Below, we explain the terms used on the Maintaining My Home website.

Glossary terms

Acceptable Solution
According to the Building Act 2004, an acceptable solution is a building solution that is accepted as complying with the Building Code
Apron Flashing
The flashing that covers the joint between a vertical surface and a sloping roof, as at the lower edge of a chimney; or the flashing that diverts water from a vertical surface into a gutter
Architrave
A moulding used as a surround to a door or window opening to cover the gap between the wall and the joinery
Arrised
Sharp intersection of two surfaces (for example, the face of a piece of wood). An eased arris is one that has been slightly rounded
Art Deco
A style of housing from the 1930s, often associated with parapets, flat roofs and plaster finishes to exterior cladding
Asbestos
A naturally-occurring mineral used in construction materials including roofing, insulation around hot pipes, and some flooring and textured ceilings. No longer used because when fibres are inhaled they can cause potentially life-threatening illnesses
Baluster
Vertical support for a staircase handrail or railing at the edge of a balcony or veranda. Balusters are usually timber
Balustrade
The handrail and balusters beside a staircase, or at the edge of a balcony or veranda
Barge Board
The flat board at the edge of a gable roof, sometimes shaped or decorated
Batten
A piece of sawn or dressed timber of rectangular section usually between 20 mm and 40 mm thick and 25 mm to 75 mm wide
BCA
Building consent authority; an organisation empowered to issue building consents, inspect construction and certify completion of building work. All territorial and regional authorities (local councils) are accredited as building consent authorities unless they have transferred their powers. Private companies may also become building consent authorities
Beam
A structural member supported at two or more points. Exposed beams are sometimes used as decorative members and not necessarily required to act in a structural or load-bearing capacity
Bearer
A beam supported on jack studs, foundation walls, piles or piers and carrying joists, jack studs or subfloor framing
Bevel
An angle that is not a right angle
Bevel-back
Weatherboards that taper to a thin upper edge
Borer
Wood-boring insects in the larval stage which tunnel into wood
Bottom Plate
A plate other than a wall plate placed under the bottom end of studs
Building Act 2004
The legislation governing building work in New Zealand
Building Code
Regulations to the Building Act that prescribe the minimum performance objectives that building work must meet. Compliance with the Building Code is mandatory to the extent required by the Building Act
Building Consent
Approval given by a building consent authority to undertake building work
Bungalow
A style of housing taken from the west coast of the United States and Canada, often with timber cladding and a lower-pitched roof than a villa. The bungalow was the most common style of house built in New Zealand from the end of World War 1 to the Great Depression in the 1930s
Cam
A part in a mechanical linkage which rotates or slides
Cantilever
Member fixed at one end and unsupported at the other
Casement
A side-opening sash
CCA
Wood preservative that contains copper, chromium and arsenic
Cornice
An ornamental timber or plaster moulding along the junction between wall and ceiling
Cupping
Curvature across the width of a plank or board
Deflection
The degree to which a structural element is displaced under a load
Delamination
Splitting apart into layers
Double-hung
Windows that slide open vertically, sometimes also called sash windows, where each sash window is offset by a weight in the window surround
DPM
Damp proof membrane
Drummy
Sounding like a drum; often applies to plaster or concrete
Dwang
Short piece of timber tightly fixed between the vertical studs in wall framing. Also called noggin
E2/AS1
Acceptable solution under the Building Code; covers weathertightness of the building envelope
Eave
The lower part of a roof projecting beyond the face of a wall
Efflorescence
Crystallising water-soluble salts on a masonry surface as moisture evaporates from it
Facing
Plain unmoulded or moulded finish trim, such as an architrave, applied to openings and angles of a building
Fascia
The board that runs along the edge of the roof at the eaves. Guttering is usually attached to the fascia
Flange
A projecting flat rim, collar, or rib on an object, to help strengthen it or attach it to something
Flashing
Galvanised steel or other impervious material used in parts of a building to prevent penetration of moisture where different components meet
Galvanised
A thin layer of zinc on an iron sheet or element to help protect the iron from corrosion
Grub Screw
A small headless screw, used typically to attach a handle or cam to a spindle
Head Flashing
A flashing designed to prevent water leaking over the top of a window or door
HEPA
A ‘high-efficiency particulate air’ (HEPA) filter uses fibres to trap particles such as dust mites or pollen
Hydrostatic Pressure
The pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity
Hygroscopic
A material that gains or loses water according to changing humidity levels. Timber is hygroscopic because it expands or contracts depending on humidity levels.
Insulating Glass Unit (IGU)
Double-glazing or triple-glazing. A double-glazed IGU consists of two sheets of glass spaced apart in a frame. The space between the panes may contain dry air or argon gas.
Jamb
Vertical side member of a door frame, door lining or window frame
Joist
Horizontal framing member to which is fixed floor decking or ceiling linings and which is identified accordingly as floor joist or ceiling joist
Latex Paint
A water-borne coating that includes polymers of acrylic, vinyl acrylic or a mix of both.
Linoleum
A floor covering made of ingredients that may include linseed oil, pine resin, wood, cork and others on a backing made of jute
Lintel
A horizontal member spanning an opening in a wall
Mitre
The intersection of two pieces meeting together at an angle
Mortice And Tenon Joint
A timber joint made up of a shape (the mortice) cut out of a piece of timber into which is fixed the similarly shaped end (the tenon) of another piece of timber
Nib Wall
A short section of wall that juts out at 90 degrees
Nosing
The rounded projecting edge of a stair tread
Particleboard
A sheet panel manufactured by bonding together particles of wood
Pier
Intermediate support, as in a bridge, where there is more than one span
Pile
Building: A block or column-like member used to transmit loads from the building and its contents to the ground. Painting: The thickness of the fabric on a paint roller
Plaster
A render or mixture for spreading onto walls to form a smooth surface. It may be a cement
Plate
A timber supported by a wall or bearers or joists, to support and distribute the load from floors, walls, roofs and ceilings
Plywood
An assembled product made of up to two or more plies or veneers bonded together with the direction of the grain in alternate plies, usually at right angles
Pointing
Repairing or replacing mortar in masonry
Powder-coating
An electrostatically-applied paint finish to metal
Purlin
Roof framing timbers that are fixed over the rafters and which the roof cladding is fixed to
Rafter
A framing timber normally parallel to the slope of the roof and providing support for sarking purlins or roof covering
Rail
Horizontal member of the sash
Rebate
Rectangular recess formed along the edge of a piece of material for the fitting of a frame, door, sash, or other component
Reveal
Sides of a door or window opening between the frame and the face of the wall
Saddle Flashing
Flashing to the top of a parapet or cornice
Sarking
Insulation paper or closely fixed boards, usually rough sawn, that are used as an undercover for roofing
Sash
A frame containing a pane or panes of glass and fitted in the window frame
Scriber
A moulding used to cover an uneven gap
Shellac
A natural wood sealer and finish made from resin secreted by small insects living on the lac trees of India and Thailand. Hardened resin flakes are mixed with methylated spirits to give a clear finish
Shingle
A thin piece of split timber used for roofing, gable ends or the wall below bay windows. Called a 'shake' if hand split
Sill
A horizontal shelf of wood at the foot of a door or window
Skillion Roof
A pitched roof where the ceiling lining is parallel and close to the roof cladding
Soaker
Flashing at exterior mitred angle and butt joint of weatherboards
Soffit
The lower face or undersurface of anything, such as the underside of eaves of a roof
Spall
To break away at the edges of stone, or other masonry materials, through weathering, chemical action, or excess loading
Stile
Vertical side member of a sash other than an interlocker
String
Inclined support carrying the ends of the steps of a stairway
Stringer
Horizontal framing timber on edge fixed to the side of a concrete or masonry wall to support the ends of joists or rafters
Strongback
A structural timber framing member installed over the ceiling joists in the ceiling space to provide support to the joists from above
Stud
A vertical timber forming part of a load-bearing external wall frame or of an internal wall partition
Substrate
The 'level below'; usually refers to the material or structure beneath a cladding, coating, finish or membrane
Swarf
Fine chips or filings of metal, stone or other materials produced by a machining operation
TPS
Tough plastic sheathing
Underpurlin
A horizontal timber member laid underneath rafters
Wicking
Absorbing or drawing up moisture by capillary action