Assistance with Contractor Jargon

Most of our customers are new to remodeling projects.  They are interested in making their home bigger, brighter, more useful or just different.   One thing we run into on most jobs is unfamiliarity with the jargon we use in the remodeling industry.  To help you with this, we have provided here a dictionary of some of the more common terms we use, and what they mean.  Please always ask us if you don’t understand something, we are here to help.

Allowance – A specific dollar amount allocated for a specific item.  For example, you might have an allowance for plumbing fixtures for your project.  After selecting the exact fixtures, the final amount will be calculated, but the allowance is a good estimate of what a reasonable quality set of fixtures should cost.  

Bearing wall – An exterior or interior wall that supports the roof or overhead floor joists.

Building Permit – A document issued by the city or other governing authority.  This document gives permission to go ahead with a construction project.

Change Order – A change order is written documentation to the contractor to change what is in the original contract.  The change order should include changes to materials, methods and costs.

Draw – A total project budget is not usually paid all at once.  A payment made for services to date is considered a “draw” from the total budget.

Expansion joint – A flexible material between two surfaces, allowing joints to expand and contract in different temperatures.

Lien – If a subcontractor is unpaid, he may obtain a lien from the courts.  When enforced, the property can be sold in order to pay off the lien.  If the subcontractor is paid in another way, he will sign a lien release to remove the lien responsibility from the property.

Mud – Any type of plaster or spackle that is used to coat walls, ceilings, foundations and other surfaces.

Punch List – Near the end of the project, the contractor will walk through the project and make a list of things that are still left to be done.  This is known as a punch list.

Bradco Kitchens and Baths can help you with your home remodeling project. We work in the Los Angeles area, and are a full service home remodeling company.  We specialize in kitchens, bathrooms, additions and new construction.   Contact us today for a free, no obligation estimate.

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