Male– Any part, such as a bolt, designed to fit into another (female) part. External threads are male.

Mantel– The shelf above a fireplace opening. Also used in referring to the decorative trim around a fireplace opening.

Manufactured wood- A wood product such as a truss, beam, gluelam (glulam), microlam or joist which is manufactured out of smaller wood pieces and glued or mechanically fastened to form a larger piece. Often used to create a stronger member which may use less wood. See also Oriented Strand Board.

Manufacturer’s specifications– The written installation and/or maintenance instructions which are developed by the manufacturer of a product and which may have to be followed in order to maintain the product warrantee.

Masonry– the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, building stone such as marble, granite, and limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, and adobe.

Mastic– A high-grade construction adhesive commonly used to bond ceiling, wall, and floor tiles, plywood panels, concrete, asphalt, leather and fabric,  or a protective coating (as for thermal insulation or waterproofing).

Mechanic’s lien– A lien on real property, created by statue in many years, in favor of persons supplying labor or materials for a building or structure, for the value of labor or materials supplied by them. In some jurisdictions, a mechanic’s lien also exists for the value of professional services. Clear title to the property cannot be obtained until the claim for the labor, materials, or professional services is settled. Timely filing is essential to support the encumbrance, and prescribed filing dates vary by jurisdiction.

MEP– Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing. This drawing(s) includes the location and often physical runs of connecting elements of the different components along with their physical location. For mechanical, this may include not only the location of major components, but items such as duct runs and vertical chases to ensure that no beam interferes in a planned duct run through a floor joist system. Vertical chases are located for space planning so that needed closets are not later compromised to get heat from one level to another. In the case of electrical, actual wire runs are not shown, but the connection to electrical components are so that switches are properly located to ensure convenience of use. Also, determining locations of fire safety essentials are also best located in plan to include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure that GFI & AF receptors are installed per code. Plumbing fixture locations ensures mostly that all drains and vents efficiently allow for the flow of waste and gases to the exterior of the home and also allow for joist layout to occur in the planning stages so that it is not overlooked and a toilet or other component need be moved for lack of planning.

Metal lath– Sheets of metal that are slit to form openings within the lath. Used as a plaster base for walls and ceilings and as reinforcing over other forms of plaster base.

Mezzanine– The lowest balcony or forward part of such a balcony in a theater.

A low story between two other stories of greater height in a building, especially when the low story and the one beneath it form part of one composition; an entresol.

Microlam– A manufactured structural wood beam. It is constructed of pressure and adhesive bonded wood strands of wood. They have a higher strength rating than solid sawn lumber. Normally comes in l ½” thickness’ and 9 ½”, 11 ½” and 14″ widths.

Milar (mylar)– Plastic, transparent copies of a blueprint.

Millwork– Generally all building materials made of finished wood and manufactured in millwork plants. Includes all doors, window and door frames, blinds, mantels, panel work, stairway components (ballusters, rail, etc.), moldings, and interior trim. Does not include flooring, ceiling, or siding.

Miter joint– The joint of two pieces at an angle that bisects the joining angle. For example, the miter joint at the side and head casing at a door opening is made at a 45° angle.

Molding– A wood strip having an engraved, decorative surface.

Monopost– Adjustable metal column used to support a beam or bearing point. Normally 11 gauge or Schedule 40 metal, and determined by the structural engineer. Temporary versions are referred to as an Adjustable Post Base.

Mono-pitched roof– AKA, pent roof, lean-to roof or shed roof (skillion in Australia or New Zealand) is a roof built on a single plane and sloped in only one direction. Standard forms have four sides with two equal rakes and a horizontal drip edge. In modern architecture, the plates on all four (or more) sides may have a rake but the surface is still only one plane.

Mortar– A mixture of cement (or lime) with sand and water used in masonry work.

Mortgage– Loan secured by land.

Mortgage broker – A broker who represents numerous lenders and helps consumers find affordable mortgages; the broker charges a fee only if the consumer finds a loan.

Mortgage company – A company that borrows money from a bank, lends it to consumers to buy homes, then sells the loans to investors.

Mortgage deed– Legal document establishing a loan on property.

Mortgagee– The lender who makes the mortgage loan.

Mortgage loan- A contract in which the borrower’s property is pledged as collateral. It is repaid in installments. The mortgagor (buyer) promises to repay principal and interest, keep the home insured, pay all taxes and keep the property in good condition.

Mortgage Origination Fee– A charge for work involved in preparing and servicing a mortgage application (usually one percent of the loan amount). 

Mortise– A slot cut into a board, plank, or timber, usually edgewise, to receive the tenon (or tongue) of another board, plank, or timber to form a joint.

Mudsill– Bottom horizontal member of an exterior wall frame which rests on top a foundation, sometimes called sill plate. Also sole plate, bottom member of interior wall frame.

Mullion– A vertical divider in the frame between windows, doors, or other openings.

Muntin– A small member which divides the glass or openings of sash or doors.

Muriatic acid– Commonly used as a brick cleaner after masonry work is completed.

Mushroom– The unacceptable occurrence when the top of a caisson concrete pier spreads out and hardens to become wider than the foundation wall thickness.

Last updated May 1, 2019