DADO – The lower portion of a wall above the skirting when finished in contrast to the remainder of the wall e.g. with wood panelling.
DAILY INTEREST – Interest calculated on a daily basis, it varies according to the daily account balance.
DAMP PROOF COURSE – (DPC) or DAMPPROOFING – A continuous layer of an impervious material placed in a masonry wall or between a floor and wall to prevent the upward or downward migration of moisture (usually bitumen coated aluminium, PVC, copper or lead).
DATE OF SETTLEMENT – The date on which a contract of sale is finalised and final payment is made.
DEAD LOAD – Structural loads that typically remains constant, such as the weight of fixed service equipment (HVAC, plumbing, etc.) and the building itself, including structural materials and components (ceilings, walls, floors, etc.).
DEBT – An amount owed to another.
DEBTOR– Someone who owes money to another and can be compelled to perform an obligation.
DECK or DECKING – To install timber planks or sheeting over the floor rafters, joists or trusses.
DEFECTS LIABILITY PERIOD – A specified period after the practical completion phase during which a building contractor is responsible for rectifying any defects pointed out during the pre-handover client inspection. The contract should include a Defects Liability clause that sets out the length of this period, the scope of defects that the contractor is expected to correct, and the retention amount. Also known as the maintenance period.
DEFECTS LIST – A list of structural defects, safety hazards, major and minor building defects, maintenance issues, and other flaws the homeowner or inspection consultant observes during property inspection.
DEED – A document executed under seal. For example, a conveyance.
DEFAULT – Failure to make the mortgage payment within a specified period of time.
DELAMINATION – The splitting or separating of a laminate or a solid into layers due to the weakening of physical or chemical bond that holds the layers together. Composite materials, such as plywood, can delaminate; the damage may not be visible from the outside.
DEPOSIT – A percentage of the purchase price paid by the buyer when contracts are signed and exchanged. It is usually ten percent. The deposit must be held in a trust account by the land agent or by the vendor’s solicitor or conveyancer or held jointly in a trust account by the vendor and buyer. (See also Holding deposit.)
DEPOSIT BOND or DEPOSIT GUARANTEE – Offered by some lenders as an alternative to a cash deposit.
DEPRECIATION – (a) In accounting terms, the writing down of the original cost of an asset systematically over the life of that asset; (b) An effect caused by physical deterioration, or obsolescence, or both; (c) In valuation terms, the writing down of the current cost of an asset to calculate its current value. The accumulated effect on the value of an asset due to physical, functional, technological and economic obsolescence.
DESIGN – An architectural drawing or draft of a plan relating to a structure.
DESIGN GUIDELINES – Rules that govern the style and design of a house to be built on an estate, as set down by the local council or the estate developer.
DETACHED HOUSE – A dwelling unattached to any other building and occupied or intended or designed for occupation as a single dwelling.
DETERIORATION– The gradual exhaustion of the usefulness of a property caused by wear and tear or decay and decline from natural causes. One of the causes of depreciation and loss in value.
DEVELOPER – A person who attempts to put the land to its highest and best use by the construction of improvements upon it. One who, for profit, subdivides the land into building allotments.
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION or DA – Building plans lodged with the council for approval as partial requirement for the issuance of a Construction Certificate, which will allow the contractor to begin construction or develop land. Should not be confused with a Building Licence, also issued by the council.
DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL – Approval from the relevant planning authority to construct, add, amend or change the structure of a property.
DIRECT DEBIT – Where the Lender debits (deducts) a payment from client’s bank, credit union or building society account. Disbursements Solicitors incidental costs involved when dealing with a client on behalf of the Lender, e.g. searches, certificates pest reports, etc.
DISBURSEMENTS – Recoverable costs. Additional charges by solicitors and conveyancers on top of their fee for extras such as postage, phone calls and government charges. In the case of real estate sales, expenses paid by an agent on behalf of an owner, such as advertising, rates and taxes.
DISCHARGE FEES – An administration fee charged by a bank to cover the costs in finalising a loan account.
DISCHARGE OF MORTGAGE – A dealing by which a mortgagee acknowledges that the debt owed by the mortgagor and secured by a mortgage has been satisfied (usually by being repaid) and ‘discharges’ or releases the land from the mortgage.
DISPLAY HOME – A building which represents a completed example of a dwelling type offered for sale.
DOOR FURNITURE – All fittings on the door except for the hinges.
DOOR JAMB – The vertical sides of the door opening.
DOOR STOP – The strip on the door frame that the door slab rests on when in the closed position.
DORMER – A roofed window that projects vertically from a sloping roof.
DOUBLE GLAZING – To install a window frame with two panes of glass some inches apart from each other. Double glazed windows reduce noise levels from outside, minimise condensation formation and reduce heat loss or gain to the inside of the house.
DOUBLE HUNG WINDOW – A window with two vertical sashes that can separately move up and down.
DOWNPIPE – A pipe that directs rainwater from the roof gutters to the stormwater drains. Sometimes called waterspout, or roof drain pipe
DRAW-DOWN – Act of transferring money from lending institution to the borrower after the loan has settled.
DRY ROT – Decay of seasoned wood caused by fungus.
DRYWALL – Manufactured panels made out of gypsum plaster sandwiched between cardboard material, used especially for interior walls. Sometimes called gyprock or plasterboard.
DUCTS – Large pipes used to distribute air from a central heating or air-conditioning system.
DUPLEX – A type of building construction where two dwellings are attached to each other by a common wall.
DWELLING – A residence. A place of abode or a structure occupied exclusively for living purposes.
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