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Glossary of Construction Terms

Glossary of Construction Terms

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Published by: Mohammad Intikhab Alam on Jan 22, 2010
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GLOSSARY OF CONSTRUCTION TERMS (A - M)ABSTRACT OF TITLE:
A summary of all deeds, wills, and legal actions to show ownership.
ABUT:
Joining the ends of construction members.
ACOUSTICS:
The science of sound. In housing, acoustical materials used to keep down noise within a room or to prevent itfrom passing through walls.
ADOBE:
Construction using sun-dried units of adobe soil for walls; usually found in southwestern United States.
A-FRAME:
A structural system utilizing members which when fastened together resemble the letter A.
AGGREGATE:
Gravel (course) or sand (fine) used in concrete mixes.
AIR CONDITIONER:
An apparatus that can heat, cool, clean, and circulate air.
AIR-DRIED LUMBER:
Lumber that is left in the open to dry rather than being dried by a kiln.
AIR DUCT:
A pipe, usually made of sheet metal, that conducts air to rooms from a central source.
AIR TRAP:
A U-shaped pipe filled with water and located beneath plumbing fixtures to form a seal against the passage ofgases and odors.
ALCOVE:
A recessed space connected at the side of a larger room.
ALTERATION:
A change in, or addition to, an existing building.
AMORTIZATION:
An installment payment of a loan, usually monthly for a home loan.
AMPERE:
The unit used in the measure of the rate of flow of electricity.
ANCHOR BOLT:
A threaded rod inserted in masonry construction for anchoring the sill plate to the foundation.
ANGLE IRON:
A structural piece of rolled steel shaped to form a 90-degree angle.
APRON:
Inside window trim placed under the stool and against the wall.
ARCADE:
A series of arches supported by a row of columns.
ARCH:
A curved structure that will support itself by mutual pressure and the weight above its curved opening.
AREA WALL:
A wall surrounding an areaway.
AREAWAY:
A recessed area below grade around the foundation to allow light and ventilation into a basement window ordoorway.
ASHLAR:
A facing of squared stones.
ASHPIT:
The area below the hearth of a fireplace which collects the ashes.
ASPHALT:
Bituminous sandstones used for paving streets and waterproofing flat roofs.
ASPHALT SHINGLES:
Composition roof shingles made from asphalt-impregnated felt covered with mineral granules.
ASTRAGAL MOLD:
T-profiled molding usually used between meeting doors or casement windows.
ATRIUM:
An open court within a building.
ATTIC:
The space between the roof and the ceiling.
AWNING WINDOW:
An out-swinging window hinged at the top.
AXIS:
 
 
Line around which something rotates or is symmetrically arranged.
BACKFILL:
Earth used to fill in areas around foundation walls.
BACKHEARTH:
The part of the hearth inside the fireplace.
BAFFLE:
A partial blocking against a flow of wind or sound.
BALCONY:
A deck projecting from the wall of a building above the ground.
BALLOON FRAMING:
The building-frame construction in which each of the studs is one piece from the foundation to the roof of atwo-story house.
BALUSTRADE:
A series of balusters or post connected by a rail, generally used adjacent to stairs.
BANISTER:
A handrailing.
BARGEBOARD:
Finish board covering the projecting and sloping portion (end rafter) of a gable roof.
BASE:
The finish or a room at the junction of the walls and floors.
BASEBOARD:
Finish board covering the interior wall where the wall and floor meet.
BASE COURSE:
The lowest part of masonry construction.
BASE LINE:
A located line for reference control purposes.
BASEMENT:
The lowest story of a building, partially or entirely below ground.
BASE PLATE:
A plate, usually of steel, upon which a column rests.
BASE SHOE:
A molding used next to the floor in interior baseboards.
BATT:
A type of fiberglass insulation designed to be installed between framing members.
BATTEN:
Narrow strip of wood nailed over the vertical joints of boards to form board-and-batten siding.
BATTER:
A masonry or concrete wall which slopes backward from the perpendicular.
BATTER BOARDS:
Horizontal boards at exact elevations nailed to posts just outside the corners of a proposed building. Stringsare stretched across the boards to locate the outline of the foundation for workers.
BAY WINDOW:
A projection formed by three windows that are joined at obtuse angels.
BEAM:
A horizontal structural member that carries a load.
BEAM CEILING:
A ceiling in which the ceiling beams are exposed to view.
BEARING PLATE:
Metal plate that provides support for a structural member.
BEARING WALL OR PARTITION:
A wall supporting any vertical load other than its own weight.
BENCH MARK:
Mark on some permanent object fixed to the ground from which land measurements and elevations are taken.
BENDING MOMENT:
A measure of the forces that break a beam by bending.
BENT:
A frame consisting of two supporting columns and a girder or truss used in vertical position in framing astructure.
BEVEL SIDING:
Shingles or other siding board thicker on one edge than the other. The thick edge overlaps the thin edge ofthe next board.
BILL OF MATERIAL:
A parts list of material accompanying a structural drawing.
BLANKET INSULATION:
 
 
Insulation in rolled-sheet form, often backed by treated paper that forms a vapor barrier.
BLIND NAILING:
Method of nailing which will conceal nails, usually used on strip flooring and wood paneling.
BLOCKING:
Small wood framing members that fill in the open space between the floor and ceiling joists to add stiffness tothe floors and ceiling.
BLUEPRINT:
An architectural type drawing used by workers to build from. The original drawing is transferred to asensitized paper that turns blue with white lines when printed. Also, prints of blue lines on white paper.
BOARD MEASURE:
System of lumber measurement. The unit is 1 bd. ft, which is 1 ft square by approximately 1 in. thick.
BOND BEAM:
Continuous, reinforced concrete block course around the top of masonry walls.
BOW WINDOW:
A curved projection formed by five or more windows that are joined at obtuse angles.
BRACE:
Any stiffening member of a framework.
BRACED FRAMING:
Frame construction with posts and braces used for stiffening.
BREEZEWAY:
A roofed walkway with open sides. It connects the house and garage.
BRIDGING:
Cross bracing or solid blocking between joist to stiffen floor framing.
BUCK:
Frame for a door, usually made of metal, into which the finished door fits.
BUILDING CODE:
A collection of legal requirements for buildings designed to protect the safety, health, and general welfare ofpeople who work and live them.
BUILDING LINE:
Setback restrictions on property, established by zoning ordinances, beyond which a building must be placed.
BUILDING PAPER:
A heavy, waterproof paper used over sheathing and subfloors to prevent passage of air and water.
BUILDING PERMIT:
A permit issued by a municipal government authorizing the construction of a building or structure.
BUILT-UP ROOF:
Roofing for low-slope roofs composed of several layers of felt and hot asphalt or coal tar, usually covered withsmall aggregate.
BUTT:
Type of hinge allowing edge of door to butt into the jamb; a joint which fastens members end to end.
BUTTERFLY ROOF:
A roof with two sides sloping down toward the interior of the house.
BUTTRESS:
Vertical masonry or concrete support, usually larger at the base, which projects from a wall.
BTU:
Abbreviation for british thermal unit; a standard unit for measuring heat gain or loss.
BX CABLE:
Armored electric cable wrapped in plastic and protected by a flexible steel covering.
CANOPY:
A projection over windows and doors to protect them from the weather.
CANTILEVER:
A projecting beam or structural member anchored at only one end.
CANT STRIP:
Angular shaped member used to eliminate a sharp, right angle, often used on flat roofs.
CARPORT:
An automobile shelter not fully enclosed.
CARRIAGE:
The horizontal part of the stringers of a stair that supports the treads.
CASEMENT WINDOW:
A hinged window that opens out, usually made of metal.
CASING:
Trim around window and door openings.
CATCH BASIN:
An underground structure for drainage into which the water from a roof or floor will drain. It is connectedwith a sewer drain or sump pump.

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