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barge board - a board that conceals roof timbers projecting over gables .

beam - a long piece of wood or steel that supports the roof (in a group can form a truss).

cornice - the overhanging part of the roof (the part that sticks out past the walls).

eave - the beam ends of the roof that create the cornice and allow water to drip off away from the building's walls.

fascia - the edge of the cornice.

gable - triangular roof.

rafter - parallel beams that support a roof (similar to how joists support floors and ceilings).

soffit- the underside of the eave.

truss - a framework of beams (like ribs) that support the roof (usually triangular).



A very triangular roof, the gable allows rain and snow to run off easily.

Cross Gable

This is like the gable roof, but has two parts that cross.


A flat roof is exactly that - flat. It is easy to build and uses few materials.


A French gable roof. The difference is that the mansard has a flat area at the top instead of being perfectly triangular. These are common in French Chateau houses and Second Empire style houses.


A low-pitched roof that allows rain and snow to run off easily, the hipped roof also allows for large eaves on a building.

Cross Hipped

Similar to a hipped roof, but this roof has two parts that cross .


A hipped roof that forms a pyramid shape.


Similar to a gable roof, as it allows rain and snow to run off easily. This is one of the easiest roofs to build.


Similar to a gable roof, but the two sides of it are not symmetrical.


This roof looks more bell-like than triangular when viewed from the side. It is like a flattened gable roof. Many farms have gambrel roofs.