Construction Terms That Every Homeowner Should Understand


Unlike subjects at school when it comes to construction, you can’t pretend to understand the verbiage and count on last-minute preps to understand the subject. The trick is to ask questions, understand the process, and most importantly be well-versed with the various terminologies entwined with the construction industry. It certainly helps a future homeowner understand their project better! Welcome to Understanding Construction 101!


This comes into the picture in order to provide clarity with the various costs connected to construction for a homeowner, a BOQ is a detailed itemized document about the costs incurred. The expansion of the abbreviation is Bill of quantities.


A floor plan is the actual layout of the building, with dimensions, details, notes, and any other aspects needed for construction. A homeowner must pay close attention to this at the initial stage.


Contractors and subcontractors (who work under contractors) have one main task – to oversee the entire project. He/She will be the homeowner’s SPOC for the entire construction project, responsible for everything that goes on during construction. They will be responsible for the procurement of materials, the hiring of subcontractors, labourers, negotiating and closing deals. 

Actual Dimension:

Homeowners should not confuse the term with nominal dimension, when we refer to the true dimension of materials, this would be the dimension that would be taken into consideration.


These refer to various inert particles that can be found in concrete, like crushed stone, sand or other expanded minerals in due course of a construction project.

FSI (Floor Space Index) / FAR (Floor Area Ratio):

The maximum expanse of construction that is allowed in a given area or plot of land. This depends on the particular plot, locality and on other factors like road width. 


The physical intrusion of a building or structure on the land of another. For example, a neighbour’s wall that crosses over onto your property line. Homeowners should avoid such issues.


Built-up area:

The built-up area includes all balconies, mezzanine floors, terraces (with or without roof) and other detachable habitable areas like the maid’s room, etc. It’s the carpet area plus the areas covered by walls.



The stage of construction where work begins on the main structure of the house. This stage is exciting for homeowners as they get to see the actual form of the house with the material of choice; steel, concrete, wood, brick, etc.



The facade is basically the face of the building, the part of the exterior that looks out onto a street or open space.

Rough Ins:

This is the process where the electricians and plumbers start to install all the necessary cables and pipes. It’s ‘rough’ because none of the pipes and cables will be connected to live sources.



The stage when fixtures, fittings, and types of equipment are installed. This includes light fixtures, switches, power outlets, sinks, faucets, toilets, showers, etc. Now is when all of these will be made live.


Understanding these terms and concepts can help a homeowner communicate better with contractors, designers, and builders while also enable him/her to make informed decisions at every stage of a construction


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