GFCI, or GFI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter- an ultra sensitive plug designed to shut off all electric current. Used in bathrooms, kitchens, exterior waterproof outlets, garage outlets, and “wet areas”. Has a small reset button on the plug.
Gable – The end, upper, triangular area of a home, beneath the roof.
Gang nail plate – A steel plate attached to both sides at each joint of a truss. Sometimes called a fishplate or gusset.
Gate valve – A valve that lets you completely stop—but not modulate—the flow within a pipe.
General Contractor – A contractor who enters into a contract with the owner of a project for the construction of the project and who takes full responsibility for its completion, although the contractor may enter into subcontracts with others for the performance of specific parts or phases of the project.
Gas lateral – The trench or area in the yard where the gas line service is located, or the work of installing the gas service to a home.
Genkan – Entrance halls or porches through which one enters a Japanese building and is greeted by the host, removes one’s shoes, etc. Historically, this term referred only to alcoves found in Zen temple buildings, but now the term is used to refer to any entry alcove. These areas are often decorated with screen paintings.
Girder – A large or principal beam of wood or steel used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length.
Glazing – The process of installing glass, which commonly is secured with glazier’s points and glazing compound.
Globe valve – A valve that lets you adjust the flow of water to any rate between fully on and fully off. Also see gate valve.
Gloss enamel – A finishing paint material. Forms a hard coating with maximum smoothness of surface and dries to a sheen or luster (gloss)
Glued Laminated Beam (Gluelam or Glulam) – A structural beam composed of wood laminations or lams. The lams are pressure bonded with adhesives to attain a typical thickness of 1 ½” . (It looks like 5 or more 2 X 4’s are glued together).
Grade – Ground level, or the elevation at any given point. Also the work of leveling dirt. Also the designated quality of a manufactured piece of wood.
Grade beam – A foundation wall that is poured @ level with or just below the grade of the earth. An example is the area where the 8′ or 16′ overhead garage door “block out” is located, or a lower (walk out basement) foundation wall is poured.
Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM) – A fixed-rate, fixed-schedule loan. It starts with lower payments than a level payment loan; payments rise annually, with the entire increase being used to reduce the outstanding balance. The increase in payments may enable the borrower to pay off a 30-year loan in 15 to 20 years, or less.
Grain – The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers in wood.
Green Building– While there are many interpretations, this is my short version: Building for comfort, convenience, sustainability and durability. (More on this topic.)
Grid – The completed assembly of main and cross tees in a suspended ceiling system before the ceiling panels are installed. Also the decorative slats (munton) installed between glass panels.
Ground – Refers to electricity’s habit of seeking the shortest route to earth. Neutral wires carry it there in all circuits. An additional grounding wire or the sheathing of the metal-clad cable or conduit—protects against shock if the neutral leg is interrupted.
Ground fault – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI, GFI)- an ultra sensitive plug designed to shut off all electric current. Used in bathrooms, kitchens, exterior waterproof outlets, garage outlets, and “wet areas”. Has a small reset button on the plug.
Ground iron – The plumbing drain and waste lines that are installed beneath the basement floor. Cast iron was once used, but black plastic pipe (ABS) is now widely used.
Groundwater – Water from an aquifer or subsurface water source.
Grout – A wet mixture of cement, sand and water that flows into masonry or ceramic crevices to seal the cracks between the different pieces. Mortar made of such consistency (by adding water) that it will flow into the joints and cavities of the masonry work and fill them solid.
Gusset – A flat wood, plywood, or similar type member used to provide a connection at the intersection of wood members. Most commonly used at joints of wood trusses. They are fastened by nails, screws, bolts, or adhesives.
Gutter – A shallow channel or conduit of metal or wood set below and along the (fascia) eaves of a house to catch and carry off rainwater from the roof.
Gyp board – Drywall. Wall board or gypsum- A panel (normally 4′ X 8′, 10′, 12′, or 16′)made with a core of Gypsum (chalk-like) rock, which covers interior walls and ceilings.
Gypsum plaster – Gypsum formulated to be used with the addition of sand and water for base-coat plaster.