The A-Z of Building | Ben Trager Homes

The A-Z of Building

For some people, building a new home can feel like being trapped in a never-ending game of scrabble – where every word is worthy of a triple letter score! Fear not though because Ben Trager Homes has the A-Z of building right here – giving you the confidence to banter with your builders like a professional.


  • Aggregate – the crushed stone or alternative substance contained in concrete, often used in driveways or outdoor entertaining areas
  • Area – the measure of a plane surface within defined boundaries, for example land or buildings are measured in square metres (sqm)
  • Backfill – the action of filling holes in a block of land with earth or other excavated materials to create a flat surface ready for building foundations
  • Balustrade – a railing supported by a series of balusters
  • Bead – a type of convex moulding, generally of small size, used as a cover an area where two different surfaces meet
  • Bond – the common pattern for laying bricks so that none of the vertical joints between two bricks (the area filled with mortar) are next to each other
  • Brick (Face Brick) – best quality bricks used for face or external work, or for other special work
  • Ceiling height – the overhead internal lining of a room. The height of a room measured from floor surface to ceiling, or, where there is no ceiling, to the underside of the rafters
  • Cladding – material used to cover another building material to improve the appearance of a building or structure
  • Contract documents – working drawings, specifications and details, which form part of the formal contract between the client and the builder
  • Course – a single row or layer of bricks
  • Curing – treatment of concrete or cement rendering to facilitate hardening
  • Flush – a smooth-faced door
  • Eave – the lower part of a roof that overhangs the walls and can be seen from the ground
  • Elevation – a geometrical drawing of a façade of a building
  • Fascia – a board fixed horizontally to the lower ends of the rafters, to which guttering may be fixed. Also forms the outside board of a boxed eave
  • Flashing – a strip of impervious material used to prevent water or seepage from penetrating a building
  • Gable – the triangular end of a house formed at the end of a pitched roof, from eaves level to apex
  • Handrail – railing which serves as a guard and which is intended to be grasped by the hand to serve as a support
  • Joinery – doors, windows and cupboards manufactured in a joiner’s shop
  • Lining – the internal covering to walls of framed construction
  • Lintel – structural member or beam carrying loads over an opening, such as above a door frame or an archway in a wall
  • Nogging – a horizontal piece of timber fixed between studs in a framed wall
  • Pier – often made from concrete, masonry or timber, piers are vertical supports used in a base structure
  • Provisional sum – a sum set aside in the pre-contract quotation or contract to provide for work with a scope that can’t be accurately estimated at contract time
  • Rafter (common) – in roof construction, a beam used in timber framing that provides the principal support for the roofing material
  • Rendering – the covering of a wall surface with one or more coats of plaster to provide a smooth finish or a textured finish, such as an acrylic texture render
  • Sarking – a covering of waterproof building paper beneath the external roof covering
  • Scaffolding – a temporary structure specifically erected to support access platforms or working platforms
  • Soil test – the testing of a core sample of earth taken from specific positions on a building site
  • Wall sheeting – materials used for external and internal linings, including strawboard, fibre cement, fibrous plaster, plaster wall board and compressed wood fibre board