Be a Siding Expert by knowing Important Terminology before your Next Project

Need to select siding for your home? It seems simple, right? How much could there possibly be to know?

Working with contractors can be intimidating when you are not familiar with the terminology associated with the installation of siding on your home.  With a little bit of education about siding material and associated components, homeowners can create a smoother experience working with a contractor. 

Here is a siding glossary featuring key terms that a contractor will likely use when speaking about your project:

  • Board and Batten – Vertical exterior siding that has alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips, called “battens”. Not only can board and batten be used as siding, it can also be used to provide a craftsman style accent to your home.
  • Drip Cap – A piece of trim used to deflect water away from the top of board and batten siding, to prevent water from getting in behind the siding. Can also be used over windows and doors to deflect water run-off.
  • Face – The finished part of the siding that is visible after it is installed.
  • Fascia Board – A board that runs horizontally and covers the joint or intersection of the top of an exterior wall and the overhanging lower edge of a roof.  It provides support for the gutters on your home and prevents moisture from entering the roof and causing damage.
  • Flashing - A piece of metal used to direct water away from siding elements such as above doors and windows.
  • Frieze Board – A horizontal trim board installed flat against the wall to cover the gap between the top of the siding and the soffit. In addition, this can be used as a decorative transition between materials.
  • Gable – The triangular area of a wall where the pitch of your roof intersects.
  • Lap Siding – Lap siding refers to the type of siding that is installed horizontally on your home. Lap is short for “overlap” - when one panel of siding overlaps another. Naturally, laps are necessary on siding so that you don’t see the nails that fasten the siding to the exterior of your home.
  • Starter Strip –  Used at the bottom of each side of the home to lock the first course of siding in place.
  • Soffit – The material that extends from the exterior of the wall to the fascia. Soffits are usually vented to allow air to come in and out while still preventing water or insects from coming in.
  • Trim - A material that provides an extra protective layer against wind and to prevent moisture from getting behind siding.
  • Underlayment – Any type of material that is used under the siding, between the exterior wall surface and the back of the panel. It is important that the underlayment blocks air and water penetration.

Now that you know the terminology that is commonly used, what are you waiting for? Contact a siding professional today. If you need to find a contractor, complete the find a contractor form and we will put you in contact with a trusted contractor in your area.