Glossary of roof terminology to help with home improvements in Southend

Regardless of whether you are enlisting the services of a professional in Southend or attempting to carry out home improvements yourself, it always helps to understand what certain construction terms mean. But when it comes to renovations or repairs involving your roof, you will need a separate glossary altogether.

So, here to provide you with an explanation of the most commonly used expressions is Acorn Roofing Supplies. This family-run business with decades of experience specialises in pitched and flat roofing as well as UPVC fascias in Southend, Rayleigh, Basildon, and beyond.

Bargeboard – The wide board fitted to the end of a gable roof. It’s found just beneath the edge of tiles or slates following the slope of the roof from the eves to the ridge.

Batten – Long strips of soft wood to which roof coverings or plasterboards are attached. However, they can also be used to support roof coverings when fixed to the rafters.

Collar – A horizontal timber tie, which is attached at each end to opposite spars in a pitch roof. Collars can be fixed at any height between the wall plate and half way up the roof.

Covering – Simply the external material laid or fixed onto a roof, which protects the entire building. Materials can include slate, interlocking or plain tiles, corrugated sheets, and zinc.

Eaves – The eaves of a roof is its lowest edge. They may be flush with the outer face of the wall or project out some distance.

UPVC Fascias – Horizontal boards that are attached to the ends of rafter feet. Any guttering will be fixed to the building’s UPVC fascia boards.

Flashings – Narrow pieces of lead that prevent moisture ingress and are positioned at the joining between the vertical faces of walls or framing and pitched roofs, flat roofs, or gutters.

Gable – The triangular upper part of wall at the end of a ridge roof.

Jack rafters – Short spars that run from a hip to the eves or from a ridge to a valley.

Joist – There are two kinds of joist. Floor joists are bearing timbers that form part of a suspended floor to which the floorboards are nailed to and ceiling attached underneath. Ceiling joists are bearing timbers that span an area to which a ceiling is fixed to the underside.

Parapet – A low wall that projects beyond the eves at the roof’s edge.

Purlin – A horizontal timber beam that provides intermediate support to the rafters.

Rafters (Also common rafters) – Similar to joists but inclined from the eaves to the ridge. They also support a pitched roof covering.

Ridge – The highest point of a pitched roof that receives the head of the spars.

Sarking – Boards nailed to the upper edges of spars, where roofing materials are secured.

Soffit – Boards fitted to the underside of overhanging eaves.

Spars – Same as common rafters and similar to joists.

Strut – Intermediate supporting timber for a purlin.

Verge – The edge of a roof that runs from eaves to ridge at a gable.