March 23, 2023



Sweating a Joint? House Balls? Dwelling Enchancment Phrases for DIYers

4 min read

All residence enchancment DIYers have an arsenal of devices and methods of their toolkit for no matter comes their method. However how many people are literally up on the lingo that comes with most of these tasks?

Consider it or not, having a sturdy vocabulary of building phrases will repay in the long term.

“Earlier than you begin a DIY undertaking, take time to study any phrases and processes which might be associated to your undertaking,” says Bailey Carson, residence care knowledgeable at Angi. “This can provide help to perceive the total complexity and scope of the undertaking, which may also help you resolve whether or not or not you’ll be able to full the undertaking by yourself.”

Being conversant in building phrases may even provide help to talk higher with any contractors you find yourself hiring for bigger residence enchancment tasks.

We’ve all heard of “blueprint” and “HVAC,” however we invite you to check your self on the next odd-sounding renovation phrases.

1. Birdsmouth

“Should you’re encountering a birdsmouth lower, that is an especially superior undertaking you’ve gotten your self into,” says David Steckel, a house knowledgeable with Thumbtack.

When constructing a roof, a birdsmouth lower is a kind of lower made right into a wood beam or rafter. Making this lower within the backside of a rafter permits the beam to relaxation solidly on the wall’s high plate.

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“It appears like a fowl’s open beak, therefore the identify,” says Steckel.

2. Chalk line

A chalk line is a thick piece of string run by chalk that’s used to create a line to make a protracted lower.

It’s stretched taut over a floor and snapped down onto that floor, leaving “chalk residue so that you can use as your information to make a lower,” says Steckel.

3. Flux

Utilized in soldering copper joints collectively, flux is a paste that removes oxide movie from the floor of the metals being soldered. Flux permits the solder to movement extra freely across the joint.

Flux prices about $5 for an 8-ounce jar and might be discovered at your native ironmongery shop.

4. PEX

PEX is the frequent abbreviation for cross-linked polyethylene, a standard materials utilized in residential pipes.

“PEX has develop into a typical choice for residential plumbing alongside the extra conventional copper pipes,” says Steckel.

Plumbers like PEX piping as a result of its “flexibility, size, and connection system that doesn’t require soldering. PEX additionally flexes a bit, so it’s barely much less prone to burst as a result of a light-weight freeze,” says Steckel.

5. Ripping a board

Ripping a board is the method of chopping wooden parallel to the grain.

“You are able to do this with a wide range of noticed choices, however there are some dangers to the method, so make sure you’re snug with the instruments and the method earlier than making an attempt it by yourself,” says Carson.

6. House balls

House balls


No, we’re not speaking in regards to the Mel Brooks movie from the Eighties!

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House balls are rubber balls present in cupboard doorways to assist get rid of rattling and splitting within the panels. They increase and contract with the wooden through the seasons.

7. Velocity sq.

Speed square tool
Velocity sq. software


Enjoyable truth: A pace sq. is definitely a triangular measuring software. Its form helps the person simply discover and mark angles and features.

8. Sweating a joint

Sweating (or soldering) a joint is the method of becoming a member of two or extra items of copper pipe collectively. Sweating a joint is often utilized in plumbing to fix a crack or fault or to seal a brand new joint.

“This can be a extra superior and probably harmful course of that’s normally greatest left to the professionals,” says Carson.

9. Tack fabric

A tack fabric is a specialty rag designed to select up unfastened mud and particles earlier than portray or staining a floor. Tack cloths are constituted of sheets of cheesecloth or gauze which might be handled with a cheesy materials.

10. Teflon tape

teflon tape
Teflon tape

(Shell Lumber and {Hardware})

Teflon tape is used across the ends of a pipe to forestall leaking and create a watertight seal.

However don’t let the “tape” half idiot you. Chris Sikes, proprietor of Handyman Connection of Wilmington in North Carolina, says this tape gained’t stick or maintain something collectively.

Teflon tape has its limits and shouldn’t be used to repair cracked or broken pipes, Carson says.

“When unsure, name in an area plumber for his or her experience,” he advises.

11. Torpedo degree

torpedo level
Torpedo degree


A torpedo degree is a leveling software that’s generally utilized in small, cramped areas—normally to verify an image body or pipe is completely straight.

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“You may establish a torpedo degree by its distinguished tapered edges,” says Carson.

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