Laminated shingles - Shingles that have added dimensionality because of extra layers or tabs, giving a shake-like appearance. May also be called "architectural shingles" or "three-dimensional shingles."
Laminating- Bonding together two or more layers of materials.
Landing- A platform between flights of stairs or at the termination of a flight of stairs. Often used when stairs change direction. Normally no less than 3 ft. X 3 ft. square.
Lap- To cover the surface of one shingle or roll with another.
Latch- A beveled metal tongue operated by a spring-loaded knob or lever. The tongue's bevel lets you close the door and engage the locking mechanism, if any, without using a key. Contrasts with dead bolt.
Lateral (electric, gas, telephone, sewer and water)- The underground trench and related services (i.e., electric, gas, telephone, sewer and water lines) that will be buried within the trench.
Lath- A building material of narrow wood, metal, gypsum, or insulating board that is fastened to the frame of a building to act as a base for plaster, shingles, or tiles.
Lattice- An open framework of criss-crossed wood or metal strips that form regular, patterned spaces.
Ledger (for a Structural Floor)- The wooden perimeter frame lumber member that bolts onto the face of a foundation wall and supports the wood structural floor.
Ledger strip- A strip of lumber nailed along the bottom of the side of a girder on which joists rest.
Leech field- A method used to treat/dispose of sewage in rural areas not accessible to a municipal sewer system. Sewage is permitted to be filtered and eventually discharged into a section of the lot called a leech field.
Let-in brace- Nominal 1 inch-thick boards applied into notched studs diagonally. Also, an "L" shaped, long (@ 10') metal strap that are installed by the framer at the rough stage to give support to an exterior wall or wall corner.
Level- True horizontal. Also a tool used to determine level.
Level Payment Mortgage- A mortgage with identical monthly payments over the life of the loan.
Lien- An encumbrance that usually makes real or personal property the security for payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation.
Light- Space in a window sash for a single pane of glass. Also, a pane of glass.
Limit switch- A safety control that automatically shuts off a furnace if it gets too hot. Most also control blower cycles.
Lineal foot- A unit of measure for lumber equal to 1 inch thick by 12 inches wide by 12 inches long. Examples: 1" x 12" x 16' = 16 board feet, 2" x 12" x 16' = 32 board feet.
Lintel- A horizontal structural member that supports the load over an opening such as a door or window.
Load bearing wall- Includes all exterior walls and any interior wall that is aligned above a support beam or girder. Normally, any wall that has a double horizontal top plate.
Loan- The amount to be borrowed.
Loan to value ratio- The ratio of the loan amount to the property valuation and expressed as a percentage. E.g. if a borrower is seeking a loan of $200,000 on a property worth $400,000 it has a 50% loan to value rate. If the loan were $300,000, the LTV would be 75%. The higher the loan to value, the greater the lender's perceived risk. Loans above normal lending LTV ratios may require additional security.
Lookout- A short wood bracket or cantilever that supports an overhang portion of a roof.
Louver- A vented opening into the home that has a series of horizontal slats and arranged to permit ventilation but to exclude rain, snow, light, insects, or other living creatures.
Lumens- Unit of measure for total light output. The amount of light falling on a surface of one square foot.