Glossary of Construction Terms

When you choose Kraft Custom Construction, Inc., we walk you through every step of the process so you know exactly what to expect and feel comfortable with all the construction lingo. Just in case you need a refresher, hereʼs a handy glossary of common construction terms.

A dollar amount inserted into the contract as a page marker for something that isnʼt 100% defined yet. For example, in the scope of work, we may allow $100 for a sink. However, if you select a sink for $150, the $50 difference is recorded on a change order and you will be responsible for paying for the extra cost. If you select a $50 sink, itʼs also documented using a change order and the $50 difference can be applied toward something else or refunded to you. Allowances are typically used for items that haven’t been completely specified at the time of the proposal, such as the color and brand of flooring material, appliances, bathroom fixtures, or the amount of time it takes to repair dry rot discoveries.

A Change Order is a way to document any change to the scope of work after the construction contract has been signed. At Kraft Custom Construction, Inc., we keep change orders to a minimum and generally only complete them if there are discovered conditions, if you change or add to the scope of work, or when we reconcile allowances. Change orders can result in an increase or decrease in the construction price, add or reduce days to the construction schedule, or simply be used as a documentation tool.

The Construction Agreement is a legally-binding contract between you and Kraft Custom Construction, Inc. regarding all the details and cost of your construction project. It contains the scope of work, a project schedule, the total cost of the project and payment dates, and any corresponding plans or designs.

In the design-build process, the designer, contractor, and client all work as a team from the start of a project. Together, they determine the design, pricing, and feasibility of a project. The team addresses any changes or issues that arise, allowing for collaborative problem-solving and innovation. The design-build process is a more streamlined way of managing construction work than the traditional process, which treats the designer and the contractor as two distinct teams, sometimes resulting in confusion and conflict.

Discovered Conditions are any conditions found in your home that couldnʼt be anticipated prior to starting work. If you watch “Fixer Upper,” these are the surprise expenses Chip and Jo dread having to tell all their clients about. Discovered conditions might be dry rot, hidden water damage, cracks in the foundation, etc. Although our goals it to anticipate any issues that may come up during the construction process, there is always a chance that hidden obstacles unveil themselves after construction begins.

The Finish Schedule and Submittal Checklist is a form on which we record all the details of the finish materials that are used on your project (such as countertop, door knobs, drawer pulls, bathroom fixtures, paint colors, etc.)—including style, color, item number, size, and manufacturer. At the beginning of your project, this form is blank yet we fill in the details for you as materials are selected. To ensure the project stays on schedule, we provide you with deadline dates so you know exactly when you need to select each item. At the end of the project, you will have a comprehensive list and cut sheet for each item that went into your home.

A General Contractor is responsible for the day-to-day oversight and coordination of a construction worksite, management of vendors and trade contractors, scheduling, and all communication to the client and everyone on the team throughout the course of a building project. Kraft is the General Contractor on all our projects.

If a home is recognized as a historic landmark or is located in a historic district, a Historic Design Review is required before any work is performed on the exterior of the building. The aim of the Historic Design Review is to ensure that design guidelines — such as the appearance, materials, and colors — are maintained to preserve and protect the integrity of the original historic structure.

A type of contractual agreement with a set, pre-determined price for the work to be performed, as outlined in the scope of work. This is different from a Time & Material Contract, in which the price is not determined ahead of time and instead, calculated based on the amount of time and cost of materials used to complete the project.

Material Specification Cut Sheets are essentially an ownerʼs manual for each new product or material installed in your home. Cut sheets typically include the item’s brand, model, product number, dimensions, and other details you might need if you ever need to fix or replace that item in the future.

Building permits are written authorizations issued by a city or county to construct a project. They are required for most construction or remodeling projects in order to ensure the safety of the work and its compliance with building, construction, and zoning codes.

The Planning Agreement is a legally-binding contractual agreement between you and Kraft Custom Construction, Inc. that initiates the planning phase of your project. The planning phase is used to assess what work needs to be done and determine the associated time frame and pricing. During the planning phase, you (the client), the contractor, and the design team work together to create the ideal building plan, define the scope of work, and establish a project schedule. All of these factors generate the project proposal and price, which are thoroughly discussed with you to ensure understanding and agreement. Once you’re excited and ready to proceed with the proposal, the Construction Agreement is signed and work begins!

The Project Schedule defines the amount of time needed to complete all phases of the project, the specific day-to-day details and activities, and who will be on the job site on any given day.

Restoration includes the integration of historic details into the project and attempts to return the structure to its former condition—by repairing damage, refinishing floors, replacing fixtures with modern replicas of the originals, etc. Remodeling on the other hand, changes the structure of a room or building and involves adding or taking down walls, raising ceilings, or expanding square footage. If you gut a space, youʼre remodeling, not restoring.

The Scope of Work is list of details that define the project to be completed, as agreed upon by the client and the contractor. The list outlines: what is included in the project, the work Kraft Custom Construction, Inc. will perform in each area, some product specifications, and any exclusions (work that will not be included in the current project). The Scope of Work varies from project to project because it is customized to the needs of each client. Simply stated, the Scope of Work is the road map used to complete each project. It is presented to you and thoroughly discussed at the signing of the Contract Agreement, so you know exactly what to expect.

A list of stores and vendors where we suggest you go to pick out all the fixtures and finishes for your home. We have a relationship with each of these vendors and typically get contractor pricing, which we then pass on to you. Once you select your items, you or the vendor will communicate your selections to us, and we’ll take care of all the ordering and billing. It’s less stress for you, and we’ll ensure everything is taken care of so there are no miscommunications or errors once the products arrive.

Also known as a subcontractor, a professional who is contracted by the general contractor to complete a specific type of work, such as plumbing, electrical, flooring, painting, etc. The general contractor is responsible for the quality of work and compliance of the trade contractor, along with scheduling and paying them. We manage all the moving parts so there’s less headache and planning for you!




  • Salem
  • Keizer
  • Portland Metro
  • West Linn
  • Lake Oswego
  • Tualatin
  • Wilsonville
  • Albany 

Not on the list? Reach out to see if we can remodel in your area.

Your  Design-Build  Process Guide [Free Download] Kraft Custom Construction