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April 2017


Roofing Terminology: Talk Like a Roofer

If you need a replace your shingles or repair your roof in Saskatoon and you are getting ready to meet with a few contractors you connected with through Kijenga, you’ll want to be equipped to have a productive conversation about an estimate of costs and projected timelines. Be prepared by understanding the terms that professional roofers use so that you can keep up.

Here is a basic guide so that you get the most out of your contractor meetings and not spend the majority of your time on trying to decipher the roofing jargon.

Roofing Styles

The most common roof styles are the hip and gable.


A hip roof has a ridge at the top and slopes on all four sides. All the sides of a hip roof are of equal length.

Hip roofs are ideal for homes in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan because the snow will slide right off during the winter months. Also, a house with a hip roof will most likely have a big attic or vaulted ceilings.

Gable and Shed 

A gable roof is triangle-shaped while a shed roof is one that slopes in a single direction. A single home can have multiple styles, and you’ll often see you a gable roof with shed-style dormers which is a roofed structure, often containing a window, which projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof.

Slope and Pitch

There is the common misconception that slope and pitch are the same thing. They certainly are not. Here are the differences:

Slope is the incline of the roof which is expressed as a ratio of the vertical rise to the horizontal run where the run is a fraction of the span. A roof that rises 4 inches for every 1 foot or 12 inches of run is said to have a “4 in 12” slope.

Pitch of a roof is its vertical rise divided by its horizontal span (or “run”). In geometry, this is called “slope” in geometry or the tangent function in trigonometry. Definitions vary when a roof is considered pitched.

It should be noted that a roof with a high pitch and steep for roofers is likely going to cost more for the labour. “A roof with lots of peaks and valleys will be quoted higher because of the risky work required and the complexity it comes with.” says Shane Regush, owner of Go2Guys in Saskatoon.

Decking, Eaves, Ridges, Valleys

All roofs have a deck, eaves, and ridges and a lot have valleys.

Decking is the foundation of your roof, and the deck base rests against the attic. It covers the rafters and supports the weight of the roofing materials.

Eaves are the edges of the roof that jut out over the walls of your home. The eaves help keep attics from getting too warm. Gutters are placed at the edges of eaves to help push water running off of the roof away from the house.

Ridges are where two roof lines intersect and are the highest points on the roof.

And roof valleys are formed where two section of a roof come together.

Underlayment, Shingles, and Flashing

The roofing underlayment is the primary layer of waterproofing material that goes before the shingles or roofing materials. It is essentially a roll of felt paper or fiberglass saturated with asphalt.

“You would be surprised at how many roofs in Saskatoon don’t have the basic underlay required to properly seal your home. Ask the roofing contractor you’re interviewing about the underlay they are going to use on your home and ensure they do as they say. All projects completed by Go2Guys has RhinoRoof which is a synthetic roofing underlayment. It acts as an air, water and vapour barrier and is 12x stronger than #30 felt. Living in Saskatchewan, we also use IKO Ice and Water Protectors for the valleys and edges for total weather protection and peace of mind.”

Roofing shingles are what provide aesthetic value to your house, and homeowners often put the most thought into the kind of shingles to use for this reason. But beyond being the element that brings beauty to your home, shingles block UV rays from the sun and prevent water from leaking into your attic.

Flashing is a corrosion-resistant metal strip installed at the roof edges and seams because that is where water will most likely seep through the asphalt shingles and underlayment. Flashing directs water away from these trouble spots and gets it into the gutters. The four main types of flashing are:

1.         Base flashing is applied directly to the roof. It is also referred to as step flashing.

2.         Cap flashing is used around chimneys or walls. It is also referred to as counter flashing.

3.         Drip edge flashing is applied at the roof’s edge where the gutter is.

4.         Valley flashing is added to roof valleys.

“We recommend that homeowners ask a million questions when hiring a roofer.” says Shane Regush with Go2Guys. “Don’t hire the first company to give you a quote. Understand what you’re getting for your money. We see a lot of projects where cap flashing isn’t being used around chimneys and it’s causing major problems. Most roofers are just that, roofers. They’re good at replacing your shingles but oftentimes it’s the little things that make a big difference whether it’s a proper drip edge, installing a quality underlay, or going 2 shingles under, one over when working around vents or anything exposed.”

Now that you have a cheat sheet on roofing terminologies, you’re ready to start hunting for the right roofer in Saskatoon to get started on your roof project. And when they recognize that you’ve done your homework, they’ll be impressed, and you can get straight to the more important matters like materials, design, budget, and scheduling.

Post your roofing or shingle replacement project in Saskatoon and Kijenga will connect you with certified and verified contractors to get the job done! Get quotes now. Post Your Project for Free!


Promoting and Supporting Women in Trade

It can be pretty intimidating for a woman to enter the trades because of the underrepresentation of females in industries like construction, carpentry, plumbing and electrical.

In 2011, census data revealed the rates of women in trades were increasing with 1432 female electricians, 931 female motor mechanics, 676 female carpenters, and 638 female plumbers across Australia.

And according to the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Department of Labor in 2014 reported that women represented 4% of the U.S. workforce in natural resources, maintenance, and construction. And in the U.K., it was reported that almost 6% of trade workers that included builders, plumbers, and plasterers are women.

However, in Canada, while women account for nearly half of the workforce, they continue to be under-represented in skilled trades.

There’s no doubt that women in trades are on the rise all over the world. However, despite the growing numbers and impressive reviews of their capabilities and performance, hurdles still exist that keep women in trade from achieving equality, respect, and acceptance.

Women in trades experience three main barriers when trying to acquire training and employment in skilled trade occupations:

  1. Discrimination

In Canada, much like other countries, skilled trades are traditionally defined as male occupations. It’s no secret that the majority of cultures and societies separate based on gender and the reality is that gender stereotypes and inequality dominate society.

In the U.S., it was reported that women’s underrepresentation in high-paying industries is one main reason that women earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns, on average.

  1. Lack of Educational Promotion

Lindsay Amundsen, a workforce development coordinator at Canada’s Building Trades Union, runs a national women-in-construction program that supports and mentors women in the skilled construction trades. When asked why more women don’t pursue to participate apprenticeship programs, she cites that there is a lack of awareness:

“Students are not taught in school — especially young girls — that a career in the trades is an option for them.”

And with gender stereotypes still posing a threat to work equality, most trade schools and programs tend to advertise and gravitate towards recruiting men.

  1. Inability of Workplaces to Implement Change

The reality is, despite the implementation of the Canada Labour Program, many employers refuse to change their attitudes and simply will not hire women.

To enforce change, organizations like WiN Canada and Skills Compétences Canada have taken steps to address these issues. However, many women in trade know that while policies and regulations are the steps in the right direction, the change needs to happen on a cultural level.

Women in trade are committed to changing the face of the industry. In the U.K., the surge in what has been dubbed as “white-van women” or women in trade is because employers are seeking tradespeople who are not only reliable but have excellent customer skills – both of which women have.

It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up as women continue to close the gender gap and change the social perception that these jobs are too physical and too dirty for women.

In Canada, government and workers unions have taken the steps towards closing the gender gap by requiring employers to accommodate from the four designated groups in Canada – Women, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities.

However, the hope is that someday, there will no longer be a need for regulations and that employers and society will naturally employ and promote women in trades based on their skills and expertise alone.

Natasha Martynes, Red Seal Journeyperson Plumber and holder of the Blue Seal for business in trades, founded her company MARZ Plumbing in 2014 and caters to the Saskatoon area. They specialize in plumbing repairs, repairing and installing hot water heaters, drain cleaning, gas fitting, and renovations.

Knowing all too well the struggles that women in trade often face in the industry, Natasha and her company are not only dedicated to the highest level of customer service but also have a commitment to promote women in trades and encourage the youth to become involved.

Natasha and her team support local organizations and initiatives in Saskatoon such as YWCA’s Trade Journey and the High School Carpentry Apprenticeship Program (HCAP). The Trade Journey program is a pre-trades program that prepares women for success in their trade of choice whereas the HCAP program provides an opportunity for students to experience a hands-on approach to learning. Students will spend a semester working with a carpenter/teacher to build a RTM house.

To learn more about Natasha and her business, check out the website for Marz Plumbing and get in touch with her if you have any questions about starting your own business.

You can also check out the deals Marz Plumbing is currently selling on the Kijenga marketplace. Shop Now!