You plan to hire a contractor, but you don’t know a lot about home renovations. You want to understand what the contractor is saying, but don’t necessarily comprehend their lingo. You’re in luck! Here are key terms that will help you communicate with your contractor well.

Base Bid: The base bid is the initial sum of money offered by the contractor to complete the job.‌‌

Deduction: The amount deducted from the contract sum by a change order.

Deposit: Upfront payment for the contractor to acquire the necessary materials to complete the project. Typically 25-50% of the contract price.

Blueprint: A blueprint is the drawn/written architectural plan for the construction project. Typically only used in more complete/larger projects.‌‌

Bond: A financial guarantee by a surety company that work will be completed as described in a contract.

Change Order: Changes/amendments to the project or contract. Typically involves adding or subtracting work from the initial agreement.

Certificate Of Insurance: A memorandum issued by an authorized representative of an insurance company stating the types, amounts, and effective dates of insurance in force for a designated insured (usually part of the representations and certifications).

Contract: A written, legally binding agreement between parties, including the contractor and homeowner. ‌‌

House footprint: The area that a house takes up on a piece of land is the house footprint. When you make an addition to your house, you are increasing its footprint.‌‌

Foundation: Foundation is base on which your house is built. It is generally made from concrete and needs to be sturdy. Foundation issues can be serious.‌‌

General Contractor vs. Subcontractor: A general contractor is entirely responsible for the entire completion of a multifaceted home renovation, whereas a subcontractor completes a single specific portion. For example, your general contractor may hire a subcontractor to complete the painting portion of your renovation. Considering a fresh coat of paint in your home? Homepainter will provide a quote and connect you with painting professionals in minutes. ‌‌

HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning are the words that HVAC is an acronym for. An HVAC system pertains to all movement of air within your home. ‌‌

Sub-flooring: Sub-flooring is the surface below the floor on which you walk in your home. ‌‌

Still stumped by your contractor’s words? Here is an extensive dictionary of contractor terms.