Glossary of terms
Our jargon buster will help you understand some of the technical terms you may come across in your report.
To help you, below is a glossary of terms from A – Z:.
A professional in the cultivation, management and study of individual trees.
One who acts for, or in the place of, another; one entrusted with the business of another.
Broken stone, gravel or sand used with cement to form concrete.
A planning restriction that limits the occupation of a property to those employed, or last employed, in agricultural work or other similar work.
Alternative Dispute Resolution. The voluntary participation in a non-litigation procedure. It’s designed to encourage the settlement of a dispute through the promotion of a constructive dialogue between the parties.
A perforated brick built into a wall for the purpose of providing air ventilation.
Annual Percentage Rate. This figure is the interest rate for the whole year, rather than just a monthly/fee rate, as applied on, for example, a mortgage.
A person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings.
A moulding around a doorway or window opening. It usually covers the joints between the frame and the wall finish, and covers any shrinkage gaps.
A naturally occurring group of materials widely used in insulation until the mid 1980’s. They are now known to cause cancer, unless managed with care.
Black, tar-like substance, designed to be impervious to moisture.
A type of valuation model. The name given to a method that can provide property valuations using mathematical modelling, combined with a database.
Common metal device used in gas or oil burning appliances.
A post or vertical pillar, supporting a hand rail or parapet rail.
A layer (usually concrete or mortar) providing continuous support to such items as bricks and piping.
When the larvae of beetles have tunnelled into timber, causing damage.
The regular arrangements of bricks or stones in a wall so that the units can be joined together.
A shaft drilled into the ground, either for abstraction or to get soil or rock samples.
The arrangement of bricks to ensure a wall’s stability.
The term used to refer to various types of concrete and cement building blocks.
A term used in dampness investigations, where moisture bypasses an otherwise effective damp-proof course.
A wall around a tank or other similar structure, designed to keep the contents of the tank inside, in the event of spillage.
A natural process affecting the outer layer of concrete.
A window made up of hinged, pivoted or fixed sashes.
External walls of houses made up of two leaves of brick or blockwork, separated by a gap.
Cavity Wall Insulation
The filling of wall cavities by one or various forms of insulation.
A twisted piece of metal, bedded into the inner and outer leaves of cavity walls, to strengthen the wall.
A simple method of foul drainage, using a holding tank that will need regular draining.
Chips of wood compressed and glued into a sheet form. It’s a cheap method of decking to flat roofs, floors and furniture.
An opening in a drain or ventilation pipe, covered by a plate. Removal of the plate allows the drain to be rodded to clear blockages.
Walling of naturally dried earth or clay, compressed into blocks.
A horizontal tie beam of a roof, joined to opposing rafters at a level above that of the wall plates.
Horizontal timber designed to restrain opposing roof slopes.
A gas boiler that activates on demand. No need for water storage tanks or cylinders.
Sewers that carry both sewage and surface water.
A phrase referring to the areas of a property available for use by any of the occupiers (for example, communal grounds).
A form of freehold land.
A mixture of coarse, medium and fine aggregates with cement and water.
The changing of water vapour to liquid water.
Conflict of Interest
Where an estate agent or other professional adviser acts for clients who have competing interests.
An area designed to preserve or enhance its architectural or historical significance, through planning controls.
A legal professional who specialises in the legal aspect of buying and selling property.
Stone or concrete laid on top of a wall, designed to stop water soaking into the wall.
Projection of a material (eg stone or brick) jutting from a wall to support a weight above it.
A large moulding at the junction between an inside wall and a ceiling.
A legally binding agreement, used to require a property owner to do, or not do, something in relation to the property.
Curved junction between wall and ceiling.
Gradual deformation of an object under load.
The land within which the building is set and which belongs to it.
Panelling, usually made of timber, extending from floor level part way up an internal wall.
Damp-Proof Course. Layers of impervious material built into a wall to prevent dampness rising up the wall or around windows and doors.
An imperfection that impairs worth or use.
The breakdown of a material by separation of the layers that it’s made up of.
A valuation of property using archives or websites but without an inspection of the property.
The temperature at which moisture in the air begins to evaporate.
Consent granted by the Environment Agency to discharge into watercourses, subject to conditions.
A unit containing switches, circuit breakers etc. It protects the electrical circuits within a property.
A Local Development Plan prepared by a District Council.
When a valuer acting for a lender believes the property is worth less than the agreed or stated price or value.
Drive By Valuation
A valuation of a property based on external inspection from publicly accessible areas.
A serious form of fungus which attacks structural and joinery timbers.
A legally enforceable property right, held by one person as owner of one area of land over another area of land.
Powdery white salts crystallised on a surface, as a result of moisture evaporation.
Strong, dense type of brick, often used as damp-course in older buildings.
Energy Performance Certificate. A mandatory report giving information on the energy efficiency of a property.
Cheap, lightweight board material of little strength, used in ceilings or as insulation in attics.
Building technique to prevent leakage from a roof joint.
A cement mortar weathering on top of a chimney stack surrounding the base of the chimney pots, to throw off rain.
Metal tube within a flue.
Exists when one part of a property extends over, or under, a neighbouring property. It can cause legal complications.
An indentation in the top of the brick to reduce its weight.
Gross External Area.
Swelling of clay sub-soil due to the presence of moisture. It can cause movement in the foundations.
An opening into which rain and waste water are collected before entering the drain.
Broken bricks or stone which if consolidated can be used as a base for concrete, for example, floor or drive.
A zigzag pattern of timber, fixed between joists to give additional support.
A pitched roof whose ends are also pitched.
A sleeper wall built with holes for ventilation over its whole area.
Work done in the position where it’s finally required.
Condensation occurring within the thickness of a building element, for example, between materials and finishes.
The roughness of a surface which provides a bond for any application of paint, plaster etc.
Downhill movement of unstable earth following prolonged heavy rain or coastal erosion.
Mixture of sand, cement and water to join stones or bricks.
Vertical bar dividing individual lights in a window.
A term that covers a range of potential housing problems that may occur from the use of reactive aggregates in concrete. Largely confined to Cornwall and South Devon.
National House-Building Council. Commonly used for New Build Guarantees.
Peppercorn Ground Rent
A nominal sum usually paid annually, based on a historic legal agreement.
Horizontal beam in a roof upon which rafters rest.
The ability of a lender to hold back part of a mortgage loan until certain conditions are met – usually the completion of significant repairs.
Covering finish to the surface of a wall.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The highest part of a roof.
Moisture soaking up a wall from below ground, by capillary action, which can cause rot and damage to plasterwork.
Outward bowing of a wall caused by the thrust of a badly restrained roof framework.
All properties settle in varying degrees. It can show as cracking or distortion in the walls.
A vertical pipe moves sewage to the drains.
Chemical reaction, activated by water, which can cause deterioration in brick walls and concrete floors.
Professional who advises on structural defects of property.
A Chartered Surveyor who is a member of RICS.
A defect in a property when the structure has moved or distorted in some way.
Method of roof construction.
Method of strengthening weak foundations by placing a stronger foundation underneath the original.
Necessary in all buildings to disperse moisture and prevent condensation.
Decay of timber due to damp conditions.