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Jargon Buster Directory  

 
The Central Source for all Jargon

Construction - Building

Building is full of jargon from legal issue to materials. Architects and Surveyors use most of the building construction jargon in their building specifications and drawings or surveys.

Building Construction jargon is being added to all the time with new working methods and new building materials coming on stream.  A lot of this building jargon is technology led where as much of the legal side to building jargon is very traditional and well established.

How the modern day builder keeps up with all this building jargon is beyond me as there is so much of it and each trade usually have their own sub-division of building jargon.

 


Building Jargon.

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

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

Muck - Brickie term for mortar

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)

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