10 Pitched Roofing Terms You Need to Know


Many people choose to call in a professional when they need home improvement work. Not everyone has DIY skills, and even if they do, most of the time a tradesperson will do a better job.

Roofing is work that usually requires a professional. Roofing materials are expensive and it’s important to get the installation right so your roof lasts as long as possible.

If a tradesperson is working on your home it’s important that you know exactly what they’re doing. But many people find the technical terms around roofing confusing, and end up unsure about what their roofer is doing and why.

To help you build your understanding, we’ve compiled 10 pitched roofing terms and definitions you need to know.

1. Rafter

A rafter is a beam that supports a roof. Pitched roofs usually have a number of rafters, which run from the roof ridge to the tops of the walls.

2. Cold pitched roof

A cold roof is when there is insulation on the floor of a loft space. This keeps heat in the house below, and the loft space cool. Cold roofs are usually installed if the owner doesn’t intend to use the loft as living space.

3. Hot pitched roof

A hot roof is also known as a warm roof. It’s when a roof has insulation between the rafters to keep the loft area warm and prevent heat escaping through the roof. A hot roof is necessary if you have a loft conversion.

4. Eaves

The eaves are the bottom edges of your roof. They either end flush with the outside of your wall or project over it.

5. Gable

A gable is the triangular portion of wall at the end of a pitched roof. It’s the area between the bottom edges and the top ridge of your roof.

6. Ridge

The ridge is the horizontal top part of a pitched roof, where the two sloped sides meet.

7. Dormer window

A dormer window is a window that’s built into a roof. It protrudes out of one of the sloping sides to allow the glass to stand vertical.

8. Batten

A batten is a piece of timber that sits horizontally across the roof rafters. Multiple battens are usually installed on a roof to keep the roofing covering in place.

9. Flashing

Flashing is a weather seal that’s usually made out of metal. It’s fixed where parts of the roof meet the walls to prevent leaks.

10. Verge

The verge is the side edge of a pitched roof, from eaves to ridge. It makes up the two sloped sides of the gable.

So now you should be familiar with more pitched roofing terms and have a better understanding of any roofing work you might get done.

To find a professional to work on your pitched roof, fill in our online form. We’ll put you in touch with up to 4 local roofers, who’ll give you a quote.

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Evy Coe

Evy works for Quotatis as a Content Marketing Executive. She loves to write about interior design and help homeowners with their DIY projects.