Roofing Glossary A-K



Where the roof tiles meet a structure rising above the roof.
“A” Frame Roof

A steep pitched gable roof, each slope extending from close to the ground line to meet at the ridge.
Anti-Ponding Board

A sarking or underlay-support of various materials, (galvanised iron, fibrous cement etc), installed along the eaves lines from the top of the fascia back to the rafter with a clearance of 10 mm below the first batten. This prevents water "ponding" behind the fascia. Anti-ponding boards should be installed on all low pitched roofs or roofs with no overhang.

The intersection of all ascending hips where they meet either a ridge or another ascending hip.
Note: Also the name of a three or four-way fitting used to cover this point.
Apron Flashing

A one-piece flashing, such as is used at the lower side of a chimney that penetrates a sloping roof.
Barge Board / Verge Board / Gable Board

A sloping board installed to the pitched edges of a gable, covering the ends of roof timbers.

A specifically sized timber or steel section installed parallel to the eave line on which tiles are fixed.

A composition of brick layers’ sand and cement for fixing ridge capping on hips and ridges. The edges are finished off with a pointing material. 

Bellcast Batten (tilting batten)

A batten installed on the toe of the rafters in a vertical line with the plum cut, to keep the eaves course of tiles on the same rake as the other courses. (The fascia board usually serves this purpose).

The system of aligning tiles on the roof in relationship to each other. With a straight bond, the sides of tiles form straight lines from bottom to top course. With a staggered, broken or cross bond, tiles in each alternate course overlap, by half, the tiles above and below them.
Box Gutter

An internal roof gutter between the slopes of a roof or a roof and a wall that discharges water internally through a sump.
Capillary Break

A groove or space left between two surfaces, large enough to prevent capillary movement of water into a building.
Ceiling Joists

The joists that carry the ceiling and also form a tie between the feet of the common rafters.

A small piece of wood that reinforces another, or is used to locate positively another timber.

Clipping Batten

A batten installed to the rafters directly behind the fascia. The clipping batten is used for installing the bottom course of tiles when sarking is not specified. Generally it is only used on homes with metal fascias, and only in high wind areas.
Collar Tie

The timber used to connect two rafters at or near their centres.
Concealed Gable Flashing

Subject to regional specification in the use of the galvanised metal flashing, a concealed gable flashing is a fibre cement verge strip running to the gutter line.
Counter Battens

A batten normally installed on top of and parallel to the rafters over the ceiling lining, where the ceiling lining is fixed on top of the rafters (exposed beams). Tiling battens are then installed to the counter battens, creating an air space that allows sarking to dish between the rafters.
Dormer Cheek

The upright side to a dormer.
Dormer or Dormer Window

A vertical window or opening, coming through a sloping roof, usually provided with its own-pitched roof. 


A vertical pipe used to carry rainwater from the roof to either the ground or a drainage system. 

Dutch Gable

A roof that has a gable near the ridge, with the lower part hipped.

The lowest overhanging part of a sloping roof that projects beyond the external wall.
Eaves Fascia

A board on edge installed along the feet of the rafters. It often carries the eaves gutter along the eaves.
Eaves Overhang

The inclined distance (line of rafter) from the outside of the external wall to the inner face of the fascia. 

Eaves Width

The horizontal distance from the inner face of the fascia board to the outside of the external wall.
Edge of Roof

The area of a roof bounded by the eaves, ridge and barge, extending towards the centre of the roof for a distance equal to 0.1 multiplied by the minimum plan dimension of the building, measured from eaves to eaves, or barge to barge.

The face or front of a building.

The slope or pitch of a roof or gutter.
Fascia Board

A wide board set vertically on edge and fixed to the rafter ends or wall, which caries the gutter.

A thin, impervious sheet of material placed in construction to prevent water penetration or direct the flow of water. Flashing is used especially at roof hips and valleys, roof penetrations, joints between a roof and a vertical wall, and in masonry walls to direct the flow of water and moisture. 

Flexible Pointing

A highly pliable yet durable compound which, once cured, forms an incredibly strong bond between the tile and ridge capping.

The coating of iron or steel with zinc to protect it from rust.

A “frit” (glaze) fired onto the surface of terracotta tiles to provide various colours. 


Any form of roof water channel, eg:


Back Gutter

: a gutter at the back of a chimney or other penetration in a pitched roof.

Box Gutter

: a gutter with parallel sides, usually between two opposing roof slopes

Concealed Gutter (Secret Gutter)

: a gutter formed at a valley or against an abutment and concealed by the    tiles and flashing.

Eaves Gutter

: a gutter fixed at the eaves

Valley Gutter

: a gutter at the internal junction of two roof slopes.

High Wind Area

Areas in which the basic design and wind velocity, modified for terrain and height in accordance with AS 1170.2, has a wind classification N3/C1 or greater. In NZ this is defined as an area where wind speed exceeds 44m/sec in accordance with NZS 3604:1992 Section 5.
Hip End Tile

A sloping triangular roof fitting designed to cover the end of a hipped roof.
Hipped Roof (end)

A gable roof which has two additional sloping planes at either end of the roof.

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