Glossary of Construction Terms

Do you ever feel as if your contractor is selling you polyisocyanurate foam when what you really needed was a setback thermostat? Here is a handy guide to common (and not so common) construction terms. Scroll through the glossary below or sort by the letter that starts the word you're looking for. For example, to find polyisocyanurate foam, select P and click Submit.

A (7) | B (6) | C (18) | D (8) | E (9) | F (8) | G (2) | H (4) | I (1) | J (1) | L (4) | M (3) | O (2) | P (11) | R (10) | S (19) | T (7) | U (1) | V (1) | W (4) | Z (2)
Titlesort icon Definition
Drywall or Gypsum Wallboard (GWB) or Sheet Rock or Plasterboard

A wall finish consisting of a manufactured panel made out of gypsum plaster and encased in a thin cardboard. Usually 1/2" thick and 4' x 8' or 4' x 12' in size. The panels are nailed or screwed onto the framing and the joints are taped and covered with a 'joint compound'. 'Green board' type drywall has a greater resistance to moisture than regular (white) plasterboard.

See also: Topics: Tub and Shower Walls

Dry Rot

See, "Fungal Wood Rot."

See also: Q&A: Pest, Wood Rod, Mold and Fungus

Double Hung Window

A window with two vertically sliding sashes. This common older window design was usually made out of wood and tends to require frequent repairs.

Double Hung Window

See also: Topics: Replacement Windows, Q&A: Framing For Windows, Store: Window Repair Kit


A roof gable which is usually located at right angles to the main roof structure. Used to increase head room or as an architectural detail.

Illustrations are from Wood-Frame Construction by L.O. Anderson - Agriculture Handbook #73 p. 72.