Term Definition
PC1 like
Portland cement
Pull chain
Prime coat
PCA 0 likes
Portland Cement Association
PCB 1 like
Polychlorinated Biphenyl
PCC 0 likes
Portland Cement Concrete
PCF 1 like
Pounds per Cubic Foot
PCI 1 like
Pounds per Cubic Inch
Prestressed Concrete Institute
PDI 0 likes
Plumbing and Drainage Institute
PE 0 likes
Professional Engineer
Pea Gravel 0 likes
The part of concrete aggregate that gets through the 3/8 sieve but cannot pass through a size 4 sieve
Peak 1 like
The highest point or apex of a spire, roof, truss, or similar structure
Pearl Lacquer 0 likes
Lacquer in which multi-faceted guanine crystals have been suspended
Peat 0 likes
See Humus
Peat Moss1 like
peat moss
Peavey 2 likes
A tool used by lumber workers for handling logs; a wood handle with a pointed lever and a hinged hook
Pecan Veneer 1 like
A thin cover of hardwood glued onto stronger, inexpensive solid wood, or plywood; employed in furniture and floors
Peck 0 likes
Patches of decomposed wood that result from advanced rotting in a living tree; typically found in cypress and incense-ceda
Peculiar Risk Doctrine 1 like
An owner is liable to contractors who injure themselves during construction activities on the owner’s property or, because the construction process involves a particular risk of injury
Pecuniary 0 likes
Relating to or calculated with money
Pedestal1 like
A base or foundation for a statue or column
An upright compression element with a height that is not more than three times its average shortest lateral measurement
A short compression component made of reinforced concrete; positioned between a column and its footing so that the load is passed to the footing
Pedestal Floor 0 likes
A system of flooring; short piers or legs are employed as the base over which flooring is laid; particular flooring that is created to avoid sparking and electrostatic build up in a computer room; typically raised over the current floor so that wires between the outlets in the room may be easily installed
Pedestrian 0 likes
A person walking in a public space or road
Pedestrian Barricade2 likes
pedestrian barricade
Some kind of barrier or obstruction that is positioned to direct large groups of people or other people on foot
Pedestrian Grade Separation 0 likes
A structure used mainly by pedestrians, either above or beneath some obstacle such as a street, highway, or railroad
Pedestrian Ramp2 likes
pedestrian ramp
A path built on an incline, intended for pedestrian traffic; different from a curb ramp
Pedestrian Spatial Requirements 0 likes
For comfortable movement during walking, a person generally needs 13 square feet of space
Pedestrian Way 0 likes
A path on which a pedestrian may walk
Pediment 0 likes
A classical Greek style; the triangular front section of a building that transcends the columns
Peel 0 likes
The process of transforming a wood log into veneer by means of rotary cutting
Peeler 0 likes
The neat separation of surface layers from the core in gypsumboard; usually as a result of the surface calcination that occurs while drying or because of an inadequate binder
Peeling 0 likes
A paint film breaks off in substantial pieces when its surface is greasy or moist
When flakes of matrix or mortar detach from a concrete surface
Peen1 like
The end of a hammer opposite the face; its shape allows it to be used for shaping, bending, or cutting the material that is impacted by the peen; See Cross Peen, Ball Peen, or Straight Peen Hammers
Peer Review 1 like
When an architect‘ or engineers’ professional services and office practices are examined by a committee of peers
Pegboard1 like
A board consisting of many holes with pegs in them; tools or other objects are hung on the pegs
Pegged Flooring 0 likes
Hardwood flooring that has hardwood plugs which imitate screw covers or hide recessed screws
PEI 1 like
Porcelain Enamel Institute
Pein 0 likes
A peen variation
PEL 0 likes
Permissible Exposure Limits; standards established by OSHA
Peltier Effect 1 like
When a direct current moves through two adjoining metals, one junction cools while the other warms; the foundation of thermoelectric refrigeration
Penal Sum 0 likes
A surety bond’s face value; the maximum sum of liability of the surety
Penalty 0 likes
If an agreement is unmet, the person or entity responsible must pay this sum of money
Penalty and Bonus Clause 0 likes
A provision in a contract that allows a bonus for timely or early completion or a penalty for late completion
Penalty Clause 0 likes
A provision in a construction contract that stipulates that, if there is any delay in the completion of the project, the contractor will pay some amount of money, typically compounded daily
Pencil Rods 1 like
Smoot steel rods used for reinforcement that have a diameter of 3/16 inch, ¼ inch, or 3/8 inch
Pendentive 0 likes
A concave triangular segment that lie between a dome and its supporting columns
Penetrating Stain 1 like
Stain that is created by dissolving oil-soluble dyes in alcohol or oil
Penetrating Stain Wax 0 likes
Wood finish which yields the color of a deep stain with a wax luster
Penetration 1 like
The density of bituminous material; the distance that a standard needle can vertically penetrate a sample under specified conditions of temperature, time and loading
Penetration Grading 0 likes
A classification system of asphalt cements that is based on penetration in 0.1 millimeters at a temperature of 25° C (77° F); this system has five standard paving grades
Penny 1 like
Originally the price per hundred nails; now refers to a measure of nail length; the abbreviation is the letter d; typically, 16 penny nails are employed in framing
Pentaerythritol Resins 1 like
Resin that is made when pentaerythritol, a high alcohol, reacts with rosin
Pentagon 0 likes
A five-sided plane shape
Penthouse 0 likes
The top floor of a building
Penthouse Louver 0 likes
A louvered wall that runs around the mechanical penthouse area, has fixed or flexible flaps; the wall protects equipment from the weather and serves as a screen around machinery
People Competence 0 likes
The capability of workers to finish projects professionally and on time
Per Diem 1 like
A payment or allowance given for each day
Percentage 1 like
A proportion expressed in terms of one hundredths; calculated by multiplying a fraction by 100
Percentage Humidity 0 likes
The degree to which air is saturated with water vapor, multiplied by 100
Perched Water Table 0 likes
Underground water which sits on dry soil and is sealed by an impermeable layer
Percipient Witness 0 likes
A person who is asked to testify because of personal involvement in an event or having observed the event
Percolate 2 likes
Permeate, drip, or cause a liquid to move through an absorbent substance
Percolation Test 1 like
A soil engineer performs such tests on samples of earth to ascertain whether a leech field type sewer system should be installed on a building lot; the test calculates whether the soil on a lot can absorb a septic system‘s liquid affluent
Perforated PVC Pipe2 likes
perforated PVC pipe
Plastic pipe that is four inches in diameter; it has one or more rows of holes along its length and is buried in the ground beside building foundations or structures so that groundwater and moisture can drain more easily
Perforated Strap1 like
perforated strap
Thin metal strips with pierced holes in rolls; employed to hang plumbing pipes and store them in place
Perforated Wall 0 likes
Wall that has small openings used for decoration
Performance Bond 0 likes
A written form of security to the owner from a surety company, on behalf of a reasonable prime or main contractor or subcontractor that guarantees the owner payment if the contractor cannot deliver all aspects of the contract; surety companies typically reserve the right to have the first main contractor or subcontractor fix any claims before they pay on the bond or hire other contractors; See Labor and Material Payment Bond and Surety Bond
Performance Code 0 likes
A building code that specifies the goals of the project rather than materials and methods that ought to be employed; compare with Specification Code
Performance Indicator 0 likes
On an income and expense statement, the bottom line specifies a profit or loss and signals how well a business is performing
Performance Specifications 0 likes
The minimum satisfactory standards and actions necessary to finish a project, including minimum standards of quality and aesthetics
Pergola1 like
Growing plants directed over trellis work form an arbor or covered walk
Perilla Oil 0 likes
A type of drying oil that comes from seeds of a brush known as Perilla Ocymoide
Perimeter 0 likes
The total length of the circumference of an area
Perimeter Drain1 like
perimeter drain
Perforated plastic pipe (three or four inches) that runs inside or outside the perimeter of a foundation wall before backfill collecting and redirecting ground water from the foundation
Perimeter Heating 0 likes
A way to install central heating systems to ensure that the registers are positioned under windows on the exterior walls
Perimeter Overflow System 0 likes
A channel built into the sidewall around the perimeter of a pool into which surface pool water is drawn continuously as a skimming action
Perimeter Relief 1 like
Detail of construction which permits the building to move
Gasketing materials which alleviate stress at the places where ceilings and walls meet
Perineal Bath 0 likes
A shallow tub where one sits to bathe; a Sitz bath
Period 1 like
The time it takes the crest of a wave to travel a distance of one wavelength, or the time it takes two consecutive wave crests to pass a given point
Periodic 0 likes
Reappearing or recurring from time to time
Perjury 0 likes
Knowingly lying while under oath
Perlite 0 likes
Siliceous volcanic rock that enlarges with heat; employed as an insulating fill and as a lightweight aggregate for concrete and plaster
Perlite Institute (PI) 0 likes
4305 North Sixth Street, Suite A, Harrisburg, PA 17110, Tel: (717) 238-9723, URL: www.perlite.org/
Perlite Insulation 0 likes
An insulation that is produced from volcanic glass, which is enlarged when heat is applied
Perlite Roof Insulation 0 likes
Roof system insulation made from volcanic glass that is enlarged by application of heat
Perm 0 likes
The measure of the movement of water vapor through a material
Permafrost 0 likes
Occurring in polar areas, the subsoil is frozen all year
Permanence 0 likes
A characteristics of a plastic; refers to its resistance to significant changes due to time and the environment
Permanent Loan 0 likes
After construction is completed, this long-term loan for real estate that takes the place of the construction loan; also called Takeout Loan
Permanent Magnet 0 likes
Material with aligned molecules that creates a magnetic field
A permanently magnetized metal bar
Permeability 0 likes
A measure of the ability of water to penetrate a given material
Permeable 0 likes
Able to be penetrated; having openings or pores that allow gases or liquids to pass
Permeance 0 likes
The resistance of a given material to the transfer of water vapor; the ratio of the rate of water vapor transfer through a substance or construction between the surfaces to the vapor pressure differential between the two parallel surfaces; See Water Vapor Transmission (WVT)
Permit 0 likes
Authorization from a governmental municipal to perform a given building process; permits for zoning, demolition, grading, electrical, plumbing, septic and other building processes may be obtained
Permutation 0 likes
A grouping or ordered arrangement of elements from a set
Perpend Bond 0 likes
A header brick or large stone that passes through a wall so that one end is on either side of the wall; it functions as a binder
Perpendicular 0 likes
At right angles to a given plane or horizontal line
Perpetual 0 likes
Never ending
Personal Air Samples 1 like
An air sample that a worker takes with a sampling pump; OSHA asbestos guidelines and the EPA Worker Protection Rule insist on such samples
Personal Ownership 1 like
When only one person owns a business; also called Sole ownership or Sole proprietor
Personal Property 0 likes
Any piece of property not considered real property; also called Chattel
Personnel 1 like
People that are employed by a business or for a project
Personnel Lift 0 likes
An elevator used by workers at a job site, or in a building
Perspective 0 likes
A representation of an object as it appears to the eye drawn on a plane surface; it is not scaled because the lines are made to appear shorter than they actually are
PERT 0 likes
Program Evaluating and Review Technique; See Activity; Critical Path Method
PERT Schedule 1 like
A timetable detailing a work in progress and the dates estimated for the start and end of the project
Pest Control 0 likes
The process of controlling the proliferation of insects and pests by placing traps or spraying chemicals or powders
Petcock1 like
A small valve that drains air and permits it to exit an area
Petty Cash Fund 0 likes
A cash fund that is employed to make small payments for a project
Pew1 like
A wooden bench in a church
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.

hire a professional contractor


Our newsletter is packed with huge discounts and construction tips from experts. Be one of the first to have them delivered to your inbox.

Dig Deep Into Construction Resources