Glossary of Terms

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ABOVE-GRADE - The portion of a building that is above ground level.

ACCRUED INTEREST - Interest earned but not yet paid.

ADDITIONAL PRINCIPAL PAYMENT - A payment made by the borrower of more than the scheduled principal amount due with the purpose of reducing the remaining balance on the loan.

AGGREGATE - Crushed stone, slag or water-worn gravel that comes in a wide range of sizes used in construction to reinforce and strengthen concrete.

AIR DUCTS - A conduit usually made of sheet metal, which carries air throughout the home.

NEW HOME WARRANTY PROGRAM (Tarion) - This program provides workmanship and quality guarantees as well as problem resolution guidelines to homebuyers who purchase from builder members in Ontario. For more information please see our Warranty Information page, located in our Home Owners Portal.

AMENDMENTS TO AGREEMENT - An amendment to an agreement means the customer and the homebuilder agree to change a part of the original Purchase Agreement. The agreed upon change is documented in writing and signed by both the customer and the homebuilder.

AMORTIZATION - The paying of a debt (i.e. mortgage) in equal installments composed of changing amounts of principal and interest.

AMORTIZATION SCHEDULE - The timetable of payments for paying off a loan.

APPRAISAL - A process for estimating a property's current market value at a specific time.

APPRECIATION - An increase in price or value.

APPROACH - The area between the sidewalk and street that leads to a driveway or the transition from the street as you approach a driveway.

APPROVED LENDER - A lending institution authorized by the Government of Canada through the CMHC to make loans under the terms of the National Housing Act. Only Approved Lenders can negotiate mortgages that require mortgage loan insurance.

ARCHITECTURAL CONTROLS / GUIDELINES - The regulation or guidelines from land developers for the placement of homes on lots, the mass of exterior elevations, exterior design details, types of exterior finishes, colours and so on.


BACKFILL - Filling in any previously excavated area.

BACKFLOW - A flow that returns towards its source.

BACKFLOW PREVENTER - A device or means to avert backflow into the potable water supply.

BEAD - An applied sealant in a joint irrespective of the method of application, such as caulking bead, glazing bead, etc. Also, a molding or stop used to hold glass or panels in position.

BELOW GRADE - The portion of a building that is below ground level.

BEVEL - The angle of the front edge of a door or counter edge.

BI-WEEKLY MORTGAGE - A mortgage with payments due every two weeks. The loan payment is one ½ of the monthly payment. In a year the borrower makes a total of 26 half payments or one extra full month payment. This results in an accelerated buildup of equity and lowered interest expense over the loan term.

BLENDED PAYMENT - See Principal & Interest.

BLUE PRINTS - Design plans for a building or construction project, which is likely to include floor plans, footings and foundation plans, elevations and other schedules and/or details.

BORROWER MORTGAGOR - An individual who makes an application for and receives funds in the form of a loan and is obligated to repay the loan in full under the conditions of the loan.

BUILDING ENVELOPE - The external walls, floor, ceiling, roof, windows and doors of a building that affords protection to the interior of the house from the weather and elements.

BUILDING PERMIT - Written authorization from the municipality giving permission to construct or renovate a building. A building permit is specific to the building project described in the application.

BUY-DOWN MORTGAGE - An up-front payment to reduce the interest rate of a mortgage loan.


CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC) - A corporation owned by the Government of Canada whose main function is to provide mortgage insurance on residential mortgage loans to Canadian homebuyers. This insurance protects mortgage lenders against mortgage defaults on mortgages where the homebuyer who's down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price.

CANADIAN HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION (CHBA) - The voice of the residential construction industry representing new home builders, renovators, developers, trade and supply companies and professional services who's mission is to make the industry better.

CANTILEVER - a projecting beam or other structure supported only at one end.

CASH TO CLOSE - Liquid assets that are available on hand for payment of closing costs involved in the processing of a mortgage transaction.

CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (COO) - A document issued by the municipality stating that a building is approved for occupancy.

CERTIFICATE OF POSSESSION (COP) - The Certificate of Possession (COP) refers to both a form and a process completed by the homeowner and the builder at possession. The COP process and form identifies the acceptability of specific components, systems and conditions of the home at the time of possession.

CHANGE ORDER - A common method of adding or deleting from the original scope of work of a contract which alters the original contract. It is used to describe new work to be done (or not done in some cases) and the price to be paid for this new work. Once a Change Order is submitted and approved it serves to alter the original contract such that the change order now becomes part of the contract.

CHEMICAL INJECTION GROUTING - A leak repair technique usually used below grade in cracks and joints in concrete walls and floors that involves the injection of sealant (usually urethane) that reacts with water to form a seal.

CIRCUIT BREAKER - Simple switch-like device which automatically opens a circuit when the rated current is exceeded as in the case of a short circuit.

CLOSED MORTGAGE - A mortgage that cannot be prepaid or renegotiated before the term's end unless the lender agrees and the borrower is willing to pay an interest penalty. Many closed mortgages limit prepayment options such as increasing your mortgage payment or lump sum prepayment (usually up to a specific percentage of your original principal amount).

CLOSING - The completion of a real estate transaction. The closing includes the delivery of a title, financial adjustments, signing of notes and disbursement of funds required to finalize the sale and loan transaction.

CLOSING COSTS - Costs, in addition to the purchase price of the home, such as legal fees, transfer fees, utilities, interest adjustments, taxes and disbursements that are payable on the closing date.

CLOSING DATE - The contractual date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner takes possession.

CLOSING PACKAGE - A bundle of documents and information given to homebuyers on their possession date. This information is wide-ranging and inclusive.

THE CODE (oBC) - The Ontario Building Code.

COMMITMENT LETTER / MORTGAGE APPROVAL - Written notification from the mortgage lender to the borrower (customer) that approves the advancement of a specified amount of mortgage funds under specified conditions.

COMMUNITY - A residential district. In homebuilding, an area where construction and sales are active and ongoing.

CONDENSATION - The appearance of moisture (water vapor) on the surface of an object caused by warm moist air coming into contact with a colder object.

CONDITIONAL OFFER CONDITIONS OF SALE - A Purchase Agreement that is subject to specified conditions, for example, the arranging of a mortgage. There is usually a stipulated time limit within which the specified conditions must be met.

CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE - An outline of construction activities which guides sub-trades and suppliers in planning and coordinating their activities throughout the four main stages of construction:

  1. excavation and foundation,
  2. framing to lock up; drywall,
  3. finishing stage one,
  4. finishing stage two.

CONTRACT / CONSTRACTUAL - An agreement between two or more parties which is enforceable by law.

CONTROL JOINT - A control joint controls or accommodates movement in the surface component of a roof.

CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE - A mortgage loan up to a maximum of a specific percentage of the lending value of the property. Typically, the lending value is the lesser of the purchase price and market value of the property. Mortgage loan insurance is not required for this type of mortgage.

COVENANT - A clause in a contract that obligates or restricts the parties and, if broken, can result in legal action.

CURING - In concrete application, the process in which mortar and concrete harden. The length of time is dependent upon the type of dement, mix proportion, required strength, size and shape of the concrete section, weather and future exposure conditions.

CUSTOMER CARE PROGRAM - Excel Homes' warranty program that ensures all issues and/or questions are handled in a professional and timely manner.


DAMPER - Valve for controlling airflow. Registers have a damper so the airflow can be adjusted and turned off. Dampers maybe either manually or automatically operated. Automatic dampers are required for exhaust air ducts.

DAMPPROOFING - A process used on concrete, masonry or stone surfaces to repel water, the main purpose of which is to prevent the coated surface from absorbing rainwater while still permitting moistures vapor to escape from the structure. Moisture vapor readily penetrates coatings of this type. 'Dampproofing' generally applies to surfaces above grade; 'waterproofing' generally applies to surfaces below grade.

DATE OF POSSESSION - The earlier of the date the homeowner occupies the home or the Date of Possession described in the Certificate of Possession.

DEFAULT - Failure to abide by or fulfill legal obligations of a contract. A failure to make mortgage payments (defaulting on the loan) may give cause to the mortgage holder to take legal action to possess (foreclose) the mortgaged property.

DEFECTS - Items that have been installed and completed but require additional work to meet the quality standard. These are normally cosmetic defects regarding fit, finish or appearance.

DEFICIENCIES - Items in the contract that have not been completed at the time of inspection. Seasonal Deficiencies are the most common as weather and climate make it impractical to complete certain kinds of exterior work.

DEPOSIT - A sum of money provided by the purchaser to the builder as a means of binding a contract for the purchase and sale of a house.

DEPOSIT PROTECTION - The ANHWP offers deposit insurance to the homebuyer should the builder default if the builder is a Registered Builder Member of the program.

DEVELOPER - One who prepares raw land for construction, then sells the land as developed lots to a builder.

DISCHARGE OF MORTGAGE - A document signed by the lender and given to the borrower when a mortgage loan has been repaid in full.

DOUBLE-GLAZING - Any use of two panes of glass, separated by an air space, to improve insulation against heat transfer and/or sound transmission. In insulating glass units, the air between the glass sheets if thoroughly dried and the space is sealed, eliminating possible condensation and providing superior insulating properties.

DOWN PAYMENT - The portion of the home price that is not financed by the mortgage loan. The buyer must pay the down payment from his/her own funds or other eligible sources before securing a mortgage.

DOWNSPOUT - The metal pipe used to drain water from a roof.

DRIP EDGE - A device designed to prevent water from running back or under an overhang.

DRYWALL - Sheetrock (gypsum board) that covers the framing and taping, coating, and finishing making the interior walls and ceilings of a building. Drywall is also used as a verb to refer to installation process.

DUCT - A cylindrical or rectangular "tube" used to move air either from exhaust or intake. The installation is referred to as 'duct work'.


EASEMENTS / SET-BACKS - A right of access across your property for a specific purpose to repair, replace or install utilities. Permanent structures cannot be located on easements.

EAVE - The part of a roof that projects out from the side wall, or the lower edge of the part of a roof that overhangs a wall.

ELEVATION - The exterior of a structure. Often in homebuilding this is an artists' rendering of how the home will look once completed.

ENCUMBRANCE - A registered claim for debt against a property, such as a mortgage.

ENERGY STAR® - An international symbol of energy efficiency that helps quickly and easily identify the most energy efficient products available to save energy, money and protect the environment.

EXCAVATE - Dig the basement and or all areas that will need footings/foundations below grade.

EXPANSION JOINT - A device used to permit a structure to expand or contract without breakage.

EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS - A detailed, scaled and dimensional drawings of the roof and exterior walls of your home. They show your home's profiles - front, sides and area - and indicate the location and types of exterior finishing materials to be used.

EXTERIOR / INTERIOR FINISH SCHEDULE - A detailed and specific listing of homebuyer choices for materials, colours, styles and models. This forms part of the homebuyer's contract.


FINISH/FINAL GRADE - Any surface that has been cut to or built to the elevation indicated for that point. Surface elevation of lawn, driveway or other improved surfaces after completion of grading operations.

FIXED RATE LOAN - Fixed-rate loans have interest rates and payments that are fixed throughout the term of the loan.

FLASHING - A weatherproof material installed between roof sheathing (and wall sheathing) and the finish materials to help keep moistures away from the sheathing.

FLOOR PLAN - The basic layout of building or addition that includes placement of walls, windows and doors as well as dimensions.

FOOTINGS - Wide pours of dement reinforced with re-bar (reinforcing bar) that supports foundation walls, pillars, or posts. Footings are part of the foundation and are often poured before the foundation walls.

FORECLOSURE - A legal process in which a lender gets ownership of a mortgaged property when a borrower defaults on the mortgage loan. The property may be sold to pay off a mortgage loan that is in default.


GABLE - The end of a building as distinguished from the front or rear side. Or the triangular end of an exterior wall from the level of the eaves to the ridge of a double-sloped roof.

GASKETS - Pre-formed shapes, such as strips, grommets, etc. of rubber or rubber-like composition, used to fill and seal a joint or opening either alone or in conjunction with a supplemental application of a sealant.

GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER (GFC or GFCI) - An electrical device capable of disconnecting a circuit when it detects the current is not balanced between an energized and neutral conductor.

GROSS DEBT SERVICE RATIO (GDS) - The percentage of the borrower's gross monthly income that will be used for monthly payments of principal, interest, taxes and heating costs. In general, lenders recommend that this ratio be no more than 32% of gross monthly income.

GROSS MONTHLY INCOME (GMI) - The total amount a borrower earns every month prior to any deductions.

GROUNDING ROD - Rod used to ground an electrical panel.

GROUT OR GROUTING - A cement mortar mixture commonly used to fill joints and cavities of masonry.

GUTTER - Metal trough at the eaves of a roof to carry rainwater from the roof to the downspout.


HARDWARE - Metal accessories such as doorknobs, towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc.

HATCH - An opening in a deck; floor or roof. The usual purpose is to provide access from inside the building.

HEADER - Framing members over windows, doors, or other openings.

HERMETIC SEAL - Vacuum seal (between panes of a double-paned window (i.e. insulated glass unit of IGU). Failure of a hermetic seal causes permanent fogging between the panels of the IGU.

HIGH-RATIO MORTGAGE - A mortgage loan higher than a specific lending value of the property. The CHMC or a private mortgage insurer typically insures this type of mortgage against payment default.

HOME - A physical structure within which one lives.

HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT - A type of revolving credit in which your home is used as collateral.

HOMEOWNER - The registered, legal owner of the home. Until title is formally transferred, the home remains the property of the builder.

HOMEOWNER MAINTENANCE - Maintenance performed or required to be performed by homeowners. Homeowners need to familiarize themselves with mechanical systems and utilities. Damages caused by improper homeowner maintenance are not covered by warranty protection.

HONEYCOMB - Areas in a foundation wall where the aggregate (gravel) is visible.

HUMIDITY (RELATIVE) - The amount of water vapour within the air expressed as a percentage of the amount of water the air can hold at one atmosphere pressure and at a given temperature.

HVAC - Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.


INSULATION - Generally, any material that slows down or retards the flow or transfer of heat. Building insulation types are classified according to form as loose fill, flexible, rigid, reflective, and foamed-in-place. All types are rated according to their ability to resist heat flow (R-Value).

INTEREST - The cost of borrowing money. Interest is usually paid to the Lender in regular payments along with repayment of the principal loan amount.

INTEREST ADJUSTMENT DATE (IAD) - A date from which interest on the mortgage advance is calculated. This date is usually one payment period before regular mortgage payments being.

INTERIOR FLOOR PLANS - A scaled-down overview for each level of the home, including the basement.


JAMB - The frame in which a door or window sits.

JOINT - The space or opening between two or more adjoining surfaces.

JOIST - The horizontal framing members that support the floors.


LENDER - The bank, mortgage company or mortgage broker providing the loan.

LENDING VALUE - The purchase price or market value of a property, whichever is less.

LINTEL (or Header) - A horizontal piece of wood or steel over an opening such as a window or door which supports the walls immediately above the opening.

LOAD BEARING COMPONENT - The support system of the home capable of transmitting live and dead loads to the supporting ground as determined from the plans and specifications of the home, and includes only the footings, piles, foundation walls, grade beams, teleposts, load bearing walls, beams, floor systems and roof trusses.

LOAN APPLICATION - A statement of personal and financial information needed to apply for a loan.

LOAN TO VALUE RATIO (LTV) - The ratio of the loan amount to the lending value of a property expressed as a percentage. For example, the loan-to-value ratio of a loan for $90,000 on a home, which costs $100,000, is 90%.

LOCK or LOCK IN - A lender's guarantee of an interest rate for a specific period of time. The time period is usually between the loan application approval and loan closing. The borrower wants the lock to stay in effect until closing.

LOT - A parcel of ground with boundaries determined by the municipality where the home will be built. The loan size is typically expressed in terms of square meters or feet. The lot size determines which home models can be built on each lot.

LOT GRADES - The engineering design level (or elevation) of the house on a lot in relation to the sidewalk, road, laneway and adjacent property. Grades also determine a number of other factors including the need for window wells and retaining walls, the design of steps and the profile of the lot after landscaping. Proper planning of Grades is essential to avoid surface water problems that could result in a damp basement or water intrusion.


  • Level Lot - flat lot
  • Level-Transitional - flat lot with a grade adjustment on one side
  • Back-to-Front Slope - higher grade at the rear of the lot
  • Back-to-Front Transitional - higher grade at the rear of the lot with a grade adjustment on one side
  • Front-to-Back Slope - higher grade at the front of the lot
  • Front-to-Back Transitional - higher grade at the front of the lot with a grade adjustment on one side
  • Walkout Lot - low enough grade at the rear of the lot so you are able to walk directly out of your lower level into your back yard. It makes a two storey home feel like a three storey home.
  • Walkout Transitional - a walk-out with a grade adjustment on one side

LOT HOLD - A reservation of a lot for a short period of time. A customer can provide Sunlight Heritage Homes Homes with a $1,000 deposit and in exchange Sunlight Heritage Homes will hold the lot for that customer for a specific period of time.

LOT PLAN / GRADE SLIP - The orientation and location of your new home.


MARKET VALUE - The price at which a given property is transacted between a willing, unhurried buyer and a seller who knows all the pertinent facts about the property.

MATURITY DATE - The last day of the term of a mortgage. On this day, the mortgage loan must either be paid in full or the agreement renewed.

MODEL - A specific home with a particular floor plan and elevation.

MOISTURE SMART® - A code of practice managed by the ANHWP that provides member builders guidelines to achieve consistent results in moisture prevention through enhanced building practices.

MOLDING - Finish wood such as door and window trim.

MORTGAGE LOAN - A mortgage is a legal security (registered on title) for a loan on a property. It is a financial charge and encumbrance against the property as security for the loan in case of default.

MORTGAGE BROKER - A broker arranges financing for borrowers with a variety of lenders. A mortgage broker does not make the loan, but receives payment for its services.

MORTGAGE LIFE INSURANCE - Mortgage life insurance provides coverage for your family should you die before your mortgage is paid off. This insurance can be purchased through your lender and the premium added to your mortgage payments. You may want to compare rates for equivalent products from an insurance broker.

MORTGAGE LOAN INSURANCE - Is insurance to protect the lender in case you default on your loan.

MORTGAGE PAYMENT - A regularly scheduled payment that is often blended to include both principal and interest.

MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL PRE-QUALIFICATION - A non-binding process of calculating how much money a potential homebuyer could borrow before applying for a loan. Information submitted during pre-approval (qualification) is subject to verification at application and funding.

MORTGAGEE - The lender in a mortgage loan relationship.

MORTGAGOR - The borrower in a mortgage loan relationship.

MUNICIPALITY - An incorporated city, county, metropolitan authority, town, village, township, district or rural municipality or other incorporated municipal body having corporate status and powers of self-government.


NAILER - A piece of lumber secured to non-nailable walls by bolts or other means, which provide a suitable backing onto which a deck or other component may be mechanically fastened.


ON CENTER (OC) - A measurement term meaning a certain distance between like materials. Studs placed at 16" O.C. will be laid out so that there is 16" from the center of one stud to the center of the next.

OCCUPANCY INSPECTION / NEW HOME ORIENTATION - A meeting between the Purchaser and Builder to review and confirm that work on your home is complete and satisfactory or else identify any outstanding items, and to orient you to your new home and all its features. It may include detailed demonstrations of equipment as well as useful information on maintenance and upkeep.

OPEN MORTGAGE - A mortgage that can be prepaid or paid off or renegotiated at any time and in any amount without interest penalty. The interest rate on an open mortgage is usually higher than a closed mortgage with an equivalent term.

OPERATING COSTS - The expenses that a homeowner has each month to operate a home. These include property taxes, property insurance, utilities, telephone and communications charges, maintenance and repairs.

ORGANIC - A term designating any chemical compound which contains carbon and hydrogen.

OVERHANG - That part of the roof structure that extends horizontally beyond the vertical plane of the exterior walls of a building.


PARGING - A thin application of plaster (or cement) for coating a wall.

PASSIVE HEAT RECOVERY VENTILATOR (PHRV) - A system that provides fresh air and improved climate control by collecting and exhausting stale indoor air and drawing in outdoor air.

PATINA - The change in an object's surface appearance resulting from natural aging due to normal wear and tear and oxidation.

PAVER STONES - Usually pre-cast concrete slabs used to create a traffic surface.

PHASE - Developments are typically created in phases, or large portions of an entire community. Generally, Phase 1 opens first, followed by the second and third phases, and so on. The number of phases in each community depends upon how large the community is and what time frame the developer uses to create the community.

PRINCIPAL & INTEREST (P & I) - A mortgage payment that includes principal and interest. It is paid regularly during the term of the mortgage. The payment total remains the same although the principal portion increases over time and the interest portion decreases.

PRINCIPAL, INTEREST & TAXES (PIT) - A mortgage payment that includes principal, interest and taxes. It is paid regularly during the term of the mortgage. The principal and interest component of the payment remains constant during the term, however, since taxes change from year to year, the tax component of the payment will change accordingly. As an example, if payments are made monthly they include one-twelfth of the estimated annual municipal and education taxes.

PLOT PLAN - A bird's eye view showing how a building sits on the building lot, typically showing setbacks (how far the building must sit from the road), easements, rights of way, and drainage.

POSSESSION CERTIFICATE / INSPECTION FORM - A certificate signed by the Purchaser at the end of the possession inspection and orientation which indicates approval of the overall finish of the home and notes any defects and deficiencies.

POST & BEAM CONSTRUCTION - The most common type of wall framing, using posts which carry horizontal beams on which joists are supported. It allows for fewer bearing partitions and less material.

PRE-SALE - A home that is built specifically for a customer where they have selected the lot, model and detailed personalization for finishes.

PREFERRED LENDER - Sunlight Heritage Homes has partnered with RBC to offer homebuyers mortgages at preferred rates below their posted rates.

PREPAYMENT PENALTY - A lender's charge to the borrower for paying down the loan before the end of its term.

PRESSURE TREATED LUMBER - Lumber that is treated in such a way that the sealer is forced into the pores of the wood.

PRIMER - A material of relatively thin consistency applied to a surface for the purpose of creating a more secure bonding surface and to form a barrier to prevent migration of components.

PRINCIPAL - The amount of money borrowed or owed, excluding interest.

PRINCIPAL, INTEREST, TAXES & HEATING (PITH) - Costs used by lenders to calculate the Gross Debt Service ratio (GDS).

PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT - A thermostat that raises and lowers the temperature automatically based on user preferences.

PROPERTY INSURANCE - Insurance that you buy for the building(s) on the land you own. This insurance should be high enough to pay for the building to be re-built if it is destroyed by fire or other hazards listed in the policy.

PROPERTY TAXES - Taxes charged by the municipality where the home is located based on the value of the home. In some cases the lender will collect a monthly amount to cover your property taxes which is then paid by the lender to the municipality on your behalf.

PURCHASE AGREEMENT - An arrangement for the construction of a home and the purchase of land. It's commonly used if the Builder is selling both the home and the lot. The Purchase Agreement specifies the lot to be acquired and notes details concerning the transfer of title to the Purchaser upon fulfillment of the Agreement's terms and conditions.


RAFTER - A sloping roof member that supports the roof covering that extends from the ridge or the hip of the roof to the eaves. A common rafter is one which runs square with the plate and extends to the ridge.

RAIL - The top and bottom frame members of a door or window (not the jamb).

RAKE - The angle of slope of a roof rafter.

REAL PROPERTY REPORT - A legal document that clearly illustrates the property boundaries and measurements, specifies the location of all visible public and private improvements relative to the property boundaries and indicates any easements or encroachments. The buyer, the seller, the lending institution and the municipality can rely upon it as an accurate representation of the improvements on the property.

RE-BAR - Reinforcing bar used to increase the tensile strength of concrete.

REALTOR - A real estate representative who is a member of an organization of persons engaged in the business of buying and selling real estate; such as the Calgary Real Estate Board.

REGISTER - A fixture through which conditioned air flows. In a gravity heating system, it is located near the baseboard.

REINFORCED CONCRETE - A combination of steel and concrete using the best properties of each. The steel consists of rebar or reinforcing bars and is placed before concrete is poured.

RETURN - In heating and cooling systems, a vent that returns cold air to be warmed. In a hot air furnace system, it is located near an inside wall.

REVIEW PLANS CHECK SET - The Check Set includes a set of blue prints and a proposed plot plan. You will review these documents with your Excel Homes Area Manager to ensure the plans incorporate all of your desired changes.

ROUGH OPENING - The opening in a wall into which a door or window is to be installed.

ROUGH PLUMBING - All plumbing that should be done before the finish trades (sheetrock, painting, etc.) including all waste lines and supply water lines that are in the walls or framing of the building.

R-VALUE - The thermal resistance of a glazing system. The higher the R-value, the less heat is transmitted throughout the glazing material.


SASH - The window frame, including muntin bars if used.

SEALANT - A material with adhesive qualities applied between components of a similar or dissimilar nature to provide an effective barrier.

SEASON DEFICIENCIES - Items resulting from a delay in exterior work such as applying paint, parging or stucco and pouring concrete driveways or sidewalks and final grading of the property - usually due to cold weather.

SECOND MORTGAGE - An additional mortgage whose rights that are secondary to the first mortgage.

SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING (SFD) - A house built for the purpose of a single family as opposed to multi families such as a duplex or apartment complex.

SHEATHING - Plywood or wood fiber encasing walls, ceilings, floors and roofs of framed buildings. It is the first layer of outer wall covering nailed to the studs or rafters.

SHEETROCK - Panels made primarily from gypsum installed over the framing to form the interior walls and ceilings. Sheetrock is often called gypsum board.

SHINGLES - Small units of material that are laid in a series of overlapping rows as a roof covering on pitched roofs.

SHOWHOME - A home built to showcase workmanship, quality and available options.

SILL STEP - The first step coming directly off a building at the door openings.

SKYLIGHT - A structure on a roof that is designed to admit light and is somewhat above the plane of the roof surface.

SOFFIT - The underside of a part or member of a building extending out from the plane of the building walls.

SPEC HOME OR Move In Ready HOME FOR QUICK POSSESSION - A home that is pre-built before a buyer for the home is found. At any time Sunlight Heritage Home has an inventory of spec homes at various stages of construction, in numerous communities throughout the city. The advantage of a spec home is that the homebuyer does not have to wait the complete duration of construction - the possession date may be immediate or up to five months away. The disadvantage is if the home is at a far enough stage during the construction process then the colours and options cannot be altered.

STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS - A list that refers to all of the regular items that comprise a new home which outlines construction and finish details. Specifications are an important part of the Agreement, and take precedence over working drawings in the case of a discrepancy between working drawings and specifications.

STATEMENT OF ADJUSTMENTS - This final statement of account reflects the financial history of all the events and agreements that have occurred between you and your builder, as well as the normal closing adjustments, including payments received and monies due.

STRUCTURAL DEFECT - The failure of a load-bearing component. Items, which are not considered structural defects are driveways, basement and garage floors, patios, sidewalks, retaining walls, and other concrete work, which are not load bearing.

STRUCTURAL PLANS - Working drawings that provide cross-sectional views and details of the structural components of your new home. These include foundation footings, basement walls, roof trusses, floor joists and load-bearing beams.

STUD - The evenly spaced, vertical framing members of a wall.

SUB-FLOOR - Material such as particleboard installed before finish flooring materials.


TAPING - Applying joint tape over embedding compound during the joint treatment of drywall.

TERM - The term of a mortgage is the length of time that the mortgage conditions, including the interest rate the borrower pays, are carried out. Terms are usually between six months and seven years. At the end of the term, you either pay off the mortgage or renew it, possibly renegotiating its terms and conditions.

TEXTURE PAINT - One that may be manipulated by brush, trowel or other to give various patterns.

TITLE - A document issued by the Alberta Land Titles office that shows the registered owner(s) of the land subject to any encumbrances, easements, or other changes. A freehold title gives the holder full and exclusive ownership of land and buildings for an indefinite period of time.

TONGUE AND GROOVE - A type of flooring where the tongue of one board is joined to the groove of another board.

TOTAL DEBT SERVICE RATIO (TDS) - The percentage of gross monthly income required to cover the monthly housing payments and other debts, such as car payments. In general, this should not exceed 37% of gross monthly income.

TRANSFER OF LAND - A legal document that is signed which gives instructions from the owner of the land to the Land Titles Office of the transfer of title to new owners in accordance with the Purchase Agreement.

TRUSS - A major supporting structure usually made of timber.


VALVE - A device to sop, start or regulate the flow or liquid or gas through or from piping.

VAPOR - The gaseous form of any substance.

VARIABLE RATE - Interest rate that changes periodically in relation to a specific index such as treasury bills and the prime rate.

VENT PIPE - A vertical pipe of relatively small dimensions that protrudes through a roof to provide for the ventilation of gasses.

VENTING - The process of installing roof vents in a roof assembly to relieve water vapor.

VENT STACK - A vertical vent pipe installed for the purpose of providing circulation of air to and from any part of a drainage system.

VENT SYSTEM - In plumbing, a system to provide a flow or air to or from a drainage system or to provide circulation of air within such system to protect traps and seals from siphonage and backpressure.

VOLTAGE - The driving force behind the flow of electricity somewhat like pressure in a water pipe.


WALK THROUGH - An inspection of a home.

WARRANTY - A commitment that workmanship and material comprising the construction of the home will meet a specified condition or level of performance over a specified period of time.

WORKING DRAWINGS - Scaled-down two-dimensional working drawings containing Exterior Elevations, Interior Floor Plans and Structural Plans which serve a number of purposes from receiving municipal building permit approval, to ordering from suppliers, to providing direction for sub-trades.


ZONING BY-LAWS - Municipal or regional bylaws that specify the use of or restrict land use including set-backs and building types.

Disclaimer: While all efforts have been made to ensure the reliability and currency of the terms, definitions and descriptions on this page, it is important to note that this page should be used as a resource not an authority. Sunlight Heritage Homes accepts no responsibility or liability with regard to the information provided.