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Construction Terms and Slang

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Tail Beam
A relatively short beam or joist supported in a wall on one end and by a header at the other.

Taping
Applying joint tape over embedding compound in the process of joint treatment of drywall.

Tar Heel
(slang) Hot tar roof installer.

Tear-Off
In roofing, a term used to describe the complete removal of the built up roof membrane and insulation down to and exposing the roof deck.

Tell 'em Jim
(slang) Exclamation used to inform someone they are "Kirking", i.e., boasting or grandstanding. See also: Kirking.

Termite
(slang) A carpenter.

Termite Shield
A shield, usually of noncorrodible metal, placed in or on a foundation wall or other mass of masonry or around pipes to prevent passage of termites.

Termites
Insects that superficially resemble ants in size, general appearance, and habit of living in colonies; hence, they are frequently called "white ants." Subterranean termites establish themselves in buildings not by being carried in with lumber, but by entering from ground nests after the building has been constructed. If unmolested, they eat out the woodwork, leaving a shell of sound wood to conceal their activities, and damage may proceed so far as to cause collapse of parts of a structure before discovery. There are about 56 species of termites known in the United States; but the two major ones, classified by the manner in which they attack wood, are ground inhabiting or subterranean termites (the most common) and dry wood termites, which are found almost exclusively along the extreme southern border and the Gulf of Mexico in the United States.

Terneplate
Sheet iron or steel coated with an alloy of lead and tin.

Texture Paint
One which may be manipulated by brush, trowel or other to give various patterns.

Thermal Insulation
Any material high in resistance to heat transmission that, when placed in the walls, ceiling, or floors of a structure, will reduce the rate of heat flow.

Thermal Movement
The measured amount of dimensional change that a material exhibits as it is warmed or cooled.

Thermal Shock
The stress built up by sudden and appreciable changes in temperature.

Thermoplastic Material
Solid material which is softened by increasing temperatures and hardened by decreasing temperatures.

Three-Phase
In electrical contracting, a wiring system consisting of 4 wires and used in industrial and commercial applications. This system is suitable for installations requiring large motors. It consists of three hot wires and one ground wire. The voltage in each hot wire is out of phase with the others by 1/3 of a cycle, as if produced by 3 different generators.

Threshold
A strip of wood or metal with beveled edges used over the finish floor and the sill of exterior doors.

Thru-Wall Flashing
Flashing extended completely through a masonry wall. Designed and applied in combination with counter-flashings, to prevent water which may enter the wall above from proceeding downward in the wall or into the roof deck or roofing system.

THW
Moisture and heat resistant thermoplastic conductor. It is flame retardant, moisture and heat resistant and can be used in dry or wet locations.

Tie-in
In roofing, a term used to describe the joining of a new roof with the old.

Tilt-up Wall
Cast concrete units which are preformed which, when cured, are tilted

Timbers
Yard lumber 5 or more inches in least dimension. Includes beams, stringers, posts, caps, sills, girders, and purlins

Tin Banger
(slang) A sheet metal worker. See also: Tin Knocker.

Tin Knocker
(slang) A sheet metal worker. See also: Tin Banger.

Tinted Glass
Glass with colorants added to the basic glass batch that give the glass color as well as light and heat-reducing capabilities. The color extends throughout the thickness of the glass.

Title 24
A federal set of laws that mandates the construction industry to conserve energy.

Toasters
(slang) Burnouts, stoners. Persons who have used too many drugs.

Toasties
(slang) Work-enhancing stimulants (including coffee).

Toe Bead
Sealant applied at the intersection of the outboard glazing stop and the bottom of the glazing channel; must be sized to also provide a seal to the edge of the glass.

Toenailing
To drive a nail at a slant with the initial surface in order to permit it to penetrate into a second member.]

Tongue & Groove
A type of flooring where the tongue of one board is joined to the groove of another board

Tooling
The operation of pressing in and striking a sealant in a joint to press the sealant against the sides of a joint and secure good adhesion; the finishing off of the surface of a sealant in a joint so that it is flush with the surface.

Top Mopping
The finished mopping of hot bitumen on a built-up roof.

Top Plate
Top horizontal member of a frame wall.

Torching
Applying direct flame to a membrane for the purpose of melting, heating or adhering.

Transit
A surveyors instrument used by builders to establish points and elevations both vertically and horizontally. It can be used to line up stakes or to plumb walls or the angle of elevation from a horizontal plane can be measured.

Tread
The horizontal board in a stairway on which the foot is placed.

Tremie
A tube with removable sections and a funnel at the top used in concrete application. The bottom is kept beneath the surface of the concrete and raised as the form is filled and is used to pour concrete underwater.

Trim
The finish materials in a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, cornice, and other moldings)

Trimmer
A beam or joist to which a header is nailed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening.

Truss
A frame or jointed structure designed to act as a beam of long span, while each member is usually subjected to longitudinal stress only, either tension or compression.

Tuckpointing
The re-grouting of defective mortar joints in a masonry or brick wall.

Turban
(slang) A motorized or wind-driven roof vent, often round.

Turbans
[definition pending]

Turpentine
A volatile oil used as a thinner in paints and as a solvent in varnishes. Chemically, it is a mixture of terpenes.

TW
Moisture-resistant thermoplastic conductor that can be used in dry or wet locations and has no outer covering and is not heat-resistant.

Two-block
(slang) An unflattering nickname for a crane operator who has, through negligence, hoisted the crane's ball and hook into its boom.

Two-Part Sealant
A product composed of a base and curing agent or accelerator, necessarily packages in two separate containers which are uniformly mixed just prior to use.