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A list of most common terms used in Dynamic Builder System.

Alternate Item An interchangeable construction item (e.g. either Item A or Item B can be installed in the house). Also see Substitute Item.
Assembly An assembly is a standard collection of items, item quantities and cost types for building a particular room/fixture in a house. When you build the same room/fixture in another baseplan/project, you can copy the assembly across.
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Backcharge An amount of money charged to a vendor in order to make adjustments for a previous transaction.

Example: Suppose a plumber has to come in and fix something. While he works, he damages something else (e.g. wall) and this now needs to be fixed. So the painter and drywall crew arrive and fix the wall; builder pays them and will now charge (backcharge) the plumber for that amount.
Baseplan Basic description of a house design.
Baseplan Statistics Numbers used to drive quantities in takeoffs.
Bust Out Cancellation of a sales agreement between a buyer and a company. This usually occurs some time in-between the signed and closing dates. Also referred to as a "Bom" or "Dead Deal".
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Class A marker for each division to decide who is responsible for fixing the deficiency item (e.g. construction or warranty).
CO An abbreviation for Certificate of Occupancy. It is an official certificate supplied by the city/county approving the completed home for occupancy.
Confirmed Date The date that has been verified with the vendor that the work will commence. Note: Confirmed Date is not a "lock" to prevent the task start date from moving (e.g. by a schedule recalculation), it is purely informational to record what has been verified with the vendor.
Construction Stage For the purpose of scheduling, each house is assigned to a scheduling template. Each template contains 16 construction stages, listed below:
  1. Stake Lot
  2. Plumbing in ground
  3. Pour Slab
  4. Roof Decking
  5. Shingles
  6. Bath Insulation
  7. Hang Sheetrock
  8. Cabinets
  9. First Paint
  10. Tops - corian
  11. Ceramic Tile
  12. Hardware
  13. Rough Clean
  14. Carpet
  15. Quality Inspection/Presettlement
  16. Closing
Each construction stage is further broken down into construction tasks.
Construction Task A specific job that needs to be complete during the construction stage of a house.
Construction Type Construction style of a house/unit (e.g. single or townhouse).
Contribution Margin (Revenue - (COS + Commissions)) ÷ Revenue = Contribution Margin
Cost Type Numerically coded, descriptors of costs associated with construction. The codes are arranged in a hierarchy, where each code has its own group of sub-codes.

For example, we can have a cost type group 5300 - Wallpaper, which in its turn contains a number of cost type items: 5302 - Wallpaper Material and 5304 - Wallpaper Labor. Most cost type groups have a parent cost type, in our example, it's 2000 - House Costs.
Cost Type Nickname An alias used for cost type referral. Cost types are numbers that are common to all divisions and that are often not very intuitive. Nicknames, on the other hand, allow users to enter cost types using codes that are intuitive for that division.
Cost Type Release Set A release set is just a way to get a predetermined list of cost types to populate into the cost type list field.
Critical Tasks A critical task is a task that is deemed by the parameters in the report to be relevant to track not only that it COMPLETES on time but also that it STARTS on time. For details, see View Schedule Adherence section of Construction Scheduling training guide.
Current Stage The earliest stage that has an incomplete (not approved) milestone task.
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Dead Deal Cancellation of a sales agreement between a buyer and a company. This usually occurs some time in-between the signed and closing dates. Also referred to as a "Bom" or "Bust Out".
Deficiency A weakness in the provision or performance of something.
Deficiency Class A marker for each division to decide who is responsible for fixing the deficiency item (e.g. construction or warranty).
Deficiency Group & Subgroup Deficiency group is a generic description of a deficiency (e.g. plumbing). Each group contains one or more subgroups for further description breakdown. Only a warranty manager can add new groups and subgroups.
Deficiency List A summary of all deficiencies found in a home based on homeowner's feedback. A home can have more than one deficiency list and each deficiency list can consist of one or more deficiency items. Some deficiency items may require estimates, work orders and may be back charged.
Deficiency Status A response to the homeowner's deficiency report. Here are some examples:

Cancelled No further action is needed (e.g. possibly because it's a duplicate deficiency).
Closed Not applicable or not a valid warranty item.
Completed Deficiency has been fixed.
Deficiency Status Date Date when deficiency has been reported not entered.
Deficiency Type Nature of a deficiency (e.g. regular, year end, seasonal). Here are some examples:

Year End Designate the deficiency to be fixed only 350 days after the house is closed. Initially, the deficiency is considered pending and becomes an outstanding item only 350 days after the house is closed.
Seasonal Need to postpone until seasonal conditions are favorable. This choice will require a date to be entered in Pending to Date input field.
Dependency Type A dependency relation between several deficiencies (e.g. re-painting cannot start until hole in the wall is fixed).
Direct Costs Costs that are incurred directly in finishing a house (e.g. structural steel, air conditioner). Also see Indirect Costs and Soft Costs.
Division Baseplan One of the entity types in the layered takeoff system, whose budgets are expensed/allocated as a baseplan cost. Also see Division Lot.
Division Lot One of the entity types in the layered takeoff system, whose budgets are expensed/allocated as a lot cost. Also see Division Baseplan.
Draws Draws are set up to tie the payment of invoices to the actual completed work. E.g. Plumbing may be turnkey for a house but there are 3 distinct stages (or tasks): rough in, addition of fixtures and final plumbing or connection. By establishing draws connected to stages of construction, the vendor can only be paid for the portion of the amount that has been completed.
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Elevation Front/face of a house, differentiated by assigning a letter (A-Z) to a baseplan.
Entity Something that can have a set of takeoffs created for it (e.g. a specific baseplan, a specific option). Also see Entity Type.
Entity Type The current entity types are:
  1. Division Baseplan
  2. Division Lot
  3. Baseplan
  4. Lot
  5. Option
  6. Option Relation
  7. Misc. Option
Estimate Order An assessment of the approximate cost of work to be done, such as installing a fence or repairing leaking windows.
Explicit Pricing Method Option prices that are manually entered (not calculated). Also see Non-Explicit Pricing Method.
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Finish Date (CS) The date the Finish task was approved.
Finish Out Final touches given to all the fixtures in a house.
Floorplan A floor plan is a simple line drawing showing rooms as if seen from above. Walls, doorways, and windows are often drawn to scale. Floorplans are an extension of a baseplan, where the sales department adds project specific information (e.g. marketing name, sales prices).
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Hold Code A code to identify reasons for holding up a schedule (e.g. UNION for union negotiation).
Homeowner Rating Current rating based on homeowners' survey. Currently, used only in the US.
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Indirect Costs Costs that cannot be specifically attributed to a house but can be attributed to a specific project (e.g. site security, site supervision). Also see Direct Costs and Soft Costs.
Item There are 3 types of items: materials, labor and turnkey.
Item Group A catalog of building and common household products created for purposes of item classification (e.g. 10X10ML is classified as a lumber item, Moen tap is classified as a plumbing item).

Item Group must classify an item. An item can also belong, but not necessarily, to an Item Product Group.
Item Product Group A group of related household products that are considered a unit because of marketing, décor, upgrade or end-use considerations (e.g. an upgraded toilet bowl, matching pedestal sink and matching Jacuzzi 6' tub could belong to an upgraded line of bathroom fixtures). A selection of one could entail the selection of the others.

This is not a mandatory entry.
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Job Costing The process of adding up the item quantities from "Estimating", acquiring vendor costs for the items, and calculating budgets.
Junction A unique collection of layers with which items and their takeoff quantities can be associated.
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Last Stage Complete The stage before the Current Stage.
Layer A parameter used in a Junction to determine when Junction items should be used. Examples of layers are baseplan, elevation or project.
Layered Takeoffs The process of efficiently organizing Job Costing information to minimize data entry and maintenance effort.
Lead Task A task, which is supposed to appear on the vendor's calendar prior to the working task. Each Lead Task has a Lead Time.
Lead Time Amount of time it takes to complete a lead task.
Lot Pointer A 2-piece (project and lot) identifier that allows the system to identify a specific lot.
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Material Price Priority Prices are selected by default in the following order: Preferred Contract, Preferred Non-Contract, Contract, Non-Contract and Standard Cost.
Milestone Task A milestone task is, generally, the last task in a stage.
Miscellaneous Options Options that are created for a specific purchaser. They are not part of the Options catalog and cannot be re-used. Takeoffs can be created for Miscellaneous options.
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Negative Padding In some cases, tasks may overlap each other, allowing a task to start before the finish of its predecessor task. The number of overlapping days between tasks is referred to as negative padding.

For example, consider 2 tasks: sheetrock and painting. The painter cannot paint a wall that is not up. But the sheetrock guy need not have the entire house done before the painter can start painting. In fact, as soon as 1 room is completed sheetrock, the sheetrock guy can start on the next room and the painter can start painting the first room. Hence, PAINTING is a successor to SHEETROCK, but PAINTING need not wait for the completion of SHEETROCK, it could simply let SHEETROCK task be done for a day or 2 and then the PAINTER comes in and starts painting what has been walled so far.
Nickname An alias chosen by each division to make the codes more intuitive or to localize the names of codes. For specific nicknames, see Cost Type Nickname.
Non-Explicit Pricing Method Prices marked up by percentage as opposed to an absolute dollar amount in Explicit Pricing Method
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Original Completion Date (CS) The original finish date, based on the first date, the date assigned when lot schedule was assigned.
Original Start Date (CS) The first date the task was assigned to start (e.g. the first date given to it by Assign Lot Schedule).
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Padding Padding is the optimal spacing between tasks; the waiting period in days that must take place before the next task can begin. There are 3 types of padding:
  1. Normal;
  2. Minimum/compressed;
  3. Negative padding.
For example, you must wait 10 days (normal padding) or 7 days (minimum padding) after concrete has been poured before continuing with the construction of a house.

In some cases, tasks may overlap each other, allowing a task to start before the finish of its predecessor task. The number of overlapping days between tasks is referred to as negative padding.
Parameters Criteria, based on which, records are extracted from the database. Here are examples:

Run-Time Parameter Displays all records with restrictions based on the data of the field. Usually, the run-time parameter is the date of the report, which results in displaying most current data.
Not A Parameter This is the default parameter and, if not changed, will display all records with no restrictions.
Before or After Displays all records with value falling before/after the specified date.
Between Displays all records with value falling between the before and after specified dates. To run a report for one particular day, enter the same date in the From Date and To Date input fields. For your report to always display current data, you should define date as a run-time parameter.
Greater Than, Less Than, Less Than or Equal To, Greater Than or Equal To Enter a number/amount to determine which records to display. For example, if you want to see records with warranty amount exceeding $100.00, select Greater Than and enter "100" in the input field.
In Selected List Enter a single value, for example, a division (AT) or a project (EM16). You can also enter a list of values, for example, a list of divisions (AT, DL, O, OR) a list of projects (EM14, EM15, PB12). Commas must separate the members in the list.
Equal To Enter a value (e.g. project ID, lot number, name) to display all, exactly matching, records.
Not Equal To Enter a value (e.g. project ID, lot number, name) to display all, not matching, records.
Contain Enter a keyword. The program will search for this word in the text and print only records that have this word. For example, if you are searching for deficiency description that contains the word "mold", select Contain and enter "mold" in the input field.
Not Contain Enter a keyword. The report will not show records have this word in the description.
User Defined List Found only in Step 2 for ID fields (e.g. Assigned Supplier ID). For example, if you select User Defined List and leave the list blank, the report will display all deficiencies that have no suppliers assigned. On the other hand, if you want the report to show records for a few specific suppliers, enter their ID's, each separated by a comma.
Regular Expressions A regular expression is a string of characters (e.g. a word within a phrase). For example, you want to find lots with either the word "leak" or "mold" in their deficiency description. So, you select Regular Expression and enter "leak|mold".

Here are some further examples of the most common search strings:
  • To search for "cat" or "hat", enter ".at" and the program searches for any 3-letter words ending with "at".
  • To search for "Smith" or "Smyth", enter "sm[iy]th". If you enter "sm[a-z]th", the program searches for "Smith", "Smath", "Smyth", "Smoth", etc.
  • To search for "screen door off track" or "screen door track broken", pick the two key words "screen" and "track", and enter "screen.*track".
Pending To & From Date A time frame during which fixing of any deficiency is put on hold for various reasons (e.g. homeowner is on vacation).
Predecessor Task A task, which comes prior to the current task. If negative padding is used, a predecessor and current task could overlap or even start simultaneously.
Product Line Related items (e.g. toilet and sink from the same manufacturer's design line).
Product Type Width of a lot unit and style of a house/unit (Construction Type), for example, 50' Single.
Published Takeoffs released for production.
Punch List A list of fix up actions / activities that need to be performed.
Punch Out Task A Schedule Task for which time is allocated to perform the problems listed in the Punch List.

Note: Punch Task, PunchOut Task and Punch Out Task are all synonyms.
Punch Out Task A Schedule Task for which time is allocated to perform the problems listed in the Punch List.

Note: Punch Task, PunchOut Task and Punch Out Task are all synonyms.
Purchase Order Items Purchase order items can be material, labor or turnkey.
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Purchase Order Items Purchase order items can be material, labor or turnkey.
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Release Set A list of all cost types released during different stages of construction and used in the creation of purchase orders (e.g. Release 1 - up to framing, Release 2 - to the end of house).
Required Lead Days This is how long prior to the task that releases payment for the PO that the PO needs to be sent to the vendor.
Root Cause An underlying cause of a deficiency (e.g. subcontractor error).
Run-Time Parameters Criteria entered when you run an application.
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Sale to Current Closing Days (CS) Number of days from when the Offer was approved to the Current Closing Date.
Sale to Start Days (CS) Number of days from the day of the sale to Schedule Start Date.
Schedule Start Date (CS) The current date schedule is assigned to start (or start task is assigned to start).
Sign Off To give written approval or authorization for something (e.g. homeowner sign off).
Soft Costs Costs that cannot be specifically attributed to a project (e.g. office expenses and salaries incurred in head offices). See Direct Costs and Indirect Costs.
Source Supplier and Assigned Supplier A contractor who performed the original work. Usually, a contractor assigned to fix a deficiency is the same as the source.
Stage See Last Stage Complete or Current Stage.
Start to Completion Days (CS) Number of days from Schedule Start Date to the Finish Date.
Substitute Item A mandatory replacement item that can be temporary/permanent/project specific/baseplan specific. A substitute is an independent item and can have different units of measurement. If an item has a substitute, but the substitute is not valid (e.g. inactive, deleted), then the budget will fall back to using the original item. See Alternate Item.
Successor Task A task whose start must follow the completion (or start, if negative padding is used) of the current task.
Swing Position of a garage (e.g. left or right).
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Takeoff A method of calculating the collection of items used to build a home. The method calculates by adding and subtracting items based on various parameters (e.g. baseplan, elevation, swing, project, construction type).

Here are the general guidelines for entering takeoffs:

If the quantity of an item...Then put takeoffs in...
Never variesBaseplan
Varies by elevationElevation-specific baseplan. You must enter the total quantity, not the incremental.
Varies sometimes by elevationWherever it works for you taking into consideration where other items of similar nature are put together and the amount of data entry required.
Turnkey A term used to describe an Item, where the Item is characterized as labor and material.
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Unpublished Takeoffs that have not yet been released for production. See Published.
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Vendor The company that will supply the material or labor. There are cases where the vendor is unknown at time of PO creation and the vendor will be selected later by the construction supervisor.
Vendor Transmission Preference This identifies how each vendor wishes to receive purchase orders (e.g. faxed, emailed).
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Warranty Source A method by which a deficiency was detected or reported (e.g. email from the homeowner, quality inspection).
Work Order A document providing authorization for a task to be performed.
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Zone A collection of rooms/areas in a house, which share common characteristics (e.g. all heated rooms).
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Updated September 14, 2010