Siding Terms Glossary

Definitions of Siding Terms A to E

Alcoa : Manufacturer of aluminum siding.

Aluminum Siding : Horizontal planks of aluminum with a baked-on enamel finish that looks like wooden lap siding.

American Hardboard Association (AHA) : The national trade organization for the manufacturers of hardboard products

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) : ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that oversees the voluntary standardization and assessment of US products, to enable the US to better compete globally and enhance the quality of life in the US by conformity to product standards

Backerboard : A flat material used on the face of the house, between the studs and the siding, to provide a nailable surface for the siding.

Battens : Narrow strips of wood placed over joints in vertical wood plank siding to seal the joints

Beveled Clapboards : that are tapered rather than cut perfectly rectangular

Board and 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.

Brick veneer : A wall construction method in which a layer of bricks is attached to the wood framework of a house using brick ties

Buttlock : Located on the bottom edge of a vinyl panel which locks onto the previously installed panel

Caulking : Waterproof material used to seal joints.

Certainteed : Manufacturer of fiber cement and vinyl siding.

Channel : The area of the accessory trim or corner post where siding or soffit panels are inserted. Channels also refer to the trim itself, and are named for the letters of the alphabet they resemble, for example J-channel and F-channel are available.

Checking : A crack or split along the grain in wood plank siding as a result of cupping

Clapboard : Overlapping, horizontal wood plank siding made from either rectangular planks or taped planks

Composition board : Blanks or sheets of weather resistant compressed wood fibers used as siding

Corrugated Siding : Siding made out of aluminum or plastic derivatives having ridges and valleys and is attached to the sides of buildings.

Course : A row of panels, one panel wide, running the length of the house from one side to the other or, in the case of vertical siding, from top to bottom.

Cupping : A warp across the board in wood plank siding

D4 Profile : Two four-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.

D5 Profile : Two five-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.

Detachment Separation : of the siding material-veneer or stucco- from its attachment to the house

Double course : An undercourse of shingles or shakes, not exposed to the weather, is covered completely by a top course

Double Wall Siding : Siding in which sheathing is installed and is then covered by exterior siding.

Drip Cap/Head Flashing : An accessory installed with vertical siding to ensure that water drips away from panels and does not infiltrate them; it is also used as a vertical base.

Dutchlap or Shiplap : A more decorative variation on the clapboard style where the face (or width) of the board is beveled for added dimension.

Siding Terms Glossary F to N

F-channel : A manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems which have a channel that the planks fit into, used around windows and doors to make a weathertight seal

Face : The part of the vinyl panel that is visible once the vinyl is installed

Fascia Board : A board attached to the ends of the rafters between the roofing material and the soffit overhang. Fascia cap is the covering around that board.

Flashing : A type of sheet metal used at intersections of building components to prevent water penetration, flashings are commonly used above doors and windows in exterior walls and are used under the siding to prohibit water penetration

Fiberboard Siding: This type of siding is made of composite wood material, and is sold under several brand names, including Masonite. Because it is not made of solid wood, it must be installed and maintained properly.

Furring/Furring Strip: A wooden or steel framing material, usually 1″ x 3″, used to provide an even nailing base. To ’fur’ a surface means to apply these strips.

Gentek : Manufacturer of aluminum, seamless steel and vinyl siding.

Georgia Pacific : Manufacturer of wood siding.

J-channel : A manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems which have a curved channel that the planks fit into, used around windows and doors to make a weathertight seal.

James Hardie : Manufacturer of fiber cement siding.

Lap : The part of the roofing/siding material that overlaps a section of adjacent material.

Lap Siding: Technique for installing horizontal siding boards. Each piece of siding is ‘lapped’ over the piece below it to provide a waterproof covering for the house.

Milled planks : Various cuts of plank siding, including V-groove, channel, rabbeted bevel, shiplap and drop

Moisture permeable : A surface that allows moisture to pass through it

Nailing Hem (or Flange) : The section of siding or accessories where the nailing slots are located.

Napco : Manufacturer of aluminum and vinyl siding.

Siding Terms Glossary O to S

Owens Corning : Manufacturer of aluminum and vinyl siding.

Panel Projection : The amount that a panel of vinyl sticks out away from the wall, you should choose the largest profile for the style of panel you want

Panel Siding : comes in sheets, normally 4 feet by 8 feet. Examples of panel siding include Texture 1-11. Because panel siding can be installed quickly, it can be a less expensive option than other types of siding.

Plywood siding : Plywood sheets, some with a grooved or decorative outer surface 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.

Plumb : A position or measurement that is truly and exactly vertical, 90° from a level surface.

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

Scarfed joint : Joint used in plywood siding where edges of abutting sheets are angle cut to fit snugly and prevent water penetration

Shake Siding : Sometimes known as shingle siding, shake siding comes in widths from about four inches to 12 inches. It is installed like lap siding, starting at the lowest row, and moving up the wall. The random widths of the shakes provide a distinctive look to the wall.

Single Coursing : Single layer of siding shingles applied with a small overlap along the edge of the course below.

Single Wall Siding : Exterior wall siding that is not applied over sheathing.

Soffit : Material used to enclose the horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, or overhang. Some soffit panels may also be used as vertical siding.

Spalling : Crumbling and falling away of bricks, concrete or blocks

Square : Unit of measure for siding equal to 100 square feet (or a 10-foot by 10-foot wall section).

Square Feet : (also known as: Exterior Square Feet) Exterior Square Feet is a term used to denote the total amount of siding material needed for a particular siding job including material waste.

Stucco : A type of water resistant, plaster like siding material made of cement, sand and water; it may have an acrylic finish.

Siding Terms Glossary T to Z

Tounge and Groove (T&G) : Tongue and groove, a connection system between components, like wood, in which the tab or tongue of one board is placed into the grove at the end of another board

T 1-11 : Hardboard, exterior siding that has vertical grooves made to simulate separate boards.

T3 Profile : Three three-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.

United States Seamless : Manufacturer of seamless steel siding.

Variform : Manufacturer of vinyl siding.

Vinyl Siding : Horizontal polyvinyl chloride planks

Veneer : Veneer is one ply or one thickness of something; in siding there are brick and stone veneers, there are also veneers of one wood bonded to another

Wall Cladding : Another term for siding

Wall Sheathing : Sheets of plywood or wood planking used to cover the wall framework of the house

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

Windload Pressure : Is a measurement of how well a panel might perform in high wind areas

Wire Mesh : A mesh attached to the wall sheathing and studs used to anchor a stucco base coat to the wall

Wood Plank Siding : Rectangular wood planks, installed horizontally or vertically

Wood Shakes : Thick, rough, uneven shingles that hand split, split and sawn on one side, or sawn on both sides, used as siding

Wood Shingles : Sawn shingles that are of uniform thickness


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