Term Definition
BSSC 0 likes
Building Seismic Safety Council
BTU 0 likes
British thermal unit; measurement of the heat energy to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit
Bubble 4 likes
A large void in the core of gypsum board due to trapping air while the core is fluid during production
Bubbling 0 likes
Appearance of bubbles while a coat is being applied
Buck 0 likes
Assembly of the framing for a rough door or window opening; see Window Bucks
Bucket2 likes
Large metal container in which concrete is discharged; raised by a crane to the placement area
A cylindrical open container comprised of metal or plastic with a handle that holds and carries liquids or other materials.
Bucket Trap 0 likes
Mechanical steam trap that works on buoyancy to stop the passage of steam through the mechanical system it is protecting
Buckles 1 like
In old plastering, raised or ruptured spots which eventually crack exposing the lath beneath; usually due to applying plaster over dry, broken or improperly applied wood lath
Buckling 0 likes
Collapse in a sudden sideways deflection; structural failure by gross lateral deflection of a slender element under compressive stress
Wrinkling or ridging of the carpet after installation due to inadequate stretching, dimensional instability, or manufacturing flaws
Budget, Construction Budget 0 likes
Itemized summary of forecasted or proposed expenditures for a given period
Amount of money set aside for a specific project
Buffer 1 like
Pile of blasted rock left against or near a face that enhances fragmentation and reduces dispersion from the next blast
Buffing Compound1 like
buffing compound
Soft abrasive stick bonded with wax
Buglehead Screw 0 likes
Screw that sits under the plane of the gypsum board surface without tearing the paper
Build 0 likes
Construct by combining materials or parts
Builder 0 likes
A person who constructs; a building contractor
Builder’s Risk Insurance 0 likes
Insurance coverage during a construction project, with extended coverage that may be included to protect the client
Builders Hardware 0 likes
Hardware used in construction, such as bolts, nails, nuts, screws, hinges, and other fastenings, metal and plastic parts, butts, and similar items
Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) 0 likes
355 Lexington Ave, 15th Floor, New York, New York 10017, Tel: (212) 297-2122, URL: http://www.buildershardware.com/
Builders Level1 like
builders level
Measures and sets levels on a construction property; also called a Contractors Level
Building 0 likes
Combining materials or parts
A fixed structure enclosed by a roof and exterior walls
Building Brick 1 like
Brick for building purposes; also called Common Brick
Building Codes 0 likes
Legal requirements set forth by governing agencies defining the minimum acceptable standards for all types of construction; see Codes
Building Coverage 0 likes
Percentage of land covered by building structures
Building Demolition 1 like
The destruction of an existing structure
Building Drainage System 0 likes
Pipe system that carries away waste water and sewage; also called House Drainage System
Building Envelope 0 likes
Waterproof parts of a building that enclose spaces through which thermal energy may be transferred to or from the outside
Exterior structure of the building
Building Excavation 0 likes
Removing earth and rock to make room for a foundation
Building Inspector/Official 2 likes
Government representative authorized to inspect construction for compliance with applicable building codes, regulations and ordinances
Building Insurance 1 like
Insurance that covers the structure of the building
Building Lime 1 like
Lime suited for usual or special construction; also called construction lime
Building Main 0 likes
Water supply pipe that transports the water from the supply source to the first branch of the building’s water distribution system
Building Official 0 likes
Representative charged with administration and enforcement of the pertinent building code
Building Paper1 like
building paper
Papers, felts, and similar sheet materials used in buildings; usually in long rolls
Building Permit 0 likes
Document issued by the appropriate governmental authority allowing construction to commence on a specified project according to specifications
Building Process 0 likes
Specified steps of a construction project from its concept to final acceptance and habitation
Building Related Illness 0 likes
Diagnosable illness where symptoms are identifiable and the cause is directly attributed to airborne building pollutants
Building Residual 0 likes
A real estate appraisal technique where a judicious return on the land is subtracted from the income, the balance then ascribed to the improvements
Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) 0 likes
A council of the National Association of Building Sciences 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC 20005-4905 Tel: (202) 289-7800, http://www.nibs.org/
Building Sewer 0 likes
Piping that transfers soil and waste water from the building drain to the public sewer or private sewage disposal system; also called House Sewer
Building Sub-Drain 1 like
Part of the drainage system that collects the discharge from the fixtures and cannot drain into the building sewer because it is located below the building sewer or building drain
Building Trap 0 likes
A trap placed in the building drain to stop sewer gases from the sewer main entering
Building, Metal 0 likes
Building made of a structural steel frame, metal roof and wall panels; usually prefabricated offsite and assembled at the site
Built-In Oven1 like
built-in oven
An oven installed in a wall or cabinet
Built-In Shelving 1 like
Shelving permanently mounted in a cabinet frame
Built-Up Member 1 like
A single structural component constructed from fastening several pieces
Built-Up Plaque 0 likes
Localized abnormal patch layers on a surface
Built-Up Roof 0 likes
Roofing with three to five layers of asphalt felt laminated with coal tar, pitch, or asphalt, the top finished with crushed slag or gravel; usually used on flat or low-pitched roofs
Built-Up Roofing Membrane (BUR) 0 likes
Roofing material employed in sealed waterproof layers, or saturated or coated felts interspersed with layers of bitumen, surfaced with mineral aggregate or asphaltic materials
Built-Up Steel Lintel 0 likes
Lintel constructed of two or more pieces of structural steel fastened together to function as one component
Built-Up Timber 0 likes
A timber composed of several pieces secured together and producing one larger component
Bulb Tee 1 like
Rolled steel in the shape of a T with a formed bulb at the edge of the web
Bulb, Sensitive1 like
bulb, sensitive
Part of sealed fluid apparatus that responds to temperature; employed to measure temperature or to control a mechanism
Bulge 0 likes
Swelling or lump
Bulk 0 likes
Large mass, size or quantity
A small structure projecting out from a building, such as a booth or stall
To cause to swell or bulge
Bulk Density 0 likes
Weight per unit of volume of a substance
Bulk Excavation 0 likes
Mining or digging out of large quantities of dirt and debris
Bulk Mail Slot 0 likes
A sufficiently large opening in a wall or door to enable receipt of large pieces of mail
Bulkhead 0 likes
A vertical divider that separates compartments on a ship or airplane
Structure with a sloping door that provides access to a cellar stairway or shaft
Structure that resists pressure or turns off water, fire, or gas
A holding wall along a waterfront
Bulkhead Formwork 0 likes
Temporary formwork blocking fresh concrete from an area of forms, or closing the end of a form at a construction joint
Bulking 0 likes
Increase in bulk volume of moist sand over the volume of the same quantity dry
Bulking Curve 0 likes
Graph of the change in volume of an amount of sand caused by adjustments in moisture content
Bulking Factor 0 likes
Ratio of the volume of moist sand to the volume of dry sand
Bulking Value 0 likes
Ability of a pigment to add volume to paint
Bull Float1 like
bull float
Flat, rectangular wood, aluminum, or magnesium tool employed to smooth unformed surfaces of fresh concrete
Bull Nose, Drywall 1 like
Round drywall corners
Bulldozer 0 likes
A tractor driven machine with a horizontal blade that clears land, roads, and other obstacles
Bulletin Board1 like
bulletin board
A wall hanging unit upon which houses information and messages; a thin board usually made of cork hung on a wall to attach public announcements
Bulletproof 0 likes
Prevents breaking or penetration from any strong external force
Bulletproof Glass 0 likes
A protective laminated heat and pressure-bonded glass sheet with resin sheets to resist bullets
Bulletproof Partition 0 likes
A dividing wall that resists the transfer of bullets
Bullnose Block 0 likes
A concrete masonry unit which has one or more round external corners
Bullnose, Corner 0 likes
Ceramic tile bullnose trim with a convex radius on two adjacent edges
Bullnose, Glazed 2 likes
Ceramic trim tile with a convex radius on one edge and a glassy or glossy surface
Bulls Eye 0 likes
A small circular window or opening; bull’s eye window
A small thick disc of glass mounted to bring in light
Bumper, Dock 0 likes
Thick rubber units positioned under loading dock openings to absorb the shock and stop damage when trucks back in to load or unload
Bumper, Door2 likes
bumper, door
Rubber tip devices installed on walls or baseboards to stop door knobs from damaging walls
Bund Wall 0 likes
A wall built around a tank to secure its contents in case the tank or its piping springs a leak
Bundle 0 likes
A package of shingles; usually, there are 3 bundles per square and 27 shingles per bundle
Bundled Bars 0 likes
A group of four or less parallel steel reinforcing bars in contact, usually secured together
Bundling Tape 0 likes
End tape to fasten two pieces of gypsum board into a bundle
Bunker 0 likes
Area where ice or cooling element is positioned in commercial installations
Buoyant Uplift 0 likes
Water or liquefied soil force that can raise a building foundation from the ground
BUR 0 likes
Built-Up Roofing
Burden 0 likes
Money that has to be added to cover overhead
Burglar Alarm3 likes
Burglar Alarm
Security system that indicates when any contacts are interrupted
Burglar Bars1 like
burglar bars
A grille of steel bars that protect a window from intrusion
Burl 0 likes
A hard wood tree outgrowth used for highly figured veneers
Burlap 0 likes
A coarse fabric of jute, hemp, or flax employed as a waterretention cover in curing concrete surfaces; also called Hessian
Burlap Rub 1 like
A finish achieved by rubbing burlap to remove surface irregularities from concrete
Burlap, Concrete 0 likes
A curing concrete surface with a coarse fabric of jute, hemp, or flax used as a waterretention cover
Burling 0 likes
A repair process for worn or damaged carpet
Burn 1 like
Cut metal with a gas flame
Burned 0 likes
Over-dried, partly calcined gypsum board
Burned Finish 1 like
Wood finish where the hard part of grain stands out in relief; achieved by using blowtorch and a stiff bristled brush
Burner1 like
Device where fuel burning occurs
Burning In 0 likes
Restoring a finish by using a heated knife blade or iron
Burnish 0 likes
Polish by rubbing
Burnoff Rate 0 likes
See Melting Rate
Burnt Sienna 0 likes
Earthy substance used in paint; sienna that has been roasted
Burnt Umber 0 likes
Brown earthy substance used in paint; umber that has been roasted
Burr 0 likes
A sharp, rough, in-turned edge on a pipe that has been cut but not reamed
Burst Strength 0 likes
Internal pressure to break a pipe or fitting; pressure varies according to the rate of build-up of the pressure and the time the pressure is maintained
Bus Bar2 likes
bus bar
A large, flat conductor, generally solid copper that transfers very high electrical currents
Un-insulated bar or tube employed as an electrical conductor at a circuit junction
Bus Duct 0 likes
A prefabricated unit that has one or more electric conductors, often a metal bar that connects two or more circuits
Bus Duct Connection 0 likes
A metal bar that connects two or more circuits in a prefabricated unit
Bus Ground 0 likes
The place where the neutral (white) service wire connects to the earth by the ground wire in the main electrical service panel
Bush Hammer1 like
bush hammer
In stone dressing, a steel hammer employed in finishing the harder stones
Bushed Nipple 0 likes
A pipe threaded at both ends to connect two pipes of different sizes
Bushing 0 likes
A removable cylindrical lining for an opening that limits the size of an opening, resists abrasion, or serves as a guide
Electrically insulating lining for a hole to protect a through conductor
Pipe fitting with male and female threads employed in a fitting to decrease the size; used to connect pipes of different sizes
Bushing, Conduit 0 likes
A threaded metal or plastic pipe connector that connects conduit to a box or other housing where the hole is not threaded
Business Entity Concept 0 likes
The notion that a business is separate and distinct from its owners’ financial functions and holdings
Butane2 likes
A gaseous hydrocarbon employed in liquefied form as fuel; also used as a low temperature application refrigerant
Butlers Pantry 0 likes
A service room between the kitchen and dining room
Butt 1 like
The larger of the two ends of a log
See Butt Hinge.
Pile Butt
Butt Edge 1 like
Lower edge of the shingle tabs
Butt Hinge1 like
butt hinge
A leaf connects to the door‘s edge, the other to its jamb
Butt Joint 0 likes
Junction where the ends of two timbers or bricks meet, and also where sheets of drywall meet; to place materials end-to-end or end-to-edge without overlapping
Butt Weld 0 likes
A weld in a butt joint between two components lying more or less in the same plane
Butt Welded Pipe 0 likes
Pipe joined by welding
Butt, Pile 0 likes
See Pile Butt
Butterflies 0 likes
Color imperfections on a lime putty finish wall that smear under pressure from the trowel; due to lime lumps not passed through a screen and inadequate mixing of the gauging
Butterfly Reinforcement 0 likes
Metal reinforcement strips positioned diagonally over the plaster base at the corners of openings prior to plastering
Butterfly Roof 1 like
Roof shape similar to an inverted gable, the rain gutter in the middle instead of the ridge
Butterfly Tie 0 likes
See Ties
Butterfly Valve1 like
butterfly valve
A valve made with a disc that turns 90 degrees in the valve body
Buttering 0 likes
Spreading mortar on a masonry unit before it is positioned
Spreading of a bond coat to the backs of ceramic tile just prior to when the tile is placed
See Surfacing
Buttering Trowel1 like
The blade is around 4-1/2 inches wide and 7 inches long; employed in buttering rich mortar to masonry, a method commonly employed in the eastern states
Buttonback Tile 0 likes
Tile that have round or square projections on the bondable side
Buttress 0 likes
A projecting structure of masonry or wood for supporting or stabilizing a wall or building wall and to respond against horizontal external forces
The broad base of a tree trunk or a thick vertical part of it
Butyl Acetate 1 like
A lacquer solvent
Butyl Alcohol 0 likes
Alcohol of higher boiling range than wood alcohol or grain alcohol
Butyl Caulk2 likes
butyl caulk
Caulking made from various synthetic rubbers from butanes
Butyl Membrane 1 like
Malleable thin sheets or layers made from synthetic rubber
Buy Down 0 likes
Subsidy usually paid by a builder or developer to lower monthly payments on a mortgage
BX Cable1 like
BX cable
Indoor wiring comprised of two or more insulated wires shielded by a wound, galvanized steel strip cover, the metal winding creating a pliable tube creating fortification like rigid conduit
BX Clamp1 like
BX clamp
Clamping device to secure BX cable in place against a wooden or metal component
By Fold Door1 like
By Fold Door
Doors hinged in the middle for opening in a smaller area than standard swing doors; usually for closet doors
Bypass 0 likes
Passage at a side or around a regular passage
Secondary pipe or bridging of any plumbing fixture permitting its disconnection while circulation is maintained
Bypass Doors2 likes
bypass doors
Doors that slide by each other; usually closet doors
Byproduct 1 like
A substance acquired during the production of another substance; a secondary result, sometimes unexpected or unintentional in the process
Product of the day

How to Fix Plumbing Noises In Your Home

plumbing fiberglass insulationTo diagnose loud plumbing, you must first determine whether the unwanted sounds occur on the system's inlet side - in other words, when water is turned on - or on the drain side. Noises on the inlet side have various causes: excessive water pressure, worn valve and faucet parts, poorly connected pumps or other appliances, incorrectly placed pipe fasteners, and plumbing runs with excessive tight bends or other restrictions. Noises on the drain side usually originate from poor location or, as with some inlet side noise, a layout with tight bends.


Hissing that occurs when a faucet is opened slightly generally signals excessive water pressure. Consult your local water company if you suspect this problem. They will tell you about the water pressure in your area and if necessary, can install a pressure reducing valve on the incoming water supply pipe.


Thudding, often accompanied by shuddering pipes when a faucet or appliance valve is turned off, is a condition called water hammer. The noise and vibration are caused by the reverberating wave of pressure in the water, which suddenly has no place to go. Sometimes opening a valve that discharges water quickly into a section of piping with a restriction, elbow, or tee fitting can produce the same condition. Water hammer can usually be fixed by installing fittings called air chambers or shock absorbers in the plumbing to which the problem valves or faucets are connected. These devices permit the shock wave produced by the halted flow of water to dissipate in the air, which unlike water, is compressible. Older plumbing systems may have short vertical sections of capped pipe behind walls on faucet runs for the same purpose; these can eventually fill with water, reducing or destroying their effectiveness. The solution is to drain the water system by turning off the main water supply valve and opening all faucets. Then open the main supply valve and close the faucets one at a time, starting with the faucet closest to the valve and ending with the one furthest away.

Chattering or Screeching

Intense chattering or screeching that occurs when a valve or faucet is turned on, and that usually disappears when the fitting is fully open, signals loose or defective internal parts. The solution is to replace the valve or faucet with a new one. Pumps and appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers can transfer motor noise to pipes if they are improperly connected. Link these items to plumbing with plastic or rubber hoses - never rigid pipe - to separate them.

Other Inlet Side Noises

Creaking, squeaking, scratching, snapping, and tapping are usually caused by the expansion or contraction of pipes, generally copper ones supplying hot water. The sounds occur as the pipes slide against loose fasteners or strike nearby house framing. You can often pinpoint the location of the problem if the pipes are exposed; just follow the sound when the pipes are making noise. Most likely, you will discover a loose pipe hanger or an area where pipes lie so close to floor joists or other framing pieces that they clatter against them. Attaching foam pipe insulation around the pipes at the point of contact should resolve the problem. Be sure straps and hangers are secure and provide sufficient support. Where possible, pipe fasteners should be connected to large structural elements such as foundation walls instead of framing; doing this reduces the transmission of vibrations from plumbing to surfaces that can amplify and transfer them. If attaching fasteners to framing is unavoidable, wrap pipes with insulation or other resilient material where they contact fasteners, and sandwich the ends of new fasteners between rubber washers when installing them. Correcting plumbing runs that suffer from flow-restricting tight or numerous bends is a last resort that should be performed only after consulting a skilled plumbing contractor. Unfortunately, this situation is common in older homes that may not have been built with indoor plumbing or that have been through several remodels, particularly by unprofessional contractors.

Drainpipe Noise

On the drain side of plumbing, the main goals are to eradicate surfaces that can be struck by falling or rushing water and to insulate pipes to contain unavoidable sounds. In new construction, bathtubs, shower stalls, toilets, and wall-mounted sinks and basins should be set on or against resilient under-layments to lower the transmission of sound through them. Water-saving toilets and faucets are less noisy than conventional models; install them instead of older types even if codes in your area still allow older fixtures. Drainpipes that do not run vertically to the basement or that branch into horizontal pipe runs supported at floor joists or other framing present especially troubling noise problems. These pipes are large enough to radiate substantial vibration; they also carry significant amounts of water, which makes the situation worse. In new construction, use cast-iron soil pipes (the large pipes that drain toilets) if you can afford them. Their immense size contains much of the noise made by water traversing them. Also, avoid routing drainpipes in walls shared with bedrooms and rooms where people gather. Walls containing drainpipes should be soundproofed as stated earlier, using double panels of sound-insulating fiberboard and wallboard. Pipes can be wrapped with special fiberglass insulation made for the purpose; these pipes have an impervious vinyl skin that sometimes containing lead. Results are not always acceptable.

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