A/C– An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning.

A/C Condenser– The outside fan unit of the Air Conditioning system. It removes the heat from the Freon gas and “turns” the gas back into a liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.

A/C Disconnect– The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C Condenser.

Adjustable Jack Post– a modern interpretation of the Jack Post, is a steel post used in construction for temporary support of ceilings, walls, decks, floors and trenches. This newer version incorporates a screw on on end which can be adjusted to increase the usefulness of the device by changing its size continuously rather than incrementally.

Aerator– The perforated screw-on tip of a sink spout. It mixes water and air for a smooth flow.

Aggregate, construction– or simply “aggregate“, is a broad category of coarse to medium grained particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic aggregates.

Air space – The area between insulation facing and interior of exterior wall coverings. Normally a 1″ air gap. Also, especially in wetter climates, the space between the housing and house wrap or sheathing to assist the walls in drying out after a storm.

Allowance(s) – A sum of money set aside in the construction contract for items which have not been selected and specified in the construction contract. For example, selection of tile as a flooring may require an allowance for an underlayment material, or an electrical allowance which sets aside an amount of money to be spent on electrical fixtures.

Amortization – A payment plan by which a loan is reduced through monthly payments of principal and interest.

Anchor bolts– Bolts to secure a wooden sill plate to concrete , or masonry slab or wall.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)– Annual cost of credit over the life of a loan, including interest, service charges, points, loan fees, mortgage insurance, and other items.

Anterooms-  Rooms preceding or serving as a lobby or means of access to another and more important room.

Appraisal- An expert valuation of property.

Apron– A trim board that is installed beneath a window sill.

AR– As Required or Requested.

Architect– One who has completed a course of study in building and design, and is licensed by the state as an Architect. One who draws up plans.

Architectural Design– The design and construction documentation of buildings for the purpose of life safety, financial security and aesthetic value.

Area wells– Corrugated metal or concrete barrier walls installed around a basement window to hold back the earth.

Assessment– A tax levied on a property, or a value placed on the worth of a property.

Assumption– Allows a buyer to assume responsibility for an existing loan instead of getting a new loan.

Astragal– A molding, attached to one of a pair of swinging double doors, against which the other door strikes.

Attic access– An opening that is placed in the drywalled ceiling of a home providing access to the attic.

Attic Ventilators– In houses, screened openings provided to ventilate an attic space.

Auger– A drilling device, or drill bit, that usually includes a rotating helical screw blade called a “flighting” to act as a screw conveyor to remove the drilled out material. The rotation of the blade causes the material to move out of the hole being drilled.