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We’ve put together the most commonly used terms in the kitset shed industry to help you have the best understanding when working on your next project.



An amendment is a change made to the original building consent. Also refer to variation.

Anchor Bolts

Anchor bolts are used to connect structural and non-structural elements to concrete.


20mm max sieved crushed gravel, commonly used as a thin layer over the gravel base to level the pad prior to pouring concrete.


65mm max sieved crushed gravel, commonly used as a base for a concrete slab. 


The top or highest part of the building, usually forming a point at the ridgeline in the gable.

Apex brace

An apex brace is an obtrusive steel bracket that cuts across the apex, forming an area where birds can roost. Typically used to strengthen lightweight roll-formed steel portals.

Apex plate

A thick steel plate welded onto the end of a steel rafter. These plates are bolted together to form the apex of the building.


A board fastened to each projecting gable of a roof to give it strength and protection, and to conceal the otherwise exposed purlins of the roof.


A bay refers to the width (or the area) between each portal rafter. Common bay widths for farm sheds are 4.8m or 6.0m.


A long, sturdy piece of squared timber used to support the roof of a building.

Bird Brush

Thick bristles, like a broom, that are located between the roller door drum and the door lintel to help prevent birds from getting into the shed.


A roof structure with no areas where birds can roost or nest.


Purlin blocking and girt blocking are structural elements used in construction to provide additional support and stability to the building's roof and wall framing.


Boards around the perimeter of a concrete slab, before the concrete is poured. These hold the concrete in place until it hardens, and then the boards are removed.


A bracing system serves to stabilise the main structure of a building, contributing to the distribution of load effects. Bracing can be achieved by a number of systems such as strap bracing, reid bracing, and plywood lining.

Building consent

A building consent is written approval from your local council to carry out specific building work on a specific site, which must comply with current regulations. It ensures that the proposed work is safe, and durable and doesn't endanger the health and safety of anyone using the building.

Building paper

Building paper is a strong, fibrous paper that blocks water and moisture from entering from the outside but allows moist air to pass through from the inside, preventing a buildup of moisture inside walls that can lead to mould. This was historically black tar paper held up with string but is now commonly a synthetic white material.

Bugle screw

A bugle screw is a form of a self-drilling screw that features a countersunk head with a flat top and a concave under-head bearing surface.


A camber is a curved shape in a steel member, providing extra strength and stability to structures and objects.

Centre pole

A structural support pole in the centre of the shed designed to support the roof area.


Cladding is a covering of tiles, wooden boards, or other material fixed to the outside of a building to protect it against bad weather or make it look more attractive.


A transparent polycarbonate sheet in the same profile as iron cladding. Typically located on the roof to let natural light into the shed.


A clearspan is an open area inside a building without usual structural centre supports that allows the users to stack items in a variety of configurations without any obstacles. The larger the span is, the more spacious it will be.


Zinc steel cladding with a coating of paint. available in multiple colours.

Coloursteel MAXX

Zinc steel cladding with a coating of paint and an additional rust protective coating designed for highly corrosive environments like coastal areas. available in multiple colours.


Land covenants are rules that apply to land and affect how you can use the land. The rules can either make a landowner do something or prevent the landowner from doing something on the land. These rules can apply for a set period of time or stay on the land forever.

Damp proof course (DPC)

DPC is a waterproof separation layer between the concrete floor and the bottom girt.

Door stud

A door stud is supportive framing for a door.


Electroplating is the process of plating a metal onto the other by hydrolysis mostly to prevent corrosion.


An elevation is a drawing that shows the height, length, width and appearance of a building or structure.


Fill refers to a volume of earthen or gravel material that is placed and compacted for the purpose of filling in a hole/depression or levelling a building pad.


Fixings (or fasteners) are used to hold a structure together or to attach items to a surface such as walls, floors or the roof. These can be screws, nails, bolts or similar.


Flashing refers to thin pieces of impervious material installed to prevent the passage of water into a structure from a joint.


This can refer to either a strip foundation/thickening around the perimeter of a building or a main foundation under a main portal leg or pole. The footings distribute the weight of the building evenly across the entire structure so that it doesn't sink into the ground.


A foundation is the lower portion of a building structure that transfers its gravity loads to the earth. Also, see Footing.


The vertical triangular end of a building from the guttering to the ridge.

Geotech report

A Geotechnical (or Geotech) Report looks at the ground conditions of your new site and checks what is underneath the surface. The soil may be unstable due to soft subsoil, or there may be boulders where you are wanting to dig your foundations, for example.


A girt is a horizontal structural member in a wall for the cladding to fix itself to and that provides lateral support to the building.

Girt plate

A steel bracket that attaches the girt to a vertical structural member.

Ground Report

Also known as a geo-tech report, a ground report investigates the condition of the ground, ideally before beginning construction works.


A gutter, in construction, is any assembly designed to accumulate water and guide this water or other liquid to a downspout or other engineered destination.

Gutter Bracket

A gutter bracket is a steel bracket that holds the guttering onto the gutter board.

Gutter Board

A gutter board is a board that the guttering is attached to, which connects it to the building.


The level to which timber is treated to delay rot or other deterioration.

Hilti gun

A type of nail gun used in construction and manufacturing to join materials to hard substrates such as steel and concrete.

Hold-down bolts

Hold-down bolts are used in construction to secure steel frames to concrete pads or column base plates to concrete flooring.

Hot-dip galvanizing

Hot-dip galvanising is one of the best rust protection methods available. It is the process of dipping fabricated steel into a kettle containing molten zinc. While the steel is in the kettle, the iron in the steel metallurgically reacts with the molten zinc to form a tightly bonded alloy coating, thereby providing corrosion protection to the steel.

Hot zinc spray

Zinc spray galvanising is a process where a coating is applied to a steel surface by spraying it with atomized particles of molten zinc. This is done by projecting the particles onto the abrasive surface using a handgun applicator.


Importance Level One (IL1) is a standard non-habitable structure on rural land.


Importance Level Two (IL2) is a habitable dwelling (a house or sleepout) or commercial building.


A J-cleat is a steel bracket that is welded onto a steel rafter that the purlin bolts onto.

Joist hanger

A joist hanger is a steel bracket that attaches the purlin to a timber beam.


The knee of a building is where the top of an exterior wall meets the roof.

Knee Brace

The knee brace is a diagonal support brace that spans the connection of the side column to the roof beam. It usually connects from a metre or so away from the beam-column connection. When knee braces are used in construction, they are clearly visible and protrude into the internal space of a building.


A kPa (kilopascal) is a measurement of pressure, whereby 1.0 kPa is the pressure exerted by 100 kg over 1 square metre. It is often used to measure snow loading or other weight loadings on buildings.

Lattice beam

A lattice beam (lattice truss) consists of parallel longitudinal struts united by diagonal cross members. This design provides many areas where birds can roost and nest.


A lean-to is a building design with a roof that only slants in a single direction.

Lineal Meter

A lineal metre is often used to quantify and price materials by their length in a single direction, including roofing, timber, flooring products, and cabling. One linear metre is the equivalent of one standard metre.


The lining is a layer of material on the inner surface of something, usually for protection or decorative appearance.


A lintel is a beam that is usually placed above windows and doors. The lintel's main job is to support the load from the structure above it.


A structural load or structural action is a force, deformation, or acceleration applied to structural elements. A load causes stress, deformation, and displacement in a structure. These loadings can be caused by a number of things, including but not limited to wind and snow.

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL)

Laminated veneer lumber, more commonly known as LVL, is an engineered wood product typically used as structural members.


Malthoid is a type of heavy-duty waterproofing material used to protect structures from water damage.


A structural member refers to a component of a building structure, such as a beam, column, or truss, that is responsible for supporting loads and maintaining the stability and integrity of the building.


A mono-pitch is a building design with a roof that only slants in a single direction. Also known as a Lean-to.

PA door

A PA door is a personnel access door, as opposed to a large door for vehicle access.

Penetrometer test

A penetrometer test is a soil testing method used to determine the soil's compaction and hardness by measuring the force required to push a metal probe into the soil.

Planer guage

Planer gauge timber refers to wood that has been smoothed and reduced in thickness using a machine called a planer, resulting in uniform dimensions for specific woodworking or framing applications.


Producer Statement (PS1): A producer statement for Building Consent Authorities for the issue of a building consent or a code compliance certificate, without having to duplicate design or construction checking undertaken by others.


Producer Statement (PS2): A producer statement for Building Consent Authorities for the issue of a building consent or a code compliance certificate, that has had duplicate design or construction checking undertaken by others.


Purlin is a structural member used in roof construction to support the roof cladding and provide a structural connection between rafters.


A rafter is a structural support member in a roof that runs perpendicular to the ridge of the roof and helps distribute weight evenly across the roof.

Recession plane

A recession plane is a three-dimensional plane(s) used to manage the location of buildings and structures in relation to the boundaries of the site on which they are located.

Resource consent

Resource consent is legal permission granted by the local government to use a specific piece of land for a designated purpose, such as building a new home or running a business.


Rib iron cladding is a type of metal roofing system that involves installing metal sheets with raised ridges or ribs, creating a ribbed appearance and providing strength and durability to the roof.


A rib-raft foundation is a type of concrete slab foundation that utilises reinforcing ribs to distribute weight loads, creating a stable and efficient foundation system.


A ridge refers to a roofing design in which two sloping sides meet at the top, creating a ridge that runs down the centre of the roof.

Ridge cap

A ridge cap is a roofing element that covers the ridge or peak of a roof, providing protection from water and weather damage.


RHS structural steel refers to rectangular hollow section steel used as a structural element in construction.

Roller doors

Roller doors are a type of garage door that rolls up vertically into a compact cylinder shape, typically made as a metal curtain.

Roller shutter doors

Roller shutter doors are a type of industrial-grade roller door made of interlocking slats that roll up and down on a metal track to provide security and protection for buildings and vehicles.

Roll-form steel

Roll-form steel is a type of 2-3mm steel that is formed into specific shapes and sizes through a rolling process.

Rough Sawn

Rough sawn timber is a type of lumber that has not been planed or smoothed, retaining its natural rough surface and character.


A scarf is a notch cut into the side of a structural member (typically a timber pole) to give additional support to horizontal connecting structural members.

Sectional door

Sectional doors have multiple horizontal panels that hinge together to open vertically, while roller doors have a single panel that rolls up on a cylinder above the door opening.


Refers to the "small end diameter" of timber poles.


A shim is a thin piece of material used to fill small gaps or spaces to provide a level or stable surface.


SHS structural steel refers to square hollow section steel that is used for construction purposes and is characterised by its strong and durable structure.

Site cut

A site cut refers to the excavation of an area in preparation for building construction.

Site plan

A site plan is a detailed drawing that displays the physical layout and design elements of a proposed or existing construction project, including buildings, roads, sidewalks, utilities, and other features.

Snow strap

Snow straps are devices attached to gutters to prevent snow and ice from collapsing them during heavy winter weather.


A soakpit is a hole or pit filled with gravel or stones that allow rainwater to soak into the ground.


Span refers to the width or extent of a particular object or area. In a building, this typically refers to how far the rafters are unsupported.

Strap bracing

Strap bracing involves using straps or bands to reinforce and stabilise a structure or object, improving its stability and resistance to external forces.


Structural refers to the design and organisation of a system, object, or structure to ensure stability, strength, and function.

Structural steel

Structural steel is a type of steel used in construction for its strength and durability, allowing it to support heavy loads and resist bending and twisting.

Tek screw

Tek screws, also called self-drilling screws, are self-tapping fasteners that have a drill bit end allowing them to be used for screwing materials such as wood and metal together without pre-drilling.


A truss is a structural design consisting of interconnected triangles made of timber or steel beams to provide stability and support for bridges, buildings, and other structures.


UltraBay is a purlin system that utilises a fully enclosed, bird-proof design. This triangular-shaped purlin can achieve bay widths from 7-10m making it ideal for hay and implement sheds.


A building consent minor variation refers to a request for a minor change to an approved building consent, which is necessary when a property owner wants to make modifications to the building specifications or plans that have already been approved.

Wall wrap

A wall wrap is an underlay or building paper wrapped on external walls. Apart from serving as protection against moisture, they have many customized properties such as offering heat protection and insulation.

Wind lock guides

Roller door wind lock guides are mechanisms that secure and stabilise the roller door during strong winds to prevent it from getting damaged or flying open.

Wing wall

A wing wall is typically referred to as a continuation of the wall cladding and framing to form a recess, often for weather protection and or aesthetics.


Zincalume cladding is a type of metal cladding made from steel sheets with a zinc/aluminium coating that provides durability and protection for buildings.