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    Pieces of wood used to wedge part of a structure in place during construction or to fill small gaps.


    Solid block of stone positioned at either end of a beam to support and help spread the weight.


    The vertical timber paling in a palisade fence or gate is made up of individual pales.


    A low wall built where there is a sudden dangerous drop, for example, along the edge of a balcony, roof or bridge.


    To remove fine shavings of wood with a chisel or thin slivers of wood with a knife.

    Partition wall

    Interior walls that divide the building into rooms or spaces.

    Party wall

    A shared wall dividing two properties in a terrace of houses or between two semi-detached properties.

    Penetrating oil

    A thin lubricating oil that penetrates between two corroded surfaces making it easier for them to be loosened.


    Industry term for a 'live' wire.


    Piers are pillars that act as a support at various intervals along the length of a wall. They are constructed out of the same material as the wall itself and are usually square in shape. For single-skin walls, a pier needs to be included every 3m over the height of 400mm. For Flemish or English bond walls below 1.2m, a pier is not usually required.


    The raised fibres that stand up from a backing material e.g. a carpet.

    Pilot hole

    A small hole made in timber prior to inserting a screw that acts as a guide for the screw's thread.


    This is the angle of the slant of a roof or banister.


    Detachable panels that fit around the bottom of self-assembly furniture that hide the feet and base.

    Plug (also wall plug)

    A small plastic or metal sleeve inserted into holes drilled in masonry walls to provide better grip for the fixing.


    Exactly vertical.


    Applying mortar between the joints of bricks or blocks, and then smoothing the mortar with a pointing tool.

    Pop-up waste system

    This is an alternative to the traditional bath or washbasin plug. Usually supplied with mixer taps it comprises of a stopper connected by levers to a control knob on the mixer unit. When the knob is pushed down the stopper is lifted to allow water to drain away. When the knob is pulled up the stopper seals the plug hole.

    Powdered mica

    Mica is a mineral that in powdered form is used in manufacturing tough exterior paint, which dries to produce a textured, highly weatherproof finish.


    A heavyweight, adjustable pole that can be used to support structures during construction.


    Raised above the surface and not flush or level with it.


    A supporting beam positioned at right angles to and below rafters.


    Is the abbreviation for Polyvinyl acetate which is a synthetic resin that can be used as an adhesive or, when diluted with water, a sealer on porous surfaces.


    PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is a thermoplastic material used extensively in the construction industry. Uses include insulation for electric wire, roofing sheets, and soft floor tiles. PVC is also used in rigid form to manufacture guttering, drain pipes and window frames.