Talk Like a Pro With This Roofing Vocabulary

Have you ever tried to describe part of a roof and realized you didn’t know the right words? Sometimes people are building a home and they want to communicate what they want with the designer. Other times Tyler and Dallas residents need a roof repair or replacement. They know where the problem is, and they want to describe it. This vocab list will have you talking about roofs like a pro.

Pitch — A roof’s pitch is the same thing as it’s angle. It’s how much your roof slopes

Flat roof — Even flat roofs have a slight slope so water sheds off of them, but you get the point. They’re basically horizontal to the ground.

Pitched roof — Every roof that isn’t flat is a pitched roof.

Gabled roof — Remember when you were in elementary school and to draw a house you sketched a square, then on top of that you put a triangle for the roof? That’s the basic shape of a gabled roof. It has a central ridge (the top point of the triangle) and two sides that slope away from it.

Cross-Gable Roof — Most homes aren’t that basic. Some are gabled in more than one direction.


Gable — When you make that into a 3D figure, you realize the roof slopes diagonally to the home’s walls on two sides, and on the other two the house comes vertically up to meet it. That part is the gable. It isn’t covered in shingles, it’s made of whatever exterior material you use for your home.

Shed roof — If the roof only slopes from one side to another, you have a shed roof. There is only one slope instead of two.

Hip roof — This type slopes away from a central point in more than two directions. If a house was perfectly square, the hipped roof would look like a pyramid. The most common type of hipped roof is rectangular, with all sides sloping to meet the edge.

hip roof

Eave — The part of your roof that extends past your home’s vertical exterior walls is an eave.

Fascia — This describes the thin, horizontal strip of material¬†around the edge of your eaves. You attach gutters to it.

Soffit — If you stand on the ground next to an exterior wall and look up, you see a horizontal piece that goes from the wall to your gutters. That’s your soffit.

Valley — Anywhere two roof slopes meet is called a valley. They allow water to drain off.

Rake — On the gabled end, usually part of the roof hangs off slightly. Each of those ends is called a roof rake.

Trusses — The wooden framing that support your roof are called trusses. Current design trends often leave them exposed. Whether you can see them from inside or not, they’re important structural support. Each individual board in the truss is usually called a beam.¬†

At Advantage Roofing, our pros are glad to walk you through roofing vocabulary as it applies to your home or business. Give us a call to set up a free roofing analysis.