Building Terms Glossary

If you are new to building or construction, the jargon used in the industry can be confusing. Here’s a guide to the most commonly used terms.

AAC – Autoclaved aerated concrete. Hebel is the best known AAC product and is a strong yet lightweight building product, available in panels or blocks.

Architrave – The moulded frame around doors and windows.

Cladding – The exterior surface of a house, usually brick, timber or plasterboard. Cladding is usually more of an aesthetic choice rather than a structural element, although it does help to keep a house weatherproof.

Cornice – Plastered moulding covering the joint between the wall and ceiling. Cornices come in a range of styles, from simple to ornate, depending on the aesthetic of the home.

Development Application (DA) – This application to your local council will help you obtain a license to build. Each council has different local planning policies, zones and provisions that affect how land can be used and developed.

Lock-up stage – This is a construction milestone (often tied to a financial payment) when the windows and doors are installed and the house can be secured.

Rough-in – When plumbing and electrical services are installed in the wall cavities during construction before tiling and waterproofing. Usually connected with wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.

Wainscoting – timber or plaster moulding that traditionally covers the lower part of a wall. A favourite design element in Hamptons-style homes.

For a full list of building terms, head to Dwelling.

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