Construction is a complicated industry. There is meticulous planning, troubleshooting, and of course, the actual building. If you have ever hired a commercial contractor before, you are probably familiar with some of the common lingo. If not, we already have guides part 1 and part 2 full of construction terms that the layman might not know. We’ve compiled one more list of terms used in construction so you can keep your head above water when negotiating, discussing bids, and more. It’s not uncommon for business owners to get confused and exasperated when talking about projects with their construction contractors. We hope this guide can help make things a little easier for you.
Of course, if you have any questions, or you are in bidding yourself and keep running into terms you don’t know, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to clear things up for you.
Construction Jargon Part 3 (A through M)
- All-in rate: The total expenses of a project that includes direct and indirect costs. Think of this as the ultimate, all-inclusive cost of a construction project.
- Architect-in-record: The architectural company listed on issued permits. This may NOT be the company that actually does the design for the project, as they could contract it out to another group.
- Best Value Method: A procurement method where contractors are awarded a bid based on the prices and quality of previous work.
- Bid-hit ratio: The ratio of successful bids on a construction project. The higher the number, the more successfully a company has won bids on potential projects.
- Bid selection: The process of analyzing and comparing contractors bids to choose the right one based on prices and services offered.
- Bid solicitation: Notifying potential bidders about a potential project opportunity. It may be a request to submit a bid or obtain proposals.
- Blocking: A building technique to reinforce, join, or fill parts of an existing structure.
- Box crib: A temporary structure to support or reinforce heavy objects used during construction.
- CAD: Computer aided design used to make blueprints and 3d building designs.
- Cant: An angled surface that cuts a corner off (similar to a chamfer).
- Catastrophic failure: An accident or mistake in the construction process that results in massive damage or permanent loss.
- Concrete cover: Reinforced concrete between the surface concrete and reinforcement.
- Construction build out: Modifying a commercial space to make it suitable for business.
- Construction estimate: Predicting the cost of a project to determine feasibility.
- CMAR: Construction management at risk. It is a project completion method where a construction manager guarantees a project’s completion within the maximum price.
- Cost codes: Codes used to keep track of materials and labor expenses.
- Cost plus contract: A contract in which a contractor is paid for all expenses as well as an additional payment to ensure profit.
- Course: Concrete stones, blocks, or bricks laid out in a line/row.
- Cross bracing: Reinforcements laid out in an X shape that provides additional structural support.
- Daily report: A document compiled by the foreman at the end of each day which details progress made, materials installed, and crew information.
- Damp proofing: Used to keep drywall material dry by preventing moisture from being absorbed.
- Diagrid: Reinforcement technique using steel beams placed diagonally in grids.
- Encasement: Encasing underground pipes or hazardous materials in concrete.
- Falsework: A temporary structure used to support an arch or bridge during construction or renovation.
- Field measure: A measurement taken on-site that does not rely on blueprint schematics.
- Field work order: A document given by general contractors to subcontractors that is not originally included in the project.
- Elevation drawing: An image showing the front or side of the building. Also called a first angle projection.
- IFB: Invitation for bid. This is a request to contractors to draw up a project proposal.
- Job costing: Accounting that tracks completed construction work and measures whether activity fits the project’s budget.
- Joint: A connection between two building elements that may not be physically connected that may overlap or be aligned to the 3rd material (the joint).
- Joist: Materials connected horizontally to beams that enable loads to be transferred.
- Lean construction: When stakeholders work together to manage the project in a way that reduces waste and ensures project completion. Stakeholders include all contractors, owners, consultants, and subcontractors.
- Lease-leaseback: When a school leases a property to a construction company and upon completion the property is leased back to a school. At the end of the lease, the building title is given to the school.
- Lien: A claim made by the contractor when they have not been paid by the property owner for their completed work.
- Lift slab construction: A method where concrete slabs are cast on the ground and then lifted into place.
- Low-bid procurement: When the lowest-bidding contractor is awarded the job.
- Lump-sum contracts: When a contract quotes a single price for the entire job.
- Moling: A technique used in which an air-pressure powered device is driven into the ground to create holes.
- Monocrete construction: A method in which pre-cast concrete is bolted together to create structures.
There is no shortage of construction vocabulary
There is certainly no shortage of construction terms. It seems like every time one list is compiled, a new one appears. For a good general list, Cornell University has a fantastic construction glossary that we suggest using. If you find yourself in over your head with a construction project, don’t hesitate to rely on us. Reliable Commercial is a company of over 200 people with 35 plus years of experience in the field. We are experts of top-quality project delivery, and we will relentlessly work with you to serve your needs. If you have any questions, thoughts, or would like to talk to us about your construction projects in the future, let us know and we will be happy to help. We offer free estimates and the best service in the industry. Go with the best, go with Reliable.