Why Soffits and Fascias Are Important
Whether you're hiring a pro or doing it yourself, it's important to know the parts of your roof.
By: Jeannie Matteucci
An exterior soffit is located on the span beneath the rafter tails, while the fascia is the exposed horizontal band you see at the end of the rafters. These architectural elements found along the eave area do more than just add visual interest and give a finished look to your home. They help protect the exterior of your house by keeping out pests like bats, birds and squirrels, and give you a way to disguise ventilation for your attic.
"If you're living in a climate with high winds that causes rain to swirl up under the eaves, your soffit keeps water from blowing into your house," says Dave Leff, president of Leff Construction. "If it's not maintained well, it's a place for water to collect. Once a year when you clean and inspect your gutters, that's the time to inspect your fascia and soffit for peeling paint and other problems. Keep everything well-painted, sealed and caulked."
While soffits and fascia are traditionally constructed from materials like aluminum and wood, many homeowners are now choosing ones made from synthetic and composite materials like UPVC and vinyl because they offer easy maintenance and durability. Vinyl soffits (some are beaded or smooth, while others offer the look of wood grain) and vinyl fascia and trim products come in different styles to complement the architecture and look of your home. There are also products available made from recycled materials, for those who want an eco-friendly alternative.
Making sure your soffit and fascia are installed correctly and properly waterproofed is the best way to prevent problems down the road. Damaged flashing or gutters that don't function properly can also create issues.
"You really need to keep your gutters clean," says Bill Bartlett, president of the design/build firm Home ReBuilders of Atlanta. "When the water backs up, the first place it wants to go is the fascia board."
Replacing your soffit generally costs about $20 to $30 a linear foot installed, while replacing your fascia costs about $15 to $25 a linear foot installed. Prices for the project depend on a number of factors, including the materials used and the size of your house. It can cost $5,000 or more to repair damaged or rotted fascia and soffit boards, drywall and framing.
Attic Venting: Soffit Vents 03:43
Continuous ventilation systems with ridge and soffit vents keep attics dry.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- If you discover mildew or mold on your soffit, use a soft brush or broom and a cleaning solution made with bleach and water to clean it.
- Periodically check for bee, hornet or wasp nests. If you're not comfortable working on a ladder or the nests are extensive, call a professional to remove the nests.
- If installing your vinyl fascia yourself, it helps to cut the pieces a bit longer than you measured so you can overlap the joints.
Ways to Light Your Outdoor Entryway
Lanterns, sidelights and transom windows are a few choices to illuminate your exterior.
The Benefits of Synthetic Slate Shingles
They're more durable, easier to install and much less expensive than authentic slate.
Maximum Value Home Exterior Projects: Roof
Learn how the roof of your home can attract or detract from its selling potential and how improving it can add value to your home.
Staying on Top of Roofing Problems
Is it okay to build a roof right over the existing one?
Weekend Project: How to Add Architectural Design to a Roof Gable
Add interest to your home's exterior by adding a traditional-style accent to a plain gable. It takes less than a weekend to build and costs less than $100 in materials.
The Benefits of Green Roofs
Spare the environment and homeowners' wallets by replacing shingles with plants.
Let the Sun Shine In With Skylights
Is your kitchen or bath dark and dreary? A skylight will not only brighten up the room, but add an architectural element as well.
Practical Ways to Add Sunshine
Use windows and skylights to bring natural light into your home.
How to Repair a Damaged Roof
We simulated the damage of a tree falling on a roof by dropping a piano from a crane. Such an accident can cause major structural damage. Consult a professional if there are any reframing needs due to building codes.
How to Replace Ridge-Cap Shingles
Keep rain and melting snow from leaking inside with three simple steps.
This or That: Pick Your Favorite Vintage Find From Fixer Upper
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 27, 2015 by Farima Alavi
6 Essentials for the Perfect Tailgate Party + Win the 1 Thing You Really Need
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 25, 2015 by Farima Alavi
Discover the Winning Hue in Our Color Vs. Color Competition!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 24, 2015 by Kayla Kitts
Copy This Room: Get Beach Flip Style in Your Living Room
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 24, 2015 by Shannon Petrie
4 Ways to Personalize Your Dorm Desk + College Goodie Giveaway!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 21, 2015 by Farima Alavi
The Easiest (and Cutest!) DIY Dorm Roommate Mugs Ever
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 20, 2015 by Marianne Canada
Dorm Room Ikea Hack: Turn a Shelf Into A Storage Coffee Table!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 19, 2015 by Marianne Canada
Back to School For Adults: 10 DIY Office Refresh Ideas
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 19, 2015 by Chelsea Faulkner