Are You Smart Enough To Be A Construction Worker?

Feel the most comfortable with a tool belt strapped around your waist? Are HGTV and DIY your favorite TV channels? Do you love taking on repair or construction projects around the house (much to your family's chagrin)?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, perhaps a career in construction or contracting is right for you. But it takes more than just being handy with tools to work in this field. Take this quiz and put your construction knowledge to the test.

1. What method is used when re-roofing over wood?

a. End-to-end method

b. The butt-up method

c. The toe-to-toe method

d. The overlap method

2. What is the volume of a cylinder if the diameter equals 3 feet and the length equals 12 feet?

a. 36 cubic feet

b. 84.78 cubic feet

c. 226.08 cubic feet

d. 339.12 cubic feet

3. Which of following roof styles is described: roof characterized by two slopes on each of its four sides with the lower slope being steeper than the upper slope?

a. Salt Box

b. Side-gabled

c. Mansard

d. Pavilion-hipped

4. What is the primary advantage of using a laminated wall system?

a. Resistance to cracking

b. Reduced sound transmission

c. Fewer fasteners to finish

d. Increased fire protection

5. In determining the size and type of foundation footing required, which of the following factors should be considered?

a. Placement of anchor bolts

b. Type of reinforcing steel used

c. Type of forming material used

d. Soil-bearing capacity

6. How many square feet of drywall are needed to cover both sides of a wall that is 26 feet long and 14 feet height?

a. 364 sq. ft.

b. 416 sq. ft.

c. 546 sq. ft.

d. 728 sq. ft.

7. Why is warm weather the best time to repair asphalt shingles?

a. asphalt shingles become pliable as they are warmed

b. Replacement shingles seal better

c. damaged shingles become easier to seal

d. shingles can be reused

8. What term is applied to the line at which the face of a curb meets the top of the pavement or gutter?

a. The driveway apron

b. The control joint

c. The flow line

d. The curb return

9. The "X" in CDX plywood refers to:

a. exclusively to be used for exterior applications

b. interior glue

c. exterior glue

d. none of the above


1. b | 2. b | 3. c | 4. b | 5. d | 6. d | 7. a | 8. c | 9. c


How many answers did you get correct?

1-3: I wouldn't lean against that wall if I were you.

4-6: You've got a good foundation but might not be ready for power tools.

7-9: You should be autographing hard hats.

Sources:,, Contractors State License Board (CSLB)

Next: Are You Smart Enough To Be A Plumber?

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These questions are taken from an exam for getting a building contractor's license. If you want to be a licensed building contractor, who hire specialized construction workers to get the job done, you need to know all of the answers, but if you just want to be a construction worker, you only need to know what pertains to your job. A roofer only needs to know what is required to build and maintain a roof, and may not know a thing about drywall, while a carpenter does not need to know what a flow line is. Construction is a field with many specialized occupations, like any other field.

October 18 2011 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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October 11 2011 at 4:29 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

These questions don't have anything to do with being smart, it's knowledge about a certain subject. Many of the best carpenters i know are barely smart enough to write their names.

October 07 2011 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike & nancy

I would not work construction now as I did in the 70's, because of the quiality of the materials has gone to hell! and the short cuts they take now, also I saw a house in charlotte nc roofed without tarpaper or felt down 1st, wood then shingles

October 06 2011 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 06 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As long as one man on the crew has the brains the rest of them can be flunkys. Packing lumber doesn't take a whole lot of smarts

October 06 2011 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No speak english ??? Your qualified !!

October 06 2011 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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