Construction Terminology

Construction Terms

Construction Term Abstract Title
A summary listing of the documents registered in the local land registry office and which affect title (ownership) of a
particular property

Construction Term Acceleration Clause
A clause in a mortgage or loan. If the borrower fails to live up to her obligations under the mortgage, the lender has the
legal right to demand that the full principal of the mortgage may become due and payable immediately upon the failure.

Construction Term Affidavit
A sworn statement setting out facts which the affiant states are true. Sworn before a Commissioner for swearing Oaths,
Notary Public or other public official.

Construction Term Allowance
Allowance is the amount of money that might be allowed to purchase a particular item in the construction budget for a

Construction Term Amortization
A schedule which provides for the gradual payment of  a mortgage usually by the contribution to a sinking fund at the time
of each periodic interest payment.

Construction Term Application
Application is a document that supplies information needed for a lending institution to qualify an individual for a loan. This
will provide personal and financial information.

Construction Term Application Fee
The fees the lender charges the applicant. May include costs of a property appraisal and a credit report on the applicant.
May be payable by applicant even if loan is not approved.

Construction Term Appraisal
An estimate of the value of property by an authorized appraiser.

Construction Term APR
APR is a term used to express Annual Percentage Rate.

Construction Term ARM
Also known as a Variable Rate Mortgage, a loan secured against land which has an interest rate that changes according to
some outside index -- such as the federal prime rate or the interest rate paid on government bonds -- over the term of the
mortgage. The change in interest rate will result in a change in the periodic payments due under the mortgage.

Construction Term As Is agreement
A statement in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale that confirms that the Purchaser shall accept the property and all
chattels included in the Purchase in the condition in which they are found at the time the Agreement is signed.

Construction Term Asking Price
The price at which the Vendor advertises a property. When used in the advertisement, may suggest flexibility on the part of
the Vendor regarding the price.

Construction Term Assessed value
The value assigned to a given property by the municipality for the purpose of establishing realty taxes payable by the
owner of the property.

Construction Term Assessment
A value placed on a property in order to set a rate for a tax to be levied.

Construction Term Assignment
The transfer of any right, claim or interest to another person or corporation. Often used to refer to the transfer of a
mortgage from one lender to another. Also a noun describing the document which represents the assignment of the right

Construction Term Assume Mortgage
The agreement of a purchaser to take on personal liability for a mortgage already registered on title to the property and to
make payments under the mortgage. Purchaser takes the place of the vendor in the contract with the lender.

Assumption allows a buyer to assume the responsibility for an existing loan instead of getting a new one.

Construction Term ADA
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act . This act sets standards to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Features that are added because of this will be designated as handicap floor plans and details..    

Construction Term Air Damper
Air Damper is a mechanical device used to control the amount of air flow that goes through an air duct. These dampers
can be permanently set to balance a system or electronically controlled, depending on the demand of the system such as
in a zone system where the air flow will be adjusted.

Construction Term Air Handler
Term used to refer to the mechanical device that produces the forced air in a air conditioning system. The air handler is
part of the furnace unit in a house. This can be in either a vertical or a horizontal furnace unit, depending on its location. It
usually consists of a motor and a squirrel cage fan. The air handler will be sized to produce a certain CFM (cubic feet per
minute). There is an “A coil ” in the air handler which is filled with refrigerant. This allows the air to be cooled as it is forced
across the coils by the motor driven squirrel cage fan. The plenum sits on top of the air handler and creates a supply air
duct for the system.

Construction Term Anchor Bolt
An anchor bolt is a  threaded bolt used to bolt the bottom plate of an exterior wall to the foundation. These bolts are
embedded in the wet concrete when the slab is poured. They are also sometimes called “J” bolts because of their shape.

Construction Term Attic
The attic is the upper most space between the ceiling joist and rafters. The amount of attic space will vary depending on
the size of the house and the pitch of the roof.

Construction Term Attic Insulation
Attic insulation refers to insulation put in the attic. This is usually either batt insulation or blown insulation. The thickness will
vary depending on the “R” value that is specified in the plans.  

Construction Term Auxiliary Drain
All air conditioning systems have a primary condensation drain as part of the furnace unit. The auxiliary drain in an air
conditioning system refers to an extra condensation drain. It consists of a drain pan installed under the inside furnace unit
in a closet or attic. If the primary condensation drain gets clogged, the water  will flow into the auxiliary pan and out the PVC
pan drain. Usually the PVC drain is routed to a place where it will draw attention if water begins to drain.

Construction Term Acre
An acre is an area measurement of land. An acre measures 43,560 square feet.

Construction Term As Built Survey
An "As Built" survey is performed to obtain horizontal and/or vertical dimensional data so that constructed improvements
may be located and delineated

Construction Term Attic Access
Attic Access is a term that is used to refer to the hole normally in the hallway or a convenient place in order to give access
to the attic.  The normal dimensions are at least 2x2 or maybe 2ft by 3ft, depending on the house.
Category Construction Glossary