20 Parts of a Roof: Roof Terminology Diagram

The roof is an essential part of the building envelope it covers the topmost portion of the house or building and the roof is supported on the wall of the house. There are different parts of Roof such as Cornice, Counter Flashing, Course, Eaves, Flashing, Gable, Hip, Fascia, Felt, Joist, etc.

The roof gives protection against snow, wind, rain, sunlight, and extremes of temperature. Also, the roofing increases the value of the building to an unimaginable level. The roof is much more than just it decorative upper layer of the house.

Parts of a Roof

The following major parts of the roof and roof terminology diagram

Roof Diagram
parts of roof names

Built-up Roof

A Built-up rooftop layer is made with a layer of gravel hot-mopped asphalt and it’s having alternating layers of both.


The topmost portion of the roof is projecting out from the sidewalls of the house.

Generally, three types of Cornice are used namely, Box Cornice, Open Cornice, and Close Cornice.

Counter flashing

This flashing is embedded at its top in a wall or other vertical structure and it lapped down over shingle flashing.


Courses mean horizontal rows of tiles or shingles. It is one of the important parts of the roof in the house.


A drip is a metal strip that extends beyond the racks or eaves for preventing the rainwater from rolling around the shingles.



Eaves mean the Lower edge of a Roof and generally overhanging beyond the edge of the house.

Read More: Low-Slope Vs Steep-Slope Roof: What are the Variations?


Soffit parts of the roof mean something fixed underneath the roof.


The trim board behind the eaves and gutter. It is one of the important parts of the roof.


Generally, it is an impervious metal strip used for preventing water from the junction between a covering of the roof and other parts of the roof.

Flashings are provided to prevent leakage from the wall and roof through joints in copings, and parapet walls.


Generally, it is made of a combination of asphalt and either rags or paper. The tar paper was used by the roofer.


Gable means triangular upper portion of the wall, which is the closing end of a ridged roof.


Hip means supporting a wall adjoining the external angle at the junction of two sides of the roof.


Joist, Rafter, Purlin, Wall Plate, Battens In Roof

Joist is a horizontal structural member to which sheathing is nailed.


Rafter is a slanted structural member to which sheathing is nailed.


It is a horizontal member which is laid on the principal rafters from wall to wall.

The main aim is to support the common rafter of the roof. When the span is large

Purlins are made up of steel, and wood and the top surface of the purlin is plane and uniform. This is painted before fixing on their position.


Rake is a slanting surface of a gable roof that extends beyond the wall end of the building.

Ridge Point

Two sloping roofs that meet at the top edge of the roof are called Ridge Point.

Read More: A Guide To Green Roof Construction and Functions


Roof Parts

The sheathing is parts of the roof that have a strong layer of component of wood boards which is fixed to your joist of the roof and truss. Also, your roofers attach your shingles to this square of wood.

Roof sheathing is also known as Roof Decking.

Advantage of Providing Sheathing in a Roof,

  • Roof Sheathing is adding strength to your roof.
  • It gives the support of Roof.
  • It prevents fire.

Fascia Board

This is a wooden board fixed to the feet of the common rafter at the eaves. The ends of the lower-most roof covering material rest upon it.


Pitch means slop of the roof and it is defined as the ratio between the rise and span of the roof. Also, it gives an angle of inclination.

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2 thoughts on “20 Parts of a Roof: Roof Terminology Diagram”

  1. Charlie Bradford

    Informative article! As homeowners, it is important to know parts of the roof to care for and maintain properly. It would also help the homeowner understand what the roofing contractors are saying about the roof. Lastly, it would help homeowners understand the procedures done.

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