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Construction Terms and Slang

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Gable
The end of a building as distinguished from the front or rear side. The triangular end of an exterior wall from the level of the eaves to the ridge of a double-sloped roof. In house construction, the portion of the roof above the eave line of a double-sloped roof.

Gable End
An end wall having a gable.

Galvanize
To coat a metal with zinc by dipping it in molten zinc after cleaning.

Gambrel Roof
A type of roof which has its slope broken by an obtuse angle, so that the lower slope is steeper than the upper slope. A double sloped roof having two pitches.

Gandy Dancer
(slang) A railroad worker who performs earthmoving and tracklaying work.

Gandy Stick
(slang) Railroad slang for a tamping rod.

Gas Axe
(slang) A gas torch used for cutting metal.

Gaskets
Pre-formed shapes, such as strips, grommets, etc., of rubber or rubber-like composition, used to fill and seal a joint or opening either alone or in conjunction with a supplemental application of a sealant.

Gauge
The thickness of sheet metal and wire, etc.

Gauge Board
(Spot Board) Board used to carry grout needed to patch small jobs.

Gear Jammer
(slang) A truck driver.

General Contractor
(or Prime Contractor) A contractor responsible for all facets of construction of a building or renovation.

GFI or GFI
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters - Special devices capable of opening a circuit when even a small amount of current is flowing through the grounding system.

GFRC
Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete; Material used in wall systems that resembles but generally does not perform as well as concrete. Usually a thin cementitious material laminated to plywood or other lightweight backing.

Ginnie Hopper
(slang) An aprentice grade-checker or surveyor.

Ginnywink
(slang) An A-frame derrick that has a fixed rear leg.

Girder
A main beam upon which floor joists rest used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length, usually made of steel or wood.

Glass
A hard, brittle substance, usually transparent, made by fusing silicates under high temperatures with soda, lime, etc.

Glass Tower
(slang) Any type of small crane.

Glaze Coat
In roofing, a light, uniform mopping of bitumen on exposed felts to protect them from the weather, pending completion of the job.

Glazing
(n) A generic term used to describe an infill material such as glass, panels, etc. (v) the process of installing an infill material into a prepared opening in windows, door panels, partitions, etc.

Glazing Bead
In glazing, a strip surrounding the edge of the glass in a window or door which holds the glass in place.

Glazing Channel
In glazing, a three-sided, U-shaped sash detail into which a glass product is installed and retained.

Glory Hole
(slang) (1) In mining, a slang expression for a vertical pit whose mined material drops into a shaft below the bottom of the pit. (2) A small shaft excavated to assess the quality of an ore.

Gloss Enamel
A finishing material made of varnish and sufficient pigments to provide opacity and color, but little or no pigment of low opacity. Such an enamel forms a hard coating with maximum smoothness of surface and a high degree of gloss

Gloss (Paint or Enamel)
A paint or enamel that contains a relatively low proportion of pigment and dries to a sheen or luster.

Going Alpha
(slang) Letting one's mind wander, not paying attention. See also: Alpha.

Grade MW
Moderate Weather grade of brick for moderate resistance to freezing used, for example, in planters.

Grade NW
No Weather brick intended for use as a back-up or interior masonry.

Grade SW
Severe Weather grade of brick intended for use where high resistance to freezing is desired.

Grain
The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers in wood.

Granny Bar
(slang) A large crowbar.

Granules
The mineral particles of a graded size which are embedded in the asphalt coating of shingles and roofing.

Gravel
Loose fragments of rock used for surfacing built-up roofs, in sizes varying from 1/8" to 1 3/4".

Grease Monkey
(slang) (1) A slang expression for a person who lubricates, refuels, and/or repairs equipment. (2) A grease dauber who greases skids so that logs can be moved over them easily.

Grease Pole
(slang) A hydraulic crane operator.

Greaser
(slang) Oiler or helper on heavy equipment (usually cranes).

Green Room
(slang) Portable toilets. See also: Blue Room.

Greenhorn
(slang) Someone new to the industry, trade or craft.

Ground System
The connection of current-carrying neutral wire to the grounding terminal in the main switch which in turn is connected to a water pipe. The neutral wire is called the ground wire.

Grounding Rod
Rod used to ground an electrical panel.

Grounds
Guides used around openings and at the floorline to strike off plaster. They can consist of narrow strips of wood or of wide sub-jambs at interior doorways. They provide a level plaster line for installation of casing and other trim.

Grout or Grouting
A cement mortar mixture made of such consistency (by adding water) that it will just flow into joints and cavities of masonry work to fill them solid.

Grunt
(slang) A common laborer or an apprentice lineman.

Gun
(slang) (1) Equipment designed to deliver shotcrete. (2) A pressure cylinder for pneumatic delivery of freshly mixed concrete. (3) A spray gun. (4) A slang expression for a transit, as it is used to shoot grades.

Gun Consistency
Sealant formulated in a degree of viscosity suitable for application through the nozzle of a caulking gun.

Gunite
A construction material composed of cement, sand or crushed slag and water mixed together and forced through a cement gun by pneumatic pressure, used in the construction of swimming pools.

Gusset
A flat wood, plywood, or similar type member used to provide a connection at intersection of wood members. Most commonly used at joints of wood trusses. They are fastened by nails, screws, bolts, or adhesives.

Gutter
Metal or wood trough at the eaves of a roof to carry rain water from the roof to the downspout.

Gutter Strap
Metal bands used to support the gutter.

Guy Wire
A strong steel wire or cable strung from an anchor on the roof to any tall slender projection for the purpose of support.

Gypsum Board
See Drywall

Gypsum Keene Cement
Material used to obtain a smooth finish coat of plaster, for use over gypsum plastic base coats only and in areas not subject to moisture. It is the hardest plaster.

Gypsum Plaster
Gypsum formulated to be used with the addition of sand and water for base-coat plaster.