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
Exterior Envelope

Consists of all of the elements protecting the building from the elements: roofing, siding, windows, exterior doors, porches, flashing, trim, caulking, waterproof decks, venting systems, chimneys and other elements which relate to the exterior surfaces of the structure.

Exposed Aggregate

A method of finishing concrete which washes the cement/sand mixture of the top layer of the aggregate - usually gravel. Often used in driveways, patios and other exterior surfaces.

Estimating

The process of calculating the cost of a project. This can be a formal and exac