Home Improvement Glossary: C

cartridge filter faucet: A faucet with a cartridge filter built in to filter drinking water.

casement windows: Casement windows have hinges on one side of the sash and swing outward when you turn a lever or crank. Because the entire window swings out, these windows provide full ventilation and unobstructed views. Casement windows are commonly used in areas with extra heat or humidity, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and on walls that connect to porches.

cast iron pipe: Commonly used before 1960 for the vertical drain, vent stacks, and sometimes the horizontal drain lines. Cast iron is durable, but can rust over time.

caulk: Caulk is a filler material that seals a crack where two nonmoving components meet, such as where a house’s siding meets the exterior window trim.

ceiling box: The housing for the electrical wiring that provides power to ceiling light and fan fixtures.

cellulose insulation: Cellulose insulation is an organic, loose-fill material made from recycled paper. It has to be chemically treated to resist attack from moisture and pests. Moisture absorption can make cellulose heavier, causing it to become compacted and lose its insulative value.

chimney pots: Chimney pots are decorative flues that sit on top of the chimney in older homes and in Tudor or Medieval styled homes.

chintz: A glazed floral fabric often used in the English Country style.

chip brush: A chip brush is a small paintbrush used to paint in tight spaces.

circuit breakers: Protective switches that enable you to fix short circuits without turning off the power

combination primer/sealer: A combination primer/sealer seals the surface material and allows the finish paint to have a strong bond.

complementary color scheme: A color scheme made up of colors that are at the opposite ends of the color wheel.

compression fittings: Compression fittings are used to bond two pipes made of different materials. The fittings also allow the water flow to be turned off to a single faucet instead of having to turn the water off in the entire house.

Contemporary: Contemporary design combines influences, trends, and new technologies without strict adherence to any one design philosophy.

cookie cutter: A special carpeting tool shaped like a cookie cutter. Twist it back and forth in a circular motion to make the cut.

copper pipe: Copper pipe is long lasting and resistant to corrosion, and so it is commonly used pipe in water supply lines. It costs more than plastic but it lasts and lasts! There are two common types of copper pipe: rigid copper and flexible copper.

cords: The mechanism that allows double-hung windows to open easily, stay open (without a stick propping them up), and shut.

countersink: You countersink a screw by driving it in below the surface of the wood.

CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) pipe: CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) pipe has PVC's strength but is heat-resistant, which makes it acceptable in many regions for use on interior supply lines.

crewelwork: Decorative embroidery made by manipulating wool yarn in designs and patterns.

cure: Curing paint is the process of the paint taking its final shape. Curing happens after the paint dries and until the curing is complete the painted surface can still be damaged.

curtain heading: The curtain heading is the top of the curtain that attaches to the curtain rod.

custom-mixed paint: A paint that has been mixed to make a specific color that the customer has requested.

cutting in: Cutting in is the process of painting the edges of the wall (or other surface to be painted) before painting the rest of the wall with the larger brush or roller.

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