Vinyl Siding Frequently Used Terms

Helpful Definitions for Your Siding Installation

Unless you’re a trained siding contractor, you’re probably not that well informed on the different aspects that go into installing siding onto a home. At Jacob Sunrooms, Exteriors & Baths we believe that the more informed our clients are, the more informed their decisions are. Informed decisions make for smoother, more efficient installations. That is why we compiled this list of siding terms that you may hear us use when discussing your project. We currently service St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois.

Aluminum Siding: Horizontal planks of aluminum with a baked-on enamel finish

Battens: Narrow strips of wood placed over joints in vertical wood plank siding to seal the joints

Beveled: Clapboards that are tapered rather than cut perfectly rectangular

Brick ties: Accordion-type metal fasteners used to attach a brick veneer to the wood framework of a house

Brick veneer: A wall construction method in which a layer of bricks is attached to the wood framework of a house using brick ties

Buttlock: Located on the bottom edge of a vinyl panel which locks onto the previously installed panel

Carpenter ants: Large black ants that make may make their nests in walls, behind siding, or in insulation; carpenter ants don’t eat wood they excavate wood to build their homes in the cavities left behind

Caulking: Waterproof material used to seal joints at intersections of building components, used with some types of siding

Checking: A crack or split along the grain in wood plank siding as a result of cupping

Clapboard: Overlapping, horizontal wood plank siding made from either rectangular planks or taped planks

Composition board: Blanks or sheets of weather resistant compressed wood fibers used as siding

Course: Each row of siding material

Cupping: A warp across the board in wood plank siding

Detachment: Separation of the siding material-veneer or stucco- from its attachment to the house

Double course: An undercourse of shingles or shakes, not exposed to the weather, is covered completely by a top course

Dust mites: Virtually walking stomachs

Face: The part of the vinyl panel that is visible once the vinyl is installed

Fiber Cement: a siding material that can look like wood but is resistant to fire, rot, and insects

Flashing: A type of sheet metal used at intersections of building components to prevent water penetration, flashings are commonly used above doors and windows in exterior walls and are used under the siding to prohibit water penetration

Channel: A manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems which have a curved channel that the planks fit into, used around windows and doors to make a weathertight seal

Lintel: A steel angle iron or beam over window and door openings that spans the opening and transfers the weight of the masonry to the sides of the opening

Milled planks: Various cuts of plank siding, including V-groove, channel, rabbeted bevel, shiplap and drop

Moisture permeable: A surface that allows moisture to pass through it

Panel Projection: The amount that a panel of vinyl sticks out away from the wall, you should choose the largest profile for the style of panel you want

Plywood siding: Plywood sheets, some with a grooved or decorative outer surface

Scarfed joint: Joint used in plywood siding where edges of abutting sheets are angle cut to fit snugly and prevent water penetration

Shiplap: A style of milled plank, used in siding, that is laid close enough so as to appear to be butted

Single course: Wood shingles or shakes applied where each course is exposed to the weather

Spalling: Crumbling and falling away of bricks, concrete or blocks

Stucco: A type of water resistant, plaster like siding material made of cement, sand and water; it may have an acrylic finish

T & G: Tongue and groove, a connection system between components, like wood, in which the tab or tongue of one board is placed into the grove at the end of another board

Termites: Social insects that live either in the ground or in wood and eat wood, they can cause serious structural damage to a home

Vinyl siding: Horizontal polyvinyl chloride planks

Veneer: One ply or one thickness of something; in siding there are brick and stone veneers, there are also veneers of one wood bonded to another

Wall cladding: Another term for siding

Wall sheathing: Sheets of plywood or wood planking used to cover the wall framework of the house

Windload Pressure: A measurement of how well a panel might perform in high wind areas

Wire mesh: A mesh attached to the wall sheathing and studs used to anchor a stucco base coat to the wall

Wood plank siding: Rectangular wood planks, installed horizontally or vertically

Wood shakes: Thick, rough, uneven shingles that hand split, split and sawn on one side, or sawn on both sides, used as siding

Wood shingles: Sawn shingles that are of uniform thickness

If you have any questions or would like more information on our siding products, click here or call us today. Our staff is always happy to discuss your next siding project.


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Trusted home remodelers throughout the St. Louis area since 1977.  With roots in our community that stretch back decades, Jacob Windows, Baths & Sunrooms has maintained a reputation for excellence in all that we do
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