Roofing Vocabulary

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Gable: A very triangular roof that allows rain and snow to run off easily.

Cross Gable: Similar to the gable roof, but has two parts that cross.

Flat: A flat roof is exactly that – flat. Easy to build and uses few materials.

Mansard: A French gable roof. Differs in that the mansard has a flat area at the top instead of being perfectly triangular.

Hipped: A low-pitched roof that allows rain and snow to run off easily. It also allows for large eaves on a building.

Cross Hipped: Similar to a hipped roof, but has two parts that cross.

Pyramidal: A hipped roof that forms a pyramid shape.

Shed: Similar to a gable roof, as it allows rain and snow to run off easily. One of the easiest roofs to build.

Saltbox: Similar to a gable roof, but its two sides are not symmetrical.

Gambrel: When viewed from the side, this roof looks more bell-like than triangular. It is similar to a flattened gable roof.

Barge Board: A board that conceals roof timbers projecting over gables.

Beam: A long piece of wood or steel that supports the roof.

Cornice: The overhanging part of the roof (the part that sticks out past the building’s walls).

Eave: The beam ends of the roof that allows water to drip off away from the building’s walls.

Fascia: The edge of the cornice.

Rafter: Parallel beams that support a roof.

Soffit: The underside of the eave.

Truss: A framework of beams that support the roof.

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Source by John Dickinson