Although we value client collaboration and transparency above all else, occasionally we find ourselves getting carried away with construction jargon (there’s a lot of it!). So, to make the construction process a bit clearer, we thought we’d share our favourite construction terms.

Airbrick – simply, a brick with small holes to aid ventilation and to help prevent damp.

Architrave – in classical architecture an architrave is a beam resting on top of columns. We use it more commonly to describe the moulded frame surrounding a door or window.

Birdsmouth – in frame construction a birdsmouth is a woodworking joint that is usually used to connect a roof rafter to a connecting top plate of a supporting wall.

Bressummer – the bressummer is the main horizontal beam in traditional timber construction and bears the weight of connecting walls.

Coping Stone – usually stone, but sometimes concrete, laid on top of a wall as a decorative finish as well as a waterproofing mechanism.

Efflorescence – this is a common problem and happens with all unsealed concrete. Efflorescence is the formation of crystals on the surface of concrete and is caused when soluble salts are pushed to the surface.

Engineering Brick – a strong, dense brick often used to prevent damp, especially in older buildings.

Flashing – better known as weatherproofing, flashing is a sheet of waterproof material, like lead or copper, which prevents water entering the structure through joints (between the roof and the chimney, for example).

Heave – heave occurs when clay soil swells due to moisture. This can cause the movement of foundations and floors.

Jointing – the final mortar finish between bricks or stones to provide a neat joint in the brickwork.

Joist – A joist is a weight bearing timber beam that supports a floor or ceiling.

Lath – typically thin strips of wood or expanded metal, lath is any base for plasterwork and is usually used on interior walls and ceilings.

Mastic – mastic is a plant resin used as a sealant in many stages of the building process. It is used to bond ceilings, walls, floor tiles as well as other materials.

Keep an eye out for part 2 of our construction dictionary later in the month!