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    This is the reversal in the normal directional flow of water in a plumbing system e.g. water being drawn back into the mains supply from the house.

    Balanced flue

    A two-part ventilation duct allowing combustion gases from a boiler to escape and only fresh air to enter. As opposed to an open flue.

    Ball valve (ballcock)

    Valve operated by a float or ball, allowing water to enter a cistern when the water level drops.


    Coarse stone used in mixing concrete.


    Sometimes incorrectly called a banister, balusters are the vertical poles of wood connecting the handrail and string of a staircase.


    The entire assembly of balusters, newels, handrails, and base rails on a staircase.


    Also known as a vergeboard, a timber board covering the edge of the overhang on a gable roof.


    A brick or block cut along the shortest edge. Half bat is half a brick, quarter bat is quarter of a brick. Also, a section of rigid material used in insulation.


    A narrow length of square-edged timber


    Of either a sealant product or a moulding used to decorate or conceal joints.


    Supporting beams.


    The process of laying tiles or slabs onto a bed of mortar or concrete.


    Specifically made for a purpose or situation.


    A layer of sand covering hardcore.


    To join and hold two surfaces together. Also, the joint arrangement between brick walls e.g. the vertical joints between courses in brickwork is called a brick bond.


    The hollow space that runs through a tube or pipe.

    Bottom plate

    The horizontal member at the bottom of a stud wall.


    A brace is the diagonal support fixed to the back of a timber frame and panel gate.

    Brace fitting

    To support and strengthen a joint or a structural member keeping a frame rigid.


    A projecting support , used to support shelves for example.

    Brass blade terminals

    A telephone socket terminal comprising of two thin brass blades that cut into the conductor's insulation and make the connection.


    A process for joining metals together by melting a third metal or alloy. Much like soldering except that the filler metal used has a higher melting temperature.

    Brickbond pattern

    A brickwork pattern where the bricks in each row overlap the joints between two bricks in the previous row.

    Building control officer

    Local authority Building Control Officers ensure that building regulations are adhered to.

    Building line

    The boundary line for construction of a house, established by the deeds or building control authorities.


    The plastic socket that a light bulb is screwed into containing the terminals for connecting flex.


    The rough edge after sawing or filing, particularly when referring to metal.


    To join the ends of two objects or surfaces together to form a butt joint.


    To apply mortar to the end of a brick before it is laid.

    Butyl rubber

    A flexible material available in sheets widely used for pond liners. Also, butyl rubber based materials are now being used for flat roof coverings.