Vinyl Siding Terminology

Do you know what fascia is? how about soffit? When it comes about home improvement projects such as siding, there’s a language that has to be learned, certain terminologies used in the industry, this also happens when buying a house and you begin to hear all these weird names. Well, you won’t be in the dark anymore, we have compiled a list of the terminology used in the home siding.

vinyl siding terminology


Its the material, board or other flat surface nailed to the studs of an exterior side of the wall that provides a surface area on which to attach the vinyl siding.


They are strips of wood placed to seal joints in wooden sidings. Battens are the smaller parts that go between the panels.


Its the bottom portion of a vinyl siding that its attached to the previously installed panel. This keeps the siding from moving around. This is definitely not the best name ever given to something.


the area of on a piece of siding, trim or post, where panels are attached to the trim or corner post. It also refers to the trim itself which is named after the letter of the alphabet it shaped after.


It’s a single row of siding, that runs from one side to the opposite side, which means they run the entire length of the exterior wall. Multiple courses of siding are used to fill up an exterior wall. In vertical panels, it’s a single panel that goes from highest point to the lowest.

Drip Cap or Head Flashing

Its a simple piece of trim that prevents water from getting n behind the siding. In some cases, a Drip Cap can be used over windows and doors to deflect water run-off.


They are the sides of the roof that overhangs over the exterior walls.


Or reveal, it’s the width of a board of siding.


Its an F-shaped piece of trim design to be installed at a 90° angle to the fastening structure.


Is the side of Vinyl Siding that is visible to the outside once it’s installed.

Face Nail

This is a CRIME! its the act of nailing the nails directly onto the vinyl siding, rather than using the nailing strip. This is definitely not recommended under any circumstances.


Its an exterior board that runs along the eaves of the roof covering the joints between the top of the wall and the eaves providing a finished appearance.


It’s the area of a Vinyl Siding, where the mounting holes are located on the top section. Also, its used to deflect water from the siding to prevent damage to the home.


Its a piece of metal or more commonly aluminum used on the exterior walls, above the doors and the windows to prevent water from getting behind the trims and causing damages to your home.


It’s a merely decorative horizontal band that connects the soffit to the top of the Vinyl Siding.

Furring Strip

Its a piece of material, normally made of wood, but can also be found on steel, its placed on the outer surface of the house for the Vinyl Siding to be attached. Its also used to correct surfaces that are not flat.


It is a triangular shape end of a house that stretches from the cornice or eaves to the ridge.

Gable Vent

Its a vent placed on the gable that enables the increase of air flow to the attic reducing the levels of heat and moisture build up.

Head Flashing

Is a piece of trim whose only purpose is to deflect the water away from vertical Vinyl Siding, preventing water from getting behind the siding and onto the backerboard causing rot over time.

Inside Corner

Its a trim piece used to mate courses of vinyl siding on 90° degrees inside corner.


It is the most common piece of trim. It is used around windows, eaves, doors, and soffits, it is J-shaped and gives a grove finish to the end of Vinyl Siding.


It’s short for overlap. When a panel overlaps another panel its named a lap joint, this “overlapping” of two panels allow room for expansion or contraction of the Vinyl Siding. Laps are very necessary to hide the nails that fasten the siding of an exterior wall of your home.

Lap Siding

This is an installation technique in which each piece of siding is “overlap” to another piece creating a waterproof barrier.


Its a part of the siding that has the “locking leg” allowing the lock between the courses of panels.

Locking Leg

It slips onto the lock on the sidings forming a tight connection between the courses of panels.


Lugs are created with a special tool called Snaplock Punch. When the panels are too big and need to be trimmed, then its necessary to form this lugs on the panel in order for the panel to fit onto the lock.

Miter Joint

Is the area where to panels to meet at a 90° degrees angle, the panels are normally cut down in 45° degrees angles, providing a better looking and pleasant appearance.

Nailing Hem

Its the section of the Vinyl Siding where the nailing slots are.

Nail Hole Punches

Its the tool used on Vinyl Siding to create an oval hole where the nails will go, allowing for the expansion or contraction of the Vinyl Siding.


It’s a perfect vertical line that is exactly 90° degrees from a level horizontal surface.

Siding Square

This refers to a 10-foot by 10-foot section of siding.


It’s the area of the house where the roofline meets the exterior wall, they are usually vented allowing air to come in while still protecting the water from coming in.

Starter Trip

It is an accessory to Vinyl Siding, used in both vertical and horizontal siding that secures the courses of siding to the wall.


Its a T-shaped trim used to join the end of two panels.