A-frame construction: Framed construction of triangular cross-section, with legs joined at the top and braced horizontally further down, similar to the letter "A", used for simple one and two storey buildings.
Air lock: Enclosed space with two or more doors. i.e. requirement for an airlock between toilet and cooking areas. Generally formed by hallway.
Architrave: Timber (usually) moulding around window and door frames.
Attic: Room mainly contained within a pitched roof.
Balusters: The vertical timbers (or steel) of a hand rail.
Cantilever: Beam or structural slab that projects beyond its support.
Clear span: Distance between opposite faces of supports.
Column: Structural component that is utilised to support a beam; a column can be constructed of steel or wood.
Continuous Span: The span of a member supported at both ends with at least one intermediate support.
Corbel: Successive courses of masonry projecting from the face of a wall to increase its thickness or to form a shelf or ledge for a structural member to bear on.
Double Glazing: In general, any use of two panes of glass, separated by an air space, within an opening, to improve insulation against heat transfer and/or sound transmission.
Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal or the like used to cover and protect joints, etc. where a roof comes in contact with a wall or chimney. Protection around windows, doors etc to stop penetration of water.
Footing: A concrete pad (or strip) located under a column, wall, or other structural member that distributes loads from that member into the supporting soil.
Foundation: The substructure which supports the building.
Gable: The triangular end of an exterior wall from the level of the eaves to the ridge of a double-sloped roof.
Gambrel Roof: A type of roof which has its slope broken by an obtuse angle, so that the lower slope is steeper than the upper slope. A double sloped roof having two pitches.
Hip Roof: A roof which rises by inclining planes from all four sides of a building.
Jamb: The frame in which a door or window sits.
Kicker: Refers to vertical panel under kitchen cupboards, vanities etc at floor level.
Kiln Dried: A method of drying the timber to remove moisture which reduces shrinkage, twisting, or splitting.
Mansard Roof: A roof which rises by inclined planes from all four sides of a building. The sloping roofs on all four sides have two pitches, the lower pitch usually very steep and the upper pitch less steep.
Mullion: A horizontal or vertical member that supports and holds such items as panels, glass, sash, or sections of a curtain wall.
Muntins: Horizontal or vertical bars that divide the sash frame into smaller panes of glass.
Newel: A post at the end of a handrail.
Simple Span: The span of a member supported at both ends with no intermediate supports.
Parapet Wall: A low wall around the perimeter of a roof.
Partition Wall: A wall that has no structural function and is installed to divide (in general) the living areas in a home.
Pitch: Term used in describing roof slope. i.e. "25 degree pitch."
Pitched Roof: A roof where members are cut and erected on-site.
Platform Construction: Generally refers to the laying of flooring (platform flooring) before walls are constructed.
Retaining Wall: A wall designed to resist the lateral displacement of soil, water, or any other type of material.
Rough In: Initial installation of wiring, hot and cold water pipes etc. before wall lining is in place.
R-Value: The thermal resistance of glazing or insulation. The higher the R value, the less heat is transmitted throughout the material.
Set Back: Generally refers to the required building distance from boundaries.
Skillion Roof: Roof area with a single slope.
Skirting: Timber (usually) moulding along bottom of wall to floor intersection.
Stair Riser: The vertical portion of a stairway located between two adjacent treads.
Stair Tread: The horizontal step of a stairway
Stile: The side frame members of a door or window (not the jamb).
Stringer: The side structural member supporting stair steps.
Tongue and Groove: (generally) refers to flooring or lining boards where the tongue of one board is joined to the groove of another board
Truss Roof: An engineered roof frame assembly constructed off-site. Usually bears on external walls only and is fixed to internal (non loadbearing) walls by metal brackets designed to allow for vertical movement.
U-Value: A measure of air-to-heat transmission (loss or gain) due to the thermal conductance and the difference in indoor and outdoor temperatures.
Vapour Barrier: (mostly) A membrane which is placed between the insulation and the roof deck or wall lining to retard water vapour from entering the insulation (or cavity) and condensing into liquid water.
Weep Hole: A hole which allows for drainage of entrapped water from masonry or glazing structures.