Construction Materials: Different Parts of a Roof Explained


When contractors build a home, part of the process is putting on the roof. The roof is one of the most expensive and crucial parts of a house or any other building. The roof is what protects the people inside from the elements and danger. Roofing is quite a process and takes days to complete. If you are thinking of replacing your roof or hiring someone for repairs, it will be good to know what the different parts of the roof are called. That way, the construction team or roofing company won’t have to struggle with explanations.

Here is a short glossary of terms provided by our friends over at Evergreen Construction Solutions:

Roof truss – The roof truss is the framework of beams that support the roof. You can call it the skeleton of the roof that will be filled out with other materials.

Rafters – The rafters are also part of the roof truss and refer to the beams that run from the top of the roof to the bottom of the roof. They are part of the support system.

Decking or sheathing – The decking is a layer that covers the rafters. This is the layer on which the rest of the roofing materials will be attached.

Underlayment – The roof needs a few layers to protect the house and the roof materials from moisture, rot, etc. The underlayment is the second layer on the outside and is placed on top of the decking or sheathing. It is sometimes called tar paper and is usually made of a heavy felt material. There are also synthetic materials that can be used.

Drip edge – The drip edge is the part that allows rainwater to run off the roof and drip away from the underlying construction. This protects it from moisture and water damage.

Eaves – The eaves are the edges of the roof that go further than the building walls. They help to allow water to run off away from the walls and other construction below it. This part of the roof can often be decorated in a specific style.

Fascia – The fascia covers the rafter end of the eaves. This is usually where the roof gutters are installed later.

Soffit – The soffit is what covers the area between the end of the eaves and the house walls. It is the finished underside of the eaves.

Valley – A valley is an angle formed on the inside of the roof where two sloping roof panels meet. It is the intersection of a cross hip or cross gable roof.

Hip – This is the opposite of a valley. A hip is the outside angle formed where two sloping roof panels meet.

Gable – This is the triangle shaped part that you find underneath the roof above the main portion of the house.

Ridge – This is the highest part of the roof and runs across the length of the roof.

Flashing – These are the pieces of metal you see around chimneys, vent pipes, valleys, and joints on the roof. It protects the roof materials from water seeping in.

Now you know what all the bits and pieces are called and you can impress your roofer by understanding what he is saying.

Construction Materials: Different Parts of a Roof Explained

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