How to Speak Siding

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Here are a few common terms that relate to plank designs of siding

  1. Lap— An overlapping portion of the siding, this is where one siding board lies over another. Utilizing this style creates lap siding, where boards are laid atop one another to create dimension and allow for expansion.
  2. Tongue and Groove— A predesigned interlocking system where a tongue on one end of the plank slides into the groove of a separate plank to fasten them.
  3. Batten— A thin board that covers the seam between two vertical siding planks. This is used to create the board and batten design.
  4. Shingle— A small, rectangular wood piece that typically has one thicker side for layering.
  5. Shake— Shakes are similar to shingles, as rectangular cut wood, but they have a more textured face.


Contractors may ask questions about your preferences for the various portions of the siding itself. 

  1. Face— The portion of the siding that faces outward after installation. This is the visibly seen side of siding.
  2. Starter Strip— A siding accessory that is attached to the bottom of your exterior wall to secure the first siding panel into place.
  3. Buttlock— The lower portion of the siding that is used to secure the siding panels together.
  4. Miter Joint— The area where two planks or pieces of trim are cut to fit together at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Caulking— A secondary sealing material that is used on joints to waterproof the siding.
  6. Gauge— This term refers to a material’s thickness, essentially the depth of the siding material.
  7. Exposure— A siding plank’s width.
  8. Weep Holes— Intentional holes or cuts in the siding created for moisture to escape.
  9. Nailing Hem— The portion of the siding where nailing holes are situated. This keeps siding from being nailed just anywhere and designates a space for nailing to avoid issues with the siding.
  10. Course— Courses will be either vertical or horizontal, depending on the way the siding is running. It is a single row of siding spanning the entire width of the wall.
  11. Corner Trim— Somewhat self-explanatory, corner trim is the trim piece used to cover the connecting joints on the side of the home. It is classified into inside corner trim, which bends inward to connect seams, and outside trim, which caps outer corners.


To understand the gamut of siding elements, here are a few terms to know.

  1. Backer Board (Sheathing)— A flat piece of plywood that has been nailed into the studs of your home to create a flat surface for the siding to be nailed into.
  2. Underlayment— A material laid over the backer board and under the siding to provide protection from moisture.
  3. Channel— This term refers to the area where trim is positioned (decorative or corner trim) as well as a term for the trim itself. There are different types of channels, which will be named after the letters they resemble.
  4. Frieze— Typically decorative trim that covers the seam between the siding and the soffit.
  5. Soffit— The material that covers the exposed underside of a roof. This typically extends from the roof’s eaves to the siding. It is used to ventilate the attic and add visual appeal.
  6. Wind Load— An indication or measurement of a siding’s ability to withstand high winds.

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Warning Signs That Your Roof is Failing

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Warning Signs That your Roof is Failing

Leaking Water

The most common and obvious sign you need a new roof is water leakage. This damage starts in the attic and in serve cases can then appear in the rooms below the attic space. The best way to prevent leaks from spreading from the attic to the spaces below is to have your attic inspected at least once a year. Just because your roof looks fine on the outside does not mean it is on the inside.

Sagging Ceilings

If you do not have an attic but have noticed water stains or sagging in your ceiling you could have a leaking roof.

Loose or Missing Shingles

Shingles coming loose from your home or getting blown away can become a big problem to your roof. Shingles help protect the roof from weather related damage. If your roof is missing even one shingle you may need a section of your roof replaced.

Bare Tiles

Roof shingles have a fine granular covering on them to protect the tar surface and it also helps the shingles look nice. When this granular surface is worn away the underneath is exposed to elements of weather and can cause serious problems to your roof. If your shingles are missing that granular texture then you may need to replace your roof.

Drip Drop Drip

If you hear dripping sounds in your home then you may need a professional roofing contractor to come and inspect your home. That dripping sound could be coming from your roof.


Roof buckling happens when attics are not properly ventilated. When an attic space is not properly ventilated heat and moisture can be trapped in this space causing severe damage to the roof.

Many Layers of Shingles

It use to be common place to replace shingles on a roof on top of old shingles. While some parts of the country still install new shingles on top of old shingles it is becoming less common. If your roof is on multi layers of shingles it could be time to replace your whole roof. Keep in mind that second layer shingles only last about 7 to 10 years.

Storm damage

Roofs that have had any kind of storm damage develop fractures over time. If your home experiences extreme weather year after year it is important to have your roof inspected at least once a year.

Ice Dams

This could be an issue from your attic and the insulation. If you do not have a proper insulation in your attic heat could be escaping melting snow on your roof then freezing in your gutters causing ice build-up.


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(425) 448-6309
(800) 743-3132


The Competition

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How the Competition Stacks Up

We’re confident that we offer the highest quality work at the most affordable price among roofing companies in Seattle and the Puget Sound. Check out the grid graphic to see how we compare to other service providers.

Every Job Starts
With a Fair Bid


(425) 448-6309
(800) 743-3132


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