Groundworks Logo

Ground works:

Site clearance
To clear a Greenfield site ready for setting out of digging lines.
Setting out
Term used to plot the foundation lines on to the site as per architects drawings.
Dumpy level
The tool used to measure depth or height compared to a known height point or datum
The Dig
The time when the digger begins the digging out work
The pour
The pouring of concrete.
The unit measure of strength of concrete.
Stone used to form a base for the concrete.
A particular size of hardcore stone mostly used by builders in ground works
Damp proof Course. Plastic sheet layer laid down before concrete.
Sand Blinding
Term used for the layer of sand over the hardcore.
Radon Barrier
A thicker, purpose made plastic sheet laid before concrete in a radon suspected area
Radon Gas
The harmful gases omitted by decaying organic material.
Rising wall
Term used for the block walls that rise up from the foundations to floor level.
Term used to cover both foul and surface water drainage pipes.
Foul line
The sewer and waste water drainage line.
Surface water line
The rainwater run off line.
The pipes used to run underground cables through.
Hydro dare
Plastic pipe use to take water from the mains to the dwelling
Wavin pipe
Pipes used in drainage of various diameters. A brand name that has stuck!
Stop cock
Water valve to enable households to shut off water supply to a dwelling
A water main access point generally use by the Fire Brigade
An access entry point to enable work on drainage lines or building services i.e. NTL
Land drains
Trenches that are dug in a field and filled with pea gravel and perforated plastic 4” pipe to enable the surface water to drain away to a ditch or more preferred area
French drains
As above, but usually in gardens. Trenches are dug in consecutive ‘Y’ shapes
The product used to finish and area such as a driveway or patio
Metal container hired to dispose of waste material from site – various sizes
Blockwork Logo


Long, reinforced concrete heads used over doorways to carry the weight of the wall above.
A Solid
a 9” x 8” block – most common
A Soap bar
a 9” x 4” block
the bed of cement that a block or brick is laid on
in old buildings, this entails the filling in of the cement perps that may have fallen out. Also means the tidying of fresh cement that falls out from the cement beds as blocks are laid
slang for a mix of cement for laying blocks
The unit measure of strength of concrete.
Spot board
a piece of plywood that will be filled with cement by the labourer
Wall vent
usually a 4” hole in the external wall and covered over by a louvered vent to allow the room to breathe
Core drill
the tool used to create perfect holes of various diameters in concrete or block walls
A form of fibrous insulation used in ceilings, attic and walls
Sheet insulation
A stiff foam board cut to size and fitted in walls, floors and attics
Plastering Logo


Term used for plaster
Angle beads
Metal right angled pieces that are attached to corners of walls for a good plaster finish
Scrim tape
a sticky mesh tape use on the joins of plaster slabs to give strength and stop cracking in the finished plaster
Plaster slab
12 or 18mm thick and 8” x 4” sheets of board that take the plaster covering on walls and ceilings
the tool used to mix plaster by hand
The plaster made, moulded lengths that decorate the areas between wall and ceiling
Ceiling Rose
Usually a circular piece of decorative moulded plaster through which a light fitting will hang from the ceiling
Term used to cover both skim and sand and cement plastering but usually means sand and cement.
a rendered finish with pebbles fixed on to it
a white coloured cement
a liquid used on walls to help a sand and cement mix to adhere to walls
a liquid additive used in the sand and cement mix which helps the mixture adhere to the walls
Water proofer
another liquid additive used in the sand and cement mix which makes the finished render water proof against rain
Nap finish
A sand and cement covering of a wall but finished with a slight stipple effect
The slightly proud rendered areas on the window surrounds
Painting Logo


Cutting in
Term used by painters when using a brush to paint the areas close to corners and angles where a roller wouldn’t be delicate enough
Paint Kettle
a small bucket with handle used to carry small amounts of emulsion
The use of a roller in painting
Rad roller
a smaller roller used to paint behind radiators where a brush wouldn’t reach
Oil based paint
Paint made using oils. These are waterproof and are generally used on woodwork, internal and external
Under coat
a specific oil based paint used first to seal in the old paint before the finish coat
Satinwood or Gloss
The oil based paint used as the finish coat on woodwork. Usually has a shiny effect.
Water based paint
Paint made using water as its main ingredient. Usually emulsions and some varnishes.
a water based paint used to paint internal and external walls
White spirits
an oil based liquid designed to clean paint brushes that have been using an oil based paint
a powder mixed with water to make a plaster like substance to fill cracks in walls and ceilings
Carpentry Logo


1st Fix
Term used by all trades for the first part of work completed before other trades close up areas to begin the finishing items such as plaster, painting etc.
2nd Fix
The term used when trades return to the job to fit the finishing items such as electrical sockets, skirting boards or fitting of sanitary ware.
Floor / Ceiling Joists
9”x2” timber lengths used to carry floors and ceilings across the span between two walls.
Joist hangers
The metal pieces used to fit the floor joists from wall to wall.
Stud wall
a non-structural wall made of timber
The moulded lengths of timber that decorate the surrounds of doorways
The moulded lengths of timber that skirt the walls at floor level
Mitre cut
a 45 degree cut on two pieces of timber and when fitted, form a perfect 90 degree angle
Proud finish
an item finished slightly protruding from its surrounding area
Shy finish
an item finished slightly short of its surrounding area
An item finished perfectly level on the vertical.
An item finished perfectly level on the horizontal
Door furniture
the handles, knobs and locks fitted to doors
Door saddle
a planed and bevelled timber piece fitted to the floor in internal doorways
Door frame
the structural timber fitted in door ope’s to take the weight of the doors on their hinges
Frame fixer
a heavy duty screw and plug used to secure the door frame to the stud or block wall
Wall plug
a plastic insert that is placed in a drilled hole in a wall that accepts a screw and creates a tight fitting
Door / window ope
the gap in the wall that will be filled by a door or window
Window cills
Floor covering
carpet or wood flooring
Plumbing Logo


Water tank
A plastic tank used to collect mains water, usually in the attic, which uses gravity to drop water under head pressure to the taps
Head pressure
Term used when water flows under gravity from a height
Water cylinder
the insulated copper tank used to house hot water and includes an emersion heater element
Pressurised cylinder
a water tank, as above, but creates its own pressure to drive the hot water through the pipes in the house
an electrical powered heated coil that heats up water in the cylinder
the mechanical unit that burns oil or gas to create heat in the radiators and water cylinder
Sanitary ware
Bathroom fixtures i.e. toilet, sink and bath or shower
a tap which mixes both hot and cold water at sink, bath or shower
the heating pipework that rises from under floor to connect the radiators to the heating system
Venting or Bleeding
term used when letting air out of the heating system at a radiator.
Electrical Logo


Main Control Board. The electrical box housing the fuses and where the mains enter the dwelling
the safety item which blows in the event of a power surge and stops electricity flowing through the cable from that point on
the insulated wires that carry electricity through the house
2 gang switch
a light switch with 2 controls on it
3 gang switch
as above with 3 controls
Meter box
the box housing the electric or gas meter usually externally, accessible for service visits
a type of light fitting in ceilings that gives off a cone shaped area of light
Storage heater
an electrical heater that heats up bricks within it at night when electricity is cheaper. It then lets the heat out gradually during the day
Panel heater
a wall hung electrical heater that heats up on command

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