Avi Urban Construction Glossary

Building a home is major, from the buying process to watching your home being constructed. To keep you in the know, here’s a detailed look at some of the construction terms and wording you’ll find during the home building process, in the construction blog posts, and during your new home walk-through.

Of course, the Avi Urban sales and customer relations teams are always around to answer any questions you may have while we’re building your home. Connect with our team if you have any questions about the construction of your new place.

At grade: A term applied to the part of a structure or site feature, which is located at the same elevation as the adjacent ground level.

Backfilling: Replacing soil removed during excavation around foundation of buildings.

Batt insulation: A semi-rigid section of mineral wool or glass-fibre which is fixed between framed members.

Blacklines: Detailed home design showing room layouts of each home.

Building Permit (BP):  City approval to start construction on each building. Always comes after development permit (DP)

Cantilever: A structural member unsupported at one end which projects outward to carry the weight of a structure above, such as a balcony

Casing: A form of trim used around window and door openings.

Concrete footing: The widened section at the base or bottom of a foundation wall, pier, or column.

Concrete forms: An assembly of wood or metal panels into which concrete is placed to form the foundations, footings, walls, piers, or other parts of structures. Also called form work.

Deep services: Underground sewer, water, and storm water management systems

Deficiencies: Imperfections in the home that are resolved prior to occupancy or during the warranty period

Development Permit (DP): City approval for the conceptual blueprints of the land or entire development.

Double glazing: Two panes of glass in a door or window, with an air space between the panes.

Downspout: A pipe which carries water from the eavestrough to the ground or the storm drainage system.

EnerGuide: A standard measure of your home’s energy performance

Excavating: The removal of soil for the construction of a home

Finish grading: The final surface adjustments made to a site after construction of buildings and other facilities. Usually applies to manual placing and raking of topsoil or vegetation.

Foundations: The structural base of the home, constructed using concrete

Framing: The rough timber work of a house, including the flooring, roofing, partitioning, ceiling, and beams.

Grade: The average level of the ground surface around the foundation wall and development. Can also mean the site surface slope or gradient, which can be modified by cut and fill.

Hardie board: James Hardie siding, a brand of fibre cement siding which is both fire resistant and low maintenance

HVAC: A general term, which means heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It is used to described systems in the house, which are used for space conditioning.

Low E: Low emissivity, usually referring to thermal efficient windows which improve insulation in a home

Possession: When homeowners receive the keys to their home and take possession.

Pre-fab walls: Exterior or interior walls manufactured in a controlled factory and not on site.

Rebar: Structural metal bars used in the foundation of a home or development

Rough-ins: The interior installation of the homes mechanics, including plumbing, electrical and heating

Selections: The interior finishes homeowners may choose.

Sheething: Lumber (usually matched) or other material used to cover the framework of buildings on the exterior.

Slab on grade: The concrete slab that covers the basement or garage

Spec home: A home available for purchase where the specifications  have already been chosen, which includes floorplan and interior finishes

Stick frame: Assembling the framing of the home on site, instead of pre-fabricating it in shop

Sub-floor: The wood joists that sit on the foundation and plywood underneath final flooring

Trades and sub-trades: The companies hired to build specific pieces of the home, including anything from framing to concrete

Walk-through: The period where homeowners are taken through their new home by a third party inspector prior to moving in