Building Site.

Three buh two, three bee two, or three by two…builders seem to have a language all of their own sometimes – here we take a look at just some of the terms used by builders and other construction trades.

So before you call in the builder, plumber, joiner or plasterer, make sure you do your homework on a few important terms, so you know what they’re talking about… sort of.

Confused builder.
  • Aggregate – Broken stone, gravel or sand used with cement to form concrete
  • Airbrick – A perforated brick used for providing air for ventilation purposes in walls
  • Architrave – A moulding, usually timber, to hide the gap between the wall and the door or window frame
  • Baluster – A post supporting a stair handrail, sometimes known as a spindle
  • Ball cock – A valve used to control the flow of water in water tanks and cisterns
  • Bargeboard – Decorative gable roofs trim which follows the slope of the roof, used as protection. Usually made from wood, plastic or metal
  • Batten – Timber used for fixing roof tiles and slates
  • Beading – Timber or plastic section used to hide a gap, often decorative
  • Blown – Timber or plastic section used to hide a gap, often decorative
  • Cavity wall – A wall made up of two walls with an air space between
  • Cornice – A horizontal moulding between the ceiling and wall of a room
  • Damp proof course – A material that prevents damp from coming up from the ground into the walls (DPC)
  • Efflorescence – Found usually in new plaster or brickwork this white powdery substance is caused by soluble salts
  • Flashing – A weatherproof seam between the walls or chimney and the roof usually made from lead
  • Gable – The triangular section of wall between the pitch of the roof
  • Galvanized – A protective film of zinc on metal sheeting
  • Gutter – A channel that slopes to drain away water
  • Hardcore – A mixture of broken stone or bricks used as a base for foundations or paths
  • Hip tiles – Shaped tiles used where two angled roofs meet
  • Jamb – The vertical part of a window or door frame
  • Joist – Used to support a structure made from a wooden or metal beam
  • Lintel – A beam used to support the wall over an opening
  • Mastic – A compound used to seal joints around doors and windows
  • Mortar – A mix of sand and cement
  • Newel post – Used at the top and bottom of the stairs to support the handrail
  • Overflow pipe – If a ball cock fails, this pipe will channel the water away from a building
  • Plinth – The base of a cupboard, usually recessed
  • Pointing – Mortar between bricks
  • Primer – Paint applied to bare wood or new plaster
  • Rafters – Sloping beams coming down from the ridge of the roof to the eaves
  • Rendering – A finish applied to external walls used as weatherproofing made from sand and cement or lime
  • Screed – Mortar laid on solid floors to provide a smooth surface for the final finish
  • Tanking – System used to keep cellars dry
  • Weather Boarding – Horizontal boards attached to the outside walls of a building usually overlapping.

This will be a continuing theme on our site, so if you want any terms or phrases explaining by an expert… just leave us a comment.

Mad4Tools products are all listed with a full, comprehensive description, any questions you may have about any of our many products, just get in touch. 

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