Select Page

When working with contractors, it is imperative to learn a few basic common terms. Whether you are working with contractors as part of your profession or you are working with them on a personal project, knowing the business lingo will help ensure that you can communicate more effectively. Here a few basic contracting terms to know to ease communication among all parties:

CARPET MEASUREMENTS: One common mistake that laypeople make is assuming that carpet and padding are sold by the square foot. The reality is that these measurements are generally calculated in yard increments and sold as such. Luckily, it is easy to determine square feet. Simply measure the square feet and then divide that figure by nine to get an accurate number.

HVAC: The common measurement used in the HVAC industry is tons. This describes the cooling capacity of an air conditioning unit. An easy rule of thumb is that one ton will cool approximately 500 square feet of space. Price increases exponentially with each ton of cooling needed.

CIRCUIT BREAKERS AND CORRESPONDING AMPS: Amps is the measurement unit of choice for circuit breaker panels and older fuse boxes. Amps measure the amount of power available for consumption. A property needing more electricity will need a higher amp level. Older homes often do not have enough amps to adequately supply the power needed to run all of life’s modern conveniences. These properties will need to be modernized and outfitted with more amps.

ELECTRIC SERVICE: This is simply defined as the power lines running to any facility or house. The lines run to the property and usually attach just above the roof through what is known as a weatherhead. These lines then travel to the circuit breaker panel to deliver the electrical service to the property.

ROOFING MEASUREMENTS: Roofing professionals use the measurement of a square to measure and determine your contracting needs. In the industry, a square is defined as a 10 x 10 square foot area.

These five terms are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning the lingo of the contracting industry. However, understanding the ins and outs of these few terms will go a long way in effective and efficient communication.