Your comprehensive building glossary cheat-sheet
Building a new home involves a whole lot of industry-specific terminology that you may not be familiar with.
To help make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a quick building glossary that defines the most common terms.
Rock excavation is not always necessary. However, it is important to put aside a rock allowance in case rock is detected in your land once we start excavating. This will allow us to remove the rock and make room for your property.
Site cuts level the land, so your home can be constructed on a stable flat or stepped surface.
Retaining walls support loose soil. Without retaining walls, some sections of soil will break up and fall away.
Waffle slab/footing system
The waffle slab or footing system is the foundational support dug into the ground before the concrete and steel are installed. The footing system is one of the primary structural components of your home.
Foil sarking in walls & roof
Foil sarking is an insulation wrap installed around the external walls and between the roof trusses and the roof covering of your home to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.
Frames & trusses
Think of the wall frames and roof trusses as your home’s skeleton. Constructed out of timber or steel, frames and trusses are some of the most imperative parts of your home’s structure.
Insulation batts keep your home energy efficient. They ensure your home stays warm in winter and cool in summer.
Gyprock plasterboard is installed on the internal walls and ceilings. Once installed, plasterboard is painted.
Internal areas that may be subject to ongoing water usage need to be waterproofed. This protects these areas from water damage.
Internal & external silicon joints
When silicon is installed, it gives joints flexibility, especially when internal temperatures change. Materials contract and expand in different ways, and silicon helps control the movement to minimise cracking.
Soil classification is an engineering report that tells us what type of soil you have in your land. This allows the engineer to identify the most suitable footing system for your soil type.
A drainage plan is created by a hydraulic engineer. This shows us where the stormwater and sewerage lines will be installed on your land.
Electrical plans indicate where power points and light points will be installed throughout the home.
Created by a building designer or architect, a working drawing shows what the inside and outside of your home will look like and includes all dimensions. Your home is built off these plans.
In New South Wales, we are required to complete a BASIX report. This involves meeting certain criteria that demonstrate your home is up to the standards of energy and water efficiency.
Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) Report
An Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) Report is required when building a home in the ACT. The EER is measured in stars and all new homes must have a minimum star rating of 6 stars.
Engineering plans are created by a structural engineer. These outline what is required for your footing system and any structural steel required in a two-storey home.
Many old homes contain asbestos which must be removed by a licensed asbestos contractor.
Trees over 12m are referred to as ‘protected trees’. Trees which are over 12m require an arborist to assess them and prepare an arborist report indicating how to protect the tree roots and the tree itself during construction.
Another consideration is your electrical disconnection. If the current electrical connection is an overhead line, it will need to be disconnected then reconnected to the new home underground.
Not sure? Just ask
It’s always better to be safe than sorry so if you’re not sure, please reach out and ask. The Achieve team will be more than happy to help.