Typical fireplace with a brick hearth.

Home Inspection Glossary – Part Six

As a home inspector and former builder, there are many technical terms that I may use that are unfamiliar to the average home owner. While I always try to break things down to layman’s terms while conducting the home inspection, I thought it might be useful to have a home inspection glossary to refer buyers to. This is the sixth installment of these posts to build the glossary. I’ve tried to keep it simple and these are not intended to be exhaustive definitions.

H-clip: A small galvanized metal clip used to provide additional support to the un-nailed butt joints in roof panel sheathing.

habitable space: Areas including living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms common areas, ect. Bathrooms, utility rooms, storage areas and closets are not considered habitable space.

hatch: An opening in a deck, floor ceiling or roof that allows access to another space. Usually provides access to an unoccupied space such as an attic/

header: Framing component above a door, window or other opening in a wall. Consists of double 2×4” or larger dimensional lumber supporter on each side by a stud or post.

hearth: The floor of a fireplace, including both the area inside and outside the firebox.

heat pump: A device uses the compression and decompression of a gas to heat and cool the interior of a home. Similar in operation to a standard A/C unit, but with additional components that allow it to run in reverse to provide heat.

heated slab: Concrete slab on grade construction wherein heating elements are run through the slab. May be hydronic coils served by a boiler or electric resistance heat.

heel cut: Notch on the bottom edge of a rafter that allows it to sit flat on a wall. Also know as a birds mouth.

hip: The angle formed by the meeting of two slopes of a roof, where the two planes slope away from the hip.

hip roof:  A roofing system in which all four sides of the roof form hips, the roof slopes away from the peak in all four directions, has no gable ends.

home run (electrical): The wire that carries current from the electrical panel to the first device in a circuit, such as a switch, outlet, appliance or light fixture.