And finally… How well do you know your builder jargon?

Home building stockNHBC has created a list of ‘builder lingo’ to help homeowners better understand ‘builder banter’ and technical terms when appointing a builder.

Head of house building standards, Mark Jones, said the list defines some of the terms used in new home construction, repair and maintenance, providing a quick reference for homeowners.

He added: “Communication between a homeowner and a builder is extremely important, if people cannot understand what is being discussed, the possibility of making mistakes increases and can affect the progress of a project.”

Chippy: Not the local fish and chip shop, but a slang term used for anyone who works with wood, such as a joiner or a carpenter.

Closer: A brick that been cut in half lengthways.

Course: AKA as a ‘course of bricks’ a single horizontal row of bricks.

Dot and Dab: A term used for dry lining (gluing plaster boards to masonry walls).

First fix: If your builder talks about the first fix, they mean everything undertaken before plastering walls and ceiling, such as installation of wires, pipes etc.

Flashing: A metal sheet that waterproofs junctions, such as between a wall and a roof.

Gable: This translates into the triangular upper part of a wall that supports a pitched roof.

Herringbone: It’s that zigzag pattern of brickwork that is popular for driveways and patios.

Jamb: Proper word for the side of an opening in a wall that is for a door or a window

Joist: The right terminology to describe a beam (a long, sturdy piece of squared timber or metal) supporting a floor or ceiling.

Make good: Simply means to repair the plaster and paintwork after some form of interior construction work.

Muck: Slang term used for sand and cement mortar.

Party wall: A wall that separates properties, such as in terraced houses.

Purlin: A horizontal timber or steel beam halfway up a roof that gives extra support.

Reveal: Refers to the vertical side of a window or door.

Screed: Is the correct term to describe a layer of sand/cement that provides a smooth finish to the floor.

Second fix: All the jobs completed after plastering is finished.

Skim: The last coat of plaster.

Sparky: Term to describe an electrician.

Stack: Means the vertical waste pipe from sinks and toilets.

TRV: Otherwise known as the thermostatic radiator valve.

You can test your builder jargon with this new quiz on Buzzfeed.

Contributions from SCN readers to our “And finally…” section are welcome – they should be sent to:

Share icon
Share this article: