Glossary of building terms
Airbricks- perforated ventilation brick.
Architrave- joinery moulding around door or window frame.
Bargeboard- board secured to the gable end of a roof to cover and protect the roof timbers.
Cill- (or sill) horizontal item at the base of a door or window frame, shaped to deflect water away from the building.
Corbel- Projection of stone, brick, timber or metal to support a load.
Dado- lower section of wall.
Dado rail- horizontal timber moulding secured to wall about one metre above the floor.
DPC- Damp Proof Course.
DPM- Damp Proof Membrane.
Dry Rot- (Serpula lacrymans) a wood rotting fungus which attacks mostly softwoods and is significant for its ability to grow over inert surfaces and spread extensively behind plaster and through wall surfaces
Drip throat- groove in the bottom of a window or door cill to encourage water to drip off.
Fasciaboard- horizontal board directly beneath the bottom of the roof covering to cover and protect the roof timbers.
Flashing- usually of lead used to seal junction at roof to masonry junction.
Foulwater- waste water from a toilet.
Gable- vertical part of the end wall of a building contained within the roof slope, usually triangular.
Greywater- waste water from a washing machine, bath, shower or sink.
Gully- an opening into a drain at ground or basement level.
Header- end face of a brick.
Jamb- side part of a window or doorframe.
Joist- wooden (usually) floor component to which floorboards are secured.
Keystone- large, often decorative, stone at the centre of an arch.
Lintel- structural stone, concrete or metal item above door or window to support load above.
Mullion- vertical member dividing the lights of a window.
Parapet- continuation of a wall above another structure such as a roof.
Plinth- decorative base of a column or wall.
Purlin- horizontal timber that supports the roof rafters.
Rafter- sloping roof timber.
Sleeper walls- low walls that support a timber suspended ground floor.
Spandrel- triangular shaped infill to side of staircase.
String- sides of a staircase that support the treads.
String course- horizontal band within a wall usually raised and often decorative.
Rainwater goods- gutters, downpipes etc.
Ridge board- timber at the apex of a pitched roof.
Rising Damp- ground moisture rising from the ground by capillary action.
Soffit- underside or cladding to the underside of a staircase or overhanging roof.
Stretcher- side face of a brick.
Transom- horizontal item of stone or wood that separates a window from another window below or a fanlight from a door opening.
Tread- horizontal stair or step.
Wallplate- horizontal timber to which joists and end of rafters are secured.
Woodworm- generic term for the larvae of all wood boring beetles.