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    Racking/racking back

    Building up the corners of a brick or block wall before the rest of it.


    The sloping joists that make up the roof structure, meeting in a point or ridge.

    Raised hearth

    As opposed to a flush hearth, a raised hearth elevates the fireplace.


    A mechanism fitted to some types of spanners and screwdrivers allowing movement only in one direction. This allows these tools to be used without removing them from the nut or screw head.


    A groove or rectangular recess cut into the edge of a piece of timber which can form part of a joint.


    A space set back in the wall.


    A connection that joins pipes of different sizes.


    A mortar used as an undercoat for further plaster coats on interior walls. On exterior walls it can be applied as a finishing coat.

    Residual current device (RCD)

    Located on the consumer unit, the RCD immediately cuts off the power in the event of an earth fault.

    Retaining screw

    Both non-rising spindle taps and rising spindle taps will have a small screw to secure the head in position. This is the retaining screw.


    This is the vertical side of an opening in a wall.


    The point or apex at which the pitched sides of a roof meet.

    Rip sawing

    Sawing timber in the direction of the grain.


    A staircase is made up on horizontal treads with vertical risers joining them.

    Rising damp

    A serious damp problem caused by moisture from the ground rising through the walls or floor of the house.

    Rising main

    The mains water supply pipe will usually enter the house near to the kitchen. From this point the water supply pipe is known as a rising main.

    Roof rafters

    Supporting timbers in an A-frame roof.

    RSJ (rolled steel joist)

    RSJs are used when load-bearing walls are removed to knock two rooms into one. The RSJ supports the wall on the floor above.