Building service providers, specialising in renovation & domestic extensions

Our Jargon Buster


Placeholder Blog-Post subtitle

Our Jargon Buster

  • Architrave - Moulding round opening such as door or window
  • Arris - Sharp external angle - usually 90 degrees
  • Baluster - Alternative term for Banister
  • Barge Board - Wide board fitted on edge of tiles following the slope of the roof
  • Bead - Small convex moulding
  • Bib Tap - Tap fed by horizontal supply - as in a garden tap
  • Blown or Live - Plaster that has lost its bond with the wall
  • Bond - Arrangement of bricks to ensure stability of brickwork
  • Buttress or Pier - Thickening of wall to form a vertical projection to strengthen it
  • Cavity Wall - Usual construction for external walls comprising an inner and outer leaf with a space between for insulation
  • Cistern - Tank for storing water - usually located in the attic
  • Cleat - cable fixing for phone wire, etc
  • Coping - Protective finish to the top of a wall
  • Corbelling - Successive projecting courses of brickwork
  • Cove or Cornice - Moulding around room at junction of wall and ceiling
  • Dado Rail - Horizontal moulding part way up a wall
  • Deal - Term for piece of square-sawn softwood
  • Distemper - Wall paint made from water, pigment and glue (traditional)
  • Drip - Moulding or groove in overhanging member to prevent water creeping back
  • Eaves - Overhang of roof beyond wall below
  • Efflorescence - Unsightly powdery white salts brought to surface of brickwork
  • Flashing - Metal sheet used to deflect water at junction between roof and wall
  • Flat Arch - An arch that is almost completely horizontal
  • Flaunching - Cement mortar filler round the top of a chimney stack
  • Flue - Tube conveying smoke or fumes from fireplaces or appliances
  • Flush Door - Door with completely flat faces
  • Footlifter - Wedge used to lift boards for nailing to wall
  • Formation Level - The deep point in an excavation for a drive or path
  • Frog - Indent on bed face of a brick
  • Gauged Brickwork - Fine brickwork with very thin joints
  • Gable or Verge - Upper part of an outer wall at the end of a pitched roof
  • Gear - Brickie term for mortar
  • Glazing Bar - Thin bar shaped to receive pane of glass
  • Gravity Fed System - Central heating system that circulates water by gravity and water expansion
  • Header - The end face of a brick
  • Header Tank - Small open cistern (tank) that feeds water to central heating system
  • Herringbone - Zigzag pattern of brickwork
  • Hip - Line of adjoining sections of pitched roof at external angle of building
  • Hipped Roof - Pitched roof, the ends of which are also sloped
  • Hip Tile - Roof tile shaped to cover hip of roof
  • Jamb - The side of an opening in a wall for a door or window
  • Joist - Support for floor and ceiling
  • Knotting - Varnish to stabilise knots in wood
  • Lean-to Roof - Sloping roof supported along its highest part by a taller adjoining wall
  • Light - Subdivision of a window - fixed or opening. Opening light can be top or side hung
  • Lintel - Concrete or steel beam over opening to support wall above
  • Loose-Fill Insulation - loose material for insulating cavity walls and lofts 
  • Mansard Roof - Form of pitched roof designed to provide more space for rooms
  • Megger - Test meter used by electricians
  • Mezzanine - Extra floor - possibly inserted between floor and ceiling of very tall room
  • Mitre - Angled joint (similar to joint in picture frame)
  • Module - Dimensional co-ordination of components
  • Mullion - Upright post in window
  • Newel - Vertical post at top and bottom of staircase
  • Nogging - Short wooden stiffeners inserted between joists
  • Nosing - Rounded edge of a stair tread projecting beyond the riser
  • Parapet - Low wall at the edge of a roof
  • Pebble Dash - Roughcast wall finish with stones bedded in rendered wall
  • Pilaster - Projecting part of a square column which is attached to wall
  • Pitch - Slope of roof - expressed as an angle or ratio
  • Plain tile - Rectangular "flat" roofing tile
  • Plaster - Applied wall finish
  • Plasterboard - Prefabricated sheets of plaster for walls and ceilings
  • Plinth - Projecting base to external walls
  • Purlin - Horizontal beam, part way up a rafter to prevent sagging
  • Rafters - Series of structural timbers rising from eaves to ridge to support pitched roof covering
  • Rail - Horizontal member in door or fence
  • Relieving Arch - An arch constructed above a lintel or beam to take weight of wall above
  • Render - External sand-cement coating for walls
  • Reveal - Vertical side of door or window opening
  • Ridge - Top of a pitched roof
  • Ring Main - Power circuit for sockets
  • Rise - Vertical distance between two adjacent stair treads
  • Riser - Upright part of a stair OR vertical water pipe from the mains
  • Roof Truss - Prefabricated structural timer framework to support roof
  • RSJ - Rolled steel joist
  • Sash - Framework for glass - in particular double-hung sliding sash window
  • Screed - Layer of fine concrete used to provide smooth surface prior to floor finish
  • Sarking Felt - Waterproof felt under roof tile battens
  • Second Fix - Items fitted following plastering - including joiner, cupboards and plumbing/electrical fittings
  • Sill - Bottom horizontal member of a door or window frame
  • Skim - Finishing coat of plaster
  • Skirting - Horizontal board at junction between floor and wall
  • Soffit - Visible underside of a projecting surface
  • Span - Horizontal distance covered by a beam or lintel etc.
  • Spoil - Material dug out during excavation
  • Stack - Vertical pipe carrying waste from sinks and toilets
  • Stocks - Hand or machine-made bricks made in a mould
  • Stretcher - The side face of a brick
  • String - Sloping board carrying the treads and risers of a staircase
  • Tarmac - Bitumen macadam coating aggregate for drive/path surfaces
  • Timber Frame - Type of house construction usually finished with brickwork outer skin
  • Tread - Horizontal part of a stair
  • TRV - Thermostatic radiator valve
  • Voussoir - Wedge-shaped brick used in arch construction
  • Wainscot - Wooden lining to the walls of a room (traditional)
  • Trust Mark
  • Which Trusted Trader
  • FMB
  • Association of Master Tradesman
  • Mums Trusted