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Time for another in my occasional series explaining some of the technical terms we use on a daily basis.

Here’s a simple ‘jargon buster’ explaining some of the more frequently used terms when discussing groundworks and foundations:

• Flagstone – any large, flat stone that can be used in paving or for patios
• Footings – the concrete foundations that walls are built upon
• Foul drainage – these are the underground pipes that carry waste water from baths, dishwashers, showers, sinks, toilets and washing machines
• Foundations – constructed beneath the ground, these are the load bearing parts of a building
• Ground worker – any tradesman who helps prepare the construction site of a building which can include clearing the site, digging and laying foundations and installing the drainage system
• Hard base – this is a temporary floor used to take the delivery of site materials
• Hardcore – a mixture of small stones, broken bricks or other rubble used as a filling in the foundations
• Soakaway – a purpose built hole designed so that surface water will drain away into it
• Spoil – waste material created during excavations
• Subsidence – occurs when the ground shrinks
• Subsoil – this is the layer of soil below the topsoil which will typically contain much less organic matter
• Trench – a ditch dug to allow laying of pipework, cabling or foundations

I hope that helps!