Construction Terminology Cheat Sheet

Crew Working

If you have ever been through a construction project or maybe in the future, here are some terms that can come up and what they mean.

Addendum– Addition to the drawings that change the original contract specifics.

ADA Compliance– When a building will be accessible for all according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As-Built Drawings– Final drawings presented once the project is complete.

Bid Package– A set of drawings and documents, separated into like trades, used to estimate a project.

Bid Bond– This states that the contractor has enough funds to complete the project.

BIM– Building information modeling. A 3-d model of the building.

CAD- Computer aided design. Software used to create 2d detailed building drawings.

Change Order– A written document with a change to the project that affects construction time or cost.

Cost Codes– Consistent codes for tracking budget and expenses for the project.

Design Build– This is a method of construction that has one company handle both design and construction.

Easement– A legal contract to use a designated area of a property for a specific purpose.

Egress– A series of building components that allow for occupants to safely exit a building in the event of an emergency.

Elevation– A two-dimensional view of a building’s exterior.

Floor Plan– A view of a building as if it was sliced horizontally at 3’ above the floor.

Gantt Chart– This is a chart that shows the duration of different portions of the project.

General Contractor– The main contractor for the project that manages all aspects of the job including scheduling, subcontractors and budget.

Lump Sum Bid– Contractor and client agree to a set price to complete the project.

LVT– Luxury Vinyl Tile – a layered vinyl product that looks like real wood or stone flooring.

Notice of Commencement– A formal document that shows the start date of construction.

Punch List– A to-do list at the end of the project to make sure it meets with client expectations.

RFP– Request for proposal. This includes how and at what price the contactor can do the job.

RTU- Roof top unit. A package unit that contains all heating and air conditioning components that is placed on the roof of a facility.

Roughing-In– This is installation of different components that will not be finalized until later.

Section– A view of a building as if it was sliced vertically at any point.

SOQ- Statement of Qualifications. This demonstrates the contractor’s ability to do the job.

Subcontractor– A company or person who does part of the project but reports to the general contractor rather than the client.

Takeoff- Using the blueprints to determine material quantity for the job.

Time and Materials– A method of construction where you track time and materials as the project progresses rather than estimate cost up front.

Value Engineering– These are alternative methods to lower costs for a project.

Zoning– Municipality-specific regulations for how a property can be used.

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