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Uncovering The Common Parts Of A House Exterior And Anatomy



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  1. 1. The Roof
  2. 2. The Sides
  3. Opal Installation Services
  4. Opal Enterprises Offers Home Remodeling Services
  5. Schedule an Appointment With Our Team Today

If you’re planning on renovating your home’s exterior, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of the average house exterior. Let’s go over some common parts of a house exterior you might encounter during remodeling.

Below is an example of a traditional-style house exterior. There are many different styles of homes, which may or may not contain the labeled parts. The infographic covers the most commonly seen areas of a classic suburban home.

Common Parts Of A House Exterior | Opal Enterprises

Let’s start from the top…

1. The Roof

The roof is one of the most important parts of a house’s exterior. It keeps your house safe from inclement weather, provides comfort throughout the year, and offers a great deal of structural support for the building. Learning more about your roof can help you make the most of your exterior renovation project.

Let’s look at some components that make up the average roof.

Primary Structure

A roof is made up of a number of different parts, each with specific purposes. Without every part present, the house exterior wouldn’t provide the safety, comfort, and visual appeal that homeowners need. Here are the parts that make up the primary structure of a roof:

  • Gable: The gable is where the pitches of the roof come together. It has a distinct triangular shape that is visible from the front of the house.
  • Ridge: The ridge is a horizontal part of the roof where the two sloped sides meet.
  • Hip: The hip is another part of the roof where the sloped sides join together. It slopes downward and is often found on pitched roofs.
  • Rake: The rake is the edge of a gable roof that slants outwards. It runs from the ridge of the roof to the eave.
  • Drip Edge: A drip edge is a metal strip edge of the roof. It extends beyond the roof and moves water outward, preventing it from running back over the shingles.
  • Fascia: The fascia is a decorative & protective horizontal board covering the rafters area below the roof edge. Most fascias hold the house’s gutters in place.
  • Eave: The eave hangs over the lower parts of the house and protects them from rainwater.
  • Soffit: The soffit is a vented feature that covers the underside of the eave.
  • Box End: The box end is an end cap for the fascia and soffit located at the gable wall.

Roof Vents

Roof vents are another essential part of the house’s exterior. Roofs need ventilation to release heat that accumulates in the attic. If hot air becomes trapped in the attic, it will only become hotter, leading to other problems.

These vents can control a house’s attic temperature and help homeowners avoid the headache of dealing with damage caused by moisture and condensation.

Attic ventilation can help your home last longer and reduce your HVAC system’s energy usage. There are several different kinds of roof vents that are placed in different areas. If you’re remodeling your house’s exterior, you’ll want to know where your roof vents are located. Most homes have the following types of roof vents:

  • Gable Vent: These vents are found on the gable and help with attic ventilation.
  • Roof Vent: Aptly named, the roof vent is found on top of the roof.
  • Ridge Vent: This vent is located along the ridge of the roof or the horizontal peak. It’s often placed at the roof’s highest point, allowing it to release heat.

Gutter System

No house exterior is complete without a functioning gutter system. Gutter systems move the rainwater away from your house to prevent mold formation and water damage. Let’s learn about the components that make up this part of every house’s exterior:

  • Gutter: Gutters catch the water that drips off of the roof and transport it down to the ground and away from the house exterior.
  • Downspout: The downspout is a downward piece of tubing that directs water from the gutter down to the ground.
  • End caps: End Caps are located on both ends of every gutter. They stop water from spilling out of the gutter and force it to flow down the downspout.

Questions? Call 847-380-8868 in Des Plaines and 888-676-6725 in Naperville

2. The Sides

The sides contain some of the most important parts of a house exterior. A house’s exterior sides offer structural support, ventilation, and space for windows and decorative features. Familiarizing yourself with the side parts of a house will make your home renovation journey much easier. A house’s sides are made up of the following:

Edges and Ends

  • Frieze board: The Frieze board is a trim located between the soffit and the top of a house’s siding.
  • Corner post: The corner post is an outer trim that seals off the edges of the walls and siding.
  • Foundation: The foundation is the base of a home’s entire structure. Most foundations are constructed using concrete.

Windows & Doors

  • Trim: Trim is a decorative board placed around doors and windows.
  • Header: A header is decorative trim board and molding placed above doors and windows. It’s slightly larger than the regular trim.
  • Grid/Grille: The grid/grille is a trim that divides window glass into distinct sections. Some are used as decoration, while others also offer support. They come in many different patterns. Grids are often rectangularly shaped and may be found in a number of different patterns. Grilles are similar but often have more intricate designs.
  • Apron: An apron is a decorative trim board set against the wall and underneath the bottom part of a window.

Check out our windows, doors, and siding pages for more information.

Specialty Areas

Not all homeowners may have a house with specialty areas, but for those that do, it can be extremely helpful to learn more about them. That way, you can account for them in your exterior home remodeling plans. Your home may contain the following specialty features:

  • Dormer: A dormer is a window that extends vertically off of a sloped roof.
  • Chimney: As you probably know, a chimney is a vent that releases smoke created by a fireplace.
  • Porch: A porch is a sheltered section of a house that projects in front of its entrance.
  • Column: A column is a vertical pillar that supports overhanging roof extensions. Some may be decorated or serve purely structural purposes.
  • Railing: Railing is a fence-like barrier that surrounds the perimeter of a house’s porch or deck.

Opal Installation Services

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Opal Enterprises Offers Home Remodeling Services

Now that you’ve learned more about the anatomy and parts of a house exterior, it’s time to get started on your home renovation. The best place to start your home remodeling journey is Opal Enterprises. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can help you select the windows, doors, and siding you need to realize your remodeling plans.

Our staff can help you choose high-quality products from any of our trusted partners, which include:

Kolbe: Kolbe windows come in a variety of attractive styles. These extra-strength products are designed to last longer and improve your home’s energy efficiency. Revitalize your home with our professional Naperville window replacement & installation services today! Experience unmatched quality and craftsmanship as we transform your space with stunning new windows. 

Andersen: Andersen windows and doors are endlessly customizable and offer the protection you need to keep your home safe. With all of the colors, styles, and options Andersen offers, you’ll be able to create the perfect window or door for your home.

ProVia: ProVia has an extensive catalog of doors that are designed to lower your energy bills, last longer, and boost the curb appeal of any house exterior.

James Hardie: James Hardie can cover all of your siding needs. We are certified to install James Hardie shingles, panels, planks, and trim. Once your new siding is installed, your home will be protected from the foundation to the attic.

Our Installation Crew Is Trained to Give You the Best Finished Product

When we say that we’re “partnered” with a particular company, it means our installation technicians are factory trained to install their products. All of our techs have undergone detailed training on installing your new windows, doors, and siding flawlessly.

Our technicians can also provide you with information on how to use, clean, and maintain your newly installed product. With their knowledge, you’ll be able to keep your house’s exterior looking great for years to come.

Schedule an Appointment With Our Team Today

If you’re ready to start your home improvement journey or have questions about the anatomy of a house exterior, the team at Opal Enterprises can help. Feel free to schedule an appointment with us or visit one of our showrooms in Naperville to get the service you need.

Our helpful team can answer any questions about our products and help you customize the house exterior of your dreams. Contact us today to learn more about the products and services we offer.