One of the most frustrating things when working with a salesperson is not knowing any of the jargon they are using. How will I know if I am getting a good deal, or even the right product, if I have no clue what they are talking about?!

Although I would like to think I know it all, I have to say that I had a lot to learn about roofs when I started at Irish Roofing and Exteriors. Since I have had the chance to work with experts, talk to roofing crew members, production managers, and our sales team, I have learned a tremendous amount about the ins and outs of roofing. My gift to you in this post is a simple breakdown of terminology used by roofing companies so that you can feel confident and smart during your free estimate.

Let’s start with the basics: Types of Roofs

Pitch-Roof- A pitch roof is a slanted roof that is traditionally seen on most West Michigan homes. Their style allows precipitation to slide off plus they are popular for their visual appeal and the wide variety of shingle colors that can be used on them.

Flat-Roof- A flat roof is exactly what it sounds like– flat. You will most likely see these on business and commercial buildings, as they are great for large spaces because of their low cost and low maintenance needs. Though not super popular among West Michigan homes, they do exist and are generally easy to replace and repair.

Let’s continue with the more technical stuff…

Fascia: Pronounced “Face-Shuh,” this is exactly what it sounds like, because these are located at the face of your house. Fascia are the front boards that are at the bottom of your roof. To see a more detailed explanation, check out Nicholas Lake’s post on soffit and fascia in this post.

Soffit: Soffit and Fascia are two peas in a pod. Directly under the fascia is the soffit, which is the siding on the overhang of your roof. Again, check out the piece from Nicholas Lake to learn more.

Flashing: This thin material keeps you dry! Installed at the joints of your roof, flashing is the key part of weatherproofing your home. The American Society of Home Inspectors provides a great explanation of proper flashing noted in the link below.

Sheathing: These are the giant flat wooden sheets that are placed on top of the rafters of your roof. On top of the sheathing, shingles are attached.

Let’s wrap it up with the most important stuff!

Expert Roofing Company: Though this definition may vary by region, Irish Roofing and Exteriors is the number one roofing company in West Michigan.

From one consumer to another, I hope you found this blog helpful. If you didn’t and still have more questions, feel free to give Irish Roofing and Exteriors a call at 616-552-9966 today! We would love to schedule you a free estimate now that YOU are a roofing expert.


Dunlop, Carson. “Chimney Flashings.” American Society of Home Inspectors , 2018, Accessed 2018.

Lake, Nicholas. “What are Soffits and Fascias?.” JJ Roofing Supplies , 26 Feb. 2015, Accessed 2018.