Roofing Terms: Soffit

Roofing Terms: Soffit

When it comes to your roof, many people think only of the tiles or shingles.  However, there are many different parts that can make up your roof.  To help make you a master, over the next few blog posts we will talk about some of the different parts and terms that you should know.

For this article, we’re going to talk about the soffit.  Soffit is a term that comes from both French and Latin.  The English word soffit is derived from the French word soffite, which translates to “formed as a ceiling,” which is derived from the Latin word suffigere, which means, “to fix underneath. ” Both of these definitions help us to understand the purpose of the soffit on your roof.

In short, the soffit is the underside of any construction element.  This can mean the underside of an arch or even a flight of stairs.  Usually, however, when someone is talking about a soffit, they are referring to the underside of the area of the roof that starts at the exterior of the house and runs to the outer edge of the roof (i.e. where the roof hangs over the edge of the home).  This area is also sometimes called the eaves.

A soffit can be as short as a few inches or as long as a few feet.  The length of the soffit (i.e. how far it sticks out from the edge of the home) can have a substantial impact on the overall look of your home.

There are several things that you can do with your soffit in order to change the appearance of your home’s exterior.  You can minimize their look by painting them to match the siding of your house or accent the soffit by painting it in a contrasting color.  In order to provide more protection to your soffits – as well as add a nice finishing touch – you should ensure that your your soffits have added ventilation (which will help cool down any attic spaces).

Soffits prove that it is not only the top, but also the bottom of your roof that is important.  By paying attention to the look and style of your soffits, you can give the exterior appearance of your home an easy upgrade.

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