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Hame Jargon Buster

house-building-jargon-explained

Building Envelope
This is the insulated inside space between the walls, floors and roof of your home. And of course, the better your insulation is, the lower your energy bills.

Bill of Quantities
A bill of quantities gives you a full breakdown of building materials with approximate dimensions and prices which can be used for cost control. It means that when you put your home extension project out to tender, each contractor is pricing on exactly the same information.

Gable End
A gable end is the vertical wall that includes the upper triangular part between the sloping roofs. Makes for a modern house extension design and is a great way to let in more light.

Heat Loss Calculation (U value)
When you extend your home your architect has to provide a heat loss calculation in your application, also called a U value calculation, which must comply with Building Standard regulations. The U value measures the amount of heat which will pass through your home’s building envelope. The lower the value, the more your home will retain heat, making it energy efficient and less costly to run.

Lintol
A horizontal beam most commonly made out of steel, timber or concrete which adds support where there’s a break in a wall or foundation, for example at a window opening. As well as supporting the wall above, other elements like floors and roof may also have to be factored into the lintol design.

Sewer
A sewer is any pipe that is connected to more than one property, for example where there are semi-detached or terraced houses. In Scotland, Scottish Water are responsible for the upkeep of all sewers so you must inform them if you want to connect to one, plus meet any required conditions. If you’re building over a sewer then, as homeowner, you must ensure that part of the sewer is in good condition – a visual test may be required.

Spillage Test
Installing a wood burning stove? Flue gases can be dangerous so you should carry out a spillage test to ensure that smoke rises up through the flue and not into your room. Appliances such as kitchen extractor fans can draw smoke back into a room leaving you exposed to the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. Building Standards may insist on a carbon monoxide detection system with an integral alarm.