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Your Roofing and Construction Vocabulary

Barge board – a board that conceals roof timbers projecting over gables
Beam – a long piece of wood or steel that supports the roof (in a group can form a truss)
Cornice – the overhanging part of the roof (the part that sticks out past the walls)
Eave – the beam ends of the roof that creates the cornice and allows water to drip off away from the building’s walls
Fascia – the edge of the cornice
Gable – triangular roof
Rafter – parallel beams that support a roof (similar to how joists support floors and ceilings)
Soffit– the underside of the eave
Truss – a framework of beams (like ribs) that support the roof (usually triangular)


A very triangular roof, the gable allows rain and snow to run off easily.
Cross Hipped
Similar to a hipped roof, but this roof has two parts that cross
Cross Gable
This is like the gable roof, but has two parts that cross
A hipped roof that forms a pyramid shape
A flat roof is exactly that – flat. It is easy to build and uses few materials.
Similar to a gable roof, as it allows rain and snow to run off easily.
This is one of the easiest roofs to build.
A French gable roof. The difference is that the mansard has a flat area at the top instead of being perfectly triangular. These are common in French Chateau houses and Second Empire style houses
Similar to a gable roof, but the two sides of it are not symmetrical.
A low-pitched roof that allows rain and snow to run off easily, the hipped roof also allows for large eaves on a building
This roof looks more bell-like than triangular when viewed from the side. It is like a flattened gable roof. Many farms have gambrel roofs.


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