Trademens Jargon Guide

Some of the Jargon tradesmen use can be a little confusing, so to make life a little easier for you we’ve completed this guide.

Acro Prop: this is a telescopic tubular steel prop, used as a temporary support for things like ceilings

Aggregate: a category of material used in construction, examples include sand, gravel and crushed stone

Architrave: the mouldings you find around doors or windows

Arris: this is generally 90 degree external angle.

Bib tap: a bib tap is a tap supplied by horizontal pipes mostly used as a garden tap with an adaptor for a hosepipe

Buttress: a structure of stone or brick built against a wall to help strengthen and support it

Chippy: chippy is slang term for a joiner or a carpenter

Closeboard fencing: often refered to as featheredge fencing this type of fencing is formed using vertical featheredge boards that each partially overlap and fix to the rear horizontal supporting wooden rails. This type of fencing can be installed straight through or on individual panels.

Closer: this is a brick that has been cut lengthways in half

Coping: a stone used to top a building or wall it has a protective role in preventing rainfall penetration

Course: a ‘course of bricks’ a single horizontal row of bricks

Dado rail: a decorative moulding that can be installed round the wall of a room usually around 4ft off the ground

Damp Proof Course: a layer of waterproof material that is installed in the wall of a building near the ground, in order to prevent rising damp

Dob and dab: a method of sticking a plasterboard directly to internal walls

Drip: a moulding in an overhanging sill that stops the wall absorbing the water

Eaves: overhang of a roof from the building 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 prevent water penetrating the join of a roof with another surface

Formation Level:  formation level is another term often used for subgrade. Essentially this is the underlying ground of a final excavation upon which the subbase is laid

Gable: the triangular upper part of a wall at the end of a roof or over a door or window

Glazing Bar: a supporting strip between adjacent panes of glass

Header: the end of a brick

Herringbone: a zigzag pattern of brickwork that is used a lot 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 solution used for preventing resinous sap bleeding through knots in wood and discolouring paint or varnish finishes

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. The most common types of materials used for loosefill insulation include cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral (rock or slag) wool.

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

Mezzanine: is an intermediate floor, similar to a balcony, in a building whose center is open to the double-height ceilinged floor below.

Muck: a slang term for mortar

Newel: the central supporting pillar of a spiral or winding staircase

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 touches to mortar inbetween brick work or the repair of mortar inbeween brick work

Purlin: a horizontal beam along the length of a roof, resting on principals and supporting the common rafters or boards

Rafters: horizontal beams that support a pitched roof

Raking: the removal of 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 that is used to cover walls

Reveal: the vertical side of a window or door

Roof truss: is a is a structural framework of timbers designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof.

Screed: a layer of concrete that provides a perfect smooth finish to flooring

Sarking Felt: an additional layer within a roof that insulates or reflects heat

Skim: the last coat of plaster to give a smooth finish to a wall or ceiling

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: a slang term used to describe an electrician

Stack: a vertical waste pipe from sinks and toilets

String: the board that goes up the side of a staircase.

Tread: the horizontal parts of a staircase. The parts you step on as you walk up or down the staircase

TRV: thermostatic radiator valve

Wainscott: a traditional interior wooden lining to walls.