What Do These Construction Terminologies Mean?

If you are new to construction, then you may not be too familiar with the shop talk or the terms used in the construction industry. It can be confusing too, as the construction industry involves many types of things, people, and machines. Although it is best to leave it to the skilled workers, you should at least be familiar with some terms so that you know what\’s going on. Hence, if you have to work with construction labor, read on to find out what some common construction terminologies mean.

Absolute Obligation

To have absolute obligation means to have the responsibility of exercising reasonable care when you are working.

Acrow Prop

Acrow props or more commonly known as acros are supports that are used temporarily to hold up structures and scaffolds. They can be adjusted by length.


An adjudicator comes in when you are unable to resolve any conflicts related to construction. They are an objective third party to help resolve conflicts between any parties.


Balustrades are vertical supports or railings that are supported by balusters that hold up common structures such as bridges, platforms, stairs, balconies, and terraces.


Crawlers are machines that are used for a wide variety of purposes including digging through soil and lifting heavy loads. They can be used with many different attachments such as shears and grapples.

Cat Skinner

A cat skinner is a term used to describe someone who operates a machine with caterpillar treads or a small bulldozer.


CAD stands for computer aided design which is usually achieved using an architecture software. The software is used to create accurate models of structures and buildings during the planning process so that measurements and building processes will be more accurate.

Contingency Plan

A contingency plan is always important to have when planning a construction project. It simply means the backup plan or \’plan B\’ that will be activated when the original plan fails or does not go according to plan.


Earthmovers refer to a group of machinery that can be used to move earth or dig up dirt such as bulldozers or backhoes.


Gantt Chart

Finials are decorative ornaments that are usually rounded and serve to mark the top or end of a structure. Examples are finials on top of bed posts or on top of cultural buildings.

Gantt charts are used as a visual tool to represent a project schedule. They are useful in ensuring your project is following schedule and will be completed on time.


HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. It often refers to technologies that are used to produce comfortable indoor air quality and temperature.


A rafter is a group of roof pieces that connect together to provide the main support to hold up roofs and sheathes.


A sump is usually the lowest point of a building or structure and its purpose is to collect any unused or unwanted water and help to remove it from the structure. It is also known as a drain pit.


Warping can be seen when a material or structure is distorted in shape or size. It usually signals some kind of damage such as water damage.

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