Home Exterior Terminology:

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Drip Edge
 A strip of metal extending out beyond the edge of your roof to prevent rainwater from rolling around the shingles back onto the wooden portion of the house.
Eaves
 The lower edge of a roof (usually overhanging beyond the edge of the house).
Fascia
 Trimboard behind the gutter and eaves.
Flashing
 Sheet metal or other material used at junctions of different planes on a roof to prevent leakage.
Frieze Board
 A Board at the top of the house's siding, set vertically just under the soffit.
Gable
 The triangular upper part of a wall closing the end of a ridged roof
Slope
 The number of inched of vertical rise in a roof per 12 inches of horizontal distance. Also referred to as pitch.
Soffit
 The boards that enclose the underside of that portion of the roof which extends out beyond the sidewalls of the house.
Square
 One hundred square feet of roof, or the amount of material needed to cover 100 square feet.
Backerboard The material that is nailed to the studs on the exterior side of the wall, providing a surface area to fasten the siding and trim.
Course
 A single row of siding that runs from one outside edge to the opposite edge.  In vertical panels, it is a single panel running from the highest point of the area to be sided to the lowest point.
Drip Cap 
A piece of trim used to deflect water away from the top of vertical siding, to prevent water from getting in behind the siding.  In some instances a drip cap may be used over windows and doors to deflect water run-off.
F-Channel
 The F-channel is a piece of trim that is designed to take a piece of siding at a 90 degree angle to the fastening structure.
Face
 The side of a siding panel that is viewed after installation.
Face Nailing
 The nailing of siding through the visible portion of the panel instead of the nailing strip.  This is not recommended.
Fascia Board 
The material that covers the end of the roof rafters and provides the finished appearance to the edge of the roof.
Flashing
 A piece of material used to deflect water so that it cannot get in behind siding material or trim pieces and damage the backerboard or other structural components of the home.
Furring Strip 
A piece of material usually wood, but can be metal, that is placed on the outer surface of the building to provide a surface to fasten the siding too.  It is also used to straighten or correct surfaces that are not flat.  A common use of a furring strip is to install them over brick, stucco and previously installed siding.
Head Flashing 
A piece of trim used to deflect water away from the top of vertical siding, to prevent water from getting in behind the siding.  In some instances a head flashing may be used over windows and doors to deflect water run-off.
Inside Corner
 A trim piece used to mate courses of siding on a 90 degree inside corner.
J-Channel
 The most common trim piece.  It is used around windows, doors, eaves and soffits to provide a grove for the end of a siding panel or soffit panel.
Lap
 When a panel or piece of trim overlaps a previous panel or trim, it is considered to be a "lap" joint.  The term is derived from the word "overlap".
Miter
 A miter joint is the meeting of two panels, usually at a 90 degree angle where each panel is cut at a 45 degree angle.  Soffit material may be installed in this manner to provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Outside Corner
 A trim piece used to mate courses of siding on a 90 degree outside corner.
Plumb
 A line that is exactly 90 degrees from a horizontal surface or line is considered to be "plumb".
Soffit
 The soffit is the area below or to the inside (if there is a gable roof) of the rafters that is on the exterior side of the house.  The soffit area must be protected from the elements, insects and pests that could enter the home while, in most cases, still providing ventilation.
Starter Strip 
A horizontal strip, fastened to the lowest point of the siding installation.  It is used to connect the first course of siding to the structure.
T-Channel
 A trim that is used to join the ends of two panels.  The most common application is the conversion from horizontal siding on a wall to vertical siding on a roof gable.
Underlayment
 Underlayment is the term used to describe any type of material that is used under the siding, between the exterior wall surface and the back of the panel.
Ventilated Soffit 
Soffit panels that have a series of holes or slits, covered with a screen material that allows air to enter or exit the attic space, while keeping insects and pests out.