Downhill movement of unstable earth, clay, rock, etc. often following prolonged heavy rain or coastal erosion, but sometimes due entirely to sub-soil having little cohesive integrity.
Thin strip of wood used as a backing to plaster.
Horizontal structural beam of timber, stone, steel or concrete placed over window or door openings.
A serious insect pest mainly confined to the extreme south-east of England, which can totally destroy the structural strength of wood.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (or Propane). Available to serve gas appliances in areas without mains gas. Requires a storage tank.
Traditionally a mixture of lime and sand. Modern mortar is a mixture of cement and sand.
Vertical bar dividing individual lights in a window.
Stout post supporting a staircase handrail at top and bottom. Also, the central pillar of a winding or spiral staircase.
Rough concrete below timber ground floors; the level of the oversite should be above external ground level.
Low wall along the edge of a flat roof, balcony, etc..
A vertical column of brickwork or other material, used to strengthen the wall or to support a weight.
Stiff “sandwich” of plaster between coarse paper. Now in widespread use for ceilings and walls.
Smooth outer edge of mortar joint between bricks, stones, etc..
A relatively uncommon pest which can, if untreated, cause widespread damage to structural timbers.
Horizontal beam in a roof upon which rafters rest.
The external angle of a building, or, specifically, bricks or stone blocks forming that angle.
A sloping roof beam, usually timber, forming the carcass of a roof.
Primitive method of stone wall construction with no attempt at bonding or coursing.
Vertical covering of a wall either plaster (internally) or cement (externally), sometimes with pebble-dash, stucco or Tyrolean textured finish.
The side faces of a window or door opening.
The apex of a roof.
The vertical part of a step or stair.
Moisture soaking up a wall from below ground, by capillary action causing rot in timbers, plaster decay, decoration failure, etc..
Outward bowing of a wall caused by the thrust of a badly restrained roof structure (see “Collar”).
Final, smooth finish of a solid floor; usually mortar, concrete or asphalt.
Drain installation whereby sewage decomposes through bacteriological action, which can be slowed down or stopped altogether by the use of chemicals such as bleach, biological washing powders etc..
General disturbance in a structure showing as distortion in walls, etc., usually as the result of the initial compacting of the ground due to the loading of the building.
Naturally occurring cracks in timber; in building timbers, shakes can appear quite dramatic, but strength is not always impaired.
Small rectangular slabs of wood used on roofs instead of slates, tiles, etc..
Sheet metal (usually lead, copper or zinc) at the junction of a roof with a vertical surface of a chimney stack, adjoining wall, etc.. Associated with flashings which should overlay soakers.
The under-surface of eaves, balcony, arch, etc..
Heating fuel, normally coal, coke or one of a variety of proprietary fuels.
Space above and to the sides of an arch; also the space below a staircase.
Lightweight, sometimes non-loadbearing wall construction comprising a framework of timber faced with plaster, plasterboard or other finish.
Ground movement, possibly as a result of mining activities, clay shrinkage or drainage problems.
Soil lying immediately below the top-soil, upon which foundations usually bear.
Chemical reaction, activated by water, between tricalcium aluminate and soluble sulphates. Can cause deterioration in brick walls, concrete floors and external rendering.
Heavy metal bar passing through a wall, or walls, to brace a structure suffering from structural instability.
Mortar applied on the underside of roof slates or tiles to help prevent moisture penetration. Not necessary when a roof is underdrawn with felt.
Horizontal bar of wood or stone across a window or top of door.
The horizontal part of a step or stair.
Method of roof construction utilising prefabricated triangular framework of timbers. Now widely used in domestic construction.
Method of strengthening weak foundations whereby a new, stronger foundation is placed beneath the original.
Horizontal or sloping gutter, usually lead or tile-lined, at the internal intersection between two roof slopes.
Necessary in all buildings to disperse moisture resulting from bathing, cooking, breathing, etc., and to assist in prevention of condensation.
Floors – Necessary to avoid rot, especially dry rot, achieved by airbricks near to ground level.
Roofs – Necessary to disperse condensation within roof spaces; achieved either by airbricks in gables or ducts at the eaves.
The edge of a roof, especially over a gable.
Timber, sometimes decorative, placed at the verge of a roof; also known as a “Barge Board”.
Wood panelling or boarding on the lower part of an internal wall.
Timber placed at the eaves of a roof, to take the weight of the roof timbers.
Decay of timber due to damp conditions. Not to be confused with the more serious “Dry Rot”.
Colloquial term for beetle infestation; usually intended to mean Common Furniture Beetle, by far the most frequently encountered insect attack in structural and joinery timbers.