Dictionary of Construction Terminology

Dictionary of Construction Terminology

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Term Definition
A/C

An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning

A/C Condenser
- The outside fan unit of the Air Conditioning system. It removes the heat from the freon gas and "turns" the gas back into a liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.
A/C Disconnect
- The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C Condenser.
AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
- A regulatory organization which governs the design and specifications of highway bridges.
Abacus
- Flat portion on top of a capital.
Abrasion Resistance (AC Rating)
- Also referred to as the wear rating, it is the European Standard AC Rating. The range runs from the least resistant rating of AC1 To AC5, the most resistant to abrasion.
Abstract
- A pattern or design not based on natural forms.
Acanthus
A motif derived from the large leaf of the low-growing acanthus plant. Used at an early date by the Greeks for architectural scrolls on the capitals of the Corinthian column.
Acanthus Leaf
Motif in classical architecture found on Corinthian columns
Accent wall
The wall in a room which has been given special design emphasis to attract attention from the adjacent walls.
Access Floor
Removable metal or concrete floor panels about 18" to 24" square which are supported on short steel pedestals so that wiring and ductwork may be installed, changed and maintained below the floor. The raised floor may be carpeted or tiled to create a finished floor surface.
Access Panel
A small metal or wood door flush with a wall or ceiling surface which provides a closure over a valve or other operable device which is recessed into the wall or located above a ceiling. The access door may be keyed and lockable.
Accessible
Signifies access that requires the removal of an access panel or similar removable obstruction.
Accessible, Readily
Signifies access without the necessity for removing a panel or similar obstruction.
Accessories
Are extra items that can be furnished in addition to the base joist or joist girder. They include: headers, top chord extensions, extended ends, ceiling extensions, bottom chord extensions, sloped end bearings, bridging, bridging anchors, joist girder bottom chord bracing, or angle units (joist substitutes).
Accessory
A building product which supplements a basic solid panel building such as a door, window, light transmitting panel, roof vent, etc.
Accessory Structure
In one- and two-family dwellings not more than three stories high with separate means of egress, a building, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is located on the same lot.
Acoustical Tile, Acoustical Panel
A ceiling or wall tile finishing material with an inherent property to absorb sound; usually made of mineral, fiber or insulated metal materials.  Not "Acoustic Tile" or "Acoustical Board."
Acre
An area measurement of land. An acre measures 43,560 square feet.
Acrylic (paint), Acrylic Latex
A paint composed of acrylic resins, thinned with water.
Active Door
The door people use every time they enter or leave the house. When there are double doors, it is the door that opens with an entry set knob or lever. The other door is called the inactive door and opens when the flush bolts are released.
AD
- Lumber which has been dried in the open air.
Addendum
Written or graphic instruments issued prior to the execution of the Contract which modify or interpret the bidding documents, including Drawings and Specifications, by additions, deletions, clarifications or corrections. Addenda will become part of the Contract Documents when the Construction Contract is executed. (Plural-"Addenda".)
Addition
An extension or in crease in floor area or height of a building or structure.
Adhesive
A sticky substance to bond one material to another. Use the term "Adhere" instead of "Glue." Do not use "Glue," "Cement," or Mastic."
ADL
- Abbreviation for 'After Dead Load is Applied'.
Administrative Origin
The person or corporate body responsible for gathering together and maintaining a group of documents.
Admixture
A chemical which is added to concrete to accelerate or retard the setting process or to create air bubbles in the concrete, called "accelerators," or :air entraining agents."
Advanced Decay
the older stage of decay in which disintegration is readily recognized
Advertisement For Bids
Published public notice soliciting bids for a construction project. Most frequently used to conform to legal requirements pertaining to projects to be constructed under public authority, and usually published on newspapers of general circulation in those districts from which the public funds are derived.
Aedicule
A pedimented entablature with columns used to frame a window or niche
Aerator
- The round screened screw-on tip of a sink spout. It mixes water and air for a smooth flow.
Aesthetic
- Having the sense of beauty or pleasing to the eye.
AFF
- Abbrevation for 'Above Finish Floor'.
AGA (American Galvanizers Association)
A non-profit association representing the post-fabrication hot-dip galvanizing industry.
AGCA (Associated General Contractors of America)
Is a national trade organization of qualified construction contractors and and industry related companies dedicated to skill, integrity, an responsibility. The AGCA is the voice of the construction industry and is dedicated to improving the quality of construction and protecting the public.
Aggregate
A mixture of sand and stone and a major component of concrete.
Agreement
(1) A legally enforceable promise or promises between two or among several persons. (2) On a construction project, the document stating the essential terms of the Construction Contract which incorporates by reference the other Contract Documents. (3) The document setting forth the terms of the Contract between the Architect and a consultant.
Agricultural Building
A structure designed and constructed to house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, livestock or other agricultural products. Such structure shall not include habitable or occupiable spaces, spaces in which agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged; nor shall an agricultural building be a place of occupancy by the general public.
AIA (American Institute of Architects)
An organization to unite in fellowship the members of the architectural profession in the United States.
Air Admittance Valve
A one-way valve designed to allow air into the plumbing drainage system when a negative pressure develops in the piping. This device shall close by gravity and seal the terminal under conditions of zero differential pressure (no flow conditions) and under positive internal pressure.
Air Break (Drainage System)
An arrangement in which a discharge pipe from a fixture, appliance or device drains indirectly into a receptor below the flood-level rim of the receptor, and above the trap seal.
Air Chase
refers to the duct that is used to carry either supply air or return air to and from the air handler. This can be fiberglass duct board, insulated metal duct, or large flex duct.
Air Circulation, Forced
A means of providing space conditioning utilizing movement of air through ducts or plenums by mechanical means.
Air Conditioning System
The process of treating air for simultaneous control of temperature, humidity, cleanliness, and distribution.
Air dried
Lumber that was dried, usually outside, to an equilibrium moisture content with the air it was exposed to. Any lumber below 30% MC is classified as air dried. Construction grade is around 19% MC and in southern Ontario the relative humidity is usually between 50 to 60 % which lumber will equalize to moisture content to between 8 to 14% MC.
Air Flow
expresses the amount air that flows through an air duct per minute. The air flow is measured and is expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
Air Infiltration
Amount of air that passes between a window sash and frame. In windows it is measured in terms of cubic feet or air per minute, per square foot of area. The lower the number, the less air the window lets pass through.
Air space
The area between insulation facing and interior of exterior wall coverings. Normally a 1" air gap.
Air Supreme Filter
 - Cleans room air when blower is operating
Airgap, Drainage System
The unobstructed vertical distance through free atmosphere between the outlet of a waste pipe and the flood-level rim of the fixture or receptor into which it is discharging.
Airgap, Water Distribution System
 The unobstructed vertical distance through free atmosphere between the lowest opening from a water supply discharge to the flood-level rim of a plumbing fixture.
Airway
A space between roof insulation and roof boards for movement of air.
AISC
- The American Institute of Steel Construction
AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc.)
Is a non-profit technical specifying and trade organization for the fabricated structural steel industry in the United States. It was founded in 1921 with headquarters located in Chicago. One of their best known manuals is the Manual of Steel Construction.
AISE
American Iron and Steel Engineers
AISE (Association of Iron and Steel Engineers
) Abbreviation.
AISI
- The American Iron and Steel Institute
AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute)
An institute to promote the interests of the iron and steel industry.Â
Aisle
- Space between arcade and outer wall.
Alkyd (paint)
A paint composed of a chemically synthesized, alkyd derived base, thinned with mineral spirits. The current version of "oil" based paints.
All-over pattern
The typical effect produced by a wall covering. A pattern in which the units of design are evenly distributed over a surface, without undue emphasis.
Alligatoring
Coarse checking pattern characterized by a slipping of the new paint coating over the old coating to the extent that the old coating can be seen through the fissures.
Allowance(s)
A sum of money set aside in the construction contract for items which have not been selected and specified in the construction contract. For example, selection of tile as flooring may require an allowance for an underlayment material, or an electrical allowance which sets aside an amount of money to be spent on electrical fixtures.
Allure
- Walkway along the top of a wall.
Alteration
Any construction or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition that requires a permit. Also, a change in a mechanical system that involves an extension, addition or change to the arrangement, type or purpose of the original installation that requires a permit.
Alternate
Mechanism used in Bid Documents to seek separate bids for a different design than the "Base Bid" design. May be "Additive" or "Deductive" alternates.
Aluminum Coated Steel
- Steel coated with aluminum for corrosion resistance.
Aluminum-clad window
 Window with wood construction covered with aluminum sheet. Has a factory-applied finish to protect from weather and solar degradation.
Ambulatory
- Aisle round an apse.
American single roll
A quantity of wallpaper between 34 to 36 square feet. The width of the roll is usually 20.5 inches, however, it can be up to 36 inches wide. The length ranges from 4 to 7 yards. (Compare to metric single roll)
Amortization
A payment plan by which a loan is reduced through monthly payments of principal and interest.
Amplification Factor
A multiplier of the value of moment or deflection in the unbraced length of an axially loaded member to reflect secondary values generated by the eccentricity of the load.
Amplitude
A measure of floor vibration. It is the magnitude or total distance traveled by each oscillation of the vibration.
Anchor Bolt Plan
A plan view drawing showing the diameter, location and projection of all anchor bolts for the components of the metal building system and may show column reactions (magnitude and direction). The maximum base plate dimensions may also be shown.
Anchor bolts
Bolts to secure a wooden sill plate to concrete, or masonry floor or wall.
Anchorage
The process of fastening a joist or joist girder to a masonry, concrete, or steel support by either bolting or welding.
Angle
A hot rolled shape called an Angle with symbol L which has equal legs or unequal legs.
Angle Unit
A member used as a joist substitute which is intended for use at very short spans (10 feet or less) where open web steel joists are impractical. They are usually used for short spans in skewed bays, over corridors, or for outriggers. It can be made up of two or four angles to form channel sections or box sections. Tube and channel sections are also used. See Joist Substitute.
Annual growth rings
The layer of growth that a tree puts on in one year. The annual growth rings can be seen in the and grain of lumber.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Annual cost of credit over the life of a loan, including interest, service charges, points, loan fees, mortgage insurance, and other items.
ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
A nonprofit organization which promotes the use of U.S. standards internationally
Anti-Friction Bearing
Bearing material between the various moving parts of a hinge
Antique Brass
Finish on hardware that has a brown color.
Antisiphon
- A term applied to valves or mechanical devices that eliminate siphonage.
Apex
The highest point on a joist or joist girder where the sloped chords meet. See also Peak.
Appearance Classification
- This defines the surface finish of the beam.
Appliance
A device or apparatus that is manufactured and designed to utilize energy and for which this code provides specific requirements.
Appliqué
A design or ornament applied to another surface. In wallpaper, cut-outs applied to a plain, textured or figured background.
Appraisal
An expert valuation of property.
Approval Drawings
- Approval drawings may include framing drawings, elevations and sections through the building as furnished by the manufacturer for approval of the buyer. Approval by the buyer affirms that the manufacturer has correctly interpreted the overall contract requirements for the metal building system and it's accessories, and the exact location of accessories in the building.
Approval Plans
Plans sent by the joist manufacturer to the buyer, engineer, architect, contractor or other person for approval. The plans may include a framing plan, elevations, sections, and a material list.
Approve
- The term "approved," where used in conjunction with the Architect's action on the Contractor's submittal, applications, and requests, is limited to the Architect's duties and responsibilities as stated in General and Supplementary Conditions.
Approved Agency
An established and recognized agency regularly engaged in conducting tests or furnishing inspection services, when such agency has been approved by the building official.
Approved Source
An in dependent per son, firm or corporation, approved by the building official, who is competent and experienced in the application of engineering principles to materials, methods or systems analyses.
Apron
- A trim board that is installed beneath a window sill
Apse
- Rounded and usually of a chancel or chapel.
Arcade
Row of arches, free-standing and supported on piers or columns; a blind arcade is a "dummy".
Arch
Can be round-headed, pointed, two-centered, or drop; ogee - pointed with double curved sides, upper arcs lower concave; lancet - pointed formed on an acute-angle triangle; depressed - flattened or elliptical; corbelled - triangular, peaked, each stone set a little further in until they meet, with a large capstone.
Arch Door
- Door with arched top rail and arched frame. Called also "Round Top Door"
Arched Joist
A non-standard type of joist where both the top chord and bottom chord are curved parallel with each other.
Arched Valance
-A valance treatment that is arched along the lower edge.
Architect
A person who designs buildings or other structures and has completed schooling in building design or similar subjects and is licensed by the state as an architect.
Architectural
is a type of shingle that is normally heavier in weight and has more definition or depth than the shingle itself.
Architectural documents
Any medium that refers to or depicts architectural works, structures, parts of structures, or designs, whether built or unbuilt. Included are textual documents such as specifications and letters; graphic documents such as drawings, prints, and photographs; models; and any other visual media that concern any portion of the built or unbuilt environment. Subjects may include not only architectural works, but also related subjects such as furniture, engineering designs, naval architecture, textiles, architectural ornaments, paper architecture, studies, landscape designs, and stage designs.
Architectural Drawing
A drawing which shows the plan view and/or elevations of the finished building for the purpose of showing the general appearance of the building, indicating all accessory locations.
Architectural work
Any subject or built work. It can be a study or a design of a structure, or the representation of a design as depicted on a drawing, model, print, or other medium.
Architectural, Industrial and Framing
are the most common appearance classifications. Premium appearance beams are available as custom orders.
Architrave
The lowest part of a classical entablature running from column to column
Area
- Unit of measure of length times width expressed in square inches.
Area wells
Corrugated metal or concrete barrier walls installed around a basement window to hold back the earth
Areaway
An open subsurface space adjacent to a building used to admit light or air or as a means of access to a basement.
Argon Gas
An odorless, colorless, tasteless, nontoxic gas which is six times denser than air. It is used to insulate better and reduce heat transfer.
Armor Plate
A door protection plate extending a sufficient distance up from the bottom of a door so that carts, gurneys, etc. will contact the plate when pushed against the door. 36" and 427 heights are typical.
Arris
- Sharp edge of a finished member.
Arrow Loop
A narrow vertical slit cut into a wall through which arrows could be fired from inside.
As Built
survey is performed to obtain horizontal and/or vertical dimensional data so that constructed improvements may be located and delineated
As-Built Drawing
A drawing or print marked by the Contractor to show actual conditions of a project as constructed after construction.
ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
Founded in 1852, is the oldest national professional engineering society in the United States. It is dedicated to the advancement of the individual civil engineer and the civil engineering profession through education.
Ascot Valance
valance is a V shaped piece of fabric, trimmed with tassel or beads that can be used free standing or as a top treatment over Panels or Poletops.
ASD (Allowable Stress Design)
A structural design method whereby a structural element is designed so that the unit stresses computed under the action of working or service loads do not exceed specified allowable values. See Working Stress Design and Elastic Design.
Ashlar
- Squared blocks of smooth stone neatly trimmed to shape.
Aspect Ratio
- For any rectangular configuration, the ratio of the lengths of the sides.
Asphalt
Most native asphalt is a residue from evaporated petroleum. It is insoluble in water but soluble in gasoline and melts when heated. Used widely in building for waterproofing roof coverings of many types, exterior wall coverings, flooring tile, and the like.
Asphaltic Concrete
This is the term used for paving for roads and driveways. Not "Asphalt" or "Bituminous" Concrete.
Assembly
- A group of mutually dependent and compatible components or subassemblies of components.
Assessment
A tax levied on a property, or a value placed on the worth of a property.
Assumption
Allows a buyer to assume responsibility for an existing loan instead of getting a new loan.
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)
- An organization which has developed over 10,000 technical standards which are used by industries worldwide.
Astragal
A molding, attached to one of a pair of swinging double doors, against which the other door strikes.
Astylar
- Facade without columns or pilasters
Atrium
An opening or skylighted lobby through two or more floor levels other than an enclosed stairway, elevator, etc.
Attic
The unfinished space between the ceiling joists of the top story and the roof rafters.
Attic access
An opening that is placed in the dry walled ceiling of a home providing access to the attic.
Attic insulation
- Terms refers to insulation put in the attic. This is usually either batt insulation or blown insulation. The thickness will vary depending on the “R” value that is specified in the plans.
Attic Ventilators
In houses, screened openings provided to ventilate an attic space.
Aumbry
- Recess to hold sacred vessels; typically in a chapel.
Austrian Shade (Austrian Pouf or Austrian Valance)
A poufed fabric shade with permanently shirred scallops that draw up from the bottom.
Authority control
Authority control in the context of the Guide pertains to entities with proper names, i.e., people/corporate bodies, subjects/built works, and geographic locations. One of the major functions of authority control is to govern the form and content of proper names in order to ensure that all references to a given person or subject are collocated. An authority record may contain not only the preferred name, but all other names for the person or subject. An expanded authority record can also include contextual information, e.g., biographical or corporate histories.
AutoCAD
The world's most popular computer-aided drafting software product for the personal computer in both DOS and windows by Autodesk, Inc. Anything that can be drawn on a drawing board can be drawn by AutoCAD.
Automatic Closing
A code term involving the permitted practice of holding a fire door in the open position providing the door closes upon detection. Generally the detection must be from the presence of visible or invisible particles of combustion. Fusible links are not usually considered acceptable because of slower response time. Any listed closer can be used in combination with an electromagnetic holder and a photo electric or ionization type smoke detector. Labeled or listed spring hinges could be used as well as hydraulic door closers. Some special applications of swinging, sliding and rolling fire doors primarily in industrial applications are permitted to be used with fusible links, weights and pulleys. Later product introductions are more sophisticated and provide more flexibility for building operation. These are hydraulic door closers incorporating hold open mechanisms allowing the door to be held open in many degrees of opening positions. The most recent product introduction along these lines is the so-called "swing free" unit. Instead of using a hold open mechanism, the energy of the closer is negated and the door is allowed to be operated as if it were not equipped with a closer. Upon detection of visible or invisible particles of combustion, the closing mechanism engages and the closer causes the door to return to the closed and latched position. These automatic closing arrangements are fail safe in that upon power failure, the door closes. All are listed by a nationally recognized independent testing laboratory and are under an in-plant follow-up inspection service.
Automatic Crane
A crane which when activated operates through a preset series of cycles.
Automatic Door
The combination of door, operator and controls constituting the system.
Automatic Operator.
The power mechanism causing the opening and closing of a door upon receipt of a actuating signal.
Automatic Welding
- A welding procedure using a machine to make a weld.
Auxiliary Crane Girder
A girder arranged parallel to the main girder for supporting the platform motor base, operator’s cab, control panels, etc., to reduce the torsional forces that such load would otherwise impose on the main crane girder.
Auxiliary Loads
All specified dynamic live loads other than the basic design loads which the building must safely withstand, such as cranes, material handling systems, machinery, elevators, vehicles, and impact loads.
Auxiliary Lock
A lock having a latch bolt or a dead bolt operated by a key or a thumb turn or both. This lock is often used in addition to another lock, which may or may not be key operated but which has a latch bolt operated by knobs or levers.
Award
- The acceptance of a bid or negotiated proposal by an owner.
AWI (American Welding Institute
) - An organization established in 1984 to bridge the gap between the findings of basic welding research and the needs of the industry.
Awning
An architectural projection that provides weather protection, identity or decoration and is wholly sup ported by the building to which it is attached. An awning is comprised of a light weight, rigid skeleton structure over which a covering is attached.
Awning window
Hinged at the top and swinging out at the bottom, operated by a cranking mechanism. Usually rectangular, and wider than they are long.
AWS (American Welding Society)
- A non-profit organization whose major goal is to advance the science, technology, and application of welding and related joining disciplines.
Axial Compression
- An axial force causing compression in a member.
Axial Force
- A force tending to elongate or shorten a member.
Axial Load
- A load whose line of action passes through the centroid of the member's cross-sectional area and is perpendicular to the plane of the section.
Axial Strut Load
A structural member designed to transfer a axial tension or compression load only.
Axial Tension
- An axial force causing tension in a member.
Back Charge
Billings for work performed or costs incurred by one party that, in accordance with the agreement, should have been performed or incurred by the party to whom billed. Owners bill back charges to general contractors, and general contractors’ bill back charges to subcontractors. Examples of back charges include charges for cleanup work or to repair something damaged by another subcontractor, such as a tub chip or broken window.
Backfill
The replacement of excavated earth into a trench around or against a basement /crawl space foundation wall.
Backing
Frame lumber installed between the wall studs to give additional support for drywall or an interior trim related item, such as handrail brackets, cabinets, and towel bars. In this way, items are screwed and mounted into solid wood rather than weak drywall that may allow the item to break loose from the wall. Carpet backingholds the pile fabric in place.
Backout
Work the framing contractor does after the mechanical subcontractors (Heating-Plumbing-Electrical) finish their phase of work at the Rough (before insulation) stage to get the home ready for a municipal frame inspection. Generally, the framing contractor repairs anything disturbed by others and completes all framing necessary to pass a Rough Frame Inspection.
Ballast
A transformer that steps up the voltage in a florescent lamp.
Balloon
A loan that has a series of monthly payments with the remaining balance due in a large lump sum payment at the end.
Balloon framed wall
Framed walls (generally over 10' tall) that run the entire vertical length from the floor sill plate to the roof. This is done to eliminate the need for a gable end truss.
Balusters
- Vertical members in a railing used between a top rail and bottom rail or the stair treads. Sometimes referred to as 'pickets' or 'spindles'.
Balustrade
The rail, posts and vertical balusters along the edge of a stairway or elevated walkway.
Barge
- Horizontal beam rafter that supports shorter rafters.
Barge board
A decorative board covering the projecting rafter (fly rafter) of the gable end. At the cornice, this member is a fascia board.
Base or baseboard
A trim board placed against the wall around the room next to the floor.
Base shoe
Molding used next to the floor on interior base board. Sometimes called a carpet strip.
Basement window inserts
The window frame and glass unit that is installed in the window buck.
Bat
- A half-brick.
Batt
A section of fiber-glass or rock-wool insulation measuring 15 or 23 inches wide by four to eight feet long and various thicknesses.  Sometimes "faced" (meaning to have a paper covering on one side) or "unfaced" (without paper).
Batten
Narrow strips of wood used to cover joints or as decorative vertical members over plywood or wide boards.
Bay window
Any window space projecting outward from the walls of a building, either square or polygonal in plan.
Beam
A structural member transversely supporting a load. A structural member carrying building loads (weight) from one support to another. Sometimes called a "girder".
Bearing header
(a) A beam placed perpendicular to joists and to which joists are nailed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening. (b) A wood lintel. (c) The horizontal structural member over an opening (for example over a door or window).
Bearing partition
A partition that supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.
Bearing point
A point where a bearing or structural weight is concentrated and transferred to the foundation
Bearing wall
A wall that supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.
Bedrock
A subsurface layer of earth that is suitable to support a structure.
Bid
A formal offer by a contractor, in accordance with specifications for a project, to do all or a phase of the work at a certain price in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the offer.
Bid bond
- A bond issued by a surety on behalf of a contractor that provides assurance to the recipient of the contractor's bid that, if the bid is accepted, the contractor will execute a contract and provide a performance bond. Under the bond, the surety is obligated to pay the recipient of the bid the difference between the contractor's bid and the bid of the next lowest responsible bidder if the bid is accepted and the contractor fails to execute a contract or to provide a performance bond.
Bid security
Funds or a bid bond submitted with a bid as a guarantee to the recipient of the bid that the contractor, if awarded the contract, will execute the contract in accordance with the bidding requirements of the contract documents.
Bid shopping
- A practice by which contractors, both before and after their bids are submitted, attempt to obtain prices from potential subcontractors and material suppliers that are lower than the contractors' original estimates on which their bids are based, or after a contract is awarded, seek to induce subcontractors to reduce the subcontract price included in the bid.
Bidding requirements
The procedures and conditions for the submission of bids. The requirements are included ion documents, such as the notice to bidders, advertisements for bids, instructions to bidders, invitations to bid, and sample bid forms.
Bifold door
Doors that are hinged in the middle for opening in a smaller area than standard swing doors. Often used for closet doors.
Binder
A receipt for a deposit to secure the right to purchase a home at an agreed term by a buyer and seller.
Bipass doors
Doors that slide by each other and commonly used as closet doors.
Blankets
Fiber-glass or rock-wool insulation that comes in long rolls 15 or 23 inches wide.
Block out
To install a box or barrier within a foundation wall to prevent the concrete from entering an area. For example, foundation walls are sometimes "blocked" in order for mechanical pipes to pass through the wall, to install a crawl space door, and to depress the concrete at a garage door location.
Blocked (door blocking)
Wood shims used between the door frame and the vertical structural wall framing members.
Blocked (rafters)
Short "2 by 4's" used to keep rafters from twisting, and installed at the ends and at mid-span.
Blocking
Small wood pieces to brace framing members or to provide a nailing base for gypsum board or paneling.
Blow insulation
Fiber insulation in loose form and used to insulate attics and existing walls where framing members are not exposed.
Blue print(s)
A type of copying method often used for architectural drawings. Usually used to describe the drawing of a structure which is prepared by an architect or designer for the purpose of design and planning, estimating, securing permits and actual construction.
Blue stake
Another phrase for Utility Notification. This is when a utility company (telephone, gas, electric, cable TV, sewer and water, etc) comes to the job site and locates and spray paints the ground and/or installs little flags to show where their service is located underground.
Board 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
Bond or bonding
- An amount of money (usually $5,000-$10,000) which must be on deposit with a governmental agency in order to secure a contractor's license. The bond may be used to pay for the unpaid bills or disputed work of the contractor. Not to be confused with a 'performance bond'. Such bonds are rarely used in residential construction, they are an insurance policy which guarantees proper completion of a project.