Confused by all the ‘builder’ jargon??

Here’s a quick explainer of some of the common industry terminology…

Dave Groves Photography 53 Main St 05

Following are some general explanations of some of the terms you may hear when you are researching the process of building a new home:

Lock up

This refers to the stage of construction when the roof is installed and the building is weather tight. At lock up stage the wall cladding may not necessarily be installed but the building will be completely sheeted externally with bracing ply in preparation for the wall cladding.

Practical completion

Practical completion is the point at which the home is ready for the client to take handover of the home, with all works outlined in the contract completed. Some minor items or defects may be completed after practical completion if the builder and client agree. This allows the client to take handover of the home while these items are being rectified.

DA or development application

In Tasmania, the development application is the first stage of the council approval process, whereby the planning authority approve the overall concept of your new home, including details such as height, colours, distances from boundaries, and other site details. You can learn more about the council application process in our earlier blog.

Soil test

All new homes in Tasmania require a soil test to be completed on the site prior to applying for building approval. At Tasbuilt, we usually coordinate this process on behalf of our clients. The soil test provides the engineer with details regarding the type of load your site can carry, to allow the footings to be designed accordingly. If you have an onsite waste water system such as a septic, the soil test is also used to determine the best type of system for your property.


A Tasbuilt Home is a ‘prebuilt’ home. This means your home is constructed off site at our purpose built facility, rather than the conventional method of assembling your home piece by piece onsite. You can read some of the advantages of this process in our recent article.

Subfloor skirting

Prebuilt homes are installed on piers, meaning the floor level is elevated above the ground level by a minimum of 45cm. A popular option on many Tasbuilt Homes is the infilling of the space from the ground level to the floor level. This can be done with a variety of different finishes, and is usually referred to as ‘subfloor skirting’


Insulation refers to a range of products used in the construction of your home to ensure that the temperature inside your home is not affected by the air temperature outside. The aim of good insulation is to ensure your home stays warm on the cold days, and cool on the hot days, without having to spend a fortune running your heaters or air coolers. With todays focus on sustainability and lower running costs, insulation is a critical component in your new home, and we are proud to say our insulation ratings are over and above the minimum requirements of the building code.

Progress payment

Payments for your new home are usually split into a number of payments at predetermined stages of your project. These payment stages should be outlined in your fixed price contract. Each payment stage is referred to as a ‘progress payment’.


Piers, also commonly referred to as stumps or footings, are the vertical columns under your home that support the floor frame. At Tasbuilt, we use strong steel piers, cast into concrete footings.

Cathedral ceiling

Also called a raking ceiling, this is when the internal lining of your ceiling follows the same line as the external roofline, as opposed to a standard flat ceiling. A great way to provide additional space in your home and create a statement to set your home apart.

Floating floor

A popular alternative to solid hardwood flooring, a floating floor is a timber look flooring that is installed over an underlay, and requires no fasteners. Each board locks together both on the sides and end-to-end. Floating floors come with a huge range of finishes, colours and sizes.

If you would like to learn more about the building process in Tasmania, you can book a virtual meeting now with one of our consultants.


Subscribe to our Tasbuilt Talker Newsletter