Terms of the Trade

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Terms of the Trade: What Is a Shim?

Use shims to offer support or adjustment in your DIY projects.

Terms of the Trade: What Does It Mean to Back Butter?

Use this simple technique when tiling for a better installation.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Cornice?

This decorative element means "ledge" in Italian.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Efflorescence?

Ever notice a white powder on bricks?

Terms of the Trade: What Is Orange Peel Texture?

There's more to this wall texture than its resemblance to fruit.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Jamb?

Think of it as the "leg" of a doorway.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Router?

Use this portable power tool to cut details on wood or even make your own molding.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Random-Orbit Sander?

Use a random-orbit sander to achieve a seamless finish on your woodworking projects.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Satin Paint?

Satin finish paint is smooth and rich in appearance.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Semi-Gloss Paint?

Semi-gloss paint washes easily, making it great for kitchens and bathrooms.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Drain Snake?

Try unclogging the drain yourself with this flexible cable.

Terms of the Trade: What Does the "D" in Nail Sizes Mean?

Here's a little history lesson for you.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Putty Knife?

Have this hand tool at the ready for multiple applications.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Allen Wrench?

This small tool often comes with furniture that needs assembly.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Drywall Saw?

This handheld saw easily cuts holes in drywall for outlets or windows.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Subfloor?

The subfloor offers support for that fancy ceramic tile.

Terms of the Trade: What Are Slip-Joint Pliers?

These type of pliers are able to grip items of varying thickness.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Thread Seal Tape?

Thread seal tape, or plumber's tape, is used to ease the tightening and sealing of joints in plumbing applications.

Terms of the Trade: Fascia

The fascia protects the soffit and eaves from water damage.

Terms of the Trade: What Is CPVC Pipe?

CPVC pipe can withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Slotted Screwdriver?

This is the most commonly used screwdriver in the world.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Bullnose Corner?

This classic adobe look can be adopted to any home's interior for a sophisticated take on walls and archways.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Egress Window?

Egress windows offer a means of escape in the event of a fire or other disaster.

Terms of the Trade: What Is the Frost Line?

Don't think winter will have an affect on your construction project? Think again and know your area's frost line.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Soffit?

This architectural feature connects the roof to the house's siding.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Fish Tape?

A fish tape is used by electricians to direct wiring through walls and electrical conduit.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Turbine Vent?

Turbine vents remove hot air from your home.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Air Compressor?

Air compressors can power pneumatic tools that are often faster, lighter, and have more power than traditional power tools.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Rabbet?

A rabbet is used in various applications including window frames and cabinetry.

Terms of the Trade: What Is the "Boxing" Paint Technique?

"Boxing" paint ensures that the color between multiple cans is consistent.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Rafter?

Rafters support the ceiling or roof in a building.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Band Saw?

A band saw's blade rotates on a plane to make a continuous cut.

Terms of the Trade: What Are Window Casings?

Window casings can be found around windows on the exterior and interior of homes.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Close-grained Wood?

Wood with small pores is considered close-grained and smooth to the touch.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Greenboard?

Greenboard is a moisture-resistant alternative to drywall, and should be used in humid areas of the home.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Cement Backerboard?

Cement backerboard is used in shower construction to provide a water-proof surface for tile.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Basin Wrench?

A basin wrench allows you to remove or install faucets when the fasteners are located in cramped spaces.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Water Popping?

Water popping raises the grain of wood, enhancing the ability of the wood to accept any stain.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Shank?

A drill bit shank connects to the chuck and can produce varying degrees of torque and accuracy.