Terms to Know

Figure 2.

Backerboard: a flat material used on the face of the house, applied between the studs and the siding (or over existing wall surface), to provide an even surface for installing vinyl siding.

Buttlock: the bottom edge of a siding or soffit panel, or accessory piece, opposite the nailing slots, which locks onto the preceding panel.

Channel: the area of the accessory trim or corner post where siding or soffit panels are inserted. Channels also refer to the trim itself, and are named for the letters of the alphabet they resemble (e.g., J-channel, F-channel, etc.).

Course: a row of panels, one panel wide, running the length of the house from one side to the other, or, in the case of vertical siding, from top to bottom.

Drip Cap/Head Flashing: an accessory installed with vertical siding to ensure that water drips away from panels and does not infiltrate them.

Double Channel Lineal: a siding accessory that joins two soffit panels.

Face: refers to the side of a siding or soffit panel that is showing once the panel has been installed.

Face-nailing: the action of fastening directly onto the “face” side of a panel (instead of using the nail hem slot). This practice is generally not used in siding installation.

Fascia: the trim covering the ends of roof rafters.

Fascia Board: a board attached to the ends of the rafters between the roofing material and the soffit overhang.

Fascia Cap or Cover: the covering around a fascia board.

Flashing: a thin, flat material that meets the requirements of ICC AC148, positioned under or behind J-channels, corner posts, windows, etc., to keep draining water from penetrating the home.

Furring/Furring Strip: usually a wood 1” x 2” (25.4mm x 50.8mm) strip used to even a surface in preparation for installing vinyl siding. To “fur” a surface means to apply these strips.

Lap: to overlap the ends of two siding panels or accessory pieces to allow for expansion and contraction of the vinyl product.

Lug/Crimp: the raised “ears” or tabs on a siding panel, created by a snap lock punch, which can be used to lock a siding panel into place when the nailing hem has been removed.

Miter: to make a diagonal cut, beveled to a specific angle (usually 45°). Sometimes miter cuts are made into an overlapping siding or soffit panel surface, to provide a neater appearance.

Nail Hem (or Flange): the section of siding or accessories where the nailing slots are located.

Nailing Strip: an additional framing member installed to facilitate soffit installation.

Nail Hole Slot Punch: refer to Materials and Tools for illustration and use.

Plumb: a position or measurement that is truly and exactly vertical, 90° from a level surface.

Rake (roof): the inclined, usually projecting edge of a sloping roof.

Rake (wall): the board or molding placed along the sloping sides of a gable to cover the ends of the siding.

Scoring: running a utility knife blade, sharpened awl, scoring tool, or other sharp implement across a soffit or siding panel face without cutting all the way through the panel. This weakens the vinyl siding surface in a specific area and allows the panel to be bent and broken off cleanly.

Sealant: any of a variety of compounds used to fill or seal joints in wood, metal, masonry, vinyl, and other materials.

Shim: a building material used to even a surface prior to installing vinyl siding.

Figure 3.

Snap Lock Punch: refer to Materials and Tools for illustration and use.

Soffit: material used to enclose the horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, or overhang. Soffit is designed to be installed lengthwise from wall to fascia.

Starter Strip: an accessory applied directly to the surface of the building and used to secure the first course of siding to the home.

Underlayment: water-resistive material placed under vinyl siding panels.

Utility Trim: a piece of trim used any time the top lock has been removed from the siding, to secure a siding panel. Also referred to as “undersill” or “finish” trim; double utility trim is also available.

Water-resistive Barrier: a material applied between the sheathing and the siding that is intended to resist any water that penetrates through the siding and meets the requirements of ICC AC38.

Weep Holes: openings cut into siding or accessories to allow for water runoff.

Zip Lock Tool: also known as an unlocking tool; refer to Materials and Tools for illustration and use.