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Construction Terms and Slang

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Nail Bender
(slang) A carpenter.

Nailer
A piece of lumber secured to non-nailable decks and walls by bolts or other means, which provides a suitable backing onto which roof components may be mechanically fastened.

Narrowback
(slang) An interior electrician as opposed to an electrcial lineman.

Natural Finish
A transparent finish which does not seriously alter the original color or grain of the natural wood. Natural finishes are usually provided by sealers, oils, varnishes, water-repellent preservatives, and other similar materials.

Neat Plaster
A base coat plaster which does not contain aggregates and is used where the addition of aggregates on the job is desired.

Neoprene
A synthetic rubber having physical properties closely resembling those of natural rubber. It is made by polymerizing chloroprenes, and the latter is produced from acetylene and hydrogen chloride.

New York Screwdriver
(slang) A very large hammer.

Newel
A post to which the end of a stair railing or balustrade is fastened. Also, any post to which a railing or balustrade is fastened.

NM
A type of Romex cable (nonmetallic sheathed cable that contains several conductors). The cable, which is flame-retardant, is limited to use in dry locations only and can not be exposed to excessive moisture.

NMC (Non-Metallic Conduit)
A type of Romex cable (nonmetallic sheathed cable that contains several conductors). NMC may be used in damp or corrosive locations as well as dry areas.

Non-Destructive
A phrase describing a method of examining the interior of a component whereby no damage is done to the component itself.

Non-Drying
A sealant that does not set up or cure. See Butyl.

Non-Sag
A sealant formulation having a consistency that will permit application in vertical joints without appreciable sagging or slumping. A performance characteristic which allows the sealant to be installed in a sloped or vertical joint application without appreciable sagging or slumping.

Non-Skinning
Descriptive of a product that does not form a surface skin.

Non-Staining
Characteristic of a compound that will not stain a surface.

Nonbearing Wall
A wall supporting no load other than its own weight.

Nosing
The projecting edge of a molding or drip. Usually applied to the projecting molding on the edge of a stair tread.

Notch
A crosswise rabbet at the end of a board.

Nozzle
The tubular tip of a caulking gun through which the compound is extruded.

Npva
(slang) No Practical Vertical Application, generally used to mean someone not skilled in a conventional trade. See also: Zoned Commercial.

Nuclear Meter
A device used to detect moisture by measuring slowed, deflected neutrons.