Glossary of Building Terms

Back Roll

To roll over a freshly spray painted surface with a roller

Back Sealing/ Priming

Back sealing and back priming are used interchangeably in the field and refer to the act of applying a sealer or primer to the back of a cladding material to minimize the potential for water absorption trough the backside of the product.

Band Board

A decorative piece of trim placed between two floors along the rim joist

Bevel Cut

See "weather cut"

Blind Nailing

The action of placing a fastener through the top edge of lap siding that will be covered by the next course of siding

Bump Out

A built-out protrusion from a building

Butt Joint

To place materials end-to-end or end-to-edge without overlapping. Also known as a field joint


A compound used to fill cracks, gaps, seams and joints.


A framed enclosed space around a flue pipe or a channel in wall, or through a ceiling for something to lie in or pass through.


A row of planks, one plank wide running the length of the house.


A gabled extension built out from a sloping roof to accommodate a vertical window.

Drip Cap

A molding or metal flashing placed on the exterior topside of a door or window frame to cause water to drip beyond the outside of the frame.

Drip Edge

A metal or vinyl flashing placed on the top edge of the roof sheathing which directs water away from the structure to prevent seepage under or behind the exterior trim or fascia.


The lower part of the roof that projects over the exterior wall assembly.


Covered with zinc using a plating process.


The side of the siding, trim, or soffit showing once the product has been installed.

Face Nailing

The action of placing a fastener through the overlap of a plank. The fastener will be visible.

Facia Board

A trim board attached to the ends of the rafters.

Finished Grade

The level at the ground surface meets the foundation of a building.


A thin flat metal positioned under/behind roofing, windows, doors, corner post, etc. to keep draining water from penetrating the house.


A horizontal member connecting the top of the siding with the soffit.

Furring/Furring Strip

Furring strips are long, thin strips pf wood, metal or Fiber Cement used to make backing surfaces to support the finished surfaces.


The end of a wall that is created when a roof line is pitched and slopes in two directions.


Covered with zinc. Either hot-dipped or electro-plated.


The height of the ground on which something stands.


Parallel to the horizon; on a level

Joint Flashing

An additional weather resistive barrier placed behind a butt joint.

Kickout Flashing

Because of the volume of water that can pour down a sloped roof, one of the most critical flashing details course where a roof intersect a side wall. The roof must be flashed with step flashing. Where the roof terminates, install a kickoff to deflect water away from the siding.


To over lap a course of siding with another course of siding.


A position of measurement truly and exactly horizontal, 90* from a plumb surface.

Light block

Decorative trim item placed under light fixtures and other exterior fixtures.


To make a diagonal cut, beveled to a specific angle 45* and 22 1/2* are common.

Mud Sill

A building member resting and normally attached to the foundation of a building running around the perimeter of the building. Also known as sill plate.


Oriented Strand Board. A common type of structural panel sheathing.


Personal Permisible Exposure Limit. The maximum daily exposure level to respirable silica. OSHA’s Personal Exposure Limits 0.1 mg/m3.


A position of measurement truly and exactly vertical, 90* from a level surface.

Plunge Cut

The act of driving a saw into the body of a material.

Rafter Tail

The end of a rafter extending past the wall assembly.

Rain Screen Wall

Consists of exterior cladding, a cavity behind the cladding typically created through the use of furring strips for the purpose of drainage and venting to the outside; an inner wall plane incorporating a weather-resistive barrier.

Rake Board

Decorative trim placed at an angle.

Rigid Sheathing

Plywood or OSB

Rim Joist

The board that the rest of the joists are nailed to. It runs the entire perimeter of the house.

Rip Cut

Cut along the grain, usually lengthwise on a board.

Scroll Work

Decorative trim work.


Sheets of plywood, gypsum board, or other material nailed to the outside face of studs as a base for exterior siding.


A building material, usually wood, used to even a surface.


Mineral that is composed of silicon dioxide, Si02.

Speed Square

Triangle-shaped measuring device used in a variety of framing and siding applications.


To deliver, stack, or store material in a specific location.

Starter Strip

An accessory used under the first course of siding to provide a consistent plank angle.


Framing member attached to the rafter tails used to support the fascia or used to pad out the fascia.


A shed with a single vertical wall and a roof that hangs off that wall on either side. The cross-section of the shed is shaped like a ’T’.


Being or situated at right angles to the horizon; upright.

Weather-Resistive Barrier

A building paper that protects building materials from exterior water penetration.


A piece of flashing bent into the shape of a ‘’Z’’. Used over window trim, band boards, panel intersections, and other vertical surfaces.

Here's what customers say...

The high-level craftsmanship and personalized customer experience we deliver are what keep our customers happy and telling their friends about us. We can't wait to help you with your remodeling project. 

Mark and his team did a terrific job and I could not be more pleased with the final work! Throughout whole siding installation process I was kept well informed about the progress and what will be next steps in the process. I'm living in Arlington Heights and anyone who is looking for great siding contractor can stop by my house and check their amazing work. I also plan on hiring them again for another siding project. That would be my parent's home. 🙂

Jessica D.

I researched over 30 companies, and had 5 come out to my house to give me estimates to install new vinyl siding. I ended up going with Smardbuild, and I am very happy that I did. They showed up on time, and finished the entire job within a week. And the quality of the work is the best part. They are perfectionists! I have never seen attention to detail like this. They even went above and beyond the job requirements. They installed aluminum flashing around my sliding glass door to make it look nicer, and that was not even part of the job. And to top it off, they installed 2 new wall lanterns that I bought at Home Depot. 

Tim H.

We used Mark and his Smardbuild team to replace our roof, soffits, fascia, siding, upstairs windows, gutters and front door. All work performed is top notch. We went with Hardie soffits and fascia since we had prior issues with carpenter bees drilling holes in our old, wooden soffits. In my opinion Smardbuild is the best with Hardie products. Everything looks great. It took us a while to finally settle on a color for the siding and Smardbuild was quite patient with our process. After having issues with contractors in the past, it was refreshing to work with such a professional team that actually cares about the quality of their work. Thanks Smardbuild.

Peter P.

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