Common Siding Terminology You Should Know

Understanding common siding terminology can be beneficial when shopping for new or replacement siding for your home. An enhanced knowledge of siding terms can help you compare products, make informed decisions and improve communication with your contractor. Use this list of siding terminology to assist with your search for the right type of siding for your home:


Close up of board and batten vinyl siding

A batten is a thin strip of wood that covers the joints between siding boards. Board and batten is a popular vertical siding style, often used to achieve a modern farmhouse aesthetic.



Clapboard is a term used to describe traditional horizontal siding. Clapboard siding is thicker along one edge, so each board can slightly overlap the panel below.



Composite Cladding
Composite is a synthetic alternative to timber, comprising multiple materials that result in a low-maintenance, realistic wooden appearance. ALIGN Composite Cladding incorporates Glass-Reinforced Polymer and Graphite-Infused Polystyrene Technology—or (GP)2—for excellent style, strength and durability.


Dutch Lap
Dutch lap siding is a variation of clapboard with a slightly concave face. Each plank looks distinctive, arching out and down with a ‘notch’ at the top to allow for overlap. These notches were originally hand carved, but you can achieve a similar traditional look with modern vinyl siding.


Exposure is a siding plank’s visibility after installation, deducting the overlap. A narrower exposure will result in more significant overlap and may require more siding material.



Fascia is the board that runs horizontally under the roofline. Fascia caps the edges of the rafters and holds the eavestrough in place.



A gable is a triangular section of siding that encloses a pitched roof. Homes can have multiple gables in various sizes, often including a decorative gable vent or dormer window. Use specialty siding in the gables, such as shakes or shingles, to add a unique touch to your home exterior.


R-value is a measure of a product’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance. Consider insulated vinyl siding for exceptional R-value performance.



Soffit is the section under the roof overhang where the exterior walls meet the roofline of a house. The soffit can be vented to encourage airflow while protecting your home. Aluminum and vinyl soffit are low-maintenance and durable material options.


Once you’re confident with siding terminology, browse our siding products, use the Gentek Visualizer to experiment with siding styles, and find a professional installer to help you get started.