Roof Construction Definitions

Roofing Homes

Roofing Terminology

When it comes to having repairs, installations or maintenance works done in a roofing system, knowing certain terminologies are not required for homeowners.

However, it cannot be denied that having a general idea on a few of these terms could definitely help one make the best decisions.

This is especially true when it comes to choosing the right materials which are suited to the style and location of the home. Knowing the following terms should also give one a clearer grasp of what the project contract covers and what it does not.

When you speak to a roofing contractor you will be in a better position if you are familiar with most of the commonly used roofing terms, you are less likely to be taken advantage of buy a fast talking roofer

Common used terms related to the roofing business:

  1. Asphalt: An agent that is usually applied on various roofing materials in order to waterproof them.
  2. Asphalt Plastic Roofing Cement: Or Bull, Mastic, Flashing Cement or Roof Tar. It refers to a sealant that is tarmac-based which is used for joining the different roofing materials
  3. Back surfacing: A material used on the behind of shingles. This is applied to the shingles before delivery and storage to prevent them against sticking to each other.
  4. Base flashing: A part of a given flashing that is usually fixed to or that seats on the deck. Its primary purpose is to guide water flow on to the roof.
  5. Built-up roof: Several layers of ply sheets and asphalt that are bonded together.
  6. Butt edge: A shingle tab’s bottom portion.
  7. Caulking: The act of filling a joint or intersection to stop possible leaks.
  8. Closed valley: Refers to that part of the valley that has shingles covering it
  9. Coating: A layer of sticky, gelatinous asphalt. It is spread over the outer surface of the roof in order to safeguard the membrane.
  10. Collar: Or Vent Sleeve. It refers to flange that has been preformed and then put over a vent pipe. It is used to seal the roofing located around the opening of a vent pipe.
  11. Concealed nail method:  A method of applying roll-roofing whereby nails are concealed by a cemented and an overlapping course.
  12. Counter flashing: A part of a given flashing that is connected to a surface that is vertically located above the roof. This helps stop water from seeping into the roof’s base flashing.
  13. Course: A horizontal, diagonal or vertical line of shingles.
    Cricket: A water diverter placed at the rear area of the chimney. Its main purpose is to avoid water, snow or ice from accumulating in the area.
  14. Deck: The area in which the roofing system is installed. This top surface is where the supporting frame members are located.
  15. Double coverage: A type of asphalt roofing in which the lapped area is 2-inches wider or more compared to the exposed area. It results to two different roofing material layers found on top of the deck.
  16. Downspout: Or Leader. It is a piece of piping used to direct water from the roof gutters so as to the drain and away from the foundation of the house.
  17. Drip edge: A flashing with an L shape found side by side to the eaves. This portion of the roof helps direct water into gutters, and then away from any underlying construction.
  18. Eave: A portion of your roof which extends in an outward manner. These overhands are not located directly over the exterior walls or the interiors of the building.
  19. Exposed nail method: A method of applying the roll roofing. Nails are fixed in an overlapping manner of roofing and are left exposed to various weather elements.
  20. Fascia:  refers to a board that is used for hiding of the cut ends in the rafters as well as in the sheathing.
  21. Felt: A material that is used for sheathing paper or an underlayment. It is often used to describe roll roofing materials.
  22. Flashing: A roofing material made of metal that is used to seal areas around chimneys, vent pipes, dormers, adjoining walls and valleys. It is used to keep water from seeping into the said joints and intersections.
  23. Gable: The end portion of exterior walls that comes into a triangular kind of ridge of a roof that is sloping.
  24. Granules: A material applied on the surfaces of the roofing products made from asphalt. They are often made up of ceramic-coated and fine-crushed rocks.
  25. Gutter: Often attached to the fascia. This is channel which allows water to flow from eaves towards the downspouts.
  26. Head lap: The occurrence of an overlapping in the shingles or roofing felt at their upper edge.
  27. Hip: A fold or vertical ridge that is formed when two sloping roof planes intersect. The hip is found from the ridge to the eaves of the roof.
  28. Ice dam: A condition in which water backs up into the eaves as a result of the thawing and refreezing of the snow that melts on overhangs. This often leads to roof leaks as water is forced under the shingles.
  29. Interlocking shingles: Shingles that intertwine with each other thus providing greater resistance to the wind.
  30. Laminated shingles: Or three-dimensional and architectural shingles. Strips of shingles that are made from two separate units that are laminated together resulting to an additional thickness.
  31. Lap: Used to call the surface in which a roll or a shingle overlaps another during application.
  32. Mansard roof: Designs in which a roof plane that is vertical becomes connected to yet another roof plane but with a lesser slope at the peak. This design does not have any gables.
  33. Mineral stabilizers: Material composed of finely grinded limestone, slate, trap rock as well as other inert materials. They are added to asphalt shingles to help increase its durability and its fire resistance and other harsh weather elements.
  34. Nesting: A re-roofing process in which a new, 2nd layer of asphalt shingles are installed. Here, the top of the edge of a shingle is pushed such that it lies below the edge of the current shingle tab.
  35. Pitch: The angle at which the roof is inclined. It is often described as the ratio of the given rise against a given span
  36. Low Slope: Roofs with pitches or angles that aren’t more than thirty degree.
  37. Normal Slope: Roofs with pitches or angles that fall in the range of 30-45 degrees.
  38. Steep Slope: Roofs with pitches or angles beyond 45 degrees.
  39. Rafter: The backbone framing that is the roof skeletal structure found right beneath the deck. This is where the sheath of the roof is nailed.
  40. Rake: The closed or extended inclined edge on a roof that is has a steep gradient.
  41. Ridge: The horizontal angle (external) at which two sloped of the roof meet. There is arguably no other point that is higher than the ridge.
  42. Run: Or half the span. It is used to refer to the distance in-between a point right under the ridge and the eaves, measured horizontally.
  43. Selvage: The part of the roll roofing where the covering of the roof covering overlaps. It is often done in order to double the coverage.
  44. Sheathing: Refers to grade boards which are exterior and they are utilized as a materials for the roof deck
  45. Shed roof:  one roof plane that has no, ridges, valleys, hips, or gables
  46. Slope: a degree of the gradient of a given roof which is inches, feet or ratios
    Smooth-surfaced roofing: Refers to a type of roll roofing covered in mica or ground talc and not the traditional coated granules.
  47. Soffit: Refers to the finished underside portion of the eaves. It runs from the fascia to the siding to the bottom of an overhang.
  48. Soil stack: Refers to the vent pipe penetrating the roof.
  49. Span: The distance from one eave to another, measured horizontally.
    Specialty eaves flashing membrane: A type of shingle underlayment that helps prevent water caused by ice dams or even by rain that is brought by wind from seeping through.
  50. Starter strip: Refers to the asphalt roofing placed on the eaves when the first layer of shingles is being placed.
  51. Tab: The surface of a strip shingle that is exposed. It is located between cut outs.
  52. Telegraphing: A type of shingle installation that shows distortion, as it is placed on top of a surface that is anything but even.
  53. Truss: Refers to the triangular combination of ties, beams, and bars. They are used in formation of a support framework for roofs that are wider.
  54. UL label: Refers to the label found on a packaging. It is tells the level of resistance and asphalt roofing has against fire and/or wind.
  55. Underlayment: Refers to the rolled materials that are based on asphalt, which are placed between the main roofing shingles. They are added to provide more protection to the deck.
  56. Valley: An internal angle which is usually formed when 2 slopping roof surfaces intersect each other. They provide a passage for water to run through.
  57. Vapour barrier/retarder: Any type of material that hinders water or vapour from getting through.
  58. Vent: Any single device that may be fixed on a roof for the main purpose of ventilation

If you don’t understand these definitions or have other roofing terms that you don’t understand you local roofer should be able to answer any questions that you have

Why Modular Construction is the Future of Building

Modular Home Construction

Until the last 30 years, the practices of the construction had not really changed much for the previous hundred. It has often been said that builders and contractors are among the most stubborn, set in their ways, industry group out there. Why fix something that is not broken right? Mane is the general consensus for many years. but now things have changed while the older urban areas, and construction costs continue to rise around the country (and world) that have been presented new challenges can be solved only by a better method, more efficient building. And that’s where the modular construction comes into play …

In the big city

In urban structures around the country we are aging faster then you can reasonably build new, and this creates a situation where thriving urban decay and degradation because the costs associated with replacing these structures have often been too high in relation to income that can reasonably be derived from the result of a new project. Part of the problem is the excessive costs associated with the logistics of running a construction project on a high pop. area density, and mitigating the impact of a structure of 12 months on the grid surrounding neighborhood and traffic.

With its modular construction-site construction time often can be reduced to 90 to 120 days, drastically reducing the impact on surrounding neighborhood and the costs and headaches associated with it. This by itself is huge, and when you combine that with reduced capital costs and additional income of your project finished quickly ‘s beginning to really add up!

When disaster hits

Modular construction has been in recent years through the help families return home in a matter of weeks and months compared to months and years. If the wildfire ravaged hills of Southern California or hurricane victims of the Gulf Coast, the modular design helps families and communities back to normal life without years and years of reconstruction & repair efforts in frustration.

What many people do not realize is that modular homes are built to match and adhere to all these technical codes of the building that the standard construction. So when you rebuild what you get is modular structure that matches or exceeds the quality and value of its previous structure. (Assuming that is similar plans)

Another thing to consider is the fact that modular construction can be adapted to almost any floor plan – so that reconstruction can match almost always modular structure which is replacing.

In the progress of the future

While the size of a project increases, the number of subcontractors, weather delays, logistical problems and increases the discomfort legal turn. The developers already have enough things to worry about their projects without having to deal with these headaches now unnecessary. With the modular construction are all that really increases the number of modules – that can be stacked up to three stories just like any standard stick built building.

While standard construction becomes more of a hassle, the full benefits of modular construction process are highlighted while the size of your project increases. It is not hard to imagine a future in which all commercial developments are completed this way.

Your dream home come true!

If you have witnessed any custom homes that were built recently then you’ve probably seen just how expensive a home can be built today. That’s because the rising costs of labor and materials combined with the construction companies who are fighting stick built themselves from time to projects they often pass the budget, beyond the deadline, or worse they get in delay while companies battle to mingle around the vital equipment, subcontractors and / or other resources.

Why should homeowners looking to make their dream homes come true had to deal with delays and inconvenience of the frustration that in this day and age (available modular building) is largely unnecessary? The answer – they should not. We do not blame most of the contractors by pasting the familiar territory of practices built construction site that is what he knows. After all – when the automobile was invented many people insist on continuing to mount their horses – some people still carries pagers (like doctors).

Siding Color Choices

Why replace the exterior siding on your house? It will provide a major change in the appearance of the house. It will extend the life of the house and increase it’s value. It will provide added insulation, lowering utility bills. Maintenance is diminished (by how much depends on which siding you choose).

There was once a time when the only exterior siding you could find (other than real stone and brick) was aluminum siding. It was sold by door-to-door salesmen that were unscrupulous and took advantage of unknowing little old ladies. Those days are long gone.

Lots Of Choices for Siding Your Home

Today you can compare aluminum siding, vinyl siding, cedar shake siding, cement board siding, and simulated stone. You can find these products in a clapboard design, as shingles, or as shakes.

And they come with all the accessories and complimentary pieces you need to cover the trim and other odd components on the exterior of the house. Costs will vary from about $5 to over $30 per square foot. If you own a modular home, you may have better options.

Of course, you also have the option of using the real stuff – stone, brick, stucco, bricks, cedar, etc. The obvious trend is to minimize future maintenance. So here’s what I know about these various choices of exterior siding. After that, the decision is yours.

Stone Siding

This is the most durable of all the exterior siding options. It’s also the most expensive. I believe Owens Corning has a line of precast stone veneers – this will lower the cost substantially.

Stone is appropriate on any traditional-style home. You will find granite, limestone, bluestone, slate, and a variety of stones indigenous to your area which can be individually put in place.

For more on this, go to Stone Siding.


Brick comes in a variety of earth tone colors. It doesn’t burn and it won’t rot. Maintenance consists of repointing every 10 to 15 years. It’s expensive, but it looks good on virtually any style house. This exterior siding will last 100 years or more.


Stucco is essentially cement, mixed with water and sand or lime. It could be dyed, so you have many colors to choose from.

It’s texture is determined by the installer. He can apply the stucco to make it smooth or give it various degrees of roughness. Since the 1960s, other synthetic products have entered the market (like “Dryvit”).

These look like stucco, but won’t hold up as well. Don’t lean a ladder directly against this exterior siding option unless you have pads, or some way of spreading the weight. This will chip the surface. They do cost less initially, and are therefore often used by builders.

Wood Siding

You can find wood exterior siding as shakes, clapboard, panels or boards. Finishes range from paints, to stains, to sealers & oils, to unfinished. Wood is a beautiful siding, but requires maintenance and can rot.

The most common wood used for siding is Western Red Cedar. Cedar shake siding is probably the most common look. Redwood, Teak, Rosewood, Pine, Fir, Spruce, and Gray Cedar, are also used. My recommendation for finishing is a stain – color of your choosing.

Most people who select wood siding, do so because they like the look of it when they buy it. Then they try to preserve that look with applications of clear water repellents or linseed oil. They preserve the wood (to a degree) but not the look.

Wood gets weathered and changes color – unless it’s painted or stained. Paint will eventually peel and need repainting. So, if it were my house, I’d pick a stain I really like and be done with it.

Wood boards are very versatile. You can install them horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. If your house is a long ranch, you should probably use them vertically. If it’s a narrow, 3-story Victorian, the exterior siding should run horizontally.

Vertical board and batten design, using wide clear or knotty boards, gives a “country” look and is very good to accent an area like a porch or entry.

For specific information about Cedar Shakes, visit this page.

Vinyl Siding vs. Aluminum Siding

It’s hard to tell the difference between aluminum siding and vinyl siding without touching them. With aluminum siding, the color can fade, and (unlike vinyl siding) it could be dented. It also expands and contracts more than vinyl.

The other side of the coin is that aluminum won’t crack as vinyl siding can, and it’s fireproof. In my opinion however, there’s no reason to have aluminum siding unless it’s already on the house. If that’s the case, you can paint it. Experts recommend oil-based paint over a latex primer.

Vinyl siding comes in about 20 colors ranging from white to earthy blue. You could have it made in a custom color, but I think that’s a bad idea. If you ever need more, it’ll never match (different die lot).

Stick with standard colors from a well-known manufacturer that’s likely to be around in 30 years. Pay attention to the panel thickness. The thicker material will hold up to cracking and denting much better.

Vinyl siding is less expensive to purchase and install than other siding materials (typically between $7 and $10 per square foot).

Drawbacks of vinyl siding include cracking, growing dingy over time, and environmental concerns. If the house burns, vinyl siding will emit toxins into the air since it’s made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic.

For more about this option, go to Vinyl Siding or Vinyl Siding Cost.

Cement Board Siding

This man-made product can have the look of wood, stucco, or masonry. There are several manufacturers, but the one that seems to have the best selection and quality is “HardiPlank” or “HardiBoard”.

You can get the look of wood, with less maintenance – but I would still stain it. Cement board siding is fireproof, termite proof, and comes with a warranty up to 50 years.

For more information, visit this page Cement Board Siding.

A Few Other Options

LOG SIDING can make a house look like a log home. It’s available in quarter logs and half logs. Finishes include smooth, knotty, or hand-hewn (very authentic). The most common log choices are pine or cedar, but you can also find vinyl and steel products that resemble the wood. If you plan to paint, you won’t know the difference.

GLASS BLOCK WALLS can only be used at locations that are non-load bearing. They make a good accent. I’ve seen them most often on contemporary homes. If you have a traditional home, keep them on the inside. They can look very strange if used inappropriately.

SEAMLESS STEEL SIDING is strong and resists shrinking or bulging with seasonal changes. It has to be custom fitted to the exact measurements of a specific wall (or walls). It can be found with a wood look, or you could opt for the industrial look of corrugated steel. Hey, it’s a free country.

Master Bedroom Redecorating

How to Properly Redecorate Your Master Bedroom

Bedrooms are our private spaces. It is where we sleep, daydream, rest, and take a break from a chaotic world. So it only makes sense if you want to keep this space as cosy, elegant, and comfortable as possible.

To do that, here are some easy techniques to help you out:

Envision a design or layout

Before making any changes, take a good hard look at the room and see what needs to be repaired. Are there broken glass windows, cracked ceilings, leaked roofs, or damaged floorings? Make a list of the damages that need to be taken care of. Then, call an expert building service to do the necessary repairs, be it plumbing, carpentry, tiling painting, or glazing.

After this, evaluate the area and try to envision how you want it to come out. Make a rough drawing of the details that you want, particularly on the arrange of your French shabby chic furniture, the colour of the walls, and the different decorative elements that you want.

By knowing what you want, you will have an easier time organising the project and finishing it faster.

Go furniture shopping

Browse through a reliable online furniture shop that offers reputable brands and products. Although you have to spend some money, this is a necessary investment that is worth the cost. After all, you will be using the pieces for many years.

Now to give you an idea, here is a suggestion?opt for French furniture styles. They are more versatile in terms of decorative elements and they also have that elegant Parisian-esque vibe, of course because it is French!

Find a focal point

Use your main furniture pieces as the centre of attraction. They should be the main inspiration for the design of the room, with decorative pieces complementing their styles. If you are not too sure of what you are doing, this is the part where you should consult with an interior decorator. It is always best if you obtain some professional input, especially when it comes to major changes like paint of the walls, the combination of bedroom furniture French style, and so on.

Circling back to the focal point, use the “French” concept as inspiration for other vintage finds to put in the bedroom, like rugs, curtains, lampshades, throw pillows, etc.

Arrange storage spaces cleverly

You should always think of the storage possibilities when redesigning the look of a room. Where should the furnitures go? Will they be able to accommodate all items that need to be locked up? These are the questions you should ask yourself when buying some cabinets, chest drawers, and dressers.

Most importantly, ask yourself if the products are worth the cost. They should be made of a strong material but still be aesthetically pleasing. Do not dicker over the price too much because you can be sure that these French furniture styles are an investment for your home.

Show your true colours

Choose at least two colour palettes to be the dominant shade in your design. It could be a combination of primary and secondary, secondary and tertiary, or primary and tertiary. But whatever you choose, make sure that the shade is both muted yet vibrant.

For example, pastel and neon are a great choice, although not many people would actually think of combining them. They have the necessary pizazz and add a visual texture to any space. Ideally, use the more muted hue as the dominant colour, then just add splashes of the neon to brighten up the look.

Go for unique lighting

Lampshades are so last year. Would you not want your bedroom to look more original by opting for quirky shapes as lamps? If you happen to find a cylindrical lantern, or a square bottle, use these items as base for efficient light bulbs.

Save on energy

Since you are already revamping your room in terms of appeal, why not improve its capacity for energy efficiency as well. One simple way to do that is to have your old windows replaced with secondary glazing.

All of these will help turn your bedroom into a chamber worthy of royalty!