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Builders Jargon Explained

07 May
Builders Jargon Explained
Builders jargon use (even Checked and Vetted Builders) can be very confusing, so this list should help explain their foreign language!
Acro Prop: a piece of construction equipment. It is a telescopic tubular steel prop, used as a temporary support
Aggregate: A broad category of coarse particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone
Architrave: Mouldings around doors or windows. Architraves can be made from various different materials and come in lots of styles.
Arris: Generally is is a 90 degrees external angle.
Baluster: Another word for banister.
Bib tap: A bib tap is a tap supplied by horizontal pipes mostly use as a garden tap with provisions for a hose pipe
Bodge: The last word you want to hear. If a job has been bodged, it has been done wrong.
Buttress: A structure of stone or brick built against a wall to strengthen or support it.
Chippy: Not the tasty spud type. A chippy is slang term for a joiner or a carpenter.
Closer: A brick that has been cut in half lengthways.
Coping: the highest stone in a building, wall, or structure, usually the protective finishing touch
Course: A ‘course of bricks’ a single horizontal row of bricks.
Dado rail: a decorative waist-high moulding round the wall of a room, which also protects the wall from damage.
Damp Proof Course: a layer of waterproof material in the wall of a building near the ground, to prevent rising damp
Dob and dab: a means of sticking a plasterboard direct to internal walls  or dry lining slang
Drip: A moulding in an overhanging sill that prevents water from a wall absorbing the water
Eaves: The overhang of a roof from the wall.
First Fix: First fix comprises all the work needed to take a building from foundation to putting plaster on the internal walls. This includes constructing walls, floors and ceilings, and inserting cables for electrical supply and pipes for water supply.
Flashing: a strip of metal used to stop water penetrating the junction of a roof with another surface
Formation Level:  Formation level is another term often used for subgrade. This is the bottom of the final excavation upon which the subbase is laid
Gable: the triangular upper part of a wall at the end of a ridged roof or over a door or window
Glazing Bar: a bar or rigid supporting strip between adjacent panes of glass
Gobbo: Slang or mortar.
Header: The end of a brick.
Herringbone: A zigzag pattern of brickwork that is especially favoured in blockpaving designs
Hipped roof: A roof with a sharp edge or edges from the ridge to the eaves where the two sides meet.
Jamb: A side post or surface of a doorway, window, or fireplace.
Joist: A length of timber or steel supporting part of the structure of a building, typically arranged in parallel series to support a floor or ceiling.
Knotting solution: Knotting solution is a professional shellac-based solution for sealing knots and resinous areas of bare timber prior to the application of paints, waxes or polishes This is useful as resin from knots can alter the colour of paintwork.
Lath: a thin flat strip of wood, especially one of a series forming a foundation for the plaster of a wall.
Lintel: a horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window.
Loose fill insulation: Loose material that is used to fill wall cavities for insulation purposes.
Make good: Repairing the plaster and paintwork after some form of interior construction work.
Mansard Roof: A roof which has four sloping sides, each of which becomes steeper halfway down or a storey or apartment under a mansard roof.
Mezzanine: a low storey between two others in a building, typically between the ground and first floors
Muck: Slang term for mortar.
Newel: The posts that support a hand rail at the top and bottom of a staircase.
Nogging: brickwork in a timber frame. or
a horizontal piece of wood fixed to a framework to strengthen it
Party wall: The partition wall between to separate properties, such as in terraced houses.
Pitch: The angle of a sloped roof.
Plinth: A base for outside walls.
Pointing: The finishing or correctional touches to mortar inbetween brick work.
Purlin: A horizontal beam halfway up a roof that gives extra support.
Racking Back: Building the two ends of a wall in order to get the proper level.
Rafters: Horizontal beams that support a pitched roof.
Raking: Removing old mortar from brick or masonry work before new mortar is applied
Relieving Arch: An arch that bears the weight of a wall.
Render: The external cement covering for walls.
Reveal: The vertical side of a window or door.
Roof truss: a structure comprising one or more triangular units constructed with straight members whose ends are connected at joints referred to as nodes
Screed: A layer of concrete that provides a perfect smooth finish to flooring
Sarking Felt: Waterproof felt used in roofing.
Second Fix: Everything that happens after plastering/wiring/piping is finished.
Skim: The last coat of plaster.
Soldier course: Vertical Brickwork as opposed to the more traditional horizontal brickwork
Span: A horizontal distance. Usually used when referring to beams and joists etc.
Sparky: Slang for an electrician.
Stack: A vertical waste pipe from sinks and toilets.
String: The board that goes up the side of a staircase.
Toothing in: When an existing wall is being repaired or lengthened the vertical side has alternate rows of bricks jutting out to form a strong bond with new work.
Tread: The horizontal parts of a staircase. The parts you tread on.
TRV: Thermostatic radiator valve.
Voussoir: A voussoir is a wedge-shaped element, typically a stone, used in building an arch or vault
Wainscott: Traditional interior wooden lining to walls.
Once you think you have researched and found your recommended builder, plumber, roofer etc, ask yourself:
Have I had enough quotes?
Has he offered me a feedback card?
Can I see pictures of previous jobs?
Has he/she testimonials?
If you answer No to any of the above- call our Hotline on 01916511165 and we will give you the number of insured vetted reviewed tradesmen in Tyne and Wear / Durham / Northumberland / Tees-side or visit
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