Terms That Every Homeowner Should Know Before Talking to a Contractor


Windows are hinged at the top and open outward.

Bay Window

This style projects out from the wall; a center window parallel to the wall is flanked by two windows attached at an angle, usually casement or double-hung styles. Box bays have side windows at a 90-degree angle.

Board & Batten

A style in which a narrow strip of siding appears to cover the seam between two wider boards. Board and batten siding is installed vertically.

Bow Window

A bow window projects like a bay but has more than three sections that join to form a gentle curve. Center windows are generally fixed; side sashes are typically casement windows.

Box Vents

Vents on the pitch of a roof that come out horizontally from the attic.


An exposed end of a shingle, larger than others.


Windows are hinged at the sides.

Drip Edge

A metal strip that runs along the edge of the roof that sheds water away from eves or siding.


A window set vertically into a small gable projecting from a sloping roof.


The underside of the house wall that is visible, found on sloped roofs.


The exposed end of a shingle that sticks out from your roof.


The front facing surface of trim on a house above the soffit but below the roof line.


Metal shields that keep water out of intersections of your roof as well as joints or valleys.

Gable Vent

Slated vent usually found near attics at the top of the home.


The embossed pattern pressed into the vinyl, simulating wood grain or texture.

Granular Deterioration

The wearing away of the shingle by weather or sunlight.


Windows are hinged at the bottom and open inward.

Ice & Water Shields

Prevent leaks and ice dams, which can wreak havoc on a home’s roofing and walls.


Any of a number of small, parallel beams of timber, steel, reinforced concrete, etc., for supporting floors, ceilings, or the like.

Leaf Guards or Gutter Guards

A covering that keeps debris out of the gutter preventing blockage.


A framed opening, as in a wall, door, or window, fitted with fixed or movable horizontal slats for admitting air and light and shedding rain.

Low-E Glass

Is a coating applied to a thermal window that reflects radiant heat. In the winter time when you are heating your home, the radiant heat bounces off your windows and back into your home. Equally important, radiant heat from the sun in the summer time bounces off your windows as well.

Nail Hem

The top portion of a vinyl siding panel. It has oblong horizontal slits into which the installer nails the siding.


Oriented Strand Board, made from wood ground into thin wood strands. These strands are mixed with wax and adhesive and then hot pressed. Approximately 50 layers of strands make one sheet of OSB.


The slope/angle of your roof, this is determined by a ratio of rise to distance.

Positive Lock

Positive Lock ensures that the panels can be locked together, but can also easily slide back and forth for ease in installation. This ensures that the panels stay permanently affixed during adverse weather.


The actual siding panels are called profiles. Some commonly sized profiles are D4, D5 and Dutchlap.


The framework that holds up the roof deck and roofing materials.


The sloped edge of a roof over a wall.


The peak where two sloped roof sections meet.

Ridge Vents

A vent mounted along the entire ridge line of the roof to allow the passage of air through the attic or cathedral ceiling.

Roof Deck

The roof deck is the structural member upon which the roofing material (shingles or tiles) are installed. The roof deck is typically constructed of plywood, tongue-and-groove boards, or hardboard.

Shadow Line

The shadow cast by the sun on the butt edge, making the panel look deeper from a distance. Each vinyl siding profile has its own distinctive shadow line.


A shingle or clapboard formed by splitting a short log into a number of tapered radial sections with a hatchet.


Both sashes slide horizontally in a double-sliding window. Only one sash slides in a single-sliding window.

Soffit Vent

Air vents that are flush with the ceiling or wall ventilation system indoors.


A measurement of roof area that equals 100 square feet (an area 10′ by 10′).


A roof system that distributes weight to the ceiling joist.

Turbine Vent

A powered vent that circulates air up and out of the home.

Under Layments

Roofing paper that has been impregnated with asphalt. This creates a water proof barrier between other materials and the roof deck.


The angle formed where two sloping roof surfaces intersect.

Weep Hole

A small hole in the bottom butt edge of the vinyl siding panel, allowing condensation to escape.

P.J. Fitzpatrick

21 Industrial Blvd
New Castle, DE 19720

6380 Flank Dr #600
Harrisburg, PA 17112

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