Construction Terms B
Construction terminology B
Construction phrases B

Construction Terms B speaks to construction terminology B and construction phrases B.

It is quite simply a list of common home and commercial building construction terminology used by architects, consultants and contractors of all kinds enabling them to speak the same language.

Backer Board A fiber reinforced cement board or glass mat faced gypsum board used as a base for thin set tile applications.

Back Charge
Billings for work performed or costs incurred by one party that, in accordance with the agreement, should have been performed or incurred by the party to whom billed. Owners bill back charges to general contractors, and general contractors bill back charges to subcontractors. Examples of back charges include charges for cleanup work or to repair
something damaged by another subcontractor, such as a tub chip or broken window

Backer Rod A flexible compressible strip of plastic foam inserted into a joint to limit the depth to which sealant can penetrate.

Backfill Earth or earthen material used to fill the excavation around a foundation: the act of filling around a foundation.

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Back Up, Backup Wall A vertical plane of masonry, concrete or wood framing used to support a thin facing such as a single wythe of brickwork.

Backup Bar A small rectangular strip of steel applied beneath a joint to provide a solid base for beginning a weld between two steel structures.

Ballast A heavy material installed over a roof membrane to prevent wind uplift and shield the membrane from sunlight.

Balloon Frame A wooden building frame composed of closely spaced memners nominally 2 inches or 51 mm thick in which the wall members are single pieces that run from the sill to the top plates at the eave.

Balloon Mortgage
A loan which is repaid by a series of small, periodic payments until a given date, when either the balance comes due in a single, large payment or the amount of the payments rises significantly.

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Balloon Payment
A balloon payment is a lump sum payment that is made at a particular time during the life of a loan. Normal payments would be made until this time and then a balloon payment would be made to retire the loan.

Baluster A small vertical member that serves to fill the opening between a handrail and a stair or floor.

Band Joist A wooden joist running perpendicular to the primary direction of the joists in a floor and closing off the floor platform at the outside face of the building.

The state of being unable to pay your debts such that you submit yourself to the protection of the state. A person or business may voluntarily assign himself into bankruptcy or may be petitioned into bankruptcy by his creditors. Once in bankruptcy, the person surrenders his assets to a trustee in bankruptcy who sells the assets for the benefit of the bankrupt's creditors, first secured creditors then unsecured creditors. Once a person is discharged from bankruptcy, none of his former creditors may pursue him for his former debts.

Bar A small rolled steel shape usually round or rectangular in cross section; a rolled steel shape used for reinforcing concrete.

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Barrel Shell A scalloped roof structure of reinforced concrete that spans in one direction as a barrel vault and in the other as a folded plate.

Barrel Vault A segment of a cylindrical surface that spans as an arch.

Barrier Wall An exterior wall of a building whose water tight properties depends on its freedom from passages through the wall.

Basalt A very dense and durable igneous rock, usually dark grey in colour; classified by ASTM C119 in the Granite Group.

Baseboard A strip of finish material placed at the junction of a floor and a wall to create a neat intersection and to protect the wall against damage from feet, furniture and floor cleaning equipment.

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Base Coat Plaster One or more preparatory plaster coats that provide a flat solid surface suitable for the application of the final finish coat plaster.

Base Flashing The flashing at the edges of a low slope roof membrane that turns up against the adjacent face of a parapet or wall, and frequently overlapped by a counter flashing.

Base Isolator A device at foundation level that diminishes the transmission of seismic motions to a building.

Baseplate A steel plate inserted between a column and a foundation to spread the concentrated load of the column across a larger area of the foundation.

Basic Oxygen Process A steel making process in which a stream of pure oxygen is introduced into a batch of molten iron so as to remove excess carbon and other impurities.

Batten A strip of wood or metal used to cover the track between two adjoining boards or panels.

Batten Seam A seam in a sheet metal roof that encloses a wood batten.

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Batter Board Boards mounted on stakes outside the excavation area of a building, used to preserve locations for string lines marking the corners of the building foundation.

Bay A rectangular area of a building defined by four adjacent columns; a portion of a building that projects from a facade.

Bead A narrow line of weld metal or sealant; a strip of metal or wood used to hold a sheet of glass in place; a narrow convex molding profile, a metal edge or corner accessory for plaster.

Beam A straight structural member that acts primarily to resist nonaxial loads.

Bearing A point at which one building element rests upon another.

Bearing Block A piece of wood fastened to a column to provide support for a beam or girder.

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Bearing Pad A block of plastic or synthetic rubber used to cushion the point at which one precast concrete element rests upon another.

Bearing Wall A wall that supports floors on roofs.

Bed Joint The horizontal layer of mortar beneath a masonry unit.

Bedrock A solid stratum of rock.

Bending Moment The combination of tension and compression forces that cause a beam or other structural member to bend.

Bending Stress A comprehensive or tensile stress resulting from the application of a nonaxial force to a structural member.

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Bent A plane of framing consisting of beams and columns joined together often with rigid joints.

Bentonite Clay An absorptive , colloidal clay that swells to several times its dry volume when saturated with water; the primary ingredient in bentonite waterproofing.

Bessemer Process An early method of steel manufacturing in which air was blown into a vessel of molten iron to burn out impurities.

Bevel An end or edge that is cut at an angle other than a right angle.

Bevel Siding Wood cladding boards that taper in cross section.

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A formal offer submitted by a contractor to do a job. This bid should be made in accordance with plans and specifications required to complete the project.

Bid Bond
Bid bond is a bond issued by a bonding company on behalf of a contractor. This provides assurance that if the bid is accepted, the contractor will provide a contract and performance bond. If the contractor defaults, the bonding company is obligated to pay the recipient of the bid the difference between the contractor's bid and the next lowest acceptable lowest bidder.

Bill Of Sale
Documentary evidence that title to personal property (chattels) has passed to the Purchaser for valuable consideration.

Billet A large cylinder or rectangular solid of material.

BIM Building Information Modeling

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Binder is an amount of money used to secure an insurance policy until the permanent documents can be completed.

Birdsmouth Cut An angled notch cut into a rafter to seat securely on the top plate of a wall.

Bite The depth to which the edge of a piece of glass is held by its frame.

Bitumen A tarry mixture of hydrocarbons such as asphalt or coal tar.

Bituminous Roof Membrane A low slope roof membrane made from bituminous materials either a built up roof membrane or a modified bitumen roof membrane.

Blast Furnace Slag A hydraulic cementitous material formed as a byproduct of iron manufacture, used in mortar and concrete mixtures also called slag cement.

Blast Resistant Glazing Window, storefront or curtain wall systems designed for resistance to the force of explosive blasts.

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Bleed Water In freshly placed concrete water that rises to the top surface of the concrete as the solid cement and aggregate particles settle.

Blended Hydraulic Cement Hydraulic cement made fro a mixture of cementitious materials such as Portland cement, other hydraulic cements and pozzolans for the purpose of altering one or more properties of the cement or reducing the energy required in the cement manufacturing process.

Blind Nailing Attached boards to a frame, sheathing or subflooring with toe nails driven through the edge of each piece so as to be completely concealed by the adjoining piece.

Blind Side Waterproofing An impervious layer or coating on the outside of foundation wall that for reasons of inaccessibility was installed before the wall was constructed.

Blocking Pieces of wood inserted tightly between joists, studs or rafters in a building frame to stabilize the structure, inhibit the passage of fire, provide a nailing surface for finish materials or retain insulation.

Bloom A rectangular solid of steel formed from an ingot as an intermediate step in creating rolled steel structural shapes.

Blooming Mill A set of rollers used to transform an ingot into a bloom.

Bluestone A sandstone that is gray to blue gray in color and splits readily into thin slabs; classified by ASTM C119 in the quartz based stone group.

Board Foot A unit of lumber volume, a rectangular solid nominally 12 square inches in cross sectional area and 1 ft long.

Board Siding Wood cladding made up of boards as differentiated from shingles or manufactured wood panels.

Bolster A long chair used to support reinforcing bars in a concrete slab.

Bolt A fastener consisting of a cylindrical metal body with a head at one end and a helical thread at the other. It is intended to be inserted through the holes in adjoining pieces of material and closed with a threaded nut.

Bond In masonry the adhesive force between mortar and masonry units, or the pattern in which masonry units are laid to tie two or more withes together into a structural unit. In reinforced concrete, the adhesion between the surface of a reinforcing bar and the surrounding concrete.

Bond Breaker A strip of material to which sealant does not adhere.

Bonded Posttensioning A system or prestressing in which the tendons are grouted after stressing so as to bond them to the surrounding concrete.

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Bonded Terrazzo Terrazzo flooring whose underbed is poured directly upon the structural floor.

Bottom Bar A reinforcing bar that lies close to the bottom of a beam or slab.

Bond (Cash)
A Bond is an amount of money that some cities require to receive a license. This bond is usually between $5000 - $10,000 and will be kept on deposit in a government agency.

The person or company that receives money from a lender (often a bank, credit union or trust company) in exchange for a written promise to pay and a registered lien on property.

Bound Water In wood, the water held within the cellulose of the cell walls.

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Box Beam A bending member of a metal or plywood whose cross section resembles a closed rectangular box.

Box Girder A major spanning member of concrete or steel whose cross section is a hollow rectangle or trapezoid.

Box Nail A nail with a more slender shank than a common nail, used for fastening framing members in wood light frame construction.

Braced Frame A structural building frame strengthened against lateral forces with diagonal members.

Bracing Diagonal members either temporary or permanent, installed to stabilize a structure against lateral loads.

Brad A small finish nail.

Brake A machine used to form lengths of sheet metal into bent shapes.

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Brazing A process that uses molten, nonferrous metal to join two pieces of metal. The brazing metal is melted at a temperature below that of the metals being joined, so that, unlike in welding, the joined metals remain in a solid state throughout the process.

Breach Of Contract
A failure to meet one's obligations, whether under a contract or otherwise. A breach of contract allows the innocent party to enforce the contract, rescind the contract or sue for damages.

Breather Mat A wiry plastic matting placed within a roof or wall assembly to create a space for drainage and ventilation.

Bridging Bracing or blocking installed between steel or wood joists at midspan to stabilize them against buckling and, in some cases, to permit adjacent joists to share loads.

British Thermal Unit (BTU) The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 lb of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.

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Broom Finish A skid resistant texture imparted to an uncured concrete surface by dragging a stiff bristled broom across it.

Brown Coat The second of two basecoat plaster applications in a three coat plaster.

Brownstone A brownish or reddish sandstone; classified by ASTM C119 in the Quartz based stone group.

A term used to describe a person who serves as an agent who negotiates contracts of purchase and sale of real estate. The broker works with an individual in order to try to obtain a permanent mortgage. The broker will be paid a fee for the service and is usually beneficial in hard to qualify loans.

Buckling Structure failure by gross lateral deflection ofa slender element under compressive stress, such as the sideward buckling of a long, slender column or the upper edge of a ling thin floor joist.

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Building Brick Brick used for concealed masonry work where appearance is not a concern.

Building Code A set of regulations intended to ensure minimum standard of health and safety in buildings.

Building Enclosure The parts of the building, principally its walls, roofs and fenestration, that separate the interior of the building from the exterior, and that must effectively control the flow of heat, air and moisture, also called the thermal envelope or the building envelope.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) The computerized three dimensional modeling of building systems, with the linking of model components to a database of properties and relationships.

Building Paper A water resistive asphalt saturated paper used similarly to asphalt saturated felt to provide a protective layer.

Building Separation Joint A plane along which a building is divided into separate structures that may move independently of one another.

Built Up Roof (BUR) A multi-ply roof membrane made from layers of asphalt saturated felt or other fabric, bonded together with bitumen.

Bull Float A long handled tool used for the initial floating of a freshly poured concrete slab.

Buoyant Uplift The force of water or liquefied soil that tends to raise a building foundation out of the ground.

Butt The thicker end, such as the lower edge of a wood shingle or the lower end of a tree trunk, a joint between square edged pieces; a weld between square edged pieces of metal that lie in the same plane; a type of door hinge that attaches to the edge of the door.

Builder Warranty
An enforceable guarantee of the quality of construction given by a builder or developer.

Builders Risk
An insurance policy issued to builders during the construction project. These policies normally will cover any losses due to theft, vandalism, or any act of God. This policy will expire or be turned over into a regular home owner policy at the completion of the project.

Building Permit
A document obtained from the local government, allowing for the construction of a structure in accordance with the terms of the permit.

Building Restrictions
Limiting rules which may appear in building codes or in title documents which control the size, placement, materials, design or location of new construction.

Building Setback
The minimum distance a building or other improvement may be constructed from a property line. May be established by agreements, title documents or municipal by-laws or ordinances.

Butt Joint Glazing A type of glass installation in which the vertical joints between lights of glass do not meet at a mullion, but are made weathertight with a sealant.

Button Head A smooth convex bolt head with no provision for engaging a wrench.

Buttress A structural device of masonry or concrete that resists the diagonal forces from an arch or vault.

Butyl Rubber A synthetic rubber compound.

Buy Down
The payment of extra money on a loan now so as to reduce the interest rate over a given period or over the life of the loan. This extra payment may be made by the borrower, by the lender as an incentive to the borrower to borrow from the lender or by the vendor/builder as an incentive to the borrower to buy a certain property.

Building Code
Set of regulations established by a municipality to govern the standards of construction in that municipality.

Building Permit
A document obtained from the local government, allowing for the construction of a structure in accordance with the terms of the permit.

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