When deciding on what type of siding you want and who you want to purchase it from it's beneficial to understand what is being talked about. The glossary that follows provides some common siding terms that will be helpful to you as you review companies and siding products.

Aluminum siding horizontal planks of aluminum with a baked-on enamel finish
American Hardboard Association (AHA) the national trade organization for the manufacturers of hardboard products
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that oversees the voluntary standardization and assessment of US products, to enable the US to better compete globally and enhance the quality of life in the US by conformity to product standards
American Society of Testing Materials International ASTM International is a nonprofit organization that helps develop voluntary standards for products, services, materials and systems all over the globe

Battens narrow strips of wood placed over joints in vertical wood plank siding to seal the joints

clapboards that are tapered rather than cut perfectly rectangular

Brick ties accordion-type metal fasteners used to attach a brick veneer to the wood framework of a house
Brick veneer a wall construction method in which a layer of bricks is attached to the wood framework of a house using brick ties

located on the bottom edge of a vinyl panel which locks onto the previously installed panel

Carpenter ants large black ants that make may make their nests in walls, behind siding, or in insulation; carpenter ants don't eat wood they excavate wood to build their homes in the cavities left behind
Caulking waterproof material used to seal joints at intersections of building components, used with some types of siding
Checking a crack or split along the grain in wood plank siding as a result of cupping
Clapboard overlapping, horizontal wood plank siding made from either rectangular planks or taped planks
Composition board

planks or sheets of weather resistant compressed wood fibers used as siding

Course each row of siding material
Cupping a warp across the board in wood plank siding

Detachment separation of the siding material-veneer or stucco- from its attachment to the house
Double course an undercourse of shingles or shakes, not exposed to the weather, is covered completely by a top course
Dust mites virtually walking stomachs

Face The part of the vinyl panel that is visible once the vinyl is installed
Flashing a type of sheet metal used at intersections of building components to prevent water penetration, flashings are commonly used above doors and windows in exterior walls and are used under the siding to prohibit water penetration

J-channel a manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems which have a curved channel that the planks fit into, used around windows and doors to make a weathertight seal

Lintel a steel angle iron or beam over window and door openings that spans the opening and transfers the weight of the masonry to the sides of the opening

Milled planks various cuts of plank siding, including V-groove, channel, rabbeted bevel, shiplap and drop
Model Building Code these building codes vary by area of the country and are considered the standard for that area
Moisture permeable a surface that allows moisture to pass through it

Panel Projection the amount that a panel of vinyl sticks out away from the wall, you should choose the largest profile for the style of panel you want
Plywood siding plywood sheets, some with a grooved or decorative outer surface

Scarfed joint joint used in plywood siding where edges of abutting sheets are angle cut to fit snugly and prevent water penetration
Shiplap a style of milled plank, used in siding, that is laid close enough so as to appear to be butted
Single course wood shingles or shakes applied where each course is exposed to the weather
Spalling crumbling and falling away of bricks, concrete or blocks
Stucco a type of water resistant, plaster like siding material made of cement, sand and water; it may have an acrylic finish

T & G tongue and groove, a connection system between components, like wood, in which the tab or tongue of one board is placed into the grove at the end of another board
Termites social insects that live either in the ground or in wood and eat wood, they can cause serious structural damage to a home

Vinyl siding horizontal polyvinyl chloride planks
Veneer veneer is one ply or one thickness of something; in siding there are brick and stone veneers, there are also veneers of one wood bonded to another

Wall cladding another term for siding
Wall sheathing sheets of plywood or wood planking used to cover the wall framework of the house
Windload Pressure is a measurement of how well a panel might perform in high wind areas
Wire mesh a mesh attached to the wall sheathing and studs used to anchor a stucco base coat to the wall
Wood plank siding rectangular wood planks, installed horizontally or vertically
Wood shakes thick, rough, uneven shingles that hand split, split and sawn on one side, or sawn on both sides, used as siding
Wood shingles sawn shingles that are of uniform thickness