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Shakes & Scallops Glossary & Information

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Shakes & Scallops Glossary

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Aluminum Siding: Horizontal planks of aluminum with a baked on enamel finish.

American Hardboard Association (AHA):  The national trade organization for the manufacturers of hardboard products.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI): ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that oversees the voluntary standardization and assessment of US products, to enable the US to better compete globally and enhance the quality of life in the US by conformity of product standards.

American Society of Testing Materials International: ASTM International is a nonprofit organization that helps develop voluntary standards for products, services, materials and systems world-wide.


Backerboard: A board or other flat surface nailed between the studs of an exterior wall that provides a surface that siding is attached to.

Backer Tab:  Provides support for non-insulated 8" siding at panel overlaps (joints) and behind panels at corners to ensure a smooth installation.

Battens:  Narrow strips of wood placed over joints in vertical wood plank siding to seal the joints.

Beveled: Clapboards that are tapered rather than cut perfectly rectangular.

Board and Batten: An exterior treatment of vertical boards with battens covering the seams.

Brick Ties:  Accordion type metal fasteners used to attach a brick veneer to the wood framework of a house.

Brick Veneer: A wall construction method in which a layer of bricks is attached to the wood framework of a house using brick ties.

Butt Edge:  The part of siding that protrudes from the exterior wall.

Buttlock: Located on the bottom edge of a vinyl panel which locks onto the previously installed panel.


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Carpenter Ants:  Large black ants that may make their nests in walls, behind siding, or in insulation; carpenter ants don't eat wood, they excavate wood to build their homes in the cavities left behind.

Caulking: Waterproof material used to seal joints at intersections of building components, used with some types of siding.

Center Butt:  A crease in the center of a siding panel that makes the siding look like two pieces instead of one.

Channel: The area on a piece of trim or post, such as an inside or outside corner or a J- or F- Channel, where home siding or soffit panels are inserted.

Checking:  A crack or split along the grain in wood plank siding as a result of cupping.

Clapboard:  Long rectangular wooden siding that is installed horizontally in an overlapping manner.

Composite Board: Blanks or sheets of weather resistant compressed wood fibers used as siding.

Course:  Each row of siding material.

Cupping:  A warp across the board in wood plank siding. 

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D4 Profile:  Two four-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.

D5 Profile: Two five-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.

Detachment: Separation of the siding material veneer or stucco from its attachment to a house.

Double Course: An under-course of shingles or shakes, not exposed to the weather, is covered completely by a top course.

Double Wall Siding:  Siding in which sheathing is installed and is then covered by exterior siding.

Drip Cap/Head Flashing: Trim that  prevents water from running behind vertical siding; also used over windows and doors.

Dutch Lap: A more decorative variation on the clapboard style where the face (or width) of the board is beveled for added dimension.

Dust Mites:  Virtually walking stomachs.

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Eaves: The overhanging lower edge of a roof.

Ell: An extension of a building at right angles to its length.

Exposure (or Reveal): The width of a board of siding.

Exposure I Grade Plywood: Type of plywood approved by the American Plywood Association for exterior use.


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Face: The part of the vinyl panel that is visible once the vinyl is installed.

Face Nailing: Fastening nails onto the visible part of the siding, or face, as opposed to using the nail hem slot.

Fascia: A flat board that runs along the eaves of a roof, typically capping the ends of the roof rafters to give the roof edge a more finished look and to provide a base for attaching gutters.

F-Channel (F-Molding or F-Trim):  F-Shaped molding used to trim siding that is installed at a 90-degree angle.

Finish: The type of texture or level of glass on a piece of siding, also called the Pattern.

Finishing Trim: The finished edge of a piece of panel

Fire-retardant-treated (FRT) Plywood: Plywood that has been impregnated under pressure with mineral salts; in the event of fire, the burning wood and salts emit noncombustible gases and water vapor instead of the usual flammable vapors.

Flange: Material used to deflect water from siding or trim in order to prevent damage to the home.

Flashing:  A type of sheet metal used at intersections of building components to prevent water penetration, flashings are commonly used above doors and windows in exterior walls and are used under the siding to prohibit water penetration. 

Frieze: A decorative, horizontal band that connects the top of siding to the soffit.

Furring Strip: A wooden or steel framing material applied to provide an even nailing base.

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Gable: The upper triangular end of a house from cornice to eaves to ridge.

Gable Vent: A vent in the gable of a house that reduces heat and moisture build up by increasing the flow of air to the attic.

Gauge:  A metal thickness measurement; a smaller number indicates a thicker metal.

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Half Round:  A style encompassing a semi-circular shape on one end.

Horizontal Siding: Siding panels that run horizontally or from one side to another.

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Individual Outside Corner Cap:  Possible alternative to outside corner posts when installing 8" horizontal siding. Maintains continuity of siding courses in traditional clapboard style.

Inside Corner Post:  Provides a means of joining at inside corners where siding butts both sides.  Deeper posts are for insulated siding and narrower posts are for non-insulating siding.

Insulation:  Any of a variety of materials designed to reduce the flow of heat from or into a building.

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J Channel: A manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems which have a curved channel that the planks fit into, used around windows and doors to make a weather-tight seal.

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Lap: To overlap panels or pieces of trim to allow for expansion and contraction of siding.

Lap Siding: An installation technique in which each piece of siding is 'lapped' over the previous piece to provide a waterproof barrier.

Lintel: A steel angle iron or beam over window and door openings that spans the opening and transfers the weight of the masonry to the sides of the opening. 

Lock: The lock, combined with the locking leg, form a 'lock' between siding panels or courses of panels.

Locking Leg: The locking leg, slipped into the lock, forms a tight connection between siding panels or courses of panels.


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Milled Planks: Various cuts of plank siding, including V-groove, U-groove, channel, rabbeted bevel, shiplap and drop.

Miter Joint: The area where two siding panels meet, usually at a 90 degree angle.

Mitre Cut: Diagonal cut, beveled to a specific angle (usually 45), sometimes applied to an overlapping siding or soffit panel surface for a neater appearance.

Model Building Code: These building codes vary by area of the country and are considered the standard for that area.

Moisture Permeable:  A surface that allows moisture to pass through it.

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Nailer: Sometimes referred to as blocking; a piece of pieces of dimensional lumber and/or plywood secured to a structure deck or walls that provides a receiving medium for the fasteners used to attach membrane or flashing.

Nail Hem: The part of the siding panel or trim that contains the fastening holes, also called a flange. 

Nail Hole Punch: A tool that creates an oval hole in the vinyl siding where the nails go, allowing for expansion and contraction of the vinyl siding.

Nail Slot: A hole in the nailing hem or flange of the backerboard into which a fastener, nail, or staple is inserted.

Non-Veneer Panel: Any wood based panel that does not contain veneer and carries and APA span rating, such as wafer board or oriented strand board.

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Outside Corner Post: Provides neat appearance outside corners for vertical and horizontal siding.  Receives siding from both sides. Deeper post is used with insulated, while a narrower post is used with non-insulated, siding.

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Panel Projection: The amount that a panel of vinyl sticks out away from the wall, you should choose the larges profile for the style of panel you want.

Plumb: A measurement that is exactly vertical 90-degrees from a level, horizontal surface.

Plywood Siding: Plywood sheets used for siding that often have grooved or decorative outer surfaces.

Positive Lock: A locking mechanism that allows siding panels to move back and forth for simple installation, while ensuring that panels stay permanently attached during inclement weather.

Profiles: The technical term for siding panels used by those in the industry.

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Rake: The edge or overhang beyond the wall of a gable roof or other sloped roof.

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Scoring: Scratching a straight line into the surface of a siding panel using a sharp tool. The panel can then be bent at the location of the score mark and snapped into two pieces with clean edges.

Service Life: The period of time a building component or system will function successfully without replacement or excessive repair assuming reasonable or expected periodic maintenance is performed.

Shadow Line: The shadow cast by a home's siding.

Shake Siding:  Sometimes known as shingle siding, shake siding comes in widths from about 4-inches to 12-inches and is installed like lap siding, starting at the lowest row and moving up the wall. The random widths of the shakes provide a distinctive look.

Shiplap: A style of milled plank, used in siding, that is laid close enough so as to appear to be butted.

Siding Removal Tool: A tool with a curved metal end that is used for removing attached panels of siding.

Single course: Wood shingles or shakes applied where each course is exposed to the weather.

Snaplock Punch: A handheld tool used to form crimps into siding panels, allowing cut panels to fit tightly into the appropriate slot in the trim.

Snaplock Finish Trim:  Used to finish off (trim) job-site cuts on siding, as under windows, at eaves, and at porch door locations. May also be used to receive vertical siding at corners and window jambs. The snap-lock design allows siding to be notched and locked into place without face nailing.

Soffit: The part of the cornice or eave of a house where the roof projection and the exterior walls meet.  Can be vented or unvented.

Soffit Vent: A manufactured or custom built air inlet source located at the downslope eave or in the soffit of a roof assembly.

Spalling: Crumbling and falling away of bricks, concrete or blocks.

Square: A 10x10 section of siding.

Starter Strip: A home siding accessory used with vertical and horizontal siding that secures the first course, or row, of siding to the wall framework.

Strapping: Wood or metal affixed to the exterior of a building that provides a smooth surface on which to attach new siding.

Stucco: A type of water resistant, plaster like siding material made of cement, sand and water, it may have an acrylic finish.

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T-Channel:(T-Molding or T-Trim)  T-shaped molding used as trim between the ends of two panels.

Tongue & Groove:  (T&G) Tongue and groove, a connection system between components, like wood, in which the tab or tongue of one board is placed into the groove at the end of another board.

Termites:  Social insects that live either in the ground or in wood and eat wood, they cause serious structural damage to a house.

Thermal Stress: The stress due to expansion and contraction that occurs due to changes in temperature.

Thermal Resistance (R):  The quantity determined by the temperature difference at steady state between two defined surfaces of a material or construction that induces a unit heat flow rate through a unit area.  A thermal resistance (R) value applies to a specific thickness of a material or construction. Can be added, subtracted, multiplied and divided by mathematically appropriate methods.

Trim Coil: Painted aluminum and steel material commonly used to case around windows. Allows remodeler to totally enclose the house.

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UL Label:  Label displayed on packageing to indicate the listing for fire and/or wind resistance of asphalt roofing.

Undereave: Underside area of the overhang at the eave of the roof.

Underlayment: Weather resistant material placed under siding panels.


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Vinyl Siding:  Horizontal polyvinyl chloride planks.

Veneer: Veneer is one ply or one thickness of something; in siding there are brick stone veneers, there are also veneers of one wood bonded to another.

Vapor Retarder:  Any material used to prevent the passage of water vapor.  Material which, when installed on the high-vapor-pressure (warm in the winter) side of a material, retards the passage of moisture vapor to the lower-pressure (cold in winter) side.

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Wall Cladding:  Another term for siding.

Wall Sheathing:  Sheets of plywood or wood planking used to cover the wall framework of the house.

Water-Shedding:   The ability of individual, overlapping components to resist the passage of water without hydrostatic pressure.

Wedge: Wedges are used behind fascia brackets to accommodate for an angled fascia or rafter tail. Wedges range from 7.5 degrees to 45 degrees.

Weep Holes: Small holes in the bottom butt edge of home siding that allows condensation to run off.

Windload Pressure:  Is a measurement of how well a panel might perform in high wind areas.

Window Head Flashing:  Possible alternative to J-channel to receive siding over doors and windows and as a base flashing on vertical siding installations.

Wire Mesh:  A mesh attached to the wall sheathing and studs used to anchor a stucco base coat to the wall.

Wood Plank Siding: Rectangular wood planks that are installed horizontally or vertically.

Wood Shakes:  Thick, rough, uneven shingles that are hand split, split and sawn on one side or sawn on both sides, used as siding.

Wood Shingles:  Sawn shingles that are of uniform thickness.

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Zincalume: Steel sheeting that is protected against corrosion by an aluminum-zinc coating.

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Shakes & Shingles 101

Shakes and Shingles have been used for both roofing and siding purposes.  The difference between them is less clear today than it was when they were first put into use.  This is due in part to manufacturing processes.

A Wood Shingle is thin and tapered pieces of wood. Historically they were split from straight grained, knot free bolts (blocks)  of wood while today they are mostly made by being cut from a bolt of wood.  They were  prevalent in the colonies of early North America . Modern shingles are thicker than their predecessors and left with a rough corrugated surface  that technically is a modern fashion but is still considered rustic or historic.  They differ from Shakes because they are are sawn rather than split and are more precisely milled.

Shakes are basically a wooden shingle that has been made from split logs instead of blocks or bolts.  They ar more irregular and do not lay as flat as a shingle.  While made by machines, they are sawn on at least one side and sometimes grooved to appear like more authentic hand split shakes. 

Traditionally wood shakes and shingles were susceptible to wood rot and wind damage,  Today modern technology has limited those problems and Iossi's Cedar Discovery line eliminates the problem of wood rot and insect problems, while professional installation addresses the wind problems.

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Shake & Shingle Care & Maintenance

Iossi Cedar Discovery Shakes and Shingles are designed in such a way that they do not require the regular maintenance of traditional shakes and shingles.  They do not rot, peel, flake, or crack; they never require painting or staining and are impact resistant.  They hang straighter than traditional shakes and shingles and have the authentic appearance of traditional shakes and shingles.  Caring for them is as simple as using water and a mild detergent (though the detergent is not required) to hose off any wind blown debris.

Siding maintenance;

  • Vinyl Siding is simple to maintain.  From time to time simply use a mild detergent and water to  remove any dirt, dust, grass stains, etc.  A soft bristled brush or a soft cloth can be used to wipe it clean, especially if the surface is textured.  Homeowners should keep grills and combustible materials, dry leaves and mulch away from the siding.

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