Embarking on a siding project for your home can be exciting, but it can also introduce a world of unfamiliar terminology. Whether you’re working with contractors or selecting materials, understanding the language used in the industry is crucial for a successful outcome.

To bridge the gap between homeowners and professionals, we’ve compiled a comprehensive glossary of siding terms. This resource is designed to demystify the jargon, allowing you to communicate effectively and make informed decisions about your home’s exterior. From materials to installation techniques, this guide covers the essential terms you need to know for a smooth and confident siding experience.

Aluminum Siding
An exterior cladding option for a home that protects against the elements as well as add beauty to its exterior.

Manufactured in both vinyl and aluminum, accessories add finishing touches to the home’s exterior. These include trims, channels and other finishing touches.

Developed to provide even more dramatic shadow lines by adding a rounded bead at the bottom of a single panel. Beaded siding is generally 6”-7” per panel.

Band Board
A trim board that indicates the bottom of a wall. Band boards are commonly used between multiple floors of a house.

Board & Batten
A siding style characterized by alternating wide boards and narrow strips called battens. This style is most commonly applied vertically.

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. (e.g., J-channel, F-channel, etc…)

Technology to keep colour from fading.

Overlapping siding style with the bottom edge thicker than the top.

Continuous Insulation
Insulation installed outside of the building framing that helps reduce energy loss from thermal bridging.

Corner Post
Corner posts are used to provide a finished edge at an inside or outside corner. The siding from adjoining walls fits neatly into the inside or outside corner post channels. Appropriate widths of channel openings are available to accommodate various configurations of siding.

Cornice Molding
Held in place by an F-channel and finishes the topmost siding profile.

Cornice Receiver
Installed under eaves to receive cornice moldings. They are also used to receive band board and finish board.

Crown Molding and cap
Used with lineals and J-Channels to create a custom molded window or door header.

Dentil molding
A decorative trim used on frieze.

Dentil Trim
A series of small square blocks that have the project like teeth. They are used as decorative elements to your home.

Door surround
A decorative element used to complement the style of the home by adding an accent to the doorway.(See Products)

Connected to the Gutter via the drop outlet. Directs runoff towards the ground.

Downspout diverter
Flexible diverter for redirecting the water from the downspout to the ground.

Drip Cap
An accessory installed over windows and doors to ensure that water is directed away from the panels and does not infiltrate them.

Drip edge
A strip of flashing installed around the lower edge of the roof. This piece diverts the flow of water into the gutter system, preventing damage to the underlying construction.

Drop outlet
Provides an outlet for gutters into the downspout.

UV protection for superior weatherability and colour retention.

Siding style similar to clapboard siding except it has a decorative groove in the top of the board. It features strong shadow lines and is generally 3”-5”.

The edge of a roof that extends beyond the outside walls of a building.

Eaves Starter
A strip of flashing installed around the lower edge of the roof. This piece diverts the flow of water into the gutter system, preventing damage to the underlying construction.

Directs water from the gutter to the downspout.

End cap
Marks the end of the gutter.

The action of fastening directly onto the “face” side of a panel (instead of using the nail hem slot). This practice should not be used in vinyl and aluminum siding installation.

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.

Provides a receiving channel for soffit.

Finish Trim
A trim used to receive siding along the tops of walls and under windows where siding must be cut off.

A thin, flat aluminum material positioned under or behind J-channels, corner posts, windows, etc., to keep draining water from penetrating the home. Flashing is also used on every wood surface around the windows and doors.

Flexible J-Channel
A specialized siding that receives trims. It is used around curved windows and vent covers.

Furring/Furring strip
A wooden framing material, usuall 1” x 3”, used to provide an even nailing base. To “fur” a surface means to apply these strips.

Galvanized aluminum
Aluminum coated with a thin layer of zinc oxide. This protects the aluminum from elements that cause damage such as corrosion or oxidation.

Green Durability
The ability of a building or any of its components to perform its required function in its service environment over the period of time without unforeseen cost for maintenance or repair. (Source: LEED for Homes Rating System)

Green Building
Incorporates environmental consideration into every phase of the home building process.

The primary component in rain carrying systems, the gutter (or eavestrough) hangs from the eave surrounding the entire house. The gutter is responsible for carrying water to the downspout.

Gutter hanger
Secures the gutter to fascia.

Gutter sealer
Seals and waterproofs joints and seams throughout the gutter system.

Gutter wedge
For adapting gutter and drop outlet to inward slanted fascia. Compensates for roof pitches.

A molding used to receive soffit panels joining at squared or mitered corners.

Inside Corner
At the inside corner of two adjoining walls, an inside corner provides the channel to receive the siding from each wall.

Inside corner / Rainware
Used to carry water around inside facing corners.

Insulated Siding
An energy saving siding option that increases the exterior wall’s R-value. Insulated siding improves impact resistance and better replicates the feel of a solid wood plank.

Interlock System
Panel locking system to ensure the best lock.

Used for receiving siding along doors, windows, eaves and the edges of gables.

J-Channel Corner
Connects and covers corners where the J-channel comes together around a window, door or accessory for easy installation and decorative appearance.

Joint connector
Responsible for joining sections of gutter together.

To overlap the ends of two siding panels or accessory pieces to allow for expansion and contraction of the vinyl product.

Used for window and door surrounds.

To make a diagonal cut, beveled to a specific angle (usually 45 degrees). Sometimes miter cuts are made onto an overlapping siding or soffit panel surface, to provide a neater appearance.

Mount blocks
Provides a flat surface to mount accessories onto siding. Generally used for outdoor lighting fixtures, electrical outlets or vents.

Nailing hem (or flange)
The section of siding or accessories where the nailing slots are located.

Outside Corner
On the outside of the meeting point between two adjoining walls, an outside corner provides the channel to receive the siding from each wall.

Outside corner / Rainware
Used to carry water around outside facing corners.

Pipe strap
Secures the downspout to the wall.

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

Poly outlets
Exits runoff to downspout and reduces clogging.

Roof edge
A strip of flashing installed around the lower edge of the roof. This piece diverts the flow of water into the gutter system, preventing damage to the underlying construction.

A piece that snaps onto a corner block for a decorative window treatment.

Running a utility knife blade, a sharpened awl, scoring tool, or other sharp implement across a soffit or siding panel face without cutting all the way through the panel. This weakens the vinyl surface in a specific area and allows the panel to be bent and broken off cleanly.

A building material used to even a surface prior to installing vinyl siding.

Originally made from split wood, shingles are used on an entire house, or to accent certain areas.

Used either on an entire home or on gables. Usually single or double course with revelas of 6”-10”, either straight-edged or staggered.

An accent for windows – available in a variety of colours and different designs to complement any style.

Sill Trim
A piece of trim used any time the top lock has been removed from the siding, to secure a siding panel. Also referred to as “undersill” or “finish” trim. Note that the siding must be crimped before snapping in the sill trim.

The molding that seals the joint between the siding and the ground.

Material used to enclose the horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, or overhang. Available in either solid or vented form. Depending on your needs and taste, soffit can be either solid or vented.

Soffit crown molding
A decorative channel used for receiving soffit eaves or used on porch ceilings.

Spikes & ferrules
secures the gutter to the fascia.

Splash Guard
Prevents runoff from damaging the lawn.

a square represents an area of 10’ x 10’ (100 sq. ft) and is generally the term used when referring to the quantity of siding in the industry. Vinyl siding is measured in squares, i.e.: This house requires 20 squares of siding.

Starter Strip
Secures the first piece of siding to the house.

A framing material used to even a surface prior to installation.

Styrofold foil
Used to provide insulation beneath siding. Styrofold foil reduces energy consumption, outside noise and helps prevent mildew and dry rot.

A deco-architectural semi-circular element resembling sunbeams extending from a central point. They are often used in window designs.

Serves as an air barrier, a vapor retarder and a watershed that is installed between the exterior sheathing (often OSB) and the finished siding. The strong woven fabric that makes up Surewrap protects against moisture and air infiltration. Micro perforations in the film allows fabric to breath – “exhaling” harmful water vapor. (See products)

Thermal bridging
Conduction of heat through studs and other framing, bypassing the insulation between studs.

Tile cover
Accesses runoff into the underground system.

Trim Coil
Trim coil is used to finish soffit and fascia.

Trim and molding
A complete line of accessories is used to give every installation a professional appearance, while providing a weather-resistant façade. Some accessories include trim, starter strips, F-channels, drip caps, and J-channels.

Undersill trim
An accessory that fits underneath a feature in a wall that protrudes in some way. The undersill trim fits snuggly under the feature giving a clean appearance and prevents rain from getting underneath the siding. (which may cause rotting or other damage)

Weather-resistant material placed under vinyl siding panels.

Vent Cover
A decorative cover for vents – available in a variety of shapes.

Vertical Siding
Siding installed vertically rather than horizontally. Vertical siding never overlaps and is generally 6”-8” in length.

Vinyl siding
An exterior cladding option made from long vinyl pieces that is a key element to the beauty, structure and durability of a home or building. Vinyl siding comes in a variety of profiles and colours to meet anyone’s needs.

Windowsill Lineal
Decorative trim at the bottom of a window.

Weep holes
Openings cut into the bottom of the siding to allow for water runoff.

A texture resembling that of wood.