Siding Contractors
Tips & Advice - Siding Contractors

What home siding terms should I know?


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Do you know what a soffit is? What about a fascia? Learn these home siding terms and more.
Backerboard
A board or other flat surface nailed between the studs of an exterior wall that provides a surface on which to attach siding.

Battens
Strips of wood used to seal joints in wood siding.

Beveled
Tapered, opposed to rectangular, clapboards.

Butt Edge
The part of siding that pertrudes from the exterior wall.

Buttlock
The bottom edge of a vinyl siding panel that locks into the previously installed panel.

Caulking
A material or substance used to adhere siding to other building materials.

Center Butt
A crease in the center of a siding panel that makes the siding look like two pieces instead of one piece.

Channel
The area on a piece of trim or post, such as an inside or outside corner or a J- or F- Channel, where home siding or soffit panels are inserted.

Clapboard
Long, rectangular wooden siding that is installed horizontally in an overlapping manner.

Composition Board
Sheets of weather-resistant compressed wood fibers used as home siding.

Course
One row of siding that runs from one horizontal or vertical edge to another.

Cupping
The warping of wood plank siding.

Double Course
When new siding is laid on top of a layer of shingles or shakes.

Drip Cap/Head Flashing
Trim that prevents water from running behind vertical siding. Also used over windows and doors.

Dutchlap or Shiplap
The wide trim along the roofline above the vinyl siding.

Eaves
The overhanging lower edge of a roof.

Exposure (or Reveal)
The width of a board of siding.

F-Channel (F-Molding or F-Trim)
F-shaped molding used to trim siding that's installed at a 90-degree angle.

Face
The area of vinyl siding that is visible after installation.

Face Nailing
The act of fastening nails onto the visible part of the siding (or face), as opposed to using the nail hem slot.

Fascia (or Fascia Board)
A horizontal board that runs along the lower end of a roof and covers the joint between the top of the wall and the eaves.

Finish/Pattern
The type of texture or level of gloss of a piece of siding.

Finishing Trim
The finished edge of a piece of panel.

Flange
Material used to deflect water from siding or trim to prevent damage to the home.

Flashing
A sheet of aluminum or some other metal that is used on exterior walls above the doors and windows to keep water out of a building.

Frieze
A decorative, horizontal band that connects the top of the siding to the soffit.

Furring Strip
A wooden or steel framing material applied to provide an even nailing base.

Gable
The upper triangular end of a house from cornice or eaves to ridge

Gable Vent
A vent in the gable of a home that reduces head and moisture buildup by increasing the flow of air to the attic.

J-Channel (J-Molding or J-Trim)
J- shaped molding used to finish the edges of siding.

Lap
To overlap a panels or pieces of trim to allow for expansion and contraction of siding.

Lap Siding
An installation technique in which each piece of siding is "lapped" over the previous piece to provide a waterproof barrier.

Lock
The lock, combined with the locking leg, form a "lock" between siding panels or courses of siding panels.

Locking Leg
The locking leg, slipped into the lock, forms a tight connection between siding panels or courses of siding panels.

Miter Joint
The area where two siding panels meet, usually at a 90-degree angle.

Nailing Hem
The part of the siding panel or trim that contains the fastening holes.

Nail Hole Punch
A tool that creates an oval hole in the vinyl siding where the nails will go, allowing for expansion and contraction of the vinyl siding.

Nail Slot
A hole in the nailing hem or flange of the backerboard into which a fastener, nail, or staple is inserted.

Plumb
A measurement that is exactly vertical 90 degrees from a level, horizontal surface.

Plywood Siding
Plywood sheets used for siding that often have grooved or decorative outer surfaces.

Positive Lock
A locking mechanism that allows siding panels to move back and forth for simple installation, while ensuring that panels stay permanently attached during inclement weather.

Profile(s)
The technical term for siding panels used by those in the business.

Rake
The edge or overhang beyond the wall of a gable roof or other sloped roof.

Scoring
Scratching a straight line into the surface of a siding panel using a sharp tool. The panel can then be bent at the location of the score mark and snapped into two pieces with clean edges.

Shadow Line
The shadow shape cast by a home's siding.

Siding Removal Tool
A tool with a curved metal end that is used for removing attached panels of siding.

Snaplock Punch
A handheld tool used to form crimps into siding panels, allowing cut panels to fit tightly into the appropriate slot in the trim.

Soffit
The part of the cornice or eave of a house where the roof projection and the exterior walls meet.

Square
A 10' X 10' section of siding.

Strapping
Wood or metal affixed to the exterior of a building that provides a smooth surface on which to attach new siding.

Starter Strip
A home siding accessory used with vertical and horizontal siding that secures the first course, or row, of siding to the wall framework.

Stucco
An exterior finish for masonry or frame walls, usually composed of cement, sand, and hydrated lime mixed with water and laid on wet.

T-Channel (T-Molding or T-Trim)
T-shaped molding used as a trim between the ends of two panels.

Tongue and Groove
The type of connection between siding panels in which the tab, or tongue, of one panel is placed into a groove located at the end of another board.

Vinyl Siding
Low-maintenance, plastic siding that is available in many colors and styles.

Wall Cladding
Another word for siding.

Wall Sheathing
Sheets of wood that cover the wall framework of a house; siding is applied onto the wall sheathing.

Weep Holes
Small holes in the bottom butt edge of home siding that allows condensation to run off.

Windload Pressure
A measurement of how well a panel can withstand high winds.

Wood Shakes
Siding that is made from hand-split, rough, cedar shingles.

Wood Shingles
Pieces of wood siding that are machine cut, smooth, and uniform. They are installed in an overlapping pattern.


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