B

Back Fill
The material used for re-filling trenches or excavations, after services have been installed or works have been completed.

Bagging
The process of applying thin mortar to a masonry wall with a coarse material such as hessian.

Balcony
A cantilevered or bracketed platform projecting from a wall with access from an upper storey.

Bargeboard
A sloping board fixed to the edge of a gable roof, often decorated by fretwork or similar artistry.

Basin
A bowl-shaped sanitary fixture with outlets for taps and wastes.

Batt
A fibrous material used for the thermal insulation of roofs, walls and ceilings.

Batten
A small timber member fixed between longer stud members to improve structural adequacy.

Batter
The excavated stable slope of an earth bank.

Bay
A projection from the outside wall, forming a bow window if curved, a faceted window or bay if angled, an oriel window if suspended above ground level, or a conical bay if its roof is cone-shaped.

Beam
A large horizontal support – may be of solid timber, laminated timber or steel.

Bearers
The main beams above the foundation level which support the joists and floor.

Belvedere
A small open platform, roofed over, and located on top of the roof to provide a view.

Benchmark
A point of known elevation or reduced level.

Bill of Quantities
A document prepared by a suitably qualified person detailing the estimated quantities of materials, labour, fixtures and fittings for a particular building project.

Blue Metal
A crushed rock used as gravel. Used for back filling and for concrete.

Boards
Dressed lengths of timber used for cladding the frame – walls, floor and ceiling. There are many different types.

Board-and-batten
Wall cladding of shot-edge boards with the joints covered by timber battens.

Bottom Plate
The bottom horizontal member of a timber frame wall.

Bow
A curved shape such as a bay window.

Box Gutter
A concealed roof gutter of rectangular shape.

Brace or Bracing
A structural member fix at an angle to horizontal or vertical members, e.g. cross-bracing on timber walls.

Brackets
Supports, often curved and decorative, beneath a horizontal member.

Breezeway
A roofed over, and usually open sided, passageway between 2 detached structures.

Bressummer
A beam spanning a wide opening and supporting the superstructure, e.g. across a stairwell.

Broken-back roof
A roof that changes from a steep straight pitch to a lower pitch without any step.

Building Permit
A license issued by the statutory authority, to carry out specific building work.

Bulkhead
A lowered part of a ceiling, to accomodate structures and services.

Bullnose
A convex or curve over, which becomes sharper towards the edge, e.g. a bullnose roof.

Bungalow
A single storey house, usually with overhanging roof, broad eaves and verandahs.

Bungalow roof
A roof which pitches straight and continuously from the apex (ridge) to the edge on one or more sides.

Butterfly-roof
A roof which changes from a steep downward pitch to an upward one, like the wings of a butterfly.