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    Dado rail

    Decorative strip of moulding separating the top and bottom sections of wall.

    Damp-proof course

    Layer of damp-proof material between the courses of bricks near the bottom of exterior walls.

    Damp-proof membrane

    Sheet of waterproof plastic inserted under flooring to protect against rising damp.

    DC (direct current)

    Electrical current that flows in one direction only.


    T-shaped prop for supporting plasterboard whilst it is fixed to a ceiling.


    An appliance used to reduce humidity levels.

    Dimmer switch

    A switch connected to a transformer allowing you to reduce the flow of electricity in the lighting circuit.


    Otherwise known as a splitter or combiner, a diplexer combines signals from two sources and transmits them through a single output e.g. to allow a TV to receive signals from an aerial and satellite dish.


    A low trolley for conveying heavy objects.

    Door furniture

    All door accessories such as handles, knockers, letterboxes etc.

    Door lining

    The door lining frames the opening and provides the fixing point for the door.


    An electrical appliance that has been insulated in such a way that it does not need earthing. In Europe a double insulated appliance must be labelled "Class II", "double insulated" or bear the double insulation symbol (a square inside another square).

    Double-pole switch

    A circuit where both the Live (L) wire and Neutral (N) wire are disconnected by means of a single switch, these are found on single circuits for electric shower and cookers.

    Dovetail nailing

    Driving nails into a joint at an angle for extra strength.


    Wooden peg hammered in to a wooden joint to strengthen the joint or close cracks in woodwork.

    Downpipe shoe

    The angled connection at the base of a downpipe, or drainpipe, directing water into a gutter.


    Paint effect in which a brush or rag is dragged through wet glaze or paint.

    Drip groove

    A lip underneath exterior windowsills and doorframes directing water away from the woodwork.


    A length of wallpaper, measured and cut in preparation for pasting.

    Dry laying

    Laying bricks or tiles temporarily without fixing them to check positioning.

    Dry lining

    Plasterboarding walls and ceilings by fixing sheets of pre-plastered boards to a timber frame or metal channels.

    Dry rot

    The damage caused to timber and other materials by a fungal attack.


    A channel or tube passing through a building to convey air, cables etc.