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  • Writer's pictureZayed Ahmed

Foundations, Stairs and Handrails: Knowing Some Unfamiliar Terms.

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

We all know what handrails are, as well as that all properties have foundations upon which it is built on, however, what we seldom know are the terms used to describe certain objects that they are made of. On this post, I try to explain them.

Video Transcription

Hello, this is Zayed Ahmed from ASLBPO. Till now, in my videos so far I have been trying to familiarize you with the interior and the exterior part of the property. There are some things that I had left on my previous videos which I will be explaining on this one.

Stairs and steps:

There are many terms associated with stairs that you might not be familiar with, knowing them correctly ensures that you can correctly provide bids. Treads are the top surface of a step or stair while the Riser is the vertical part between the treads of the stairs. Stringers are the longitudinal structural piece of the framework of the staircase that runs from the bottom to the top of the staircase, while the landing is the middle section of two staircase that are running between floors. All Staircases will have handrails installed for safety, baluster is a decorative shot pillar, in a series supporting the handrail along the staircase if instead of decorative, they are plain and thin they are called spindles. Newel is the post at the head or foot on the flight of stairs that supports handrail. To sum up, steps are made of risers, treads and stringers, while the handrail, apart from the rail itself will also be made of Newel and Balusters.


Typically the foundations are made of floor joists with solid blocks and bridges in between. These joists can be made of wood, steel or concrete. Damages to the foundation often need to be addressed by bidding for foundation inspections by a professional who can assess the damage. Similar to floor joists in the property foundation, decks will also have girders and header joists that will make up the frame.

Fireplace and Chimneys:

Many properties may have fireplaces in their living room as well as a chimney to that runs from the fireplace to the roof, the chimneys can be made of brick or with blocks of stone and are usually 18 ft high for 1 story building and 30 ft high for 2 story building. Chimney will need to be capped if they are open to prevent water or any animal intrusion.

Driveway and walkway:

Lastly, most properties will have a driveway, which is the paved road for cars going to the garage as well as walkways and sidewalks, which as the name implies are for walking, while the walkway is the one that is at front yard, sideways are those that lead to the side and back of the property.

That is all for this video, I would like to say that it is very important for us to know the names by objects for us to provide good quality work. Often when working with properties that have extensive damage, we will need to correctly spot items to provide detailed damage reports, although learning these to some might seem trivial, in reality it is the exact opposite.

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