Gartec Home Lifts - Builders Jargon Buster

Cutting through Builders Jargon: What it Really Means

Entering the world of construction is not something most of us do on a regular basis, which can make it tricky to follow what is going on when it comes to your project. There is a lot of builders jargon and construction slang to learn!

With this in mind, Gartec have put together a list of construction industry builders jargon. Now you can get on with your plans (and research the fantastic home lift you wanted installed!).


Ultimate Builders Jargon Buster



AAcro PropAn extendable device used to temporarily hold up a wall
AggregateGeneral word for materials like builders sand, sharp sand and gravel
ArchitraveMoulding around an opening – usually a window or door
BBalusterFancy term for stair bannister
BalustradeRailings supported by balusters
BattenWooden frame to which roof tiles are attached
BeadingSmall moulding that covers a gap or joint
ButtressStrengthening a wall by making it thicker
CCaulk / CaulkingUse of filler (caulk) to seal holes, gaps or joints
ChippyAny worker dealing with wood – usually a carpenter
CloserA brick cut in half lengthways/horizontally
CopingProtective cap to top edge of walls
CorbellingSuccessively projecting brickwork outwards to form small steps outward as you move along
CourseA horizontal row of bricks in a wall. Soldier Course is where the bricks are standing vertically in a wall.
DDamp Proof CourseAn additional layer of material in brickwork that prevents rising damp
Dob and DabA.K.A Dry lining – the gluing of plasterboard to brickwork
FFirst FixAll works done prior to plastering (such as cables).
FlashingMetal sheeting used externally where walls and roofing meet for waterproofing
FlaunchingCement filler placed around the top of a chimney stack
FormworkTemporary or permanent moulds which concrete is poured into
GGable / VergeUpper part of a wall that supports a pitched roof, normally triangular
GirderA supporting beam, usually wood or steel
Glazing BarA thin strip of wood with a slot along the length to hold a pane of glass
GobboSlang for mortar (sand, cement & water). Also called ‘Muck
HHeaderThe square end of a brick
Hipped RoofThe triangular, sloping ends of a pitched roof (the ends to the upturned V shape)
HVACHeating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system
JJambThe side of the opening in a wall ready for a door or window
JoistA supporting beam for a floor or ceiling
LLathThin piece of wood used for support of plasterwork
LintelSupporting beam over an opening or door to prevent cave-in
LiteA single pane of glass for a window
MMaking GoodFixing small errors and issues following construction work – usually based on a ‘snagging list’
MitreAngled joint
MuckSlang for mortar (sand, cement & water). Also called ‘Gobbo
MullionThe vertical, often wooden, strips between windows
NNewelThe final post at either end of a staircase that supports the handrail
NoggingSmall wooden strips inserted between joists to give extra support
PPassive Cooling / HeatingBuilding design which incorporates ventilation and relevant properties to maximise heat (such as insulation, windows)
PersuaderSlang for hammer or claw hammer
PlinthBase for an external wall
PointingFinishing and tidying the gaps between brickwork and paving
PondingThe pooling of water on a roof
PurlinHorizontal beam in a pitched roof used for support
RRacking BackBulding a brick wall starting with both ends to get the level correct
RakingRemoving old mortar from brickwork
RCDResidual Current Detector – an electrical component that protects from excess current in a circuit
Relieving ArchA load-bearing archway that supports the wall
RenderExternal coating on walls – usually sand/cement based
RevealVertical side in an opening for a door or window
RiseVertical height between horizontal treads on stairs
Roof TrussPrefabricated supporting structure, usually a timber frame
RSJ“Rolled Steel Joist
SSarking FeltWaterproof felt used in roofing below tile battens
ScreedA concrete layer used for flooring to give a smooth finish
Second FixAll works done post-plastering (such as plug sockets, doors)
Snagging / Snagging ListUsually a list that the customer puts together. It is minor problems to be fixed after the job is done which the builder works through to ‘Make Good’
SoffitVisible underside of a projected surface, usually around the edge of a roof
SpanHorizontal distance/length
SparkySlang term for an electrician
StackVertical waste water pipe (sinks, showers, toilets)
StretcherThe long side face of a brick
Sub FloorJoists or beams mounted on joists which the finished flooring is placed on
TToothing InWith new or replacement brick work, alternating bricks jut out to strengthen the link between old and new walls
VVoussoirWedge-shaped brick for arches
WWainscottTraditional wooden lining for interior walls


Hopefully you’ll be able to understand the builders jargon and be in the know ready for your next project.

August 25, 2017

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