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    Glossary



    F


    Face edge

    The front or top surface of an object. Also the smooth, planed surface of wood.

    Fall

    Gradient or incline e.g. the fall of a gutter should be at least 1:600.

    Fascia

    A flat surface, usually made of wood, that covers the end of roof rafters and on which the guttering is fixed.

    Feather-edge boards

    Tapered boards used in fencing.

    Feathering

    A technique for smoothing the join where sections of paint or plaster meet by sweeping a brush or float horizontally backwards and forwards across the join.

    Female

    One part of a fitting made up of a male and female part that usually screw together.

    Fillet

    Strips of wood used to fill the spaces between square top balusters on handrails and base-rails.

    Finial

    The decorative end-cap used to finish the top of a post or the ends of a curtain pole.

    Fire surround

    The ornamental stone or timber frame around the fireplace opening, often with a mantelpiece.

    Fire-proof rope

    A non-combustible rope used to create a compression joint between a fire back and the edges of the opening of the fireplace.

    First-fix

    To carry out plumbing, carpentry or electrical preparation work before installation can take place e.g. routing pipes and cables to the new appliance.

    Fissure

    A narrow slit, cleft, crack, or groove.

    Fitch

    A paintbrush with slender bristles used for retouching and detail work.

    Flashing

    Waterproof material used to seal exterior joints such as between the roof and walls or chimney; or where two roof planes meet.

    Flaunching

    The sloping mortar at the top of the fireback; or the mortar around the chimney pot securing it in position.

    Flemish bond

    A type of brick bond. For more about types of brick bond, see Building a Wall.

    Flex

    Two-core-and-earth cable used to wire appliances or light fittings to a circuit.

    Float

    Plastering tool used for finishing the surface of a render or plaster coat.

    Float valve

    A valve which opens and closes by a float according to water level. The ball valve or ball cock is the most common type of float valve.

    Floating floor

    Flooring which is not fixed to the surface beneath.

    Flue

    A duct or channel carrying away smoke or hot air.

    Flush

    When the faces of two adjoining surfaces or objects are level, they are said to be flush with each other.

    Flying earth

    A piece of earth core that is not connected to the electrical circuit but instead links a metal component such a switch plate to an earth terminal.

    Footing

    A concrete-filled trench acting as the foundation for a wall.

    Formwork

    Timber boards nailed to pegs in the ground to form a mould in which to pour concrete.

    Four by two or 4x2

    Refers to timber sold in lengths with a width of 4in and a thickness of 2in. The metric equivalent is 100mm x 50mm.Two by four is used extensively in construction.

    Frame fixings

    A screw and plug combination used in fixing door linings and window frames. Also called shuttering.

    French drain

    A drain with no pipe consisting of a trench filled with gravel, which drains water down a slope to a soakaway.

    Frog

    The indentation in one face of some bricks.

    Fuse

    A protective device available in cartridge form or as fuse wires. For an appliance to work the current must pass through the fuse. If the current from the mains supply is too large the fuse will overheat and melt, breaking the circuit. Fuses are classed according to their performance requirements.

    Fuse box

    A wall-mounted unit where the fuses for all the building's circuits are located.

    Fused connection unit (FCU)

    Appliances such as electric cookers are connected directly to the circuit and are protected by a dedicated fuse.

    Fused spur

    A branch running off an electrical ring main to a connection box with a double pole switch and fitted with a fuse to enable the connection of a fixed electrical appliance.

    Fuseway

    The holder or slot for a fuse.