Dictionary of Construction Terminology

Dictionary of Construction Terminology

Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)
Begin with Contains Exact term
All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Term Definition
T & G, tongue and groove
A joint made by a tongue (a rib on one edge of a board) that fits into a corresponding groove in the edge of another board to make a tight flush joint. Typically, the subfloor plywood is T & G.
T bar
Ribbed, "T" shaped bars with a flat metal plate at the bottom that are driven into the earth. Normally used chain link fence poles, and to mark locations of a water meter pit.
Tab
The exposed portion of strip shingles defined by cutouts.
Tail beam
A relatively short beam or joist supported in a wall on one end and by a header at the other.
Take off
- The material necessary to complete a job.
Taping
The process of covering drywall joints with paper tape and joint compound.
Teco
Metal straps that are nailed and secure the roof rafters and trusses to the top horizontal wall plate. Sometimes called a hurricane clip.
Tee
- A "T" shaped plumbing fitting.
Tempered
Strengthened. Tempered glass will not shatter nor create shards, but will "pelletize" like an automobile window. Required in tub and shower enclosures and locations, entry door glass and sidelight glass, and in a windows when the window sill is less than 16" to the floor.
Termite shield
A shield, usually of galvanized metal, placed in or on a foundation wall or around pipes to prevent the passage of termites.
Termites
Wood eating insects that superficially resemble ants in size and general appearance, and live in colonies.
Terra cotta
- A ceramic material molded into masonry units.
Thermoply
Exterior laminated sheathing nailed to the exterior side of the exterior walls. Normally ¼ " thick, 4 X 8 or 4 x 10 sheets with an aluminumized surface.
Thermostat
A device which relegates the temperature of a room or building by switching heating or cooling equipment on or off.
Three-dimensional shingles
Laminated shingles. Shingles that have added dimensionality because of extra layers or tabs, giving a shake-like appearance. May also be called "architectural shingles".
Threshold
The bottom metal or wood plate of an exterior door frame. Generally they are adjustable to keep a tight fit with the door slab.
Time and materials contract
- A construction contract which specifies a price for different elements of the work such as cost per hour of labor, overhead, profit, etc. A contract which may not have a maximum price, or may state a 'price not to exceed'.
Tinner
- Another name for the heating contractor.
Tip up
- The downspout extension that directs water (from the home's gutter system) away from the home. They typically swing up when mowing the lawn, etc.
Title
- Evidence (usually in the form of a certificate or deed) of a person's legal right to ownership of a property.
TJI or TJ
Manufactured structural building component resembling the letter "I". Used as floor joists and rafters. I-joists include two key parts: flangesand webs. The flangeor from of the I joist may be made of laminated veneer lumber or dimensional lumber, usually formed into a 1 ½" width. The web or center of the I-joist is commonly made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). Large holes can be cut in the web to accommodate duct work and plumbing waste lines. I-joists are available in lengths up to 60' long.
Toe nailing
To drive a nail in at a slant. Method used to secure floor joists to the plate.
Top chord
- The upper or top member of a truss.
Top plate
Top horizontal member of a frame wall supporting ceiling joists, rafters, or other members.
Transmitter (garage door)
The small, push button device that causes the garage door to open or close.
Trap
A plumbing fitting that holds water to prevent air, gas, and vermin from backing up into a fixture.
Tread
The walking surface board in a stairway on which the foot is placed.
Treated lumber
A wood product which has been impregnated with chemical pesticides such as CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate) to reduce damage from wood rot or insects. Often used for the portions of a structure which are likely to be in contact with soil and water. Wood may also be treated with a fire retardant.
Trim (plumbing, heating, electrical)
The work that the "mechanical" contractors perform to finish their respective aspects of work, and when the home is nearing completion and occupancy.
Trim- Interior
The finish materials in a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, cornice, and other moldings). Also, the physical work of installing interior doors and interior woodwork, to include all handrails, guardrails, stair way balustrades, mantles, light boxes, base, door casings, cabinets, countertops, shelves, window sills and aprons, etc. ExteriorThe finish materials on the exterior a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim), siding, windows, exterior doors, attic vents, crawl space vents, shutters, etc. Also, the physical work of installing these materials
Trimmer
The vertical stud that supports a header at a door, window, or other opening.
Truss
An engineered and manufactured roof support member with "zigzag" framing members. Does the same job as a rafter but is designed to have a longer span than a rafter.
Tub trap
Curved, "U" shaped section of a bath tub drain pipe that holds a water seal to prevent sewer gasses from entering the home through tubs water drain.
Turnkey
A term used when the subcontractor provides all materials (and labor) for a job.
Turpentine
A petroleum, volatile oil used as a thinner in paints and as a solvent in varnishes