Glossary of building terms
Arris – a natural or applied line on the stone from which all levelling and plumbing is measured.
Cladding – non-loadbearing stone used as the facing material in wall construction that contains other materials.
Course – a horizontal range of stone units the length of the wall.
Coursed veneer – this is achieved by using stones of the same or approximately the same height. Horizontal joints run the entire length of the veneered area. Vertical joins are constantly broken so that no two joints will be over one another.
Cropped stone – A large piece of stone that has been guillotined through to give at least one straight edge suitable to use as a facing stone. Cropped stone comes in different widths (measured from front to back ‘on bed’).
Dressed or handed-dressed – the cutting of rough chunks of stone by hand to create a square or rectangular shape. A stone that is sold as dressed stone generally refers to stone ready for installation. Sometimes called scabbling.
Dry wall – a dry wall is a stone wall that is constructed one stone upon the other without the use of any mortar. Generally used for retaining walls.
Lintel – the block of stone spanning the top of an opening such as a doorway or window; sometimes called a head.
Pitched stone – Stone having arris clearly defined; face, however, is roughly cut with pitching chisel used along the line that becomes the arris.
Quoins – Stone at the corner of a wall emphasised by size, projection, and rustication or by a different finish.
Cill – a flat stone used under windows, doors and other masonry openings.
Different types of stone
Sandstone – a sedimentary rock consisting usually of quartz, cemented with silica, iron oxide or calcium carbonate, Sandstone is durable, has a very high crushing and tensile strength and a wide range of colours and textures.
Limestone – a sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate; includes many varieties. Recrystallized limestones and compact, dense, relatively pure microcrystalline varieties that are capable of taking a polish are included in commercial marbles.
Slate– A very fine grained metamorphic rock derived from sedimentary rock shale. Characterized by an excellent parallel cleavage entirely independent of original bedding, by which cleavage the rock may be split easily into relatively thin slabs.
Granite is a common type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock which is granular and phaneritic in texture. This rock consists mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar.