Knowledge base

Knowledge base

Knowledge base for our clients – slowly updating vocabulary of unknown construction words and slang …

construction knowledge base

≈   A   ≈

Apron–  is the bottom piece of moulding of window casing under the sill. Proportionally always looks good, when total width of the apron and sill is slightly bigger than width of the casing. Side edges looks good when they are mitered, rather than simply cut at 90 degrees.

≈   B   ≈

Bitchy thing – That’s funny, but this word is commonly used by framers and windows installers to describe bituthene self-adhesive waterproof membrane (flashing), they call it like that because of 3 reasons: some people can hardly pronounce “bituthene” correctly, most people can’t spell or write this word, and 3rd reason is that is made of very sticky material and it makes it hard to work with. It sticks to itself as well as to almost anything and sometimes it’s close to  impossible to remove wrongly installed part.  Also you can’t wash off bituthene marks from hands with regular water. Goof-off or other solvents needs to be used.

≈   C   ≈

Casing – decorative moulding on a side or top of the window or door, covering the gap between jamb and wall.

≈   E   ≈

Egress – Emergency escape path from sleeping rooms (bedrooms) and basements. Every bedroom or basement must have minimum one  opening in exterior wall with a path leading to outside of the house. Such openings must be equipped with exterior type door or window with a minimum clear opening of 5.7 sq.ft. and have minimum width – 20″  or/and minimum height – 24″ and clear opening  shall be located not higher than 44″ from the finished  floor, so plan rough opening to start approximately 42″ off the sub floor. If exterior door used instead of the windows in bedroom, then operable sash for ventilation purposes must be provided. All doors and windows that meets egress must be equipped with such hardware, so no tools or keys needed to open it in case of emergency.

There are few types of windows that will meet egress:

1.  Casement window – apprx. minimum rough opening 30″ x 48″  and equipped with such operator arm and hinge that will open sash at 90 degrees angle.      Be aware that when you open sash on casement window, sash moves inward and block opening for about 4″ in width. Consult with your window salesman or manufacturer prior to ordering a window.

2.  Single or double hung – since such window can allow only one bottom or top portion open at the same time, you need carefully calculate size of the net opening for bottom section prior to consider single or double hung as window that will meet egress. Depends on thickness of the frame, closest to standard rough opening of the single hung window that meets egress requirements – 36″x60″.

3.  Sliding  – most convenient window that can meet egress requirements. Standard width of the rough opening – 48″ and wider.

4 . Awning – doesn’t really work, as sash never opens at 90 degree angle.

≈   F  ≈

FVT box – abbreviation that stands for Full Vehicle Traffic box, typically can be found on Electric company design plans for new electrical service projects. Box used to splice power cable underground  under the street with vehicle traffic,  parking areas, sidewalks, driveways, curbsides. Made of precast concrete, depth of installation is about 30″, can come in 1, 2 or 3 parts depends on specific instruction and specifications provided by Electric company. Approximate weight of 17″ x 30″ x 30″ deep FVT box is about 800 lbs. Normally installed over 12″ layer of 3/4″ crushed rock to allow good drainage beneath.

≈   L   ≈

Linear drain – is the type of shower drain that allows water on shower floor flow in one direction and makes possible barrier free shower pan installation. Advantage of such drain is that large size tiles can be used on shower floor, same as using on bathroom floor. If preparation is done right, finished floor looks very clean and neat and continuous with no breaks for shower tub curb. Must-do feature for contemporary style homes.  Installation drawings and drain options can be found here.

≈   P   ≈

Pancake–  Term commonly used by electricians to describe very thin (about 1/2″ deep) junction boxes made of metal or plastic.

Performance bond –  A performance bond guarantees the owner that the principal will complete the contract according to its terms including price and time. The owner is the obligee of a performance bond, and may sue the principal and the surety on the bond. If the principal defaults, or is terminated for default by the owner, the owner may call upon the surety to complete the contract. Many performance bonds give the surety three choices: completing the contract itself through a completion contractor (taking up the contract); selecting a new contractor to contract directly with the owner; or allowing the owner to complete the work with the surety paying the costs. The penal sum of the performance bond usually is the amount of the prime construction contract, and often is increased when change orders are issued. The penal sum in the bond usually is the upward limit of liability on a performance bond. However, if the surety chooses to complete the work itself through a completing contractor to take up the contract then the penal sum in the bond may not be the limit of its liability. The surety may take the same risk as a contractor in performing the contract.

Payment bond – is a surety bond posted by a contractor to guarantee that its subcontractors and material suppliers on the project will be paid.

≈   S   ≈

Sawzall – Term used by framers and carpenters to describe reciprocating saw. Sawzall is the trademark of the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company. Reciprocating saw is the type of the cutting tool operate blade with push and pull motion and work almost at any angle. Used for framing, carpentry, demolition on construction sites.

≈   W   ≈

Wire or stucco wire used by stucco subcontractors to call lath or stucco wire mesh. Wire is done – means stucco lath is installed and ready for inspection. It can also be expanded metal lath that used in stone veneer installation over plywood.  Made from 17-gauge zinc-coated galvanized wire, self-furring stucco lath must be attached to wall sheathing with 1″ wide crown staples 12″ o.c. in horizontal and vertical directions. It comes in 36″ x 100 l.ft. rolls or  in sheets 28″ x 104″ and also without or with 1 layer of grade “D” paper attached. Picking an optional “D” paper attached is really a personal preference, most stucco guys find it easier to work with lath that doesn’t have paper attached to it.

Woodwork – Denoting any finish carpentry work, cabinetry, trim, furniture in one word.

Water stop – in concrete applications used to stop water penetration between 2 concrete pours, at so called “cold joint”. Water usually does’not penetrate through well poured concrete, however if, for example, footing and retaining wall poured separately, then even if there is no visible gap between them, water will easily penetrate through and get inside the basement or crawl space. Water stop prevent water penetration to interior and reinforcement corrosion.  It is made of flexible resin and varies in shape, but most common shape shown on a detail. It’s set into wet concrete when footing is poured and top half is poured later with the stem- or retaining wall. Click here for details.