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A hard material packed between two other materials to separate them or to raise the top material to the required level.


A single lap interlocking roof tile made of clay or conrete and shaped like an 'S'.


A low wall projecting above a roof.

Parapet Gutter

A rainwater gutter formed adjoining a parapet wall.

Party Wall

A separating wall between two properties, which is jointly owned. There are associated and specific legal rights relating to party walls.

Parquet Flooring

A floor finish consisting of small wooden blocks laid in a regular geometric pattern.


Finish applied to external walls where smooth clean pebbles are pushed into a wet render or left exposed.

Peg Tile

A small plain clay tile with a hole at its top for insertion of a fixing peg, instead of a nib.


A board situated over the head of a window to hide curtain fixings.


A timber frame structure covering a walkway, often formed of posts and joists and covered with climbing vegetation.


A column, which may be free standing or built into a wall to provide stability and support.


A board material formed of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two layers of heavy paper. Commonly used for wall and ceiling lining.


An additional thickness at the base of wall, which may be formed in masonry or render.




The finish provided to a mortar joint to shed water away from the brick/stone work.


Describes the pooling of water on a surface which should have suitable drainage, i.e. a flat roof or paving.


Covered entrance to a building.

Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus)

A 'wood-boring insect'.


A method of construction where all components are manufactured and assembled, prior to erection on site.


A substance applied to timber to improve its natural resistance to fungal decay or wood boring insects. May also act as a stain.


A horizontal timber within a roof frame, providing support to the mid-span of rafters.

PVC Polyvinyl Chloride

A plastic based building material used in a variety of applications, including damp proof courses. Please also see uPVC.