Term Definition
Stability 1 like
When a material or structure is unaffected, or restored to its initial state after being impacted by a force
Stack 0 likes
To properly position trusses on walls
Stack Bond 1 like
A brick bond with all headers, stretchers and vertical joints aligned; also called plumb joint bond, straight stack, checkerboard bond, jack bond, and jack on jack
Stack Effect 2 likes
Air flow created by convection as heated air rises producing a positive pressure region at the uppermost point of a building and a negative pressure area at the lowest part of a building; the stack effect can override the mechanical system and interrupt ventilation and flow in a building structure
Stacking Tile 1 like
Installing glazed tiles on a wall in direct contact with adjoining tiles with either straight or broken joints; string is not employed to position the tiles
Stadia Rod 0 likes
A special employed by land surveyors to observing and record distances and elevations
Staff 0 likes
Plaster casts produced in molds, strengthened with fiber and generally nailed or wired into position
Staff Plaster 2 likes
Employed for precast plaster moldings, this rigid plaster is composed of fibrous material
Staff Room 0 likes
A room where staff personnel congregate
Stage, Band 1 like
See Band Stage
Stage, Theater 1 like
See Theater Stage
Staggered Splices 1 like
Joints in steel reinforcing bars at different points
Staging 0 likes
See Scaffold
Stain 1 like
A discoloration flaw
Material used to apply color to wood, glass or other substances
Stain Wax, Penetrating 3 likes
See Penetrating Stain Wax
Stain, Wood2 likes
stain, wood
See Wood Stain
Stained Glass2 likes
stained glass
Colored or stained glass employed in windows
Colored glass employed in a lead framework
Staining 0 likes
Discoloration produced when a foreign substance chemically alters a material
Applying paint while the grain of wood shows through
Stainless Grab Bar3 likes
stainless grab bar
A stainless steel metal handrail in a bathroom, shower, or bathtub; facilitates safe use of bathroom fittings
Stainless Steel1 like
stainless steel
Alloy of steel, chromium and other metals that is almost rustproof and non-corrosive
Stair Carriage 0 likes
Supporting 2 X 12 inch plank for stair treads, notched to accept the treads; sometimes called a Rough Horse
Stair Formwork 0 likes
Reinforcement for newly poured concrete for a stairway
Stair Landing 0 likes
A platform, generally at least 3 square feet in size, between or at the end of flights of stairs; frequently employed when stairs take a different direction; the horizontal platform amid stair flights
Stairway 1 like
Stairs and landings spanning from floor to floor
Stake 1 like
A post in the earth that serves as a support or boundary marker
An investment or share in a financial activity
Stake, Side 0 likes
A stake on the outside edge line of a planned pavement
Stall 1 like
A booth or compartment in a market or building where goods are displayed and sold
When a motor stops suddenly due to lack of fuel or mechanical failure
A compartment in a stable where a domestic animal is accommodated
A compartment where water is sprayed; a stall shower
A space marked off for parking a car
An area allocated for parking a vehicle in a parking lot
Stall Torque 0 likes
The torque created on starting in an electric motor
Stanchion1 like
An upright support or strut
Stand Oil1 like
stand oil
A thick vegetable oil, or combination, including linseed, tung and soya oils that have been heated to more than 300 degrees centigrade
Standard Air 1 like
See Standard Conditions
Standard Conditions 0 likes
Circumstances for air conditioning measurement; temperature of 68°F (20°C), pressure of 29.92 inches of mercury, and relative humidity of 30 percent; also called Standard Air
Standard Details 0 likes
A detailed drawing that can be employed on other projects with very few or no changes
Standard Dimension 0 likes
A specific measurement for a manufactured item
Standard Grade Tile 0 likes
The best ceramic tile grade
Standard of Living 0 likes
Amount of comfort afforded to people living in an area
Standard Operating Procedure 0 likes
Detailed, written instructions to achieve uniformity in performing a specific function; acronym is SOP
Standard Practices of the Trade 0 likes
The way in which construction work is usually accomplished by the average professional in the field in that vicinity; usually included as a clause in construction contracts; does not necessitate best practices
Standardize 0 likes
To conform to a standard
Standards of Professional Practice 1 like
Code of professional responsibility; description of minimum acceptable ethical principles and practices selected by professional organizations to direct the conduct of their members; these guidelines enable recipients to have confidence that they are receiving proper care and can be critical if there is a legal dispute over the quality of care provided
Standing Finish 1 like
The finish woodwork of apertures, foundation, and all inside finishing
Standing Seam Roof 1 like
A durable exposed metal roof system in which preformed overlapping panels are attached with concealed fasteners; structural standing seam roofing is stronger, more water-tight and more flexible than architectural panel systems
Standpipe1 like
A pipe spanning the height of a building with connections to a hose to provide water in case of fire; See Dry Standpipe and Wet Standpipe
Stanley Knife2 likes
stanley knife
A hand implement with detachable blades; trademark; See Board Knife
Stannous 1 like
Composed of or associated with tin
Staple1 like
Double pointed, U-shaped metal fastener that is driven into a surface to secure a hasp, hook, rope, wire or other materials
Staple Fibers 1 like
Fibers ranging from 1-1/2 inches to 7 inches long that are spun into yarn
Staple Gun1 like
staple gun
A spring-loaded or pneumatic tool for driving staples into a surface
Star Drill1 like
star drill
A drill bit for producing holes in concrete
A cold chisel with a cross-shaped head for boring holes in concrete that a person hits with a hammer and rotates each time
Start Date 1 like
The date that marks the beginning of a project
Starter Strip 0 likes
Asphalt roofing at the eaves that fills in the areas below the cutouts and joints of the first course of shingles; provides protection
Statement 0 likes
A summary of an account over a given time period: See Invoice
Statement of Sources and Application of Funds 0 likes
See Statement of Changes in Financial Position
Stateroom 0 likes
A private passenger compartment with sleeping facilities on a ship or train
Static Bending 1 like
Bending under a constant or gradually applied weight; flexure
Static Force 1 like
Static Load
Static Friction 0 likes
Friction between two or more solid objects that are not moving relative to each other
Statical Moment 0 likes
The product of a particular area and the distance from its center of mass to a point of rotation 
Statically Determinant Structure 0 likes
A structural frame where the bending moments and reactions can be ascertained by the laws of statics
Statically Indeterminant Structure 0 likes
A structural frame where the bending moments and reactions cannot be ascertained from the laws and equations of statics
Statics 0 likes
The science of bodies at rest or forces in equilibrium; a branch of mechanics
Station Yards of Haul 0 likes
The quantity of material in cubic years multiplied by the number of 100 foot stations that excavated earth or fill is moved
Stationary 0 likes
Staying in one place; static; fixed in position; not mobile
Stationary Blade Compressor 0 likes
Rotary pump that employs a non-revolving blade inside pump to isolate the intake chamber from the exhaust chamber
Stator 1 like
A static component in a machine where a rotor revolves
Stator, Motor1 like
stator, motor
See Motor Stator
Statute of Fraud 0 likes
Invoked by a defendant in a breach of contract action, a statute that requires particular contracts be articulated in writing
Statute of Limitations 1 like
The period of time in which legal action is viable for an alleged injury or damage; the time period starts at the discovery of the alleged injury or damage; in construction situations, the time period may begin when the work is completed
Statute of Repose 0 likes
Measured from the end of a work of improvement, a statute of limitations that protects architects, engineers, and contractors from liability for flaws for an indefinite time while accomplishing the improvement
Stay-Tackling 0 likes
Short-lived nailing of carpet in stages during a long stretch to maintain the stretch until the end of the carpet is kicked over the pins
STC 1 like
Sound Transmission Class; the measure of sound stopping of ordinary noise
Std 0 likes
Steam 1 like
Gaseous form of water, created by boiling
Steel1 like
Iron combined with other metals for increased strength, durability or corrosive resistance
Steel Deck Institute (SDI) 1 like
P. O. Box 3812, St. Louis, Missouri 63122, Tel: (314) 965-1741, URL: www.sdi.org
Steel Door Institute (SDI) 0 likes
30200 Detroit Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44145, Tel: (440) 899-0010, URL: www.steeldoor.org/
Steel Joist Institute (SJI) 0 likes
234 W. Cheves Street, Florence, SC 29501, Tel: (843) 407-4091, URL: www.steeljoist.org
Steel Pipe Wrench1 like
Steel Pipe Wrench
Implement that delivers leverage.
Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC) 0 likes
4516 Henry Street, #301, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, Tel: (412) 281-2331, URL: http://www.sspc.org
Steel Stud1 like
steel stud
Steel pin or rod with a head, employed for attaching components together
A vertical framing part similar to a 2 by 4 stud employed in light gauge construction
Steel Tank Institute (STI) 1 like
570 Oakwood Road, Lake Zurich, Illinois 60047-1559, Tel: (708) 438-8765
Steel Window Institute (SWI) 0 likes
1300 Summer Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, Tel: (216) 241-7333, URL: www.steelwindows.com
Steel Wool1 like
steel wool
An abrasive solid material composed of steel shavings used for rubbing, cleaning, and polishing
Steel, Structural 1 like
Steel in various shapes, fabricated for use as structural weight-bearing components
Steep Asphalt 0 likes
Roofing asphalt with a softening point of around 190°F (88°C) that conforms to the ASTM Standard D 312, Type III
Steep Slope Roof 0 likes
Roofing that has more than 1-1/2 inches per foot slope or pitch
Steeple 0 likes
A tower or spire, as on a church
Steeplejack 0 likes
A person who builds or repairs tall structures, usually has safety rigging
Stem 0 likes
The upright portion of a concrete or masonry retaining wall
Stenciling 0 likes
A design created by applying a finish through a template made out of metal or thin, flat paper
Step Flashing 1 like
When an upright surface meets an inclined roof plane, 6 inch by 6 inch galvanized metal is bent at a 90 degree angle and installed under siding and over the top of shingles; each piece overlaps the one below it throughout the sloping roof
Step Ladder1 like
step ladder
A small ladder with horizontal steps
Step Return 0 likes
A circular exterior corner or edge
Stepped Foundation 0 likes
A foundation constructed in a series of steps approximating the incline of the bearing stratum to avoid h horizontal force vectors that could cause sliding
Stepping Stone 0 likes
An elevated stone employed when crossing a stream
Uniformly spaced flat stones employed as a walkway in a garden
Steri Lamp 1 like
A high-intensity ultraviolet ray lamp that exterminates bacteria; employed in food storage cabinets and air ducts
Sterilizer 0 likes
An antimicrobials registered by EPA for public health uses, eliminating all forms of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and their spores; also known as a Sporicide
Sterilizer, Medical1 like
sterilizer medical
See Medical Sterilizer
STI 1 like
Steel Tank Institute
Stick 0 likes
A wood twig or tree branch
A thin piece of wood
Adhesive in nature
Stick Built 2 likes
A house constructed without prefabricated components; also called Conventional building
Stick Shellac 0 likes
Shellac in sold stick form; employed solely for patching furniture
Stick, Hook1 like
stick, hook
See Hook Stick
Sticker 0 likes
A metal channel installed in concrete or masonry walls to fasten or support wall furring channels
Sticker Stain 0 likes
A brown or blue stain in maturing lumber after contact with stickers
Stickers 1 like
Boards or strips employed to isolate the lumber layers in a pile in order to enhance air circulation
Stickyback 1 like
A transparent decal with technical information
Stiff 0 likes
Resistant to deformation; not supple; rigid
Stiff Mud Brick 0 likes
Brick created by squeezing somewhat stiff but still plastic clay through a die
Stiffback 0 likes
A structural component positioned on top of ceiling joists at the center, flush with the joists before plastering or drywall installation
Stiffener1 like
A flat metal shape fastened to upright studs or channels of partitions or walls to secure them
Stiffener Plate1 like
stiffener plate
A steel plate connected to a structural part for reinforcement against heavy local weight loads or stresses
Stile 0 likes
A vertical framing component in a door panel
Still Water 0 likes
Static water
Stillson Wrench1 like
stillson wrench
Pipe wrench
Stilts1 like
Tall columns that support a structure above land or water; installed as protection from flooding
Extensions worn on the shoes of workers to facilitate their reach to higher areas
Stipple Finishing 1 like
Finish achieved by patting a surface with a stipple brush before paint dries
Stippling 0 likes
Shading by the creating distinct marks or points
Stipulated Sum Agreement 2 likes
A written agreement in which the total payment for completing the contract is specified; see Lump Sum Contract
Stipulated Sum Agreement 1 like
A written agreement where a specific amount of money is appropriated as the total payment for completion of the contract; see Lump Sum Contract
Stock Dyeing 1 like
Dyeing raw fibers prior to combing or spinning
Stockholder’s Equity 1 like
Part of a balance sheet indicating net worth or equity; holders of common stock of a business’s assets
Stone 0 likes
A hard nonmetallic solid substance
Employing a carborundum stone to remove spikey and chipped edges of tile or masonry as a result of cutting
Stone Facing Guard 0 likes
Steel parts applied to the face of upright stone construction to safeguard it from harm
Stonemason 0 likes
A mason who employs stone in building
Stonemasonry 0 likes
Stonework; a stonemason’s work
Stoneware1 like
Dense, tough, opaque, impermeable, vitreous or semi-vitreous glazed pottery, such as jasper ware, that is fired at a high temperature; typically gray or brown due to impurities in the clay from which is it manufactured
Stonework 0 likes
Masonry involving stones and mortar
Stool 0 likes
Horizontal moulding installed above a window sill between jambs, connecting with the lowest rail of the lower sash
Stoop 0 likes
A small porch without a roof
Stop 1 like
Molding that conceals a crack between a door, or window and frame
Stop Box 1 like
Cast iron pipe with a removable cover positioned vertically underground that houses a valve to control the water supply to a building installed by a city or municipality; also installed privately when there are numerous buildings on a common well or water service; the valve is turned on and off with a wrench which is inserted down the pipe
Stop Notice 0 likes
A written substantiated statement served by a claimant who is owed money on a work of improvement; a lien on undispersed funds provided to a property owner or construction lender for the value of services or materials in a construction project
Stop Order 1 like
A formal, written notification to a contractor to discontinue some or all work on a project for reasons such as safety issues and violations, defective materials or workmanship, or cancellation of the contract
Stop Valve1 like
stop valve
A device in a water supply line that facilitates closure of the water supply to one fixture while continuing service to the rest of the system; typically located near a fixture
Stop, Door1 like
door stop
See Door Stop
Stop, Gravel1 like
stop, gravel
See Gravel Stop
Stops 0 likes
Moldings spanning the inside edges of a door or window frame
Valves employed to control the water supply to a fixture
Storage Life 1 like
See Shelf Life
Storage Tank1 like
storage tank
A large container that stores and transports various liquids or gases
Store 0 likes
A room or building where merchandise is provided for retail sales; a shop
A reserve something for future use
Store Room 0 likes
A room expressly used to store items
Storefront 0 likes
The facade on the street side of a building with windows that display goods for sale and the main entrance
A steel or aluminum tube frame and glass wall; entrance side of a business that transacts retail sales
Storm Drain 1 like
A drain employed for transporting rain water, subsurface water, and cooling water; not employed for waste or sewage
Storm Sash 0 likes
An additional window generally located outside of an existing window that provides insulation against cold weather
Storm Sewer 1 like
A sewer system that is independent from the waste water system and gathers storm water
Storm Window 0 likes
See Storm Sash
Story 0 likes
The part of a building between floors, or between the roof and a floor
Story High 0 likes
The height measured between floors or floor joists
Story Pole 0 likes
A rod or pole calibrated with the height of a story from joist to joist; also for brick courses, and apertures
Long wood strip marked at suitable joint spaces for tiles; checks the dimensions of tiles in ceramic tile installation; also called an Idiot Stick
Wood rod that measures heights and locates siding rows
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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