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Get familiar with
home improvement industry terminology


Accessibility Features: Construction elements designed to make buildings usable by people with disabilities.

Asbestos Abatement: The removal of asbestos-containing materials from a building.



Bid: A proposal by a contractor to complete a construction project for a specific amount of money.

Blueprints: Detailed architectural plans used to guide construction projects.

Building Code: Regulations that specify the standards for constructed objects such as buildings and non-building structures.



Change Order: A formal document indicating modifications to the original construction plan.

Cost Estimate: An assessment of the financial expenditure required for a construction project.



Demolition: The process of tearing down buildings and other structures.

Drywall: A board made from gypsum plaster pressed between thick sheets of paper, used for walls and ceilings.



Egress: A path or opening for going out; an exit.

Electrical Wiring: The system of electrical conductors and devices in a building.

Energy Efficiency: The goal of reducing the amount of energy required to provide products and services.


Finish Carpentry: The final touches of carpentry work, such as molding, trim, stairs, and other design elements.

Foundation: The lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level.

Framing: The fitting together of pieces to give a structure support and shape.



General Contractor: A professional responsible for overseeing the entire construction project and managing all subcontractors.



HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning): Systems used to control the temperature and air quality in buildings.



Insulation: Material used to prevent the passage of heat, sound, or electricity.



Job Site Safety: Practices and policies to ensure safety and health standards at a construction site.



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Landscaping: The process of making a yard or other piece of land more attractive by altering the existing design, adding ornamental features, and planting trees and shrubs.

LEED Certification: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a widely used green building rating system.

Lien Waiver: A legal document from a contractor, subcontractor, or other party to a construction project stating they have received payment and waive any future lien rights to the property.

Load-Bearing Wall: A wall that carries the weight of the roof and upper floors.
MILCON (Military Construction): Construction projects for military facilities and infrastructure.


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Non-Load Bearing Wall: A wall that supports only itself.


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Permit: An official document granting permission to conduct construction or renovation.

Plumbing: The system of pipes, drains, fittings, valves, and fixtures installed for water distribution and waste removal.

Project Management: The process of planning, organizing, and overseeing the construction process to ensure a successful outcome.

Project Timeline: The schedule outlining the start and finish dates of a construction project.

Punch List: A document listing work not conforming to contract specifications that the contractor must complete before final payment.



Quality Control: The process of ensuring construction materials and methods meet specified standards.



Renovation: The process of improving a broken, damaged, or outdated structure.

Restoration: The act of returning a property to its former condition.

Retention: The holding back of a portion of the payment to a contractor until satisfactory completion of the project.

Roofing: The construction of the protective covering on the top of a building.



Seismic Retrofitting: Strengthening older buildings to make them more resistant to seismic activity.

Siding: The protective material attached to the exterior of a building.

Subcontractor: Specialized professionals contracted by the general contractor to perform specific tasks.


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Value Engineering: An approach that seeks to maximize function while minimizing cost and time in a construction project.


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Zoning Laws: Legal stipulations defining how a specific area of land can be used.

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