When choosing siding for your home, make sure you know the following terms and phrases. They will help you make better choices for protecting your home and family.  

  • Backer Tab - Provides support for non-insulated 8" siding at panel overlaps (joints), and behind panels at corners to ensure a smooth installation.

  • Butt Edge - Bottom edge of siding/soffit panel or accessory piece opposite the nailing slots.  Locks onto the preceding panel.

  • Channel - Area of accessory trim or corner post where siding/soffit panels are inserted.  Also refers to trim itself, and named according to letter of alphabet it resembles (i.e., J-channel, F-channel, etc.).

  • Course - Row of panels running the length of the house.

  • Face - Side of siding/soffit panel that is showing once panel has been installed.

  • Face Nailing - Action of fastening directly onto the face of panel, rather than using the nail hem slot.  Generally not used in siding installation.

  • Fascia - Vertical finishing edge usually fastened to ends of rafters or trusses.  Most commonly found where the gutter is attached.

  • Flashing - Thin, flat material - usually aluminum - positioned under or behind J-channels, corner posts, windows, etc., to keep water drainage from penetrating house.

  • Individual Outside Corner Cap - Possible alternative to outside corner post when installing 8" horizontal siding.  Maintains continuity of siding courses in traditional clapboard style.

  • Inside Corner Post - Provides a means of joining at inside corners where siding butts both sides.  Deeper posts are for insulated siding, and narrower posts for non-insulated siding.

  • Insulated Siding - Available with factory-laminated polystyrene backing.  In addition, separate drop-in backer board is available which can be combined with the siding panels at the time of installation.  Laminated and drop-in backer board thickness vary from 3/8" to 1/2", and can be used with 8", Double 4" or Double 5" siding.

  • J-Channel - Used for receiving siding on all sides of windows and doors, at rake edges of gables and in other miscellaneous situations.  Deeper J-channels are for insulated siding, and narrower J-channels for non-insulated siding.

  • Lap - To overlap ends of two siding panels to allow for expansion and contraction of siding product.

  • Lug/Crimp - Raised tabs on siding panel created by a snap-lock punch.  Can be used to lock siding panel into place when the nailing hem has been removed.

  • Mitre Cut - Diagonal cut, beveled to a specific angle (usually 45).  Sometimes applied to an overlapping siding or soffit panel surface for a neater appearance.

  • Nailing Hem (Flange) - Location of nailing slots on siding panel or accessories.

  • Outside Corner Post - Provides neat appearance outside corners for vertical and horizontal sidings.  Receives siding from both sides.  Deeper post is used with insulated siding, and narrower post with non-insulated siding.

  • Snap-Lock Finish Trim - Used to finish off (trim) job-site cuts on siding, as under windows, at eaves, and at porch door locations.  May also be used to receive vertical siding at corners and window jambs.  The snap-lock design allows siding to be notched and locked into place without face nailing.

  • Soffit - Vinyl or aluminum material used on the underside of eaves between the exterior wall and overhanging edge of the roof rafters.

  • Starter Strip - Baseline accessory which secures the first course of siding to the wall.  Used with horizontal and vertical siding.

  • Trim Coil - Painted aluminum and steel material commonly used to case around windows.  Allows remodeler to totally enclose house.

  • Underlayment - Weather-resistant material placed under siding panels.

  • Weep Holes - Openings cut into siding or accessories to allow water runoff.

  • Window Head Flashing - Alternative to J-channel to receive siding over doors and windows and as a base flashing on vertical siding installations.


  • Beaded - Authentic 17th century horizontal Colonial beaded ridge in a 6.5" design with graceful shadow lines.

  • Clapboard - Classic horizontal design with stepped beveled boards and bold shadow lines.

  • Dutch Lap - Traditional horizontal design with stepped sculpted boards to maximize horizontal shadow lines.

  • Vertical Board & Batten - Vertical siding with deep shadow lines created with raised batten strips.

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