Term Definition
Skarf Joint 0 likes
A joint fastening two pieces of timber or metal; the ends are beveled or notched so they fit over or into each other
Skein3 likes
A bundle of yarn loosely wound together
Skein Dyeing 0 likes
Submerging skeins of yarn in vats that contain hot dye
Sketch 0 likes
A rough drawing with the main features of an object, site, building, or structure
Skid Resistance 0 likes
Measure of the frictional properties of a particular surface
Ability of an asphalt paving surface to offer resistance to slipping or skidding especially when wet; correct asphalt content and aggregate with a coarse surface texture are critical
 The cumulative effects of ice, snow, water, loose material and the road surface on the traction produced by the wheels of a vehicle; measured by the friction between a freely-spinning wheel and the ground, or the braking distance of a braking vehicle
Skim Coat 0 likes
A narrow plaster coat over a base, such as the finish coat on a plaster base
A thin coat of joint treatment on the surface to diminish the surface texture and suction differences in gypsumboard finishing
Treating plastered areas to prepare for gloss paint; frequently occurs in kitchen and bath areas
Skim Filter2 likes
Swimming pool surface skimmer that has a vacuum filter
Skimmer1 like
A device that constantly moves swimming pool water and surface debris into the filtration system
Skin Condenser 0 likes
Condenser that employs the exterior cabinet surface as the heat radiating vehicle
Skinning 0 likes
A strong layer or skin produced on the surface of paint or varnish within the container, due to prolonged contact with air
Skip Trowel 0 likes
Plaster texturing that produces a coarse Spanish stucco appearance
Skirting 0 likes
Baseboard at a staircase
Skive Edge 0 likes
The outer paper joint tape edges sanded to enhance adhesive bonds and diminish waviness in gypsumboard finishing
Skiving 0 likes
To scrape or slice off in thin layers
Skylight 0 likes
A glass window in a roof of building to let in daylight
Skyscraper 0 likes
An especially tall building
Slab 0 likes
A cast concrete base or foundation
Thick flat section of floor or roof; located on the ground or supported by beams or walls
Slack 1 like
Not busy; having superfluous time in a CPM schedule; also known as a Float
Not tight or stretched tightly; hanging loosely without tension
Insufficiently diligent; negligent, not displaying enough care
Slack Time 0 likes
Ability to reschedule the start dates of useful non-critical tasks in a project without impacting the completion date; many project managers deliberately add slack time into the project timeline to ensure the project stays on schedule
Slag 0 likes
A partially vitreous by-product of smelting ore, that separates the desirable metal fraction from the undesirable fraction; generally a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide; removes waste in metal smelting, facilitates temperature control of the smelting, minimizes any re-oxidation of the final liquid metal product before the molten metal is removed from the furnace, and used to make solid metal
Slag Inclusion 0 likes
Solid, non-metal substance trapped in weld metal or among base metal and weld metal
Slake 1 like
Heating and crumbling as a result of treatment with water
Lime putty is created from quicklime by adding quicklime to water, then enabling the resulting slurry to mature for a minimum of two weeks
Slaked Lime 0 likes
Hydrated lime
Slander of Title 0 likes
Deliberate and wrongful smear on a title to real estate
Slash-Grained Wood 1 like
Flat-grained timber
Slate 1 like
A fine-grained hardened clay; a metamorphic rock easily split into thin layers; used in roofing material
Slate Flour 1 like
Filler employed widely in roofing mastic and asphalt mixtures
Sledge 1 like
See Sledgehammer
Sledge Hammer1 like
sledge hammer
A large heavy hammer that is employed using both hands; also called a Sledge
Sleeper 0 likes
A wood part set in concrete in a floor that supports and secures the subfloor or flooring material
Sleeping Accommodations 0 likes
Places where people sleep
Sleeve 1 like
Pipe fitted below a concrete driveway or sidewalk that will be employed to cast sprinkler pipe or wires at a later date
Slenderness Ratio 1 like
The ratio of the effective length of a column to the least radius of gyration of its cross section (sometimes expressed with the Greek letter lambda, ?); this ratio provides a means of classifying columns
Sliced Veneer 0 likes
Wood veneer that is sliced off a log or bolt with a knife
Slicker 1 like
A long water-repellant coat generally made of oilskin
An implement made of a thin board beveled on both sides, employed by the plasterer
Slide 0 likes
A minor landslide
To move without interruption on a smooth surface
A fresh tile wall warped or drooped as a result of excess mortar, deficient lime in the mortar, or superfluous moisture in the scratch coat; if the surface is smooth or the mortar is too supple, a slide may also occur
Slide, Water 0 likes
See Water Slide
Sliding Glass Door1 like
sliding glass door
An outside glass door installed on tracks at the top and bottom to facilitate a gliding motion
Sliding Window1 like
sliding window
A window that glides sideways within tracks
Sling Psychrometer1 like
sling psychrometer
Device that measures humidity with wet and dry bulb thermometers; See Hygrometer
Slip 0 likes
An unintentional or minor mistake
A slender long wood strip
Ceramic material suspended in liquid
Minor geological fault
Slip Brick 0 likes
See Soft Mud Brick
Slippage 1 like
Lateral motion among adjoining plies of roof felt along the bitumen lines producing a haphazard wrinkled form, and occasionally subjecting the lower plies or the base sheet to the elements
Slippage Cracks 0 likes
In flexible pavements, crescent or half-moon shaped cracks typically with two ends pointed in the direction of traffic; due to breaking or turning wheels impacting a weak bond between the surface layer and the course below in asphalt paving
Sliver 1 like
A Splinter
Slop Sink2 likes
slot sink
A deeper fitting than a standard sink; See Service Sink
Slope 0 likes
The incline of a roof, expressed as a ratio of the rise, in inches, to the run, in feet; See also pitch
Slot 0 likes
A thin vertical or horizontal opening where objects can be inserted
Slot Anchor 0 likes
A groove in an object into which a clasp or fastener is inserted
Slot Cut 0 likes
H or L shaped tile, cut to surround pipes or switch boxes
Slot Weld 1 like
A weld produced in an extended hole in a piece of a lap or tee joint to the piece of the other part exposed through the hole; the hole may be open at one end and partly or entirely filled with weld metal
Slotted Screwdriver1 like
slotted screwdriver
Widely used screwdriver with a flat square blade; also called a Flat Head Screwdriver
Slough 0 likes
A stagnant area of water connected to a large body of water such as a marsh, swamp, or backwater
A muddy deep hole
Slow Drying 1 like
Needing at least a day before recoating
Slow-Curing (SC) Asphalt 1 like
Cutback asphalt made of asphalt cement and stable oils
Sludge 0 likes
Mud sediment at the bottom of a liquid
Solid debris precipitated during sewage treatment
Slug 0 likes
A food-poundsecond unit of mass equal to 32.17 pounds that when acted on by a one pound force achieves an acceleration of 1 foot per second per second (in the English system)
Strike somebody or something very hard usually with the fist
Sluice 0 likes
A sliding gate or valve that regulates the water flow in a channel
An artificial water channel regulated by a gate or valve
A steep, narrow channel for transporting excess water
Slump 0 likes
The moisture content of concrete; a three inch slump is more dehydrated and stiffer than a five inch slump
Slump Cone 0 likes
A metal mold in the form of a truncated cone with a top diameter of 4, a bottom diameter eight inches, and a height of 12 inches, used to fabricate a specimen of newly mixed concrete for a slump test; a cone six inches in height is employed for freshly mixed mortar and stucco tests
Slump Test 0 likes
The process of measuring the slump of concrete, plaster, or mortar or with a slump cone
Slurry 0 likes
A mixture of water and an insoluble material such as cement, slag, or clay in a watery suspension
Slurry Coat 0 likes
Brushed coating of slurry on the back of bonded veneer units and on the backing
Slush Coat 0 likes
A pure soft coating; also called a Slurry coat
SMACNA 0 likes
Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association
Small Business Administration 1 like
Agency funding minority and small business investment companies that provide financing to contractors; generally limited to contractors with a proven track record
Smalt 0 likes
A deep blue paint and ceramic pigment created by pulverizing a glass consisting of potash, silica, and cobalt oxide; occasionally added to newly coated surfaces for extraordinary ornamentation
Smart Building 0 likes
Modern office building pre-wired to accommodate the latest telecommunications and computer connections
Smelt 0 likes
To melt or fuse ore and obtain metal from it
Smelter 0 likes
A furnace where raw materials are melted
Smoke Alarm1 like
smoke alarm
A device that emits a loud warning sound when it is exposed to smoke
Smoke Chamber 0 likes
The space above the fireplace and beneath the flue that enables smoke to mix and rise into the flue; area where smoke tends to linger and large deposits of creosote frequently accumulate
Smoke Detector1 like
smoke detector
See Smoke Alarm
Smoke Developed Rating 0 likes
Index of the toxic fumes produced by a substance during combustion
Snake1 like
plumbers snake
Flexible metal tape employed by plumbers to clear blockages in drain and sewer pipes; also called Plumbers Snake
Snap Header 0 likes
An erroneous header consisting of half bricks with the intact end displayed on the surface
Snap Line 1 like
See Chalk Line
Snow Load 0 likes
Load of snow on a roof
Soap Brick 0 likes
A little brick that fills a course
Soap Dish1 like
soap dish
Small concave container that holds a bar of soap; occasionally embedded in a sink
Soaping Tile 1 like
Smearing a soapy film over freshly tiled walls to safeguard them from paint and plaster damage
Soapstone 0 likes
See Talc
Social Security 0 likes
A U.S. government agency founded in 1935 which provides economic security and social welfare for individuals and their families; a part of each person’s income is set aside toward old age, unemployment insurance and assistance
Society of the Plastic Industry, Inc. (SPI) 1 like
1667 K Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006, Tel: (202) 974-5200: URL: www.plasticsindustry.org/
Socket1 like
An aperture to receive a mechanical device
An electric device that receives a light bulb
Socket Wrench2 likes
socket wrench
A wrench with various sockets for nuts and bolts of different sizes
Sod 0 likes
Grass surface on the ground; turf
Soda Ash1 like
soda ash
A sodium salt of carbonic acid, synthetically produced in large quantities from salt and limestone by a method known as the Solvay process; well known for its everyday use as a water softener, employed in swimming pools to elevate the pH and increase alkalinity; used with alum in sand filters to create floc; and to neutralize hydrochloric acid, when chlorine gas is employed as a disinfectant
Sodium Bicarbonate1 like
sodium bicarbonate
Baking soda employed to elevate total alkalinity of pool water with a minor change in pH
Sodium Bisulfate 0 likes
Dry acid when mixed with water diminishes the pH and alkalinity of pool water
Sodium Fixture1 like
sodium fixture
An electric lamp with sodium vapor and electrodes where a bright discharge occurs; widely employed outside
Sodium Hypchlorite 0 likes
Liquid consisting of 12 to 15 percent available chlorine; employed as a pool water disinfectant
Sodium Thiosulfate 0 likes
Chemical that eliminates chlorine from a test sample to avert erroneous pH test scores or erroneous bacteria test results
Soffit 0 likes
Area below the eaves and overhangs; the area below where the roof hangs over the walls; typically the underside of a structural component of a building
Soffit Board 0 likes
A distinct gypsum board employed in outside overhangs, carport ceilings and other areas safeguarded from the weather
Soffit Vent2 likes
soffit vent
An aperture below a roof’s eaves that enables air to flow into the attic or the area below the roof sheath
Soft Costs 0 likes
Costs supplemental to the direct construction cost, such as architectural and engineering fees, legal permits and fees, financing fees, construction interest and operating expenses, advertising and promotion, real estate commissions, and supervisory fees; See Construction Cost
Soft Dollars 1 like
Part of equity investment in real estate, such as prepaid interest, that is tax deductible in the first year
Payments made by money managers to their service providers by passing on business to them instead of paying them with cash
Soft Mud Brick 0 likes
Brick created by casting wet clay, often manually; when the interior of molds is sanded to thwart the adhering of clay, the result is Sand Mold Brick; when molds are moistened to thwart sticking, the result is Water-Struck Brick or Slip Brick
Soft Rot 0 likes
Distinct decay that develops in very wet environments in the exterior wood layers, such as in boat timbers
Soft Water 0 likes
Water that has a very low mineral content
Soft-Burned 0 likes
Clay materials fired at low temperatures, yielding high absorption and low compression strengths
Softener, Water2 likes
softener, water
See Water Softener
Softening Point 0 likes
The temperature at which a hard material becomes soft or sticky
Softening Point Drift 0 likes
Reducing the softening point of bitumen, due to extended overheating or combining asphalt and coal-tar pitch; also called Dropback
Software, Scheduling 1 like
See Scheduling Software
Softwood Plywood Panel 0 likes
Plywood fabricated from softwood species
Softwoods 0 likes
Trees that usually have needle or scaly leaves; the conifers, or the wood produced from these trees; bears no relation to the hardness of the wood
Soil 0 likes
Loose top layer on land; unconsolidated natural surface material on top of bedrock
Soil and Waste Pipe 1 like
pipe that carries sewage or waste water from a toilet, shower and the like to a soil drain or sewer
Soil Bend 0 likes
A short curved pipe in the shape of an elbow that joins two straight pipes in a sewage system
Soil Test 0 likes
See Geotechnical Investigation
Sol-Air Temperature 0 likes
Arrangement of solar and convective heat sources at the exterior surface of a roof or wall
Solar Array 0 likes
A group of panels that gather heat from the sun for a solar heating system
Solar Collector1 like
solar collector
See Collector
Solar Heat 0 likes
Heat produced by energy from the sun
Solar Heat Gain through Fenestration 0 likes
Quantity of heat gain through a distinctive covering system or window
Solar Heating1 like
Solar Heating
A heating system employing heat from the sun
Solar Panel 0 likes
Battery of solar cells
Solar Reel0 likes
solar reel
A device, such as a cylinder, spool, or frame, that turns on an axis and is used for winding and storing rope, tape, film, or other flexible materials powered by the radiation from the sun.
Solar Screen Title 0 likes
Tile fabricated for masonry screen building
Solar Systems 0 likes
Heating and cooling systems that employ solar energy
Solarium 0 likes
Glass enclosed room that is exposed to the sun
Solder 0 likes
A fusible alloy, usually a mixture of lead and tin, employed to join metal objects
Soldering Iron1 like
soldering iron
A pointed or wedge-shaped implement employed in soldering
Solderless Pressure Connector 0 likes
A device which creates the connection between conductors or between conductors and a terminal employing mechanical pressure without soldering
Soldier 0 likes
A brick positioned on its end with its narrow face toward the wall’s exterior
Soldier Course 0 likes
Oblong tile or brick positioned with the long side upright and all joints flush
Sole Ownership 0 likes
A business owned by only one person
Sole Plate 0 likes
The horizontal beam to which the underside of the studs are secured in a wall of a structure
Sole Proprietor 0 likes
The only owner of a business
Sole Proprietorship 0 likes
Same as sole ownership
Solenoid1 like
A cylindrical wire coil that functions as an electromagnet when a current is flowing
Solenoid Valve1 like
solenoid valve
A valve that is activated by an electric solenoid
Solid 1 like
One of three states of mattersolid, liquid, and gas
Firm and stable in shape and volume; unyielding
Reliable, of strong character
Solids 0 likes
The dry ingredients left after the volatile solvent or water evaporates from paint; not fluid and unable to flow
Solids Volume 0 likes
Proportion of total volume inhabited by non-volatiles in paint
Solubility 0 likes
Ability of a substance to dissolve in another
Soluble 0 likes
Ability of a substance to dissolve in another and produce a solution; for example, salt is soluble in water
Soluble Salts 0 likes
A mineral that is usually present in the clay used for the making of bricks
Solution 1 like
The process by which a solid, liquid, or gas (solute) is homogeneously mixed with a liquid (solvent) and unlike a suspension, the resulting mixture is incapable of mechanical separation into its parts; there is always more solvent than solute; brines are solutions of a salt in water, alloys and amalgams are metal in metal solutions
Solution Dyeing 0 likes
While in liquid solution, Including dye or colored pigments to synthetic material prior to extruding into fiber
Solvent2 likes
A substance, usually a liquid, in which other substance dissolves
Possessing the money to cover all legal debts and expenses
Sone 0 likes
Measurement of sound loudness
Sonotube 0 likes
Large circular cardboard tube that secures wet concrete in place until it solidifies
Sound 1 like
Vibrations that are traveling in the air or other elastic materials, particularly those audible to the human ear
Sound Absorbing Material1 like
sound absorbing material
Acoustic insulation, generally composed of glass fiber, positioned in deck flutes to enhance sound absorption through holes in the deck
Sound Absorption 0 likes
Dispelling or discharging sound energy
When materials and structures absorb sound
Sound Attenuation 0 likes
To soundproof a subfloor or wall; typically accomplished with fiberglass insulation
Sound Knot 0 likes
A solid knot, as tough or tougher than the surrounding wood, and completely intact
Sound Transmission Class (STC) 0 likes
Single number rating of the sound insulation of a partition or wall; measured by a curve of its insulation value in relation to frequency; larger numbers indicate better sound insulation
Sound Transmission Coefficient 0 likes
Measurement of the decrease in sound transmission through particular groups of materials employed in walls, ceilings, and floors
Sound Transmission Loss (STL) 1 like
The reduction in sound energy of airborne sound as it moves through a construction material, in decibels; transmission loss usually increases with frequency, the greater frequencies have greater sound transmission loss
South Pole 1 like
Southernmost point of the axis of rotation of the earth
The pole of a magnet pointing south
Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc 1 like
900 Montclair Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35213, Tel: (205) 591-1853; URL: www.sbcci.org/
Southern Forest Products Association (SPA) 0 likes
2900 Indian, Kenner, LA 70065, Tel: (504) 443-4464; URL: www.sfpa.org
Product of the day


Detergent, alkali, acid, or another cleaning substance Solvent for cleaning paint equipment



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