Glossary of Terms

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Term Definition

The movable part of a window-the frame in which panes of glass are set in a window or door.

Screw-laminated post (or screw-lam post)

A mechanically laminated post in which only screws have been used to join individual wood layers.

Scuttle Hole

A small opening either to the attic, to the crawl space or to the plumbing pipes.

Seam (or stitch) fastener

An edge fastener that connects two structural sheathing panels thereby adding in-plane shear continuity between the panels.

Secondary framing

Bracing is a primary function of virtually all secondary framing members. For example, a principal function of purlins and girts is to provide lateral bracing to trusses and posts, respectively. Unlike braces used to help stabilize other structural components, purlins and girts are generally located to facilitate sheathing attachment, and their sizes are normally based on the magnitude of the loads applied to the sheathing, and on the spacing of the primary framing members to which they must transfer load.

Secondary framing members

Structural framing members that are used to transfer load between exterior sheathing and primary framing members, and/or laterally brace primary framing members. The secondary framing members in a post-frame building include girts, purlins, eave struts and any structural wood bracing.

Shear blocks

Short framing members used to help transfer shear force into or out of the structural sheathing of a diaphragm. For roof diaphragms, properly connected purlin blocks function as shear blocks.


A vertical diaphragm. Any endwall, sidewall, intermediate wall or portion thereof that is capable of transferring in-plane shear forces.


Thin tapered piece of wood used for leveling or tightening a other building element.


Siding Boards of special design (with rabbeted edges overlapping ) nailed horizontally to vertical studs with or without intervening sheathing to form the exposed surface of outside walls of frame buildings.


An exterior wall oriented perpendicular to individual primary frames.

Sill plate

A corrosion and decay resistant member that is attached to the top of a concrete foundation wall, and upon which posts are attached.

Single-span primary frame

Primary frame without any interior supports. Also known as a clear span primary frame. Multi-span primary frame: Primary frame with one or more interior supports.


Concrete floor placed directly on earth or a gravel base and usually about four inches thick.

Slab-on-grade foundation

A reinforced concrete slab that rests on the soil surface. Slab areas located directly beneath structural columns or walls are generally thicker and more heavily reinforced. Long, thickened and reinforced portions are generally referred to as grade beams.

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