Water and Hosepipe Ban in London

Water and Hosepipe Ban in London

Thames Water, Britain’s biggest water supply company are not very fast at repairing water leaks and with the hot weather expected this year in UK, a hosepipe ban in London is very likely. Householders are asked to keep an eye on the neighbours watering their gardens, lawns, flowers, grass or filling up paddling pools in some area, and to report them. Those caught will face the prospect of a £1,000 fines.


Seven water companies in southern and eastern England have said they will impose water restrictions after two very dry winters have left reservoirs, aquifers and rivers below normal levels.
Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East will enforce hosepipe bans. All except Sutton and East Surrey and Anglian Water have said restrictions will start on April 5th.

Of course, many houses in London could start saving water by installing water tanks connected to their drains in order to collect rain water, save water by taking showers, turn the tap off, etc, but what is amazing – is the capability and technology the Romans had over 2000 years ago to deliver water.

Planning for housing developments

Builders accused of buying green land for new housing developments

The Government will today unveil a revised version of the policy following opposition from heritage charities, green groups and The Daily Telegraph’s Hands Off Our Land campaign.
housing developments

It wouldn’t be quite so bad if the developers built nicer, higher quality houses with plenty of space and gardens that aren’t overlooked by everyone in the world. Houses where you can’t hear your neighbours creaky bed…..
Rather than the horrifically overpriced, bland red brick legolands which are now unfortunately now such a part of the UK.
Developers and supermarkets have fundamentally changed the UK and it’ll never be the same. They’ll continue to do it until someone stops them.

There must be a balance between builders and nature, the architecture and landscape should be protected.



Architecture in London

British politicians are talking about a £ 15.00 fee for visitors willing to go up to St Stephen’s Tower and see Big Ben. While it makes sense for any tourist to pay its way into historical buildings of London, it will help with the maintenance of the buildings, Big Ben is not the only historical and architectural building in London.

Should modern buildings in London get the same treatment ? Urban architecture is very much in fashion.


Most Architects in London would rather think that any building is a privilege, and a small fee will help improve the Architectural aspect of London.

Building Regulations and Planning Permission London

Building Regulations and Planning Permission in London, UK

Incredible story of a family who built a house in a Surrey beauty spot and kept it quiet for FOUR YEARS
house no planning permission
The owner, a self-build builder was aware that under civil law, if no one in authority became aware of the house for four years and it was not deliberately camouflaged or hidden, he would have the right to live there permanently.

There are two departments ,most likely to be concerned. One is the Building Control and the other is the Planning Department Office. The Building Inspector enforces a local authority’s rules designed to see that the houses are safe and healthy (no leaking drains, no walls collapsing, no unnecessary fire risks, insulated, etc). There have been rules like this since 1189 (walls between houses should be stone, three feet thick).
building control
It is the Building Inspector who, when you want to knock down a wall between two rooms, makes sure that the builders do it in such a way that it is safe, or the House Extension, Loft Conversions,etc, are built from materials that if the building catches fire, the inhabitants of the property have enough time to escape. Planning Consent is very important before building anything that might require planning permission.

You can read more about Building Regulations and Planning Permission here

Building Terms Glossary Dictionary Explained

British Building Terms Glossary Explained. General Plumbing Electrical Carpentry Roofing Building Terminology & Dictionary

Construction Industry terms explained for D.I.Y and understanding Estimates and Quotes.

A soft material used to glue tiles and other products.
marble floor tiles

Broken stone, gravel, sand or slag used with cement to form concrete. Aggregates may be coarse or fine and are measured by the size of a screen or mesh through which they will pass. Also called Ballast.

Air Brick
A perforated brick for building into a wall to allow the passage of air for ventilation purposes. Used, for instance, to ventilate the underside of a wooden floor.
air brick

A moulding round a doorway or window opening. It usually covers the joint between the door frame and the wall finish, thus hiding any shrinkage gaps which may occur.
architrave door frame

Ball Valve or Ball Cock
A valve or cock activated by a spherical copper or plastic float on the end of a cranked lever. The level of the water on which the ball floats determines whether the valve is open or closed.Modern WCs toilets have a different system.
wc cistern

A post or vertical pillar supporting a handrail or parapet wall.

A collective name for a row of balusters or other infilling below a handrail on a stair, bridge, parapet, etc.

Term used in Scotland and several other areas for a baluster.

A gable board or verge board. The inclined board, on a gable of a building, which covers and protects the ends of the roof timbers. Old barge boards were often decoratively carved.

A part of a brick used in bricklaying, cut crosswise and refereed to by size.

Used in Carpentry and Roofing. It can be a length of square sawn softwood or a a length of treated softwood used as fixing for roof tiles, slates, or sheet materials. A vertical board in a batten door, sometimes called Counter Batten.
roof battens

Batten Door or Ledged Door
A door composed of vertical boards or battens fixed to three or more horizontal ledges at the back, which are often diagonally braced. There is no frame round the edges.
batten door ledged door

A bearing surface of any component in a building, being normal at right angles to the loading pressure or a layer of mortar or other materials which forms a bearing surface, e.g mortar under bricks or stones, concrete under a drain pipe, putty under glass, adhesive under tiles.

An interchangeable cutting point used in a brace, a lathe or drilling machine. The head of a soldering iron, usually made of copper.

A built-up board, having a core of wooden strips up to 25mm (1 inch) wide laid with alternating grain and glued between outer veneers whose grain runs in the opposite direction. this gives the board good rigidity and dimensional stability. Chipboard, hardboard, laminate board, plasterboard, plywood.

A bricklayer’s cutting chisel.

The regular arrangement of bricks or stones in a wall so that the units are held together in a solid, stable mass. Recognised patterns or bonds are used, the principal ones being English, Flemish, header, stretcher, garden wall and diagonal.
brick wall cavity stretcher bond

Bookcase Strip
A metal strip with slots at regular intervals into which nibs or angles may be fitted as required to provide support to a shelf. The strips are fixed vertically on a timber frame or divider.

A cranked tool used for holding and revolving a drilling or boring machine bit to make holes in wood. That part of a framed structure which crosses a space diagonally and provides extra strength by its resistance to tensional or compressive forces.

A cut nail, tapering in width but of constant thickness, with a square head projecting on one edge only. Used chiefly for fixing floorboards. Confusingly, an oval wire brad is a wire nail formed from oval wire.

A small hand tool with a narrow chisel point which is pushed into timber to make starter holes for nails or screws.

British Standard, or British Standard Specifications, or BS
A description or specification of the qualities of a material or product and where applicable, the dimension of the product. The specification is determined by a specially appointed committee of the British Standards Institutions, and issued as a numbered publication. Code Of Practice.

The spreading of mortar on the vertical face of a brick before laying, an important part of bricklaying if the wall is to be well bonded.
building brick wall

Capillary Joint
A joint used in light gauge copper tubing. Several types are available but all are based on the same principle. A pipe is inserted into a fitting which is only slightly larger in diameter, thus creating a capillary space which aids the flow of molten solder round the faces to be joined. In some jointing fittings rings of solder are built in so that once the pipes are placed in position heat applied to the outside of the joint causes the solder to flow, thus completing the joint.

Capstan Head
On a tap, a head with projecting bars as an aid to turning the tap on or off.

The hinged, pivoted or fixed sash part of a window.

Cavity Wall
Wall constructed of two separated thicknesses or leaves ( skins ) separated by a gap and forming a single wall. The gap between the two wall skins are normally filled with wall insulation. The leaves are connected at intervals by wall ties and may be of equal thickness or may have a thicker inner leaf to take the floor loads.
cavity wall house extension

Ceiling Rose
A decorative plate, boss or trim through which an electric light flex hangs from a ceiling.
ceiling rose

Chair Rail
A wooden moulding fixed horizontally on a wall to prevent damage by chair backs. The development of hard plasters made such rails unnecessary.

A channel or groove formed or cut into walls and floors to receive pipes cables or conduits.
chase wall electrics

Waste wood chips compressed into a board, using synthetic resins as binders. The board may be obtained faced with veneers if a decorative finish is required.

A steel cutting tool. There is a wide variety of these type of tools used by different craftsmen and tradesmen working in wood, metal, brick or stone. Wooden handled chisels require a malet but all steel chisels, known as cold chisels, are used with a hammer.

Circuit Breaker
A Circuit Breaker is a switch or other device for interrupting an electric circuit. It turns off when overloaded by current.
circuit breakers

Cleaning Eye
Sometimes known as an access eye or rodding eye. An opening in a drain closed by a bolted on plate, the removal of which allows the drain to be rodded to clear blockages. It is often provided at pipes bends and in inspection chambers.
cleaning eye rodding

A small piece of wood used to give positive location to another timber or – plugged to a wall to carry a bracket or shelf. Also, used as a cramp when working on timbers, or used to give foothold on ranking boards.

A brick or stone cut to complete the bond at the corner of a wall.

Club Hammer
A double-faced hammer with a head weighing 0.7 to 1.8 kg. Used by bricklayers and stone-masons.

Rounded or square stones used for decorative paving.

A valve for controlling the flow of water, gas or other fluid in a pipeline.
stop cock garage

Code of Practice, or BSCP, or CP
A statement, issued as a numbered publication by the British Standards Institution, of what is considered to be good practice in the trade or craft described. Reference to a British Standard Code of Practice is usually by the initials CP followed by the appropriate number. cf. BRITISH STANDARD

Cold Chisel

Collar Beam
A horizontal tie-beam of a roof, which is joined to opposing rafters at a level above that of the wall plates.

Compression Joint
A joint used in light gauge copper tubing. It is made by screwing together the ends of the pipes to be joined and the special jointing fitting. Brass nuts are tightened to draw the pipe end into the joint where a wedging action is achieved which makes the connection watertight. Although the finished joint is not as neat as a capillary joint it is simpler to make.
compression joint valves

A finishing to the top of a wall, made of hard bricks, stone, concrete, metal or terra cotta, designed as a protection
against the weather. It often has a sloping, or weathered, top surface, projects beyond each face of the wall and has grooves or “drips” on the underside of the projection to help to throw off the rainwater flow clear of the wall face.
coping wall

Coping Saw
A bow saw, used for cutting tight curves, with a blade about 3mm wide and 150mm long.

(1) A large moulding at the junction between an inside wall and the ceiling, see also: COVE.
(2) A moulding at the top of an outside wall which projects and throws rain drips clear of the wall.
cornice ceiling wall

Counter Battens
In roofing, battens fixed parallel to the rafters on top of boarding and felt. Slating or tiling battens are then nailed over them. In this way any rain or snow blown under the roofing slates can escape when it flows down the roofing felt instead of being held by the horizontal battens as it might otherwise be. Because of the cost, this type of construction is used only in high quality work.

The conical sinking round the end of a hole drilled for a screw, which enables the screw head to lie flush with the surrounding material. It is made by a countersink bit.

A concave moulding at the junction between an inside wall and the ceiling or, less frequently, between an inside wall and a floor. The ceiling cove may be of fibrous plaster, plasterboard or expanded polystyrene in pre-formed sections and is useful in concealing the cracks which often occur in plasterwork at this junction.
cove coving

Cylinder Lock
A lock for an entrance door, opened by a key from the outside and a knob from the inside. A catch on the inside enables the latch to be fixed in either the shut or the open position. Cylinder locks may be fitted on the inner face of the door (rim type) or within the thickness of the door (mortise type).

The lower part of a wall, usually from the skirting to about waist-height, which is panelled or decorated differently from the upper part of the wall. Originally designed to avoid the soiling or damage of the wall where people or furniture brushed against it.

Dado Rail
A wooden moulding fixed to the wall or capping panelling and forming the topmost part of a dado,
see also: CHAIR RAIL.
dado rail

Damp-Proof Course or DPC
A layer of impervious material. Placed in walls, usually at 150mm. above ground level and below any ground floor timbers, to prevent moisture from rising. Also used round door and window openings, in solid ground floors and in parapet walls above the junction with a roof, to prevent moisture penetration to the inside of the building.
dpc cavity wall

Vertical damp-proof courses
(known as tanking) are used to keep basements dry. The material used for this purpose is asphaltic, but other damp-proof courses may be of flexible sheet metal, vitreous engineering bricks, plastic sheet or other impervious material,

Dead Shore
A heavy vertical timber, used in pairs to support a needle and thus carry the weight of the wall above.

Double-Hung Sash Window
A window in which the opening lights slide vertically within a cased frame, counterbalanced by weights supported
on sash cords which pass over pulleys in the frame (sash pulleys).

A short, cylindrical rod of wood or metal used for fixing one piece of material to another (or, for masonry, a rectangular section often made of slate). It fits into holes drilled in both parts or may be cast into, say, a concrete floor to provide a fixing for the bottom of a door post. Wooden dowels are often used in woodwork instead of a mortise and tenon joint, and
should be grooved to allow air and excess glue to escape.

Drain Cock
A cock or tap fitted at the lowest point of a water tank or system and used for draining the tank or system when required.
drain cock radiator

A powdery white appearance on a wall surface to be seen when the wall dries out, caused by dissolved alkaline salts from the wall crystallising on the surface as evaporation takes place. On an outside wall, although unsightly, the salts will eventually be washed away by rain.

Expanded Polystyrene
A lightweight material used for thermal insulation. Obtainable as a loose fill or in blocks, sheets or tiles.

Fascia Board
A wide board set vertically on edge and fixed to the lower ends of the rafters, to the wall plate or the wall. It carries the fixing brackets for the gutter round the eaves.
fascia board flat roofing

Fascia Bracket
A bracket, used to support a gutter, which is fixed to the fascia board.

Board made up of felted wood or other vegetable fibres. Used for its insulation properties and known as insulating
board. (When compressed in manufacture it becomes hardboard and then has different properties). Some types are treated to improve their resistance to flame spread.

A strip or sheet of impervious material, often flexible metal, used to prevent water from penetrating the joint between a roof covering and another surface (such as, for instance, a chimney stack). The upper edge of a flashing is usually wedged tightly into a raked out mortar joint, cf. DAMP-PROOF COURSE.
lead flashing

A cement mortar weathering on the top of a chimney stack and surrounding the chimney pot(s) to throw off the rain and thus prevent it from saturating the stack.

(1) A rectangular plastic tool used for smoothing plaster or cement work. (2) The ball of a ball valve.

Float Glass
Glass made by floating molten glass on a surface of molten metal, the resultant sheet being perfectly smooth and polished and comparable with plate glass.

Floating Coat
The second coat in three-coat plastering.

I n soldering, a fusible substance used to cover the metals to be joined. It prevents oxidation, aids the flow of the solder and helps in the successful fusion of the metals.

Temporary construction of timber or metal within which concrete is cast. Also known as SHUTTERING.

Framed and Ledged Door
A door composed of stiles, top rail and battens — all seen on the face side — with horizontal bottom and middle ledges on the back of the door, cf. BATTEN DOOR and FRAMED, LEDGED AND BRACED DOOR.

Framed, Ledged and Braced Door
A framed and ledged door with the addition of diagonal braces to give greater rigidity and prevent the striking edge of the door from dropping. (The lower corner of the brace, therefore, is always the one nearer the hinge). cf. BATTEN DOOR and FRAMED AND LEDGED DOOR.

A knife used by the bricklayer together with a jointing rule for trimming the edges of mortar joints when pointing. A kitchen knife with the edge bent over serves the same purpose.

An indentation, usually V-shaped, in the bedding face of a brick to reduce its weight. ‘Frog down’ or ‘frog up’ are the generally accepted ways of describing how the bricks are laid.

Full-Way Valve
A valve which does not obstruct the bore of a pipe and therefore does not impede the flow.

Fuse Box
The plastic box, near to the main power switches, in which the fuses or circuit breakers for premises are fixed.
fuse box

A coating of zinc given to ferrous metals to provide protection from corrosion.

A ring edging or lining for a hole to make a tight joint and prevent friction or chafing.

Timber fixings, usually unwrought, nailed or plugged to a wall to receive joinery, building boards or other material. Usually fixed flush with the floating coat of plaster.

A glazed earthenware trap or plastic into which rain and waste water are collected before entering the drain. These are sometimes designed to receive water discharged into them from an open-ended pipe above and sometimes have a built-in socket to receive a pipe connected below ground level.

A channel along the eaves of a roof or the edge of a path or road for the removal of rainwater, see also: PARAPET GUTTER, SECRET GUTTER, VALLEY GUTTER.
gutter guttering roofing plastic black

A saw for cutting metal, with a fine, replaceable steel blade stretched tight in a metal frame.

Half Bat
A half of a brick, cut crosswise, cf. QUEEN CLOSER.

Board of wooden fibres felted and formed under pressure to produce various densities of sheet material, referred to as medium, standard and tempered, usually with one face smooth and the other textured. The smooth face may be veneered with plastics or wood or may be embossed and finished to look like tiles.

Broken bricks or stone which, consolidated, are used as a foundation for paths, drives and solid concrete floors.

A square board with a short vertical handle beneath. Used for holding mortar or plaster when pointing or plastering.

A brick so laid that the end shows on the face of the wall. The term is also used to describe the end of the brick. cf. STRETCHER.

The outstanding angle formed by the intersection of two inclined roof surfaces, cf. VALLEY.

Hip Hook
A metal bar fixed to the hip rafter and projecting in a hook at the foot of the hip to prevent the slipping of the lowest hip tile.

Hip Tile
A saddle shaped or angular tile fitting over the intersection of those roofing tiles which meet at a hip.
hip roof tiles clay

Coarse sand, sifted gravel or fine ballast.

(1) Framing used as a temporary support. (2) A short board on which is mounted a supporting structure to receive a wooden-backed, metal template (usually zinc) which is shaped to the profile of a plaster cornice moulding. The horsed mould is guided when it is moved along the angle between wall and ceiling by a continuous batten nailed to the wall and
by nibs nailed to the ceiling. Plaster fed on to the wall is shaped by the scraping action of the mould.

A shallow sinking in one timber to allow for the insertion of the end of another timber. The joint thus formed is known as a housed joint. Stair treads and risers, for instance, are housed into the string.

In Situ
In position — applied to work done in the position where it is finally required, e.g. concrete may be precast in sections which are later taken to the position where they are required or it may be cast in situ.

Insulation is used in buildings for higher energy efficiency in ceilings, floors, roofs, lofts, walls. It also helps with Soundproofing because it has acoustic properties.
insulation loft

Inspection Chamber or Pit
A brick or concrete underground chamber into which several drains are collected and from which one drain emerges. It has a manhole cover which allows access for cleaning purposes.
inspection chamber manhole

Intumescent Paint
A type of paint used as a protection against fire. Under the heat of a fire the paint swells into a foam, thus providing an insulating layer which delays or prevents any effect of the fire on the underlying material. The foam can also be effective in sealing gaps round doors, thereby increasing the fire resistance of the door assembly.
intumescent paint rsj metal beams

(1) The vertical side of an opening in a wall, extending the full thickness of a wall. cf. REVEAL.
(2) The vertical post of framing fixed to the jamb, as door jamb, window jamb.

A wood or steel beam directly supporting a floor and sometimes alternatively or additionally supporting a ceiling. Steel beams are usually referred to as RSJs (rolled steel joists).
joist rsj

(10 A brass part in a water tap which carries the washer. The jumper has a flat disc on the end of a stalk. The stalk points upwards and moves in a guide and the washer is fixed to the lower side of the disc.
(2) A long octagonal or round steel chisel used in quarries or by a mason for making holes in hard stone.

Junction Box
A box which covers the joints between the ends of leads or wires in electrical work.

The roughness of a surface which provides a bond for any application of paint, plaster, rendering, tiles, etc.,or the spaces between laths or wire meshes which provide a grip for plaster. Previously painted surfaces may be roughened by sandpapering to provide a key for new paint.

Kicking Rail
The bottom rail on a door, see also: RAIL.

King Closer
A brick used as a closer and having one corner cut off along a vertical plane which joins the centre of one side to the centre of one end. see also: CLOSER and QUEEN CLOSER.

A board resembling blockboard in its construction but with narrower core strips.

A door fastening, of which the two most common types are:
(1) a bevelled metal tongue controlled by a spring which causes it to engage in a striking plate when the door is closed. It is operated by a knob or lever handle.
(2) the thumb latch, a bar which is pivoted on the door and engages in a catch on the frame. It is operated by a lift — a subsidiary bar, passing through the door, which has a down-turned end on the latch side of the door and a horizontal saucer-shaped flattening or thumb press on the outer side of the door.

A sawn or split strip of wood of small section for carrying plaster work. Usually about 1m long and up to 10mm x 32mm in cross section the laths are nailed with narrow gaps between them across the underside of joists and provide a key for the plaster.

The horizontal timbers on the back of a batten door.

A horizontal beam over a door or window opening, usually carrying the load of the wall above. Sometimes a concrete lintel has a shallow projection along its foot to carry the facing brickwork behind which the greater depth of the lintel is concealed. This is known as a boot lintel.
box lintel

Lock Rail
That rail of a door which carries the lock, see also: RAIL.

Masking Tape
In painting, the protective cover placed over surfaces adjoining an area which is to be painted. This may be special adhesive tape which is stuck on, and peeled off when the paint is dry, or a piece of card, plastic or metal held over the area as work proceeds.
painting windows masking tape

The intersection of two members or mouldings meeting at an angle. The line of the mitre bisects the angle, and is therefore 45° for a right angled corner, so that corresponding shapes in a moulding meet on the mitre and turn the corner. In woodwork, a simple angle joint between two members cut at the same bevel and butted and glued together may be strengthened by the insertion of a glued cross-tongue.

Mitre Block or Box
A square U-shaped or rebated solid block of wood or metal with slots in it at 45° to the main axis of the block. Material to be mitred is held firmly in the block or clamped to it and can then be cut to an exact mitre for a right angle, the slots acting as guides for the saw.

A recess or rectangular slot formed in one member to receive a tenon or projection on another member, or for receiving a mortise lock. To avoid undue weakening of a member the thickness of the mortise should not exceed one third that of the wood in which it is cut.

Mortise Lock
A lock set within the door thickness, in a mortise, and thus hidden from view. cf. RIM LOCK and CYLINDER LOCK.

A small, smooth weight which can be tied to a piece of string or fine cord and used to draw other cables, cords or wires through confined and awkward spaces. For example, tied to a new sash cord the mouse and string are slipped over the sash pulley, and then drawn through the pocket, thus feeding the new cord into its correct position for attaching to the sash weight.

A subsidiary vertical member in timber framing, framed into the rails and usually of the same thickness as the other members, e.g. the vertical member which separates the panels in a panelled door.

Nails vary in size from spikes (the largest, and over 130mm long) to pins, tacks and sprigs, and are classified as wire nails, cut nails or wrought nails according to the method of manufacture. The most common are those cold-forged from bright round or oval steel wire, up to 6mm diameter. Cut nails are sheared from steel plate and have a rectangular cross-section and wrought nails have forged heads. There is great variety in the shapes, metals and finishes used, according to the purposes for which they are required. Galvanised wire nails may be used for work where moisture is not likely to be a problem, otherwise brass, aluminium alloy or copper could be chosen, and where gypsum plasterboard is to be nailed a
sherardised finish is called for.

A short timber or steel beam passed horizontally through a hole in a wall and supported on dead shores, to support the wall above during structural alterations, see also: SHORE.

Newel Post
A post in a flight of stairs which carries the end of the outer string and the handrail, supporting them at the foot of the flight or at a corner.
newel post staicase

A small projection for fixing purposes, as, for instance, at the upper end of a roofing tile.

Noggin or Nogging Piece
A short horizontal timber placed between studs in a partition for stiffening purposes.
noggin nogging wall

A saw used for small circular work, having a narrow blade which passes through the handle from which it is extended and screwed fast for use.

Panel Pin
A slender round wire nail with a small head which is barely visible when driven below the surface of joinery

Parapet Gutter, Parallel Gutter or Box Gutter
A wooden gutter of rectangular cross-section with a flexible metal or other impervious lining. Used behind a parapet or sometimes at a valley. The depth varies according to the length and the number of drips or steps used. Occasionally it is constructed with a taper towards the lower end because of the roof slope, in which case it is known as a tapered parapet gutter.

Parquet Flooring
A wooden floor covering formed of hardwood slips or shallow blocks laid in geometrical patterns, glued to the floor and polished. It is now obtainable already fixed to a plywood base for ease and speed of laying.

Penetrating Oil
A light oil with additives to increase its flow and capillary properties.

A vertical joint in brickwork. It goes across the wall, the end of the joint appearing on the face of the wall.

Piano Hinge
A continuous length of hinge, as used on a piano lid and other items of furniture. It gives smooth action and is useful in spreading the load and thus preventing, say, a much-used door from pulling away from the stile.

A building board which has a core of gypsum or anhydrite plaster enclosed, usually, between sheets of heavy fibrous paper. May be used as a base for plasterwork (in which case it needs an application of two coats) or, in cheaper work, as a substitute for a plastered surface. There are insulating plasterboards with a layer of aluminium foil on one side.
plasterboard ceiling

Plate Glass
A high quality glass which is formed by casting and subsequent polishing, which gives two smooth surfaces free of blemishes. Available in large sheets and often used for shop windows.

Plug Cock
A simple valve consisting of a tapered plug, a hole through which permits the passage of fluid. Turning the plug through 90° closes the valve.

A strong board made up of a number of sheets of veneer glued together, with the grain of adjacent sheets at
right angles to each other. Three-ply is frequently used, but five-ply or multi-ply may be required where greater rigidity and strength are necessary. Waterproof glue is used in some qualities of plywood, and a wide range of decorative facings is also available.
plywood foundation walls

The hole near the foot of a pulley stile in a double hung sash window frame. It gives access to the sash weights when new sash cords are to be fitted, but is normally closed by the pocket piece which fits in the hole flush with the rest of the stile.

A paint used to give the first coat on new or bared metal or wood. On wood it penetrates the surface and forms a good key for the following undercoat and finishing coats of paint. Metal primers contain rust inhibiting additives.

A horizontal beam supported by the principal rafters of a truss (and sometimes, additionally, by one or more cross-walls) and itself supporting the common rafters at some point between the wall plate and the ridge.
purlin roofing

Queen Closer
A half of a brick, cut vertically lengthwise, cf. HALF BAT.

The external angle of a wall.

An inclined timber extending from the eaves to the ridge of a roof. A common rafter carries the roof covering, a principal rafter is part of a truss, and carries the purlin.
roof rafters

(1) A horizontal member, framed into vertical stiles. In a door the bottom rail is known as a kicking rail and that which carries the lock is known as the lock rail.
(2) A horizontal member of a fence.

Rebate or Rabbet
A long rectangular recess forming a step along the edge of a piece of timber (or other material) to receive another piece of material.

Reinforced Concrete
Concrete made with a number of steel bars, a steel mesh or other reinforcement built into it to provide extra strength against tensional forces. For this reason the position of the reinforcement in the concrete is important and must be carefully designed.
reinforced concrete foundation

Applying stucco, cement mortar or the first and second coats of plaster to the face of a wall. The term is also used to describe the finish thus applied.
rendering walls house extension

The vertical side of an opening in a wall, between any frame built in the opening and the outer face of the wall, and usually at right angles to the face of the wall.

The highest part or apex of a roof, usually horizontal.

Ridge Board
The horizontal board set on edge to which the top ends of rafters are fixed.
ridge board roofing

Ridge Tile
Specially shaped tile for covering and making watertight the ridge of a roof. These tiles may have a rounded or angular cross-section.

Rim Latch
A fitting for keeping a door closed, consisting of a spring latch in a metal case screwed on to the inner face of the shutting stile of a door and operated by a spindle and knobs.

Rim Lock
A rim latch which can be locked by means of a key. see also: CYLINDER LOCK and MORTISE LOCK.

Ring Main or Ring Circuit
A system for wiring power circuits in houses, now in wide use and much simpler than the system previously employed. Each socket outlet is connected by two short lengths of cable to the main cable, and each plug contains its own fuse.

(1) The upright face of a step.
(2) In a snecked rubble wall, a deep stone which builds up the masonry higher than does its adjacent stone on the same bedding plane.

Rising Main
The cold water supply pipe which rises vertically from the principal, external source to supply water to each floor of a building. The term may also be used for the electrical power supply cable or the gas supply pipe which similarly rises vertically within a building.

Roof Ladder or Cat Ladder
A ladder, or long board with cleats nailed on it for foothold, to be laid on a roof slope to give access for repair work and to protect the roof covering by spreading the load. The ladder or board may be fitted with wheels on one side, for ease of movement, and hooks on the end which, when the ladder is turned over, may be engaged over the ridge of the roof for stability.

Frequently-used abbreviation for rolled steel joist.
rsj beam metal

(1) Broken bricks, old plaster and similar waste material.
(2) Stones of irregular size and shape used in walling. They are sometimes squared and coursed but are never smoothed.

Sash Window

A layer of mortar to give a finish to a jointless floor or other concrete slab to provide a smooth surface which will be suitable to take floor tiles, linoleum, roofing felt, underfloor heating, etc.
screed concrete floor

A steel or rustproof metal fastening device of a wide range of diameters (or gauge) and lengths. Wood screws have pointed ends, to pierce the timber, and spiral threads. Other screws have blunt ends and helical threads when they are to be fixed in conjunction with nuts or screwed into metal. Screws are additionally classified by the type of head, e.g. dome head, countersunk head, star head (gives a better bearing for the driver), and finish (sherardised, chrome plated, etc.).

A coarse canvas, cotton or other woven fabric for bridging the joint gaps between building boards before plastering and as reinforcement for fibrous plaster work.

Secret Gutter
A valley gutter almost hidden by the mitred slates or tiles adjoining it, or a similar gutter against a gable parapet or alongside a chimney stack. (It is a type of gutter subject to blockage by leaves).

Secret Nailing
Nailing so fixed that the nail holes are concealed in the finished work, as, for instance, in tongued and grooved floorboarding where nails are slant driven through the tongue and subsequently hidden under the next board to be fixed.

Small square blocks of stone, often granite, used for paving roads or paths.

A large, underground pipe or drain used for conveying waste water and sewage. The local authority is usually responsible for the sewers, which collect the effluent from various drains, the drains being the responsibility of the landowners.

Shave hook
A tool used by painters for scraping off burnt paint, or by plumbers when shaving lead pipes prior to soldering.

Sheet Glass
The glass used for most ordinary windows, where the uniform thickness of float or plate glass is not necessary. Referred to by the weight in “oz per sq. foot.”

The coating of ferrous metal items such as screws with zinc, as a protection against rusting. Zinc dust is applied
in a heated, revolving drum to give a penetration of finish which is more durable than galvanising.

(1) The section at the end of a downpipe which is angled to direct rainwater away from the building and into a gulley.
(2) A metal socket enclosing the end of a timber such as a post.

A temporary support, often made of wood but sometimes of other material. This may be vertical (a dead shore), sloping (a raking shore) or horizontal (a flying shore).


Siphonic Closet
A water closet which has a double seal. This, in conjunction with a small air pipe, creates a siphonic action on flushing which aids the emptying of the bowl or pan.

A liquid sealer applied to wood or plaster so that varnish, paint or paste applied to the surface will not be too much absorbed by the otherwise porous surface.

Slate Ripper
A long narrow tool used by slaters for inserting under broken roofing slates to remove the fixing nails.

Sleeper Wall
A dwarf honeycomb wall supporting ground floor joists in buildings without basements. In addition to being economical in its use of bricks, the wall allows ventilating air currents to pass under the floor.

A close-fitting tubular covering for fixing or protective purposes.

Sliding Sash
A sash which opens by a sideways, horizontal movement.

In a snecked rubble wall, the small squared stone which has its top surface level with that of an adjoining riser.

Snecked Rubble Wall
A rubble wall, built of uncoursed squared stones of irregular size, in which snecks are used.

A pit ,filled with broken stones, clinker, etc., to take the drainage from rainwater pipes- or land-drains and allow it to disperse.

A piece of flexible metal fitted to interlock with slates or tiles and make a water tight joint between a wall and a roof or at a hip or valley. Stepped flashings are used over the soakers at a joint against a wall.

(1) The enlarged end of a pipe in to which another pipe is fitted , (cf. SPIGOT).
(2) A cavity into which any thing is fitted.

Socket Outlet
An electrical fixture on a wall in to which the pins of an electrical plug are inserted.
electrician checking sockets

The underside of an arch, beam, staircase, cornice, eaves or other feature of a building.

Soil Pipe or Soil Stack
A vertical pipe which conveys sewage to the drains. Its upper end is vented above the eaves.
soil pipe vent

An alloy, such as lead-tin or copper-zinc, used for joining metals.

The triangular infilling under the outer string of a staircase or at each side of an arch to the level of the crown. The term is sometimes used to describe the rectangular infilling between the sill of one window and the head of the window below in a multi-storey building, or similar in filling panels.

The straight end of a pipe which is inserted in the socket of another pipe to give a socket-and-spigot joint .

A small wire nail with no head, or with a very small head. A glazing sprig is used to retain a pane of glass in its frame.

A socket outlet connection from a ring main , having a single cable which forms a branch off the ring main.

An L-shaped metal or metal and wood tool for testing or setting-out right angles. (Often known as a try -square).
An adjustable square is hinged to enable angles other than right angles to be set as required.

(1) The upright post of a scaffold, of wood or metal.
(2) A bench end (as the ornamental end of a church pew) or a vertical board to take the ends of shelves, sometimes against a wall.

The outer vertical members of a frame into which the rails are tenoned.

A valve on a gas or water supply pipe which is used to cut off the’ supply.

(1) In brickwork , the long face of a brick (which is seen on the face of a built wall ). cf. HEADER.
(2) In furniture , a horizontal cross-bar or tie — as between the legs of a table or chair — to resist tension and prevent the legs from spreading under load.
stretcher bond brick wall house extension

Striking Plate
A plate with a rectangular slot in it , screwed to a door post, against which the door latch strikes when the door closes and within the slot of which the latch engages when the door is closed.

An inclined board supporting the ends of the treads of a staircase.

An inclined member of a frame, which takes compressional forces.

A vertical member in a framed partition , to which lathing, wallboards or other materials are nailed.
stud walls partition

Swan Neck
An S-bend, as in the topmost section of a rainwater pipe where it joins the eaves gutter.

Tamping Board
A board used for consolidating concrete within its form work or shuttering, and for levelling the concrete.

Tapered Parapet Gutter

A long strap-like hinge, with its tapered length fixed on the face of a door, and its cross bar screwed to the
door frame. Early types of tee-hinge were made of highly decorative wrought iron for the doors of churches and cathedrals.

A full-size pattern usually made of wood or sheet metal and used as a forming or testing shape when reproducing the pattern in plaster or other materials.

The end of a rail or other piece of wood which is cut and stepped to give a reduced area so that it can be inserted into a recess or mortise in another piece of wood. The width of a tenon should be about four times its thickness.

Tenon Saw
A saw having a thin blade stiffened by a fold of steel or brass along its back, and used by a woodworker for sawing tenons.

(1) The cable or wire connection where power is led into or out of a piece of electrical equipment.
(2) The end of a gas-flue, etc.

The horizontal part of a step.

A support for scaffold boards, used in pairs to form a working platform , or for a large board to form a work – table. Each trestle consists of two broad, ladder-like structures hinged at the top and often braced with
cords to prevent the feet from spreading too wide.

Two-Gang Switch
An electrical switch assembly with two switches mounted side by side in one box.
electrician switch

The recessed angle in a roof where two roof surfaces meet and towards which rainwater flows. Where the junction is angular there is a gutter, but the roofing material may be laid in a continuous sweep, (a swept valley) when there is no need for a gutter.
roof valley

Valley Gutter
A gutter in a roof valley, usually lined with flexible metal though other impervious material may be used.

A thin layer of wood used either as a decorative facing to a less attractive wood or for building up into plywood. Or a thin layer of some other material used to provide a decorative facing.

Ventilation Pipe
The pipe which provides ventilation at the top of a soil drain. This may be a continuation of the soil stack, extended above the eaves.
ventilation soil pipe

Wall Plate
A horizontal timber laid along a wall to distribute the load from joists or rafters which sit upon it.
wall plate roofing rafters

Wall Tie
A piece of twisted bronze or galvanised steel plate or a twisted piece of galvanised wire with two loops for building into the bed joints of the two leaves of a cavity wall to strengthen the wall. The twist is intended to prevent any moisture from the outer leaf of the wall from travelling along the tie to the inner leaf.
wall tie brick wall

Waste Pipe
A pipe from a wash-basin, sink or bath to carry away the waste water into the drains. It has a bend or trap in it which always retains a sufficient amount of water to fill the bore of the pipe and thus prevent smells from the drains from penetrating the building.
waste pipe basin

Water Waste Preventer, or WWP
A flushing cistern that discharges only a given quantity of water at any one time, as for a W.C., incorporating a ball-valve which closes the inlet pipe when the cistern is refilled.

A moulding or piece of wood planted along the bottom of an external door to keep out driving rain.

Horizontal, overlapping boards nailed on the outside of a building to provide the finished wall surface. They are painted, varnished or treated with a preservative stain.

(1) A slight slope to throw off rainwater, as on a sill or coping.
(2) The change of colour and possibly, also, of surface texture to be seen in a building material after exposure to the elements.
weathering bricks walls

Washdown Closet
The simplest and most common form of water closet, in which the efficiency depends on the force of water washing the contents of the bowl or pan through the single trap.

Read more about Painters and Decorators dictionary

House Extensions, Kitchen Extensions, Loft Conversions, Garage Conversions
Kitchens, Bathrooms Fitters & Installers
Roofers & Carpenters
Electricians in London
Plumbers in London
Painters & Decorators
Builders in London
London Builders



In London and generally in UK, for every £1 the home owner of a house or flat spends on heating, the inhabitants get only 25p worth of warmth, often less. The rest of the heat goes to heat the great outdoors. Some heat losses are inevitable, a house or flat is not built in a vacuum flask, but well insulated lofts, floor, walls and double glazing can preserve some of the heat. It also helps with sound proofing.
insulation  partition wall

Insulation. Thermally Sealing your roof space

Insulating the roof space of a flat or house gives the biggest fuel saving for the smallest outlay of time and and money. The material used for insulating a loft is more or less, Air.
The various insulation materials are different ways of packaging it. The insulation needs to be fire resistant, anti pests ( mice ) and anti allergic.

Sheds Builders in London

Building a shed has no glory unless a major newspapers tells us that is OK to build a shed and used it.

Garden sheds which have been converted into pubs, churches and museums are among the entries in a nationwide competition to find the Shed of the Year 2012 sponsored by Cuprinol. The contest has received shedloads of entries. We publish a few of our favourites here, but you can see all of the sheds that have been entered so far – and submit your own shed – at readersheds.co.uk.


We have built many sheds in London, some of them being used as Gyms or Offices. Contact us for a free quote , we offer free design too.

Plumbing in Pictures, Central Heating

Plumbing in Pictures, Central Heating

One of the best plumbing pictures available on the internet.


In a blog post, called Peplers In Rye, a gentleman called Mike, managed to post an excellent plumbing blog about the installation of a wood stove. The technical information might be poor, but a picture tells a thousands words ( or plumbers )
Please ignore the missing floor-ceiling insulation, etc.

copper pipes

Gardeners in London, Landscaping

Gardeners in London, Landscaping

Most gardens in London are small, due to the green space available. A good garden design and build, can transform the garden into a second living room. The traditional gardens will bring the nature to you, but it needs some care and attention. Trees can look majestic but if they are not planted in the right place, or the right type of tree, it can damage your house because of the roots, or properties nearby or can be ”leaf, seeds and fruit messy” between the seasons.
garden leaf

A good guide can be found here : www.british-trees.com .

London Gardeners and Landscapers can design and build your garden, contact us for a free estimate and quote.