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Construction Definitions Funny but Real Life Terms

This Article Will Focus On helping you understand the true meaning of some of the terms that are used in construction. Since this is a family friendly website I have purposefully left out some of the more colorful language and kept to the basics. This is the first of several articles and will cover terms starting with the letters A through E.

This Collection Has been put together by Randal DeHart based upon his experience as a contractor and outsourced contractors bookkeeping services provider to contractors all across the USA and I sincerely trust you will find value in it.

You May Experience some “Ah-Ha Moments” in the near and distant future when you least expect it because you will read or hear a term being used and suddenly you will get it, the light bulb in your head will turn on and something new will make sense as a result of this list.

Have Fun With This List Of Construction Definitions and feel free to share it with 10,000 of your closest friends or more as you wish.


Construction Definitions From A to F

11 Steps To Contractor Success – A program designed by Randal DeHart, PMP “The Contractors Accountant” for plumbing contractors, general contractors, trade contractors, home builders, commercial tenant improvement contractors and handyman contractors to make more money faster Click here to download diagram

Construction Definitions Funny

Having Audits are Super Fun!


AuditorPerson who goes in after the war is lost and bayonets the wounded contractors

Assets of CompanyCash + Receivables + Tools + Equipment + Material

Assets of FirmCash + Business Process + Sales Process + Client List + Predictable Cash Flow

Bad BookkeepingSaving money on crap that don’t matter and making decisions based upon someone’s gut instinct with or without older whiskey, faster cars, coffee or cigarettes


Construction Definitions Funny

She’s real good I promise.

Bad BookkeeperSomeone who leaves construction company owners standing alongside the remains of their business which the bad bookkeeper has steered off the highway of success, flipped upside down into the ditch, lit a stick of dynamite, watched it explode into flames with smoke and fire belching from every window, door, crack and crevice leaving the business owner staring in utter disbelief, wide eyed, mouth open, flat broke and remembering the article about in Fast Easy Accounting about how Bad Bookkeepers train their boss like an organ grinder trains a monkey

BankruptcyResult of saving money on crap that don’t matter and making crap (Shit) storm decisions

Belly Button AccountabilityThe one person who is responsible for a deliverable on a construction project

Double Billing – Suppliers, Vendors who have bad bookkeepers or a terrible accounting system will sometimes issue the same bill several times. In most cases it was not intentional.

BidA wild (Wild Ass Guess or WAG) guess carried out to two decimal places and a number on the Richter scale for measuring earthquakes

Bid CollectorCustomer looking for the low price leader of all cheap contractors so they can beat them up on the price, discount the final payment and take the contractor’s lunch money.

Bid OpeningA poker game in which the losing hand wins and they don’t realize it until it is too late

Construction Definitions Funny

The Bid Opening

Business Life Cycle Without A Business PlanStart small, then grow big, lose shirt and shrink back to small business

Business PlanA document that is regularly referenced, updated and used like a score card to know where the contractors company is and use the accurate financial reports to base long and short term decisions on in order to develop multiple income streams.

Business ProcessDocumented system for how work gets done at the Firm

Business RoundtableLittle round table in tavern with pitcher of beer (bottles of vodka and Jack are usually present) and several broke and going broke contractors telling each other how to run a contracting company


Construction Definitions Funny

This actually looks like a few plumbers I know

Caveman Contractor Someone skilled in building new houses, commercial buildings and other structures and is not concerned about social niceties

Change – The only people who embrace change are wet babies! Everyone else fights change!

CheapNot enough time or money to do the job right first time; but plenty of time and money to do it over and over until it passes inspection or works like it is supposed to if it were done right the first time (OMG! We said this all the time.)

Comfort ZoneSuccess you have now since that is what you feel you deserve; no more and no less

Company BookkeeperWealth prevention tool with a mission in life to make certain the construction company owner does not earn more than the bookkeeper

Completion Date – The point at which liquidated damages begin

Construction Train Wreck – Getting multiple bids and choosing the low bidders

Contractor Gambling – One project away from making it big or going broke in a blaze of glory. (Amen!)

Contractor Chaos – Contractor earning less than $100K a year and doing everything his way; especially the bookkeeping!

Contractor Cheap – Amateur contractor just came in out of the rain with moisture behind the ears and happily being abused with customers from Hell and host of the game show “Low Price Leader!” His tagline “I lose money on every job but I make up for it in volume!” (We used to say us plumbing contractors are non for profit companies)

Contractor Income – The average of their client’s income because “Birds of a feather flock together”

Contractor RichFast Easy Accounting Client earning over $100K annual salary by building a client base to sell and service on a regular basis, and not be a one hit wonder

Contractor StudentFast Easy Accounting Client earning less than $100K learning how to get Rich then Wealthy

Contractor SuccessfulContractor using timely accurate financial reports to base their strategic decisions upon

Contractor VolumeLoses money on every sale and tries to make it up on volume of new work

Contractor WealthyFast Easy Accounting Client earning over $200K annually and investing at least $50K annually in income producing assets and has 100 or more regular clients to service

Cowboy ContractorSomeone skilled in residential remodel or commercial tenant improvement work and possesses enough social skills to be let loose in an occupied environment

Critical Path MethodA management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control and tracking it all with Microsoft Project

Construction Definitions Funny and the critical path


software. (I just cackled. Do you know how many times I’ve heard this buzz word over the last decade? To the benefit of no one.)

Delayed PaymentA tourniquet applied at the pockets, wallets and bank account of the contractor

DelusionalContractor going to learn QuickBooks in a few months and save money doing all of the construction accounting himself

DeveloperCompany looking for a few, good, low priced, high volume contractors willing to sacrifice their financial well-being for a good cause; making the developer a lot of money

Displaced AggressionBeing angry at someone due to events and /or circumstances that originate from somewhere else

Emerging ContractorSomeone who is moving away from being owned by their contracting company to a business person that owns a contracting company among other asset producing entities

Engineer’s EstimateThe cost of construction in heaven (HAHAHA, I always told the developer, hire me to put together an accurate plumbing scope and the engineer can incorporate it into the budget. I started to believe they didn’t want us to give an accurate scope.)

ExpensiveGoods or services that no matter how cheap they are or how much money the contractor saved they still do not work

Experience – What you get, when you get, what you don’t want

Failure – A few errors in judgment repeated everyday by unsuccessful construction company owners

Fast Easy Accounting Contractor’s Coach – Someone who helps you raise your level of thinking

Fast Easy Accounting Staff Member – Cheerful, well paid, thinking, responsible adult, Mastermind Team member

FearWhat initiates change or stops progress

Fifteen Minutes Too Late – If you think you should fire somebody you’re already 15 minutes too late

Four Dreaded Words – “Since it is open anyway…” and “It would be easy…” and “While we are here…” and “I have another idea…” and “How about if we…”

Fully Burdened Labor Rate – Overhead divide by number of Admin Staff (Owner salary not in Overhead)

Thinking About Outsourcing Your Contractors Bookkeeping Services?

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About The Author:

Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood Washington, www.FastEasyAccounting.Com  He is the leading expert in outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services for small construction companies across the USA. He is experienced as a Plumbing Contractor, General Contractor, Project Management Professional, Construction Accountant, Intuit ProAdvisor, QuickBooks For Contractors Expert and Xero Accounting Specialist, Bill.Com Guru and Tsheets ProAdvisor. Follow Randal on Google+

I leave you with this heartfelt blessing – “May your journey be long and fruitful.”

Warm Regards,

Randal L. DeHart, PMP, QPA


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