Construction Terms C,
Construction terminology C,
Construction phrases C

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

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.

Caisson A cylindrical sitecast concrete foundation unit that penetrates through unsatisfactory soil to rest upon an underlying stratum of rock or satisfactory soil; an enclosure that permits excavation work to be carried out underwater. Also called a drilled pier.

Calcined Gypsum Gypsum which has been ground to a fine powder and heated to drive off most of its water of hydration; used in the manufacture of gypsum board and as the principal ingredient in gypsum plasters; a nonhydraulic cementitious material also called Plaster of Paris.

Calcining The driving off of the water of hydration from gypsum by the application of heat.

Camber A slight intentional initial curvature in a beam or slab.

Cambium The thin layer beneath the bark of a tree that manufactures cells of wood and bark.

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Cantilever A beam, truss or slab that extends beyond its last point of support.

Cant Strip A strip of material with a sloping face used to ease the transition from a horizontal to a vertical surface at the edge of a membrane roof.

Capillary Action The pulling of water through a small orifice or fibrous material by the adhesive force between the water and material.

Capillary Break A slot or groove intended to create an opening too large to be bridged by a drop of water and therby to elimininate the passage of water by capillary action: the coarse aggregate layer under a concrete slab on grade which reduces the migration of water from the ground below into the concrete slab above.

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A limit. In variable rate mortgages, a limit as to how high periodic payments may go or how much the interest may change within a given time period or over the life of the mortgage.

Capital Gain
Increase in value of a capital property (a property other than a principal residence) upon which tax is payable, either upon disposition of the property or the deemed disposition of the property under tax rules.

Capital Loss
Decrease in value of a capital property (a property other than a principal residence). May be set off against capital gains or against regular income according to the tax rules.

Capped Rate
A Capped Rate is a limit that is put on the interest rate on mortgage payments over the life of the mortgage. In an Adjustable Rate Mortgage the rate can change but cannot exceed the capped rate.

Carbide Tipped Tools Drill bits saws and other tools with cutting edges made of an extremely hard alloy.

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Carbonation The process by which lime mortar reacts with the atmosphere carbon dioxide to cure.

Carbon Fiber Reinforcing In precast concrete, an open grid fabric of carbon fibers bonded with epoxy resin used as a substitute for welded wire reinforcing.

Carbon Steel Low carbon or mild steel.

Carpenter One who makes things out of wood.

Casement Window A window that pivots on an axis at or near a vertical edge of the sash.

Casing The wood finish pieces surrounding the frame of a window or door; a cylindrical steel tube used to line a drilled hole in foundation work.

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Castellated Beam A steel wide flange section whose web has been cut along a zigzag path and reassembled by welding in such a way as to create a deeper section.

Casting Pouring a liquid material or slurry into a mold whose form it will take as it solidifies.

Casting Bed A permanent fixed form in which precast elements are produced.
Cash Out Finance
When an owner renegotiates or negotiates a new mortgage and the proceeds of the new financing exceed the money required to pay out the old mortgage and any other costs, liens or expenses, leaving money for the borrower.

Cast In Place Concrete that is poured in its final location; sitecast.

Cast Iron Iron with too high a carbon content to be classified as steel.

Cathode The metal in a galvanic couple that experiences a decreased rate of corrosion.

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Caulk A low range sealant.

Cavity Drainage Material A material placed in the air space of a cavity wall to catch mortar droppings and prevent clogging of weep holes at the bottom of the cavity.

Cavity Wall A masonry wall that includes a continuous airspace between its outermost wythe and the remainder of the wall.

CBA Copper boron azole.

CCA Chromated copper arsenate.

Cee A metal framing member whose cross-sectional shape resembles the letter C.

Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) An index of the ability of a ceiling construction to obstruct the passage of sound between rooms through the plenum.

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Ceiling Rate
The limit over which the interest rate on a variable rate mortgage may not rise over the life of the loan.

Cellular Decking Panels made of steel sheets corrugated and welded together in such a way that longitude cells are created within the panels.

Cellular Raceway A rectangular tube cast into a concrete floor slab for the purpose of housing electrical communications wiring.

Cellulose A complex polymeric carbohydrate of which the structural fibers in wood are composed.

Celsius A temperature scale on which the freezing point of water is established as 0 and the boiling point as 100 degrees.

Cement Generally any substance used to adhere material together. In concrete, masonry and plastering work, any of a number of inorganic materials that have cementing properties when combined with the water.

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Cementitious Materials In concrete, masonry, and plastering, inorganic materials that when mixed with water produces hardened products with adhesive and cohesive properties frequently used to refer exclusively to hydraulic cements (such as Portland cement) to the exclusion of nonhydraulic (lime and gypsum) cements.

Cement Lime Mortar Mortar made from Portland cement, hydrated lime, aggregate and water; The most traditional formulation of modern masonry mortars.

Centering Temporary formwork for an arch, dome or vault.

Centering Shims Small blocks of synthetic rubber or plastic used to hold a sheet of glass in the centre of its frame.

Ceramic Tile Small, flat, thin clay tiles intended for use as wall and floor facings.

Certificate of Occupancy
Document issued by the local municipality indicating that a new dwelling is suitable for occupation. Generally confirms that the dwelling complies with local building, safety and health by-laws.

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Chair A device used to support reinforcing bars.

Chamfer A flattening of a longitudinal edge of a solid member on a plane that lies at an angle of 45 degrees to the adjoining plane.

Changer Order
A written document which modifies the plans and specifications and/or the price of the construction Contract.

Clear Title
A title that is free of liens and legal questions as to ownership of the property. A requirement for the sale of real estate. also called just title or good title or free and clear.

Channel A steel or aluminum section shaped like a rectangular box with one side missing.

Chemically Strengthened Glass Glass strengthened by immersion in a molten salt bath, causing an ion exchange at the surfaces of the glass that creates a prestress in much the same manner as heat treated glass.

Chlorinated Polyethelene (CPE) A plastic material used in roof membranes.

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Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene A plastic material used in roof membranes.

Chord A top or bottom member of a truss.

Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) A chemical used to protect wood against attack by decay and insects. Due to toxicity concerns this chemical has been phased out of most treated wood used in residential and commercial building construction.

Chromogenic Glass Glass that can change its optical properties such as thermochromic, photochromic or electrochromic glass.

C-H Stud A steel wall framing member whose profile resembles a combination of the letters C and H used to support gypsum panels in shaft walls.

Chuck A device for holding a steel wire, rod or cable securely in place by means of steel wedges in a tapering cylinder.

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Churn Drill A steel tool used with an up and down motion to cut through rock at the bottom of a steel pipe caisson.

Cladding A material used to cover the exterior of a building.

Clamp A tool for holding two pieces of material together temporarily; unfired bricks pile in such a way they can be fired without using a kiln.

Class A, B, C Roofing Roof covering materials classified according to their reisitance to fire when tested in accordance with ASTM E108. Class A is the most resistant and Class C is the least.

Clay A fine grained soil with plate shaped particles less than 0.0002 inch (0.005 mm) in size, which properties are significantly influenced by the structure arrangements of the particles and the electrostatic forces acting between them.

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Cleanout Hole An opening at the base of a masonry wall through which mortar droppings and other debris can be removed prior to grouting the interior cavity of the wall.

Clear Dimension, Clear Opening The dimension between opposing inside facings of an opening.

Cleavage Membrane A resilient sheet placed underneath a finish tile assembly to prevent movement stresses in the underlying substrate from telegraphing into the finish assembly.

Climbing Crane A heavy duty lifting machine that raises itself as the building rises.

Clinker A fused, pebble like mass that is an intermediate product of cement manufacture, a brick that is overburned.

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Closer The last masonry unit laid in a course; a partial masonry unit used at the corner of a header to adjust the joint spacing; a mechanical device for regulating the closing action of a door.

Closing Date
The date set in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale upon which the transaction is to be completed, the purchase price paid and the transfer of title registered.

Closing Statement
A document which sets out the financial agreement between the parties, the costs each must pay, and all other similar information regarding a transaction (may be joint or separate for each party).

Coarse Aggregate Gravel or crushed stone in a concrete mix.

Coarse Grained Soil Soil with particles ranging in size from roughly 0.003 to 3 inches (0.075 to 75 mm); sands and gravel.

Cohesive Soil A soil such as clay whose particles are able to adhere to one another by means of cohesive and adhesive forces.

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Cold Rolled Steel Steel rolled to its final form at a temperature at which it is no longer plastic.

Cold Worked Steel Steel formed at a temperature at which it is no longer plastic, as by rolling or forging at room temperature.

Collar Joint The vertical mortar joint between withes of masonry.

Collar Tie A piece of wood nailed across two opposing rafters near the ridge to resist wind uplift.

Collated Nails Nails glued together in a strip for insertion into a nail gun.

Property (real or personal) which is pledged to secure a loan or mortgage. If the debt is not paid, the lender has the right to sell the collateral to recoup the outstanding principal and interest on the loan.

Collateral mortgage
A loan which is secured by some sort of written note of indebtedness (such as a Promissory Note) which is secondarily secured by a mortgage registered against a property.

Column An upright structural member acting primarily in compression.

Column Cage An assembly of vertical reinforcing bars and ties for a concrete column.

Column Cover and Spandrel System A system of cladding in which panels of material cover the columns and spandrels, with horizontal strips of windows filling the remaining portion of the wall.

Column Spiral A continuous coil of steel reinforcing used to tie a concrete column.

Column Tie A single loop of steel bar, usually bent into a rectangular configuration, used to tie a concrete column.

Combination Door A door with interchangeable inserts of glass and insect screening, usually used as a second, exterior door and mounted in the same opening with a conventional door.

Combination Window A sash that holds both insect screening and a retractable sheet of glass, mounted in the same frame with a window and used to increase its thermal resistance.

Commercial Wrap A synthetic sheet material, heavier than a housewrap, with water-resistive and air-resistive properties used to provide a protective layer in an exterior assembly wall.

Common Bolt An ordinary steel bolt.

Common Bond Brickwork laid with five courses of stretchers followed by one course of headers.

Common Nail A standard sized nail used for the fastening of framing members in wood light frame construction.

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Common Rafter A roof rafter that runs parallel to the main slope of the roof.

Composite A material or assembly made up of two or more materials bonded together to act as a single structural unit.

Composite Column An upright structural member acting primarily in compression, that is composed of concrete and a steel structural shape, usually a wide flange or tube.

Composite Construction Any element in which concrete and steel, other than reinforcing bars, work as a single structural unit.

Composite Metal Decking Corrugated steel decking manufactured in such a way that it bonds securely to the concrete floor fill to form a reinforced concrete deck.

Composite Wall A masonry wall that incorporates two or more different types of masonry units, such as clay bricks and concrete walls.

Compression A squeezing force.

Compression Gasket A synthetic rubber strip that seals around a sheet of glass or a wall panel by being squeezed tightly against it.

Compression Strength The ability of a structural material to withstand squeezing forces.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) The digital two dimensional representation of building systems.

Concave Joint A mortar joint tooled into a curved, indented profile.

Concealed Grid A suspended ceiling framework that is completely hidden by the tiles or panels it supports.

Concrete A structural material produced by mixing predetermined amounts of cement, aggregates and water and allowing this mixture to cure under controlled conditions.

Concrete Block A concrete masonry unit, usually hollow, that is larger than a brick.

Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) A block of hardened concrete, with or without hollow cores, designed to be laid in the same manner as a brick or stone; a concrete block.

Condensate Water formed as a result of condensation.

Condensation The process of changing from a gaseous to a liquid state, especially as applied to water.

Conduit A steel or plastic tube through which electrical wiring is run.

Conditional Offer
An offer to purchase a property which is contingent on the fulfillment of certain conditions before it becomes firm and binding. Also known as "Conditional Sales Contract".

Consolidate In freshly poured concrete, eliminated trapped air and cause the concrete to fill completely around the reinforcing bars and into all the corners of the formwork, usually by vibrating the concrete.

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Construction Documents The graphic construction drawings and written specifications to which a building is constructed.

Construction Drawings The graphic instructions from an architect or an engineer concerning the construction of a building.

Construction Manager An entity that assists the owner in the procurement of construction services.

Construction Type In the International Building Code, any of five major systems of building construction that are differentiated by their relative resistance to fire.

Contractor A person or organization that undertakes a legal obligation to do construction work.

Control Joint An intentional, linear discontinuity in a structure or component designed to form a plane of weakness where cracking can occur in response to various forces so as to minimize or eliminate cracking elsewhere in the structure. Also called a contraction joint.

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Controlled Low Strength Material (CLSM) A concrete that is purposely formulated to have a very low but known strength, used primarily as a backfill material.

Construction Loan
A short term loan that is for the purpose of new home construction. The term of the loan depends on the size of the house and the magnitude of the construction. Progress disbursements are made at different stages as the house is completed.

A legally binding agreement (oral or written) between two or more persons regarding an exchange of some sort. A legally binding contract must include consideration passing between the parties, an intention on the part of all parties to be bound to the contract, a meeting of the minds of the parties as to the contents of the contract, and an element of clarity such that the terms of the contract may be interpreted, understood and enforced by a court.

Convector A heat exchange device that uses the heat in steam, hot water, or an electric resistance element to warm the air in a room; often called, inaccurately, a radiator.

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Conventional Loan
A mortgage loan that is not insured by a government agency. There are loans that are insured by the government agencies such as Federal Housing Association (FHA) and Veteran's Administration (VA).

Convertibility allows an individual to change an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to a Fixed rate Mortgage at a later date.

Cool Color A coating applied to roofing material that is nonwhite, yet reflects a relatively high percentage of the sun’s thermal energy.

Cool Roof A roof covering that reflects a substantial portion of the sun’s thermal energy.

Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by the local municipality indicating that a new dwelling is suitable for occupancy. Generally confirms that the dwelling complies with local building, safety and health requirements.

Cope The removal of a flange at the end of a steel beam in order to facilitate connection to another member.

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Coped Connection A joint in which the end of one member is cut to match the profile of the other member.

Coping A protective cap on the top of a masonry wall.

Coping Saw A handsaw with a thin, narrow blade, used for cutting detailed shapes in the ends of wood moldings and trim.

Copolymer A large molecule composed of repeating patterns of two or more chemical units.

Copper A soft, nonferrous metal, orange-red in colour, that oxidizes to a colour ranging from blue-green to black.

Copper Boron Azole (CBA, CA) A chemical used to preserve wood against attack by decay and insects.

Corbel A spanning device in which masonry units in successive courses are cantilevered slightly over one another; a projecting bracket of masonry or concrete.

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Coreboard A thick gypsum panel used primarily in shaft walls.

Corner Bead A metal or plastic strip used to form a neat, durable edge at an outside corner of two walls of plaster or gypsum board.

Cornice The exterior detail at the meeting of a wall and a roof overhang; a decorative molding at the intersection of a wall and a ceiling.

Corrosion Oxidation, such as rust.

Corrosion Inhibitor A concrete admixture intended to prevent oxidation of reinforcing bars.

Corrugated Formed into a fluted or ribbed profile.

Cost Plus
An agreement with a contractor or builder which sets the contractor's compensation for the project as a percentage of the total cost of all labor and materials.

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Counterflashing A flashing turned down from above to overlap another flashing turned up from below so as to shed water.

Course A horizontal layer of masonry units one unit high; a horizontal line of shingles or siding.

Coursed In masonry, laid in courses with straight bed joints.

Cove Base A flexible strip of plastic or synthetic rubber used to finish the junction between resilient flooring and a wall.

A written agreement between two or more parties in which a party or parties pledge to perform or not perform specified acts with regard to property; usually found in such real estate documents as deeds, mortgages, leases and contracts for deed.

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Cover In concrete, a specified thickness of concrete surrounding steel reinforcing bars to provide full embedment for the bars and protect them against fire and corrosion.

Crawlspace A space that is not tall enough to stand in, located beneath the bottom of a building.

Creative Finance
An arrangement for the financing of the purchase of a property which is outside the normal practice of residential financing.

Any person to whom money is owed. May be secured (the debt has been registered against the property of the debtor) or unsecured.

Creep A permanent inelastic deformation in a material due to changes in the material caused by the prolonged application of a structural stress, common in wood and concrete.

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Credit Life
A form of insurance which is designed specifically to pay out the debts of the insured person in case of their death.

Credit Limit
The maximum amount available to a person under a loan, credit card or other borrowing arrangement.

Credit Rating
Based on an analysis of a person's credit history, an evaluation of that person's ability to manage a new debt or debts overall.

Credit Report
Credit Report is a report of an individual's credit worthiness reported by credit bureaus.

Cripple Stud A wood wall framing member that is shorter than full length studs because it is interrupted by a header or sill.

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Critical Path The sequence of tasks that determines the least amount of time in which a construction project can be completed.

Cross Grain Wood Wood incorporated into a structure in such a way that the direction of its grain is perpendicular to the direction of the principal loads on the structure.

Crosslot Bracing Horizontal compression members running from one side of an excavation to the other, used to support sheeting.

Crown Glass Glass sheet formed by spinning an opened hollow globe of heated glass.

Cruck A framing member cut from a bent tree so as to form one half of a rigid frame.

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CSPE Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene

Cup A curl in the cross section of a board or timber caused by an unequal shrinkage or expansion between one side of the board and the other.

Curing The hardening of concrete, plaster, gunnable sealant, or other wet materials. Curing can occur through evaporation of water or solvent, hydration, polymerization, or chemical reactions of various types, depending on the formulation of the material.

Curing Compound A liquid that, when sprayed on the surface of newly placed concrete, forms a water resistant layer to prevent premature dehydration of the concrete.

Curtain Wall An exterior building wall that is supported entirely by the frame of the building, rather than being self supporting or load bearing.

Cylinder Glass Glass sheet produced by blowing a large, elongated glass cylinder, cutting off its ends, slitting it lengthwise, and opening it into a flat rectangle.

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