Do You Know All of These Terms a Construction Worker Should Know?

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What is the proper term for 2x4 lumber installed vertically to frame a wall?
Joists
Studs
The vertical framing members used to frame walls are known as studs. They are usually made of 2x4 lumber, but some homes and many businesses use metal studs instead of wood.
I-beams
Girders

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What is the primary purpose of OSHA?
Workplace safety
In the United States, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, sets standard for workplace safety, with special standards aimed at the construction industry. Employers who fail to follow OSHA guidelines may be subject to heavy fines or even criminal charges.
Building permits
Career training
Building design

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What are the metal channels called that transport air through a building?
Chases
Tubes
Tunnels
Ducts
Sheet metal ductwork is used to transport air throughout the home. These ducts are used for heating, cooling and ventilation, and form an integral part of the HVAC system.

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What is the name used for strips of wood built into walls to hold heavy objects?
Blocking
Wooden blocking is installed within wall cavities before the walls are completed. This blocking allows you to hang a heavy object, like a fire extinguisher or television, so that it will stay safely in place.
Bonding
Shelving
Mounts

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What are I-beams usually made of?
Wood
Steel
An I-beam, which is so named because it looks like a letter I when viewed from the side, is a steel beam that serves as a major structural support in many buildings. It consists of a single web in the center, with two caps -- called flanges -- at either end.
Aluminum
Rubber

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Egress is another word for...
Window
Fire
Exit
Every construction worker should be aware of egress, or exit requirements. These standards are designed to allow occupants to safely exit a building or home in the event of an emergency. If you're building a basement bedroom, for example, you'll often be required to add a window as a second means of egress.
Flooring

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Liquidated damages are fines construction companies pay if...
They fail to maintain safety standards.
They do a lousy job.
They spill liquid on finishes surfaces.
They don't finish on time.
Sticking to the schedule and completing the job when you promised is critical for construction industry success. Not only will it help you keep getting work, but it will allow you to avoid liquidated damages -- hefty fines levied on firms that fail to finish on time.

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Where would you apply spackle?
Drywall
Spackle is a genericized trademark for a popular type of drywall putty. Similar to joint compound, it's ideal for filling holes in drywall, and has been used in construction since the 1920s.
Brick
Tile floors
Wood floors

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Drywall rated for fire-resistance is marked as...
Type A
Type X
All drywall has some fire resistance thanks to its gypsum core. Type X drywall has special additives included in the core to enhance fire-resistance, making it ideal for applications such as a garage wall or ceiling.
Model T
Brand Z

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The NFPA makes rules related to...
Construction safety
Access for the disabled
Fire protection
The National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, develops guidelines for fire safety in the building trades. Construction workers should not only be familiar with the acronym, but also with some basic NFPA guidelines used in the field.
Electrical systems

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What terms describes strips of metal used to seal around roof penetrations?
Asphalt
Flashing
Flashing is the metal or rubber trim used to seal penetrations around the roof and keep water out. It can be used around chimneys, pipes, vents, windows, doors or any other openings where sealing is required.
Fishing
Stringers

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The term AFF refers to how far you install something from...
The floor
Look at almost any construction drawing and you'll see the term AFF. This is an abbreviation for "Above Finished Floor" that tells you how far above the floor an item should be installed.
The ceiling
The fixture
Ground level

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Which of these is grout most commonly used with?
Tile
Grout, a spreadable liquid made from sand, water and other elements, is most often used when installing tile. The grout fills in the gaps between the tiles to keep them stable and secure.
Concrete
Brick
Wood

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What are as-builts?
Beams
Drawings
As-builts are a fact of life in the construction trade. This is the term used to describe a set of drawings maintained by each trade. This set includes markups that show changes as to how the structure was actually built, and may differ significantly from the original plans.
Modular homes
Heating equipment

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What is the name of the substance used between layers of brick?
Concrete
Grout
Epoxy
Mortar
Mortar is a thick paste made from sand, water and concrete. When layered between rows of brick or block, it holds the units together to form a solid and durable structure.

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What does ADA refer to?
Access for the disabled
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, affects every trade on a construction site. This set of federal laws specifies how a structure must be built to allow safe and equal access for people with disabilities. All construction workers should be familiar with ADA and its requirements.
Fire safety
Construction safety
Construction permits

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DWV is a type of...
Piping
DWV is an abbreviation that stands for drain, waste vent piping. These pipes carry wastewater, sewage and sewer gases safely out of a home or building.
Ductwork
Electrical conduit
Door hardware

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If you have a question about the blueprints or project specification, you can send one of these to the architect.
Addendum
RFI
An RFI, or request for information, is an official request for additional information or clarification. Once it's answered by the architect or engineer who designed the project, it becomes an official part of the project plans and specs.
Lien Waiver
Liquidated Damage

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Which of these is not a form of aggregate?
Water
Aggregate is used in many types of construction products and processes, from concrete to asphalt. This material consists of various particles, including gravel, stone, sand and even recycled concrete or crushed rock.
Gravel
Sand
Stone

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If a project owner makes an official change to the plans after work has begun, the change is called this.
RFI
Addendum
An addendum is any official change made by the owner of a project after the bid has been completed. This could include a major change, like additional square footage, or something simpler -- like a change from ceramic tile to wood flooring.
Change order
Specification

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What are MSDS?
Fasteners
Painting tools
Papers
Material Safety Data Sheets are a critical part of any construction site. Known as MSDS, they reveal important information about each chemical used on the job, and are designed to keep workers and occupants safe.
Flooring

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Which of these is a tunnel passing through a building?
Chase
A chase is a vertical or horizontal void hidden within a building. It can be built around a flue, a pipe riser, an air channel or other system to allow the building to function while maintaining a clean and neat appearance.
Runner
Speeder
Corner

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In construction speak, this is another word for ground level.
Raise
Forest
Grade
Rather than speaking about whether something is at ground level, construction workers use the term grade. An item buried under the soil is below-grade, while certain elements may be installed above-grade.
Mark

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What does the H in HVAC stand for?
Home
Heating
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, is a series of systems to maintain proper, safe and comfortable airflow in the home. It consists of a heating unit, like a furnace or boiler, combined with a central cooling system or heat pump, plus ductwork to carry the air through the building.
Health
Hearth

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This horizontal framing member supports the floor in a typical home.
Stud
Insulation
Asphalt
Joist
While studs run vertically, joists run horizontally to structurally support a home. They generally rest on larger members, such as girders or beams, for extra support.

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Roofing materials are measured by the...
Square
If you plan to install roofing, you have to know how to properly measure and order material. Roofing is measured by the square, with one square equal to 100 square feet of material.
Cube
Quadrilateral
Split

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What do you call the top portion of a door frame?
Jamb
Header
A header is a horizontal framing member that passes over a door or window. The vertical portions of a door frame are known as jambs.
Beam
Joist

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What is the purpose of a louver?
Fire safety
Ventilation
A louver is a panel with slits cut into it for ventilation purposes. Some are installed on the exterior of a building, while others go indoors -- such as on an interior closet door.
Flood prevention
Egress

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What does the M in O&M stand for?
Mortar
Midway
Material
Maintenance
Construction crews are often required to included operations and maintenance manuals as part of their project closeout submission. These manuals teach building operators how to run and maintain all systems once the contractor has moved on and left the site.

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What is retainage?
Type of wall
Digger
Money
On most construction sites, the project owner holds back a portion of each contractor's pay -- known as retainage -- until the work is complete. This may amount to 5 to 10 percent of each subcontract, but varies by project.
Drainage method

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What is the primary ingredient used to make drywall?
Sand
Water
Gypsum
Up until the 1940s, builders used elaborate lathe and plaster systems to construct walls. Since then, drywall has become the material of choice. Made from pressed gypsum and heavy paper, these sheets of material are installed, sanded and painted to create smooth, even wall surfaces.
Sawdust

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Which construction trade might deal with pigtails?
Electricians
A pigtail is the domain of the electrician. It consists of a pair of wires connected to a single device.
Plumbers
Painters
Carpenters

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What does OC mean on a set of construction drawings?
Original content
Over connect
On center
The term OC is very common on construction drawings. It stands for on center, and tells an installer that measurements should be taken from the center of one component to the center of the next one, rather than from either edge.
On credit

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OSB is a type of...
Sheet wood
Oriented strand board, or OSB, is a type of sheet wood similar to plywood. Made from layers of wood strands and glue, it's used to frame walls, floors and ceilings.
Floor finish
Paint
Countertop material

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Lumber is measured using this unit.
Square
Acres
Board feet
Construction pros know that lumber is measured and ordered using board feet. One board foot is equal to 144 cubic inches of wood, or a section of wood measuring 12 inches by 12 inches by 1 inch.
Centimeters

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