Sewer and Water): The underground trench and related services (i.e., electric, gas, telephone, sewer and water lines) that will be buried within the trench.

Lath: A building material of wood, metal, gypsum, or insulating board that is fastened to the frame of a building to act as a plaster base.

Lath and Plaster: The most common wall finish prior to the introduction of drywall. Thin wood strips (lath) were nailed onto the framing as a base for the sand/lime plaster.

Lattice: A framework of crossed wood or metal strips.

Lavatory: Bathroom or washroom sink.

Leach field: A method used to treat/dispose of sewage in rural areas not accessible to a municipal sewer system. Sewage is permitted to be filtered and eventually discharged into a section of the lot called a leech field.

Lead: A malleable metal once extensively used for flashings.

Lead Based Paint: Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children 6 years old and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly.

Leader: See Downspout.

Lean-To Roof: The sloping roof of a building addition, having its rafters or supports pitched against and supported by the adjoining wall of a building.

Ledger Strip: A strip of lumber nailed along the bottom of the side of a girder on which joists rest.

Let-In Brace: Nominal 1 inch-thick boards applied into notched studs diagonally.

Level: Term use to describe any horizontal surface whereby all sides are at the same elevation.

Level (Carpenter's Level): A tool used to check for level.

Level Payment Mortgage: A mortgage with identical monthly payments over the life of the loan.

Leveling Rod: A rod with graduated marks for measuring heights or vertical distances between given points and the line of sight of a leveling instrument. They are longer than a yardstick and are held by a surveyor in a vertical position.

Lien: An encumbrance that usually makes real or personal property the security for payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation.

Light: Space in a window sash for a single pane of glass. Also, a pane of glass.

Limit Switch: A safety control that automatically shuts off a furnace if it gets too hot. Most also control blower cycles.

Lineal Foot: A unit of measure for lumber equal to 1 inch thick by 12 inches wide by 12 inches long. Examples: 1" x 12" x 16' = 16 board feet, 2" x 12" x 16' = 32 board feet.

Lintel: A horizontal structural member that supports the load over an opening such as a door or window.

Liquated Damages: A monetary amount agreed upon by two parties to a contract prior to performance under the contract that specifies what a either party owes the other if that party defaults under the contract.

Liquid-Applied Membrane: Generally applied to cast-in-place concrete surfaces in one or more coats to provide fully-adhered waterproof membranes which conform to all contours.

Lite: (Not the beer!) Another term for a pane of glass. Also spelled "light" in industry literature.

Live Load: Loads produced by use and occupancy of the building or other structure and do not include construction or environmental loads such as wind load, snow load, ice load, rain load, seismic load, or dead load.

Load Bearing Wall: A wall which is supporting its own weight and some other structural elements of the house such as the roof and ceiling structures.

Loan: The amount to be borrowed.

Loan to Value Ratio: The ratio of the loan amount to the property valuation and expressed as a percentage; e.g. if a borrower is seeking a loan of $200,000 on a property worth $400,000 it has a 50% loan to value rate. If the loan were $300,000, the LTV would be 75%. The higher the loan to value, the greater the lender's perceived risk. Loans above normal lending LTV ratios may require additional security.

Lookout: A short wood bracket or cantilever to support an overhang portion of a roof or the like, usually concealed from view.

Loose Laid: In roofing, a membrane "laid loosely," i.e. not adhered, over a roof deck or Burm.

Lot: A parcel of ground with boundaries determined by the county.

Louver: An opening with a series of horizontal slats arranged so as to permit ventilation but to exclude rain, sun. light, or vision. See also Attic Ventilators.

Low-Slope Application: Method of installing asphalt shingles on roof slopes between 2 and 4 inches per foot.

Lumber: The product of the sawmill and planing mill not further manufactured other than by sawing, re-sawing, and passing lengthwise through a standard planing machine, crosscutting to length, and matching.

Lumens: Unit of measure for total light output. The amount of light falling on a surface of one square foot.

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Stephen Stanczyk
 Licensed Home Inspector #221


Safe Haven Home Inspections
PO Box 124
Kapowsin, WA  98344


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