Real Estate Glossary

Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.
 
Ba - Bal - Bas - Be - Ben - Bi - Bl - Bo - Bor - Br - Bu - Bun
Brace
Board or other object installed diagonally in an effort to provide extra strength in a wood-framed structure. Used in many places in a structure, they are most commonly used in stud walls. Slots are cut into the corner of the stud and the braces are nailed in. Also referred to as blocking. Alternately, a hand-powered cranking device, which is used with a drill bit to bore holes or with a screwdriver to tighten screws.
Brace and Bit
Hand-powered cranking device, which is used with an auger or drill bit to make holes.
Brace Table
A type of table situated on the back of the tongue of a framing square which gives lengths of 45 degree braces for a variety of situations.
Braced Frame
Mostly diagonal bracing which uses horizontal supporting pieces (girts) inserted into a notch or space cut in a solid post.
Braced Framing
Method of two-story home construction, in which the frame is reinforced with posts and braces.
Bracing
A reinforcing technique used on structures to increase overall strength and stability. Types of bracing include cables, rods, ties, etc. and can be used singly or in combination.
Bracket
A structure projecting from a wall or other vertical element for the purpose of providing support for an object.
Brad
Used for "finishing" moldings, etch, these nails with a small diameter head and shank of no longer than 1 ½", are also used in making picture frames.
Brad Awl
Pointed tool that makes holes in the right size for brads.
Brad Point Drill Bit
Twist drill bit, with a sharp point which keeps a drill bit from moving and can be forced into the work so that it can be used precisely where needed.
Brad Pusher
Used to push a brad into a piece of wood, this tool has a magnetic shank with a recesses in one end and a handle on the other.
Brake
A machine for turning or bending the edges of sheet metal. Alternately, any device for slowing or stopping a machine or vehicle.
Brake, Disc
In this type of brake, friction is created by pads pressing against both sides of a rotating disk, which is attached to the wheel.
Brake, Drum
Brake, which creates its friction by pressing shoes outward against the inside of the rotating drum that's fixed to the wheel that is to be stopped.
Brake, Eddy Current
Eddy currents are commonly used on power saws so that the rotating blade can be slowed quickly when turned off. A supplemental load is placed on the motor using the interaction of magnetic fields, which are produced by a variable direct current in motor coils.
Brake, Holding
Lockable friction brake that can be used on a hoist.
Brake Horsepower
Measurement of an engine's power as determined by a brake attached to the drive shaft and recorded on a dynamometer.
Brake, Parking
Lockable friction brake used to hold a vehicle in place.
Branch
The part of a system that splits off from the main part of a system.
Branch Circuit
Electrical circuit, such as those for lights or receptacles, with its own circuit breaker in the service panel.
Branch Circuit, Appliance
Used for large appliances, a circuit which is able to draw heavy current without tripping a circuit breaker and is 115 volt, 20 amp instead of the usually 15 amps.
Branch Circuit, General Purpose
115 volt electrical wiring to lights and receptacles.
Branch Circuit, Individual
Electrical circuit to a single appliance.
Branch Drain
Plumbing fixture drain to the main drain line.
Branch Office
Office created in another location for the purpose of providing localized services.
Brass
Slang for faucets and fittings regardless of material used.
Brass-plated
Brass coating on steel with a clear lacquer spray it's strong and water resistant.
Braze
High-temperature soldering using a bronze filler rod which has a higher (840 degrees F) melting point than normal soldering and makes touch, durable joints.
Breach
Violation of a law or obligation through commission or omission and the responsibilities of an agreement or guarantee are not met.
Breach of Contract
Failure to fulfill the terms of a contract, without legal, excusable reasons.
Breach of Covenant
Failure to fulfill a legal agreement.
Breach of Warranty
Inability, on the part of the seller, to pass along clear title to a buyer.
Break-even Point
Where total revenue equals total costs and there is no profit or loss such as when an owner's rental income matches expenses and debt.
Breaking Joints
The installation of masonry so that vertical mortar joints are unaligned which results in a stronger structure.
Breastsummer
The large horizontal beam in the breast of a wall, which is used for support.
Breather Roof
Roof constructed on a storage tank and designed to expand and contract directly with the level or stored material (liquid). The design prevents the loss through vaporization of the stored materials, as well as the escape and intermingling of gaseous vapors with the outside air.
Breezeway
Roofed passageway, with open sides, which usually connects home to garage or a building to another building.
Brick
Rectangular blocks of clay, molded and fired in a kiln, used for building. Four of the basic types are: building brick, firebrick, paving brick and facing brick.
Brick, Baby Roman
Brick of 2 x 4 x 8 inches.
Brick Bond
Style or pattern layout of brick. Alternately, the mortar joint between bricks.
Brick Masonry
Construction of a brick, block or stone wall using mortar in various overlapping patterns. Brick used to tie a wall together longitudinally are called stretchers. Those used to tie it together transversely are termed headers. There are 12 brick-work bonding patterns, which have individual structural and decorative attributes.
Brick Veneer
Brick façade used on walls or fireplaces, for decorative purposes only. The wall is constructed with wood frame or masonry block.
Bridge Loan
A short-term loan while permanent financing is obtained.
Bridge Crane
Permanently installed crane, which is mounted between two overhead tracks with the main structural member forming a bridge between them. They are used in buildings where there is a constant need for lifting and moving loads within a building.
Bridging
The supporting of joists of a floor with small pieces of wood, which are nailed in a diagonal position between them at midspan. Alternately, the provision of temporary financing.
Bright Zinc
Plating to protect items against tarnishing and weather damage and which can be painted.
British Thermal Unit
see BTU.
Broker
A person who acts as a conduit between two parties. A real estate broker is licensed to handle property transactions. A mortgage broker matches, for a specific fee, borrowers to lenders and loan programs.
Brokerage
The bringing together of two parties in exchange for a fee or commission. Also, a company or firm employing agents acting as brokers.
Broker's Agreement
Contract to act on behalf of a principal in selling real estate, wherein the principal agrees to pay a commission to the broker when a buyer is produced who is ready, willing and able to meet the terms of the sale.
Bronze
Copper based alloy that contains other elements.
Bronze, Aluminum
Copper based alloy with 5 to 8 percent of aluminum for strength and corrosion resistance. Over 10 per cent of aluminum it is extremely strong and remains flexible when hot. These bronzes are used for piping, valve materials and other parts, which are exposed to sea water.
Bronze Plated
Steel that is coated with a plating of bronze that makes it attractive and weather resistant.
Bronze Silicon
Copper and silicon alloy that is workable when hot and corrosion resistant. This easily weldable, strong alloy is used for valve bodies and seats where needed.
Bronze, Tin
Tin bronze contains 5, 8 or 10 percent tin and possibly 4 per cent phosphor, which improves the casting qualities and elasticity. Tin bronzes are referred to as Alloys A, C, and D. Tin and phosphor bronzes are strong, resist corrosion and are often used for electrical terminals and springs.
Broom Clean
The condition of a building when it is turned over to a purchaser in a clean but not scrubbed condition.
Brown Coat
It is the base coat in a two coat plaster job that would be done on masonry, gypsum lath or other absorptive materials. If it's a three coat job, such as on a base of wood or metal lath, it is the second coat, which gets its name from the brown color it turns as it dries. The brown coat is the thickest coat applied and gives walls and ceilings their strength. If it is not level and smooth, the finish coat will be difficult to smooth.
Brownstone
Reddish brown sandstone used for building or a style of row housing using sandstone.
Brownstone House
Townhouses attached by either side of the same wall and typically have a stoop to the first floor of a 5 or 6 story brick structure. Most brownstones were built in the nineteenth century.
BTU
British Thermal Unit. The BTU is a standard measure of the heat-producing capabilities of heating appliances, furnaces and fuels. It is defined as being equivalent to 251.996 calories, 778.26 ft-lb, or in electrical units, approximately one-third watt-hours.

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