Building a house may seem like a complex process, and if you are a first time homebuilder you may not be familiar with all the Joinery, building terminology and shorthand, but once you get to know all the terms and processes, you will be able to find your way around the building site and you will be able to understand what your builder is talking about during your building project. Knowing the terminology will also make it easier for you to follow the timeline and ask informed questions.
What is joinery?
Joinery is the woodworking that is involved in the building process and is typically carried out by carpenters and joiners. There are many aspects to joinery and there are different joinery techniques that are used for different purposes. Some wood joints will make use of bindings, fasteners, and adhesives but others will use only wood elements and some carpenters specialise in certain types of jobs and joinery work. During the home building process, first fix carpentry usually involves working with and joining together large pieces of timber to produce roof struts, wall studding, and floor joists while second fix carpentry is the finer finishing work like fixing architrave, window boards, floorboards and skirting. First fix carpentry will generally not be visible once the building process is complete but second fix carpentry will be visible and requires neater, finer finishing off.
What is first fix?
The term first fix is typically used when talking about trades like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. First fix, which can also be referred to as shell and first fix, is the term used by the construction industry to describe the building processes that are carried out during the initial phases of a construction project, regardless of the size and scope of the work. First fix basically includes all the structural work that is carried out from the laying of the foundations to the point where the internal surfaces like plaster are applied.
First fix can be anything from constructing the structure, including the carpentry work, putting up the cladding, installing the wall studding, laying the floor joists and flooring, putting up the timber frame and roof struts to adding the door frames and installing the staircase as well as running the electrical cables, pipework for gas and water, ICT distribution and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC). In traditionally designed homes, most of these things are not really visible when you finally see the finished product and first fix should always be tested before second fix is started. You do not want to remove plasterwork or wallpaper to fix leaking pipes or stud walls that were not properly installed. It is better to delay the start of second fix jobs to ensure that the first fix has been carried out correctly and everything is up to code.