How to install fascia and soffits?
Fascia and soffit boards are an important part of any roof. They provide protection from everything from rain to birds and animals. It’s important that they’re kept in good condition, and they might sometimes require repair or replacement. One option is to pay for professional roofers to take care of this for you, but you can also consider the DIY option for replacing your fascia boards or soffits. If you’re considering this, there are several things that you should think about to make sure that it’s something that you can do. It can be a difficult job to do safely and efficiently, but it’s possible if you know what you’re doing.
Fascia and Soffit Installation Instructions
Installing fascias and soffits involves a few steps if you’re replacing existing ones. It’s important to understand what’s involved before you get started.
Firstly, it’s essential to make sure that you carry out all of your work safely. Whether you’re cutting boards to the right size or putting them in place, it’s vital that you pay attention to your surroundings and follow safety guidelines for working at a height. Fascias and soffits on the ground floor could be installed using a ladder, but higher storeys will require scaffolding to put them into place. If you’re not confident about doing the job safely, it’s better to hire a professional than to risk your safety.
Removing Old Boards
Before installing any new boards, you might want to remove the old ones. This isn’t essential, as it is possible to fit caps over your existing boards. However, this is only suitable if the existing boards are in good enough condition. They need to be removed if they’re rotting, damaged or falling apart.
The gutters need to be removed before the boards can be taken off. These gutters might be put back later, or you might decide to replace them at the same time. After removing the gutters, you will need to push back or remove at least the first line and possibly the second line of tiles so that you can see the felt underneath and inspect its condition. You might need to trim some of the damaged felt or perhaps replace the felt if it has deteriorated.
Check the Rafters
It’s essential to check the roof’s rafters before replacing fascia and soffit boards. You need to see if the timber is strong and in good condition and make sure that there is no rot. Everything should also be level so that when you put the new boards on, they sit flush with the roofline. If there is any rot, the rafter will need to be cut out and replaced.
The easiest way to make sure that your soffit board is ventilated is to buy soffit that already has ventilation. However, if the ventilation isn’t already there, you can fit a fascia vent. This sits on top of the fascia under the eaves protector.
Installing Fascia and Soffit Board
You can install your uPVC soffit board using stainless steel plastic-headed pins, ring shank nails or something else that will fix them in place. Either use the rafters for support, extend a noggin or fix a batten to the wall. The soffit board needs to be fixed tightly against the brickwork to ensure a secure installation. Once the soffit board is in place, you can fit the fascia onto the soffit. Remember to allow for the fascia ventilation in the total height if you’re using it. Some fascia and soffit products are designed with easy installation systems that make it simple to fit your boards together at the right distance. Using a double fix to every rafter ensures a secure fitting that will last for years.
Choose the correct joints to join your fascias together and leave a small amount of space (about 10mm) between boards to allow for expansion. You can attach joints for PVC boards using superglue, pins or screws. Corner details can help you to finish your corners for extra protection and a good look.
Once the fascia and soffit boards and in place, the guttering can be installed.
Bargeboards are essentially the same as fascia boards, but they can sometimes be more decorative. If you want to add some more style to your property, you might consider looking for some bargeboards that you like. For example, you can find concave and convex edges along your bargeboards, which can just add something extra to your roof. Bargeboards are designed to replace existing boards, rather than capping over them.
Overboarding Fascia and Soffits
Sometimes, it might be appropriate to overboard or cap over existing fascia boards. If you have timber boards that are in good condition but you want a more modern and neat look, you might consider covering up the existing boards. To decide whether this is appropriate, you need to consider the condition of the boards that are already there, as well as the cost of capping them versus replacing them.
Before deciding whether overboarding your boards is suitable, you need to inspect the timber to ensure it is in good condition and there is no rot or infestation of any pests. If the wood is rotting, you won’t be able to fit caps over the top of them. You might be able to remove or treat some small areas of rot, but if there is a lot of it, capping wouldn’t be appropriate. Completely replacing the boards would make much more sense.
Capping your boards can work out as a more cost-effective solution if it’s available to you. A full replacement of your fascia boards could cost a lot more. Capping your boards could cost around half of what it would cost to carry out a full replacement, so it’s definitely worth it. However, you need to make sure that the job is done properly. If it’s carried out poorly, it could look bad, and it won’t provide your roof with the protection that it needs. Everything needs to be fitted properly. Otherwise, you might as well not bother.
How to Fit Fascia Capping Boards
If you decide to cap your fascia boards instead of installing new ones and you’ve checked that they’re in good condition, capping over them is a similar process to installing new boards. You first need to remove the first one or two rows of roof tiles. If any rotted timber needs to be replaced, do that before you do anything else. You should remove the fascia boards to check for rotting so that you make sure you can inspect them properly, and treat or replace as necessary.
Before you cap over the existing fascia boards, you might want to consider the pros and cons that experts outline. Many will recommend against doing it, but it’s also important to note that some of them do so because they would rather their customers pay more for a complete replacement instead of saving money with capping. However, many experts also recognise that if fascia boards are capped badly, it can have terrible consequences. It could end up just trapping moisture and could cause rainwater to run behind the gutter. But if the job is done properly, it can be beneficial. It doesn’t necessarily need to be avoided just because it’s something that some builders and roofers do badly.
If you’re unsure about installing fascia and soffit boards yourself, use a professional roofer or builder to do it for you. Make sure that you choose carefully if you want the job done right.