Foundations are the base of the house. They carry the weight and load of the rest of the house to the ground and hold your house upright. They are usually constructed of core concrete, stone, and mortar or cinder blocks.
Exterior walls carry the weight of the house from the roof to the foundation. They are usually constructed of brick and/or lumber. If the exterior walls are constructed of lumber, they are usually insulated and clad with some type of siding or have a stone veneer on the outside of them.
In the St. Louis area, most roofs are either cabled or flat roofs. If they are cabled, they have a pitch and a ridgeline. Where the slope of the roof starts, the ridgeline goes down in two or more directions. Flat roofs are usually found in older city homes. The primary function of the roof is to prevent moisture from entering the house and to help insulate the house during the hot and cold months of the year.
Cable roofs typically consist of decking, sheathing, a weather-proof area, asphalt or other shingles. The life of the roof is usually 20 to 30 years.
The plumbing in your house refers to all the wet areas in your home. It includes the supply water lines, the water main supply to your house, any waste water lines, the ground rough, and sewer lateral, which will connect it to the waste water lines.
The plumbing system connects the wet areas of your house. This includes all bathrooms, your kitchen, and your laundry area to the water supply provided by the water supplier and connect to the waste water system and rainwater systems usually serviced by your city or municipality or a regional provider.
In St. Louis, this would be American Water in the county or the City of St. Louis Water Department in the city. Some municipalities, such as Heartwood, have their own providers administered by that municipality.
Electric provides power to all lights and receptacles to power your home. In St. Louis, electricity is usually provided by Ameren UE.
The electricity enters your home through a service which enters your home passing through a meter which is usually located on the outside of your house and helps the provider determine how much electricity you have used.
From the meter, the service wires run into your home to an electric panel. This is usually a square box and in most homes, or any home that has been updated, the power passes through circuit breakers. These circuit breakers will trip and shut power off in that circuit in your house if there is a problem somewhere within that circuit or if the main panel has a main breaker. Power could be tripped to your whole house from that main breaker.
HVAC – Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
The HVAC can usually be broken down into three sections: 1) heating, 2) ventilation, and 3) air conditioning. The air conditioning unit usually sits outside your home. It is a compressor that circulates from the outside of your home into your main circulating unit which transfers heat outside the house and cools the air inside your house.
In most homes in the St. Louis area, there is a gas or electric furnace usually located in the basement or utility area.
The furnace heats the area inside your house during the cold months. Most units are a forced air system. This means air is circulated inside your house through a system of vents and ducts. The cold air vents supply air to the furnace. The furnace heats this air up by using energy from either gas or electricity and then a fan blows the air through the supply ducts into various parts of your house. The air is re-circulated back to the cold air vents to the furnace and then out through the supply ducts.
Windows provide natural light into your home; rather they allow natural light into your home. They also provide insulation depending on their construction to keep cold or hot air in or out of your house. They are usually constructed on vinyl, aluminum or wood.
Exterior doors are usually solid wood or steel. They are usually heavier in construction and provide security for your home. If properly installed, they should be well insulated.
Interior doors are usually wider in construction, sometimes made of a medium-density fiber boards. These would typically be our core doors. You can also find homes with solid wood doors or secured doors made from some other material.
Other components in your house include mostly finished items.
Flooring is typically wood or a wood alternative; tile, usually found in wet areas or high traffic areas; and carpet.
Carpet can be installed anywhere but is recommended not to be installed in wet locations. Other items in this section include the wood work found throughout your home – this includes base board, window and door casing, crown molding and any other trim found in your house.
In your kitchen you will find cabinets usually made from wood or a wood alternative; countertops are typically made from a dense, hard material ranging from natural products in the stone family, like granite and quartz, to manufacture products with near finishes like Formica or any alternatives.
The finished plumbing fixtures include your bath and shower control, the shower heads and tub spigots, any faucets, toilets and other items that provide or remove water from your house.