Glossary Of Homebuilding Vocabulary & Construction Industry Terms (A To M)

After more than 28 years in the custom home construction industry, our luxury home builders at HART Homes pride ourselves with working one-on-one with our clients throughout the entire process. When we are building your dream home, we get to know your lifestyle, preferences, and personality so that it can be reflected in your finished custom-built home. Accomplishing this requires open communication and transparency from our team of custom home developers in South Florida.

We want you to be familiar with the homebuilding process and that includes common construction terms you should know. Here is the first part of our glossary featuring homebuilding vocabulary and construction industry terms to familiarize yourself with before you start building the custom-built home of your dreams.

When you are ready to begin creating your dream home, contact us or call us at (954) 564-9434. Our team of experienced luxury home builders at HART Homes will be happy to take your call!


All-in-Rate: In construction terms, the all-in-rate is the total cost on an item that includes all its direct and indirect costs.

Alteration: Alterations are changes made when remodeling a building including rebuilding, re-erecting, repairing, enlarging, and extending that building.

Amendment: Amendments within a construction contract are changes to plans or specifications made before the contract was awarded or approved.


Building: A permanent or temporary structure enclosed within walls and a roof, intended for occupation by people, animals, or machinery.

Building Code: A set of rules and laws enacted by national, state, county, and city governments that specify the standards required for home construction.

Building Engineer: Also called an architectural engineer, the building engineer applies engineering disciplines and technological expertise to the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and renovation of homes.   


Clearing: A fundamental step in land development, it refers the process of removing all trees, vegetation, roots, rocks, and debris from the construction site.

Compliance: Occurs when construction is performed in accordance with standards set forth by the Building Code.


Damp Proofing: Dampness and unwanted moisture is a common problem during construction. Damp proofing is the process of applying materials (a wide variety is available) to the structure to prevent moisture from being absorbed by walls and entering the interior.

Design-Build: Refers to a project delivery system often used in the construction industry to prevent delays caused by time conflicts. With a design-build project delivery system, design and construction are considered “single-point-responsibility” because the team who designs the project is the same one to construct it.


Encasement: On a construction site, this is the process of coating over or covering interior and exterior building components, sewers and underground pipes, and hazardous materials typically with green coatings or concrete.

Excavation: The process of digging out the ground, moving earth, rock, or other materials in order to make room for footing or foundation.


Footing: The concrete base of a foundation wall or column that helps distribute the load over a larger area.

Foundations: The substructure or lower portion of a building that distributes its gravity load to the earth. A strong foundation is required to construct a long-standing building.

Frame/Framing: Typically made of wood or steel, it is the skeletal framework that gives a custom-built home support and shape.


Grading: The initial preparation of the ground surface prior to construction ensuring the lot is at a level base or a specified slope.

Green Building: The practice of increasing the energy-efficiency of a property, whether by decreasing energy usage and water wastage, installing clean energy sources, and other methods of reducing the building’s impact on human health and the environment.


Joists: The horizontal framing of a house that supports its floors or ceilings. These are made up of parallel beams of wood, steel, or concrete.


Lean Construction: A relatively new project delivery system that requires a study or other research to be conducted to minimize the waste of material, time, and effort to ensure the efficiency of a construction project.

Lift Slab Construction: Also known as the Youtz-Slick method, lift slab construction entails concrete slabs cast on ground level which are then lifted via hydraulic jacks into their designated upper level placements.


Moling: In construction, this refers to a trenchless method of laying pipes. A pneumatically-driven steel device called a “mole” is inserted into and through the ground to create holes for pipes.

Monocrete Construction: A construction method that utilizes only precast modular concrete panels that are bolted together to create buildings. 

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