Glossary of Home Improvement Terms

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Glossary of Home Improvement Terms

Before you nail down your next home improvement project, learn the lingo. These common terms and definitions may help you avoid miscommunications with your contractor.

 

  • Allowance A specific dollar amount allocated by a contractor for specified items in a contract for which brand, model number, color, size or other detail is not yet known. A specific dollar amount allocated by a contractor for specified items in a contract for which brand, model number, color, size or other detail is not yet known.
  • Bid A proposal to work for a certain amount of money, based on plans and specifications for the project. A proposal to work for a certain amount of money, based on plans and specifications for the project.
  • Building Permit A document issued by a governing authority, such as a building department, granting permission to undertake a construction project. A document issued by a governing authority, such as a building department, granting permission to undertake a construction project.
  • Call-back An informal term for a return visit made by a contractor to repair or replace items the home owner has found to be unsatisfactory or that require service under the warranty. An informal term for a return visit made by a contractor to repair or replace items the home owner has found to be unsatisfactory or that require service under the warranty.
  • CGR (Certified Graduate Remodelor) A professional certified program offered through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelors Council. To attain the CGR designation, a remodeler must take a specified number of continuing education courses and must comply with a strict code of ethics. A professional certified program offered through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelors Council. To attain the CGR designation, a remodeler must take a specified number of continuing education courses and must comply with a strict code of ethics.
  • Change Order Written authorization to the contractor to make a change or addition to the work described in the original contract. The change order should reflect any changes in cost. Written authorization to the contractor to make a change or addition to the work described in the original contract. The change order should reflect any changes in cost.
  • Cost-plus Contract A contract between a contractor and homeowner based on the accrued cost of labor and materials plus a percentage for profit and overhead. Also known as a time-andmaterials contract. A contract between a contractor and homeowner based on the accrued cost of labor and materials plus a percentage for profit and overhead. Also known as a time-andmaterials contract.
  • Draw A designated payment that is “drawn” from the total project budget to pay for services completed to date. A draw schedule typically is established in the contract. A designated payment that is “drawn” from the total project budget to pay for services completed to date. A draw schedule typically is established in the contract.
  • Lien Release A document that voids the legal right of a contractor, subcontractor or supplier to place a lien against your property. A lien release assures you that the remodeler has paid subcontractors and suppliers in full for labor and materials. A document that voids the legal right of a contractor, subcontractor or supplier to place a lien against your property. A lien release assures you that the remodeler has paid subcontractors and suppliers in full for labor and materials.
  • Mechanic’s Lien A lien obtained by an unpaid subcontractor or supplier through the courts. When enforced, real property—such as your home—can be sold to pay the subcontractor or supplier.
  • Plans and Specifications Drawings for the project, and a detailed list or description of the known products, materials, quantities and finishes to be used in the project. Drawings for the project, and a detailed list or description of the known products, materials, quantities and finishes to be used in the project.
  • Punch List A list of items of work to be completed or corrected by the contractor, typically near or at the end of a project. A list of items of work to be completed or corrected by the contractor, typically near or at the end of a project.
  • Subcontractor A person or company hired directly by the contractor to perform specialized work at the job site. Sometimes referred to as a trade contractor. A person or company hired directly by the contractor to perform specialized work at the job site. Sometimes referred to as a trade contractor.
By | 2017-05-03T11:17:31+00:00 April 13th, 2014|Consumer Info|Comments Off on Glossary of Home Improvement Terms

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Rita Unzner