Palladian Window: A three-part window opening with a tall, round-arched center window flanked by smaller rectangular windows and separated by posts or pilasters.
Pallet: a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, pallet jack, front loader or other jacking device. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods or shipping containers are often placed on a pallet secured with strapping, stretch wrap or shrink wrap and shipped.
Panel: a portion of a flat surface recessed, or raised from the surrounding area, distinctly set off by molding or some other decorative device.
Parapet: a low wall that serves as a vertical barrier at the edge of a roof, terrace, or other raised area; in a exterior wall, the part entirely above the roof.
Pargeting: a thin coat of plaster on stone or brick for making a smooth decorative finish.
Parquetry: a geometric mosaic of wood pieces used for decorative effect. Patterns of parquet flooring are entirely geometrical and angular— squares, triangles. The use of curved and natural shapes constitutes marquetry rather than parquetry. The most popular parquet flooring pattern is herringbone.
Particleboard: formed panel product manufactured from wood particles, such as wood chips, sawmill shavings, or even saw dust, and a synthetic resin or other suitable binder, which is pressed and extruded. Particleboard is a composite material.
Partition: wall subdividing an interior space in a building, can either be full height or extend only partway from floor to ceiling.
Party Wall: wall used by two parties jointly under an easement agreement, erected on a line separating two parcels of land held by separate owners.
Passive Solar Construction: a structure which collects, transports and stores heat from solar energy.
Peen: the part of hammer opposite the handle. Usually refers to part of the head of a hammer, as for example in a ball-peen hammer.
Pegboard: tempered hardboard which is pre-drilled with evenly spaced holes. The holes are used to accept pegs or hooks to support various items, such as tools in a workshop.
Penny: a nail length measurement, abrreviated by the letter d.
Pergola: a garden feature forming a shaded walk or passageway of pillars that support cross beams and a sturdy open lattice, upon which woody vines are trained.
Pier: (1) a column designed to support concentrated load. (2) a member, usually in the form of a thickened section, which forms an integral part of a wall; usually placed at intervals along the wall to provide lateral support or to take concentrated vertical loads.
Pilaster: an engaged pier or pillar, often with capital and base.
Pitch: (1) the distance between members of a repeating series. (2) inclination or slope, defined as span-to-rise ratio.
Pitched: sloping, especially referring to a roof.
Pile: a heavy timber, or metal or concrete column, forced into the earth to form a foundation member.
Pilot Hole: a smaller hole drilled into a material prior to a larger hole being drilled, widening the hole to the desired width. Drilling a pilot hole prevents a larger drill bit from slipping on the material – a potential safety hazard, as well as an increased likelihood of the work being damaged. Normally, a center punch is used before drilling the pilot hole to ensure that the smaller pilot drill bit does not slip.
Plan: a drawing depicting any one of the floors or horizontal cross sections of a building; also the horizontal plane of any area or object.
Plancier: the horizontal underside of a cornice or eave.
Plaster: a wall covering substance composed of a mix of lime, sand and cement.
Plat: map, chart or plan of a town city section orsubdivision showing the individual properties placement and boundaries.
Plate: horizontal structural member.
Platform Framing: building contruction using framing having floor joists of each story resting on the top plates of the story below, and bearing walls resting on the subfloor of each story.
Plinth: a platform base supporting a column or pilaster.
Plot Plan: a view looking down on a building site from above, showing distances from the building to property lines. Also called site plan.
Plumb: orientation term meaning a line which is exactly vertical, at right angles to the horizon or floor.
Plumb Bob a tapered weight on the end of a length of string used as a vertical reference line.
Plunge Cut: a cut used to make a start hole for a reciprocating saw. The saw is held with its blade teeth nearly flush to the wood surface, then a cut is made through as the saw is tilted to a normal position.
Portico: small porch composed of a roof supported by columns, often found in front of a doorway.
Plumbing Stack: the vertical main system of vent, soil or waste plumbing.
Purlins: horizontal members in a roof supporting rafters between the ridge board and the plate.
Push Stick: hand tool, stick or pole used for pushing a workpiece during operation of a power saw, router jointer or planer.