Because there are so many construction terms we thought we’d split the list into manageable, bite-sized chunks. Here are a few more of our favourites:
Newel – a supporting post in a staircase. The newel can be the post supporting the handrail at the top and bottom of the central post supporting a spiral staircase.
Oriel – a structure projecting from the main building, usually on the upper floor. This is usually used in reference to a window.
Parging – one of the most versatile terms in our construction glossary, parging has 3 definitions. It is the plaster lining used to line chimneys, ornamental plaster work and the cement mixture used to coat and waterproof external walls.
Quoin – the masonry blocks on the external corners of the wall of a building. These cornerstones can be decorative as well as structural.
Rafter – a rafter is one of the sloped beams designed to support the load of a roof.
Rough Cast – this can also be known as pebbledash and is the coarse layer of plaster used on external walls. It usually consists of lime and cement mixed with sand, small gravel and pebbles or shells. The mixture is turned into a slurry and thrown at the working surface.
Sarking – part of roof construction, sarking is the use of wooden panels underneath roof covering materials (such as shingles) for extra support.
Screed – the final finish on a floor to make it smooth. Screed is usually made from cement or concrete.
Soffit – the underside of an arch, beam, staircase, eaves or other feature of a building.
Torching – mortar applied on the underside of roof tiles or slates to help prevent moisture penetration. Torching is not necessary when a roof is underlined with felt.
Underlining – a lining of felt, PVC, or similar, laid over the rafters and beneath the tiles and battens, to provide a second line of defence to a roof against weather penetration.
Weephole – a small drain hole or gap in brickwork formed to allow the escape of water.