At Dirtwirx, we believe in open communication. We want to be transparent every step of the way so that you always know exactly how your project is progressing.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a glossary of some common industry jargon. It can be hard to know what to ask for when you’re not sure of what a particular service is called. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you to look up descriptions and definitions of things you might encounter while visiting our site.
Once you’re armed with knowledge, you can ask informed questions and better understand the answers.
- ArgilliteArgillite – A type of crushed stone.Sedimentary rocks composed mainly of solidified clay. Similar to shale.
- Bank SandBank Sand – A fine-textured aggregate composed mostly of sand, with small portions of clay and silt. It is used as a base under poured concrete.
- ClayClay – A heavy type of soil that often retains water. Clay is easily molded when wet and is dried to make bricks, pots and other useful or decorative items.
- Construction EntranceConstruction entrance – A driveway specially designed to handle heavy construction equipment and to facilitate the easy maneuvering of said equipment while also preventing or minimizing the erosion and disturbance of the surrounding soil.
- Crushed ConcreteCrushed Concrete – Recycled concrete broken down into pieces and often used for erosion control or retaining walls. Depending on the purity of crushed concrete, it can also be used as aggregate for fresh concrete.
- CulvertA pipe or similar structure that allows water to pass under a road.
- DemolitionDemolition – Tearing down an existing structure. It is the exact opposite of construction. Demolition is often accomplished with machines known as wreckers, bulldozers, loaders, wrecking balls or with the use of explosives.
- Detention PondDetention Pond – Also known as a Detention Basin. A detention pond controls flooding by slowing (detaining) the flow of water. Water is held in the pond or basin while draining out in a controlled amount, thus providing a steady flow of water rather than a flash flood.
- DrivewayDriveway – An area capable of supporting the weight of heavy vehicles and providing traction. Driveways are most commonly made of gravel, asphalt or concrete.
- Dump TrucksDump Trucks – Dumpsters that are attached to a chassis, which is capable of lifting one end of the dumpster in order to tip or “dump” its contents out.
- Engineered Building PadEngineered Building Pad – Also known as a building slab or engineered slab. Engineered building pads are made by replacing an area of low-quality foundation soil with more stable, compact building materials.
- Final gradingFinal grading – Going over the soil surface after rough grading to remove excess rocks, form a smooth finish and to ensure the final slope is precise.
- GradingRemoving dirt from an area in such a way that a slope is formed, allowing water to drain in a desired direction.
- GraniteGranite – A type of crushed stone. An overarching term for light-colored rocks used in construction. Specifically, granite includes granodiorite, diorite and rhyolite.
- Hydro-mulchingA method of tree removal in which the tree (but most often a group of trees) is instantly shredded into woodchips, which remain on the ground as a natural mulch.
- Land clearingRemoving all vegetation (including trees and grass) from a site.
- LimeLime – A versatile substance derived from limestone and is a component of concrete, plaster, whitewash, mortar, paint and other building elements.
- Lime StabilizationLime Stabilization – The process of combining lime with poorer, weaker soils in order to strengthen the foundation of a proposed building site. Lime reduces the expansive nature of clay soils, reducing the likelihood of cracked concrete, for example.
- QuartziteQuartzite – A type of crushed stone and one of the most durable rocks available for use in construction. Quartzite’s tendency to quickly wear down construction equipment due to its hardness means that it is not commonly used.
- Recycled ConcreteRecycled Concrete – Another term for crushed concrete. Former concrete slabs are broken down into smaller pieces and used as an alternative to crushed stone.
- Retention PondRetention Pond – A dug out area designed to collect and hold water for an indefinite period of time. The water is not intended to drain away from a Retention Pond.
- Roll OffsRoll Offs – Open-top dumpsters that can hold a large amount of debris, making them very useful for large construction projects. Roll-offs stay on site for an extended period of time before being hauled away, as they are not permanently attached to a chassis.
- Root RakingRoot Raking – Removing tree root systems from under the soil. An important component to foundation and utility stability, as growing roots can crack foundations or utility pipes.
- Rough gradingRough grading – Forming the correct slope of the land, within one inch of the final specifications, to facilitate proper drainage.
- SandSand – Construction sand is a light, fine mineral used in combination with other aggregate materials to affect the mixture’s overall consistency and strength.
- ScrapingScraping – Clearing away debris to generally flatten and clean a site in preparation for other work.
- Site Clean-upSite clean-up – Hauling away debris left over from construction, and general final cleaning of a construction site in preparation for the building’s sale, lease or occupation.
- Site workSite work – Any part of a construction project that does not involve the physical building structure. Site work refers to work done on the surrounding land.
- Soil ReportSoil Report – Information about a proposed construction site’s soil conditions, including whether the soil is capable of holding heavy weights, has a tendency to shrink or expand, or other qualities that may affect a building’s soundness.
- Stump grindingA method of stump removal in which the stump is ground into fine chips or sawdust until the stump is several inches below the soil level.
- Trap rockTrap rock – A type of crushed stone. An overarching term for dark-colored rocks used in construction. Specifically, trap rock includes basalt, peridotite, diabase and gabbro.
- Tree removalCutting down trees, typically one at a time, until only a stump remains a few inches above the ground.
- Underbrush ClearingUnderbrush Clearing – Removing the shrubs and small trees that grow up in fields or in forested areas.
- VegetationVegetation – Vegetation can refer to any kind of plant life on a property, or the act of using or protecting plant life to control erosion.
- Washed GravelWashed Gravel – A type of crushed stone. Larger pieces of gravel, where any dust, soil particles or smaller stones have been washed away.