What do you call works in a flat after it has been built, that include making walls between the rooms, floor covers (parquetry, laminate, linoleum), ceiling, electrical wiring, sewerage, installing sanitary appliances (w.c. pan, washbowl, bath tub, shower cabin) and finishing (plastering, surfacing, wallpapers etc)?

  • Are you asking about the work that is done after the "shell" of the building is built, but before the first occupants move in? Or are you asking about changes that are made after the first occupants have moved in? Also, are you asking about improvements that are made for the benefit of any (non-particular) user, or about improvements that are made for the benefit of a particular tenant (and their users and guests)?
    – Jasper
    Jan 21, 2015 at 20:28
  • @Jasper ...first
    – Anixx
    Jan 21, 2015 at 22:34

2 Answers 2


In the UK they are referred to as the 'first fix' and 'second fix'.

The first fix is everything that must be done before the walls are plastered, such as wiring, main plumbing, internal walls, ceiling finish & flooring, but nothing 'above the surface'.

The second fix is sanitary fittings, bath, WC etc & electrical sockets, kitchen units & worktops etc., doors.

There's also increasingly commonly, a third fix, for more intricate installations - electronics & dust-sensitive equipment.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_fix_and_second_fix which has some AmE terms too; but I'd prefer someone more familiar with those to fill in the details.

  • 2
    Are those terms commonly used outside the trade? I ask because I've never heard them before. Jan 21, 2015 at 12:08
  • They're used such programs as Grand Designs etc., so I guess they're permeating outward into public perception Jan 21, 2015 at 13:22
  • In the US, I think even people outside the trades would understand (and possibly even use) the term "finishing" to refer to what is called "second fix" in the UK.
    – David K
    Jan 21, 2015 at 13:44

In the US, after the foundation, framing, roof, sub-flooring, stairs, and outer walls are built, the work that comes next (electrical wiring, plumbing, interior walls and ceilings, floors, interior carpentry) is given various names.

plumbing rough-in (waste pipes/vents) but not the sinks, toilets, etc

electrical rough-in (running the wires from the breaker box, through the walls, to the outlets

drywall or plastering


finish carpentry

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