We understand that sometimes experts use unfamiliar language, or technical terminology. That's why we have created the Jargon Buster to help you cut through the confusion with your home improvement.



Jargon Buster

A quick and inexpensive method of dispute resolution resulting in an immediately enforceable, non-binding dispute settlement by an Adjudicator.

The main alternative to the court system where the parties have the power to decide many of the procedures that will govern the conduct of their arbitration. The decision is binding in law.
Moulding around openings such as doors or windows.
Wide board fitted on edge of tiles following the slope of the roof.
Timber strips to which roof tiles are fitted.
Small moulding to cover a join.
Plaster that has lost its bond with the wall.
Arrangement of bricks to ensure stability of brickwork.
The main difference between mediation and conciliation is that in conciliation the agreement reached is binding in honour only.
Like a fuse box; the mechanism by which circuits are protected from overload.

In very simple terms, cancellation rights usually apply where:

  • the job costs more than £42
  • you are at the customer’s home
  • you agree the contract with them there and then

The customer has a cooling-off period to change their mind for any reason; in the case of goods, this starts from the date of the contract and ends 14 days after the day that the goods were delivered, or in the case of a service, from the date the contract was agreed.

You’ll find more advice on Trading Standards regulations here: www.businesscompanion.info

Protective capping to the top of a wall.
Successive projecting courses of brickwork.
An impervious membrane laid about two brick courses above ground level to prevent damp from rising.
Wall paint made from water, pigment and glue (traditional).
An assembly containing switches or protective devices (e.g. fuses, circuit-breakers, residual current operated devices).
Moulding or groove in external sill to prevent water creeping back.
Overhang of roof beyond wall below.
Unsightly powdery white salts brought to surface of brickwork.
An informed guess, a rough price.
joiner, plumber and electrical carcassing prior to plaster.
Metal sheet used to deflect water at junction between roof and wall.
Cement mortar filler round the top of a chimney stack.
Door with completely flat faces.
Indent on bed face of a brick.
Upper part of an outer wall at the end of a pitched roof.
Thin bar shaped to receive pane of glass.
Material used to fill the joints in wall tiles.
The end face of a brick.
Small open cistern (tank) that feeds water to central heating system.
Zigzag pattern of brickwork.
Line of adjoining sections of pitched roof at external angle of building.
Roof tile shaped to cover hip of roof.
Pitched roof, the ends of which are also sloped.
To work on an item where it is sited rather than take it offsite.
The side of an opening in a wall for a door or window.
Support for floor and ceiling.
Varnish to stabilise knots in wood.
Roof supported along its highest part by a taller adjoining wall.
Subdivision of a window.
Concrete, timber or steel beam over opening to support wall above.
Loose material for insulating cavity walls and lofts.
Form of pitched roof designed to provide more space for rooms.
A voluntary, non-binding 'without prejudice' process in which trained third party negotiators attempt to bring people together to reach settlement.
An intermediate floor which is similar to a balcony. 
Angled joint (similar to joint in picture frame).
A bricklayer's slang term for mortar.
Upright post in window.
Vertical post at top and bottom of staircase.
Short wooden stiffeners inserted between joists.
Rounded edge of a stair tread projecting beyond the riser.
Low wall at the edge of a roof.
Roughcast wall finish with stones bedded in rendered wall.
Slope of roof.
Rectangular 'flat' roofing tile.
 Prefabricated sheets of plaster for walls and ceilings.
Horizontal beam, part way up a rafter to prevent sagging.
A fixed price that is binding.
Series of structural timbers rising from eaves to ridge to support pitched roof covering.
Residual Current Device, a protective device on an electric circuit.
External sand-cement coating for walls.
Vertical side of door or window opening.
Top of a pitched roof.
Power circuit for sockets.
Vertical distance between two adjacent stair treads.
Upright part of a stair OR vertical water pipe from the mains.
Prefabricated structural timber framework to support roof.
Rolled steel joist.
Waterproof felt under roof tile battens.
Framework for glass.
Layer of fine concrete used to provide smooth surface prior to floor finish.
Items fitted following plastering.
Bottom horizontal member of a door or window frame.
Finishing coat of plaster.
Horizontal board at junction between floor and wall.
Visible underside of a projecting surface.
Vertical pipe to take waste water and sewage out of a building.
Horizontal distance covered by a beam or lintel etc.
Material dug out during excavation.
Vertical pipe carrying waste from sinks and toilets.
The side face of a brick.
Sloping board carrying the treads and risers of a staircase.
Tongue and Groove, traditional softwood floor boards.
A curved section of drain that holds water, providing a seal that prevents odours from escaping.
Horizontal part of a stair.
Thermostatic radiator valve.
Edge of a roof which runs from eaves to ridge at a gable.