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Construction Terms and Slang

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Hammerfore
(slang) The unititiated are tricked into inquiring as to the purpose of this mythical device.

Hardware
Metal accessories such as door knobs, towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc.

Hatch
An opening in a deck; floor or roof. The usual purpose is to provide access from inside the building.

Hawk
A flat wood or metal tool 10 inches to 14 inches square with a handle used by plasterers to carry plaster mortar or mud.

Hazard Insurance
Insurance for a building while it is under construction.

Head Honcho
(slang) The boss or other superior.

Headache!
(slang) Exclamation: Look out, heads up: something is falling.

Header
Framing members over windows, doors, or other openings. (a) A beam placed perpendicular to joists and to which joists are nailed in framing for chimney, stairway, or other opening. (b) A wood lintel.

Hearth
The inner or outer floor of a fireplace, usually made of brick, tile, or stone.

Heartwood
The wood extending from the pith to the sapwood, the cells of which no longer participate in the life processes of the tree.

Heat Strengthened Glass
Flat or bent glass that has been heat-treated to a specific surface and/or edge compression range to meet the requirements of ASTM C 1048, kind HS. Heat-strengthened glass is approximately two times as strong as annealed glass of the same thickness when exposed to uniform static pressure loads. Heat-strengthened glass is not considered safety glass and will not completely dice as will fully tempered glass.

Heel Bead
Sealant applied at the base of a channel, after setting the light or panel and before the removable stop is installed, one of its purposes being to prevent leakage past the stop.

Hermetic Seal
Vacuum seal (between panes of a double-paned window i.e. insulated glass unit or IGU). Failure of a hermetic seal causes permanent fogging between the panels of the IGU.

Hey Koolaid!
(slang) Exclamation used to tell someone to quit whining or complaining.

Hiccup
(slang) Something that has to be redone, a flub.

High Chair
(slang) A heavy, wire, vaguely chair-shaped device used to hold steel reinforcement off the bottom of the slab during the placement of concrete.

High Early Cement
A portland cement sold as Type III sets up to its full strength faster than other types.

High Rise
(slang) (1) A building with upper floors higher than fire department aireal ladders, usually ten or more stories. (2) A traffic-control device consisting of a barricade with stationary flagged arms positioned at 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock, and 2 o'clock and located at each end of a construction zone.

High Side (high Pressure Side)
(slang) (1) Those parts in a refrigeration system which are exposed to pressure at least as great as condenser pressure. (2) The outside of a pipe bend or conduit bend.

Hip
The external angle formed by the meeting of two sloping sides of a roof.

Hip Rafter
A rafter that forms the intersection of an external roof angle.

Hip Roof
A roof that rises by inclined planes from all four sides of a building.

Hoistway
A shaftway for the travel of one or more elevators.

Honeycomb
(1) Areas in a foundation wall where the aggregate (gravel) is visible. Honeycombs can be usually be remedied by applying a thin layer of grout or other cement product over the affected area. (2) Method by which concrete is poured and not puddled or vibrated, allowing the edges to have voids or holes after the forms are removed.

Hook
(slang) A crane.

Hot
(slang) A live or electrically charged wire or other electrical component.

Hot Wrench
(slang) To use a torch for cutting a bolt when a wrench won't work.

Hub
In plumbing, the enlarged end of a pipe which is made to provide a connection into which the end of the joining pipe will fit.

Humidifier
A device designed to increase the humidity within a room or a house by means of the discharge of water vapor. They may consist of individual room size units or larger units attached to the heating plant to condition the entire house.

HVAC
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

Hydroelectric Elevator
An elevator where liquid is pumped under pressure directly into the cylinder by a pump driven by an electric motor without an accumulator between the pump and cylinder.