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7 Parts Of A Roof On A House And Their Functions
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on January 12th, 2022

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7 Parts Of A Roof On A House And Their Functions


There are many different parts of a roof that together makeup an entire roofing system. These roof parts are sometimes confused with one another and referred to by the incorrect name. Knowing the correct roofing terms of a roof system is crucial when you are doing a roof replacement or else it can lead to confusion when trying to order trim pieces and other accessories for your metal roofing system.

At Western States Metal Roofing, we manufacture all types of metal trim and flashing in addition to metal roofing and siding panels. We have encountered homeowners and even contractors that are unsure of what each type of trim is called.

In order to simplify information about roofing components, we have put together this article and supplemental video below that defines each part of the roof.


What Are The Most Common Parts Of A Roof Diagram?

  1. Eave 
  2. Gable
  3. Ridge
  4. Endwall
  5. Sidewall 
  6. Valley 
  7. Gutters


What Is An Eave?

Eave is the edge of the roof that extends over the side of the building and overhangs at the face of the wall. It’s also the portion of the roof that follows the slope or pitch of the roof. Parts of an eave also include the soffit, the underside of your roof’s eaves, as well as the fascia vertical facing board.

Learn how to install eave trim by reading: 

How To Install Eave Trim For Metal Roofing. Step By Step Guide.


What Is A Gable?

A gable is the section of the wall located at the end of a pitched roof. They have two sloping sides that come together at a ridge. It will be on the opposite side as the eaves and is also referred to as a rake.

Learn how to install gable trim by reading: 

How To Install Gable Or Rake Trim For A Metal Roof: Step By Step Guide


What Is Ridge?

Ridge covers the peaks of the roof where the roof plane of the two opposing sides meets. If it’s a single sloped roof then it’s referred to as a peak or a high eave.

Learn how to install ridge cap by reading: 

How To Install Ridge Cap For A Metal Roof: Step By Step Guide


What Is Endwall?

Endwall is where your metal roof panels run into a wall. The endwalls are located on the sides of the roof that follows the slope or pitch of the roof.


What Is A Sidewall?

A sidewall is a junction between a wall and a sloped portion of a roof.Sidewall flashing is installed on a vertical wall on the gable side of a metal roof. The purpose of sidewall trim is to keep the water from dripping down the exterior wall and leaking into the roof. It can be installed with or without a reglet trim. 


What Is A Valley?

A roof valley is where two roof slopes meet. The two slopes form a “V” angle where water usually runs off. This is normally the part of the roof that gets the most rain run off.

Learn how to install valley trim by reading: 

Open Valley Trim Installation On A Metal Roof


What Are Gutters?

Gutters are installed along the eave edges of a roof and are designed to catch rainwater flowing off the roof. Open at the top, they catch the rainwater and then direct it into the downspouts. 

Learn how to install a downspout for your gutter by reading: 

How To Install Downspout For Gutters On A Metal Roof: Step By Step Guide


The Importance Of Trim On A Metal Roof

Each part of the roof has its own trim/flashing. Metal roofing trim and roof flashing is a very important roofing accessory because it both strengthens and seals the entire roof. The trim serves as an extra barrier of protection from the elements and helps keep moisture from entering the roof.

Not only does trim decrease the chance of leaks or water damage to your home, but it also enhances the visual appeal of the roof. The trim creates smooth transitions between different areas of the roof and makes the roof look more polished.


The 3 Most Common Types Of Metal Roof Trim

Every roof has different requirements when it comes to trim and flashing, but almost every roof will at least require the 3 trim types below: 

  1. Eave trim
  2. Gable flashing
  3. Ridge cap

Which Roof Type Do You Have?

The types of trim you will need depend on what roof style you have. We define the most common roof types below.


What Is A Flat Roof?

A flat roof is one that either has no slope or is almost completely level. A roof that qualifies as flat has a pitch of 1:12 or less.


What Is A Sloped Roof?

A sloped roof is a roofing system that has some kind of vertical rise and is not flat. A roof can have a low slope or a steep slope. 

Below are the general guidelines or the type of slope, or pitch, of the roof. 

  • Flat roof: Less than 1:12
  • Low pitched roof: 2:12- 4:12
  • Conventional roof: 4:12- 9:12
  • Steep slope roof/ high pitch roof: Greater than 9:12

What Is A Hip Roof?

A hip roof is where all sides of the roof slope downwards to the walls and is one of the most common roof styles. They usually do not feature a sleep slope. There are also no gables or vertical sides.


What Is A Gable Roof?

A gable roof is a very common roof style that has two sections whose upper horizontal edges meet to form its ridge. 


What Are Bonnet Roofs?

Bonnet roofs, or kicked-eave roofs, are modified hip or modified gable roofs that feature a slope with a flat landing at the bottom which usually covers a wrap around porch.


What Is A Mansard Roof?

A mansard roof is a hybrid between a gambrel roof and a hip roof. It features slopes on each side of the roof. The lower slope is at a steeper angle than the upper. Mansard roofs are also known as French roofs as they first became popular in France in the 17th century. They are not often found in modern architecture. 


What Is A Saltbox Roof?

A saltbox roof is an asymmetrical looking roof where the two sides slope outwards from a central ridge but one side is much longer than the other side.


Ordering Metal Trim For Your Metal Roofing System

Now that you know the different parts of a roof, you can see how those trim pieces will look on your new roof. Try out the roof color visualizer, a free software tool offered by Western States Metal Roofing, to view metal roofing and trims in different colors. You will be able to see how they will look on sample buildings or even your own roof by uploading a photo. 

Color & Product Visualizer


If you're looking to buy metal for your metal roofing material, request a free quote today. Western States Metal Roofing offers manufacturer direct pricing and excellent customer service.


Get a Free Quote for Metal Roof or Metal Wall Panels Today! Click Here

About Lauren Risotto

Lauren is the Content Manager at Western States Metal Roofing and provides insight on content creation and product promotions.