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10 home renovation terms that are helpful to know

Updated: May 22

Our aim as interior designers is always to speak to clients in a way that is easy for them to understand, to help the renovation process to be as enjoyable as possible. Although we try to avoid terminology that might make it difficult for clients to understand and can lead to overwhelm and concern, there are a couple of terms that tend to always come up that we need to explain. Below I have noted some of the most popular terms that we explain to clients during a home renovation project.


1 | Scope of Work

A scope of works is an outline of the works to be completed. You may find this term on a contract by an architect, builder or interior designer. For example, our scope of works will list all of the room and areas that we will be designing and documenting, with any particular details. This allows the client to understand exactly what has been quoted, and when something requested is 'out of scope' you know that there will likely be an additional fee required.

Custom kitchen design in 2pac Polytec Sussex and Polytec Plantation Ash with sage green tiles

2 | Rough-in

Rough-in is a stage during the renovation project, usually near the start of the project, where your plumber and electrician will install anything that needs to go within the walls, ceilings and floors before these areas are plastered/covered up. These then sit there ready for final installation of all plumbing and electrical fixtures at the end of the renovation.


3 | Fittings and fixtures

Fittings and fixtures refers to all the items that need to go into the renovation, including things like tapware, towel rails, hooks, toilets, basins, sinks, baths, door handles and decorative lights.


4 | GPO

This stands for General Power Outlet, and is simply your power points.


5 | Pocket Door

A pocket door is a type of joinery door that has grown in popularity in recent years. It is a hinged or bi-fold door that can be tucked away into a 'pocket' or gap when opened so that it is not in your way whilst you use the area that is was covering. Pocked doors are popular in kitchens for appliance cupboards or bar cupboards, as well as for hiding study nooks.


6 | Niche or Ledge

A niche a shelf created within the wall by making a square or rectangle recess within the depth of the frame. A ledge is a shelf created by adding a half height frame in front of the wall instead. Niches and ledges are both very popular within bathrooms, particularly in showers, to create a spot to store your shampoo, soap, etc.

Custom bathroom design with a ledge in the shower, white subway tiles and brushed gunmetal tapware

7 | Caulking

Caulking is when the small gap created by two surfaces that meeting together is filled with a line of caulk (like a silicone) to keep water and dust out of that gap. This is common where two tiled area meet, like a floor and wall, or a wall and wall, and when you have a fixture like a vanity/bath/toilet against a wall, or when a kitchen benchtop meets the splashback.


8 | Screed

If you're having a tiled shower base, it is likely that the fall in the base towards the shower waste will be created by a material called screed. Screed is generally made of cement and sharp sand which makes it malleable enough to create whatever shape your base needs. This then gets waterproofed and tiled on top.


9 | Tile lay types

There are many ways of laying tiles, particularly if you are using smaller format tiles like a subway on your walls. A few of them are straight forward like stacked, and some of them you may have heard of before like brickbond or herringbone. However, you may want to read our blog post below for more information on the ways that you can lay tiles.


10 | Cabinetry finishes

We are often asked to explain all the different finishes and options when it comes to designing cabinetry for your kitchen or vanity. This generally includes going through the different cabinet finishes (laminate, 2pac, veneer, etc.) and the different benchtop materials (natural stone, porcelain, etc). As there is a lot to consider and explain, we have put below a link to some other blog posts we have that go into detail in these areas:



I hope these ideas have been helpful! If you want to find out more about how we can help you with your project, get in contact with us below:



Have a wonderful week!


Nina xx


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