When it comes to fascias and soffits, it’s important to get these components right for the functionality of the roof and for the look of the property. There are so many elements within the roofline that it’s critical these function together as they were designed to so that the roof is protected from inclement weather, birds and debris. While the function of the roof is important, the look and kerb appeal delivered are too, which is why there are many styles, materials and colours of fascia and soffit available.

In this guide, you can find key information about what fascias and soffits are, as well as how they function together in the construction of eaves on a property


Table of contents:

  1. Eaves

  2. The fascia

    a. Function

    b. Material

    c. How to measure

    d. How to install

  3. The soffit

    a. Function

    b. Material

    c. How to measure

  4. Common issues

  5. Replacing fascias and soffits


What is an eave?

Made up of fascias and soffits, the eave is the area of the roof that extends a small way past the wall of a building. It’s an essential part of the roof and must be constructed correctly. You can find out more about eaves and their function using this guide from Roofing Superstore.


What is a fascia?

Simply put, the fascia is a horizontal board (or boards) that run around the edge of the roof of a building. Fascia boards close the gap between the walls and roof by hanging over the walls of the building. They’re designed to be both functional and attractive as they’re able to be seen from the ground outside a property.

eaves


What is fascia used for?

As mentioned previously, the fascia is used to close gaps between the walls and roof. However, they also help prevent water and animal ingress from seeping into the roof and loft space.

Another key factor is that they improve the appearance of the building by smoothing out the edges of the roof. A much more pleasing sight than rough or open-ended roof rafters.

The fascia is what guttering is attached to. This needs to be sturdy, fitted well and also be an attractive backing for chosen gutters. With such a simple and secure surface, guttering can easily be installed and used to support the home with a reduction in heavy rainfall damage.


What materials are used to make a fascia?

There are three main types of fascia material: wood, uPVC and aluminium. Wood and uPVC are most commonly used on domestic properties where aluminium will more likely be found on industrial or commercial buildings.

Wooden fascia

Wooden fascia board is commonly used because it’s an affordable and traditional building material. It is important to note that wooden fascia needs to be primed before use. Wood is not water-resistant and as a result, can rot over time if not protected. You will also need to re-paint it to replace paintwork that will peel off over time. View this as a benefit as you’re able to easily change the colour of wooden fascia to suit trends or to change the façade of a property.

uPVC fascia

A uPVC fascia has become an admirable asset for many properties in recent years. Due to its durability, uPVC will not experience rotting or warping over the time of its use. This makes it much more likely to exist maintenance-free, unlike wooden fascias. There are also a wide variety of shapes, colours and styles to ensure you can have the ideal parts without compromising on property appearance.

Aluminium fascia

Aluminium fascia is a costly option, but one that offers longer-lasting benefits! This is what makes this product the favourite for commercial and industrial buildings. From small retail stores to big superstores and industrial estates, many buildings that need increased resilience and lower maintenance costs opt for aluminium fascia due to its hard-wearing nature.


How do you measure for installation of fascia board?

Working with another can help with measurements, but if you are to work alone during this part then these are the following steps to take:

  1. Make sure you have something to hold down one end of the tape measure.
  2. If you’re installing a full fascia board, measure from the first rafter to the last.
    a. If you’re installing a section of the fascia board, this is much easier and can be done independently by measuring the gap.
  3. Once you have the measurements, you can transfer these measurements onto the length of the fascia board using a carpenter’s square. This ensures the line you will cut is straight with a perfect 90° angled corner.

How do I install fascia board?

You can find more in-depth installation information for fascias and soffits using this guide. For a brief overview, you will need to do the following:

  1. Place the fascia board level with the front of the soffit board.
  2. Fix it onto the rafters with stainless steel nails – rafters should have two evenly spaced nails on to hold the fascia in place.
  3. Make sure that the fascia isn’t too wide as this can block windows from opening and secured in place to support the weight of roof tiles and guttering.
  4. Cover box ends easily with a single piece of fascia.
  5. Use fascia corners and trims for clean finishes.

What is a soffit?

Soffits are boards that operate similar to a fascia. However, they are installed at a 90° angle to the walls instead of parallel. They are also installed under the fascia boards as a way to fill the gap between the fascia and the wall.


What is the function of a soffit?

As a key factor, soffits help smooth the finish on the property. They hide rafter ends and block gaps between roofs and walls. With this system, there is also improved ventilation alongside prevention of creatures and water entering roof spaces.


What materials are used to make a soffit?

Soffits are also available mainly in wood and uPVC, but also come in a number of other common types of material:

Steel soffits

Steel soffits are admirable because of their durability. They’re longer-lasting, available in numerous colours and can withstand various weather. They can also be pre-cut to fit specific measurements to save you time during installation.

Fibre cement soffits

These types of soffits are also in on the popularity contest. Though they also have durability, they are; a lighter weight, also available in many colours, affordable and highly waterproof.

Aluminium soffits

Durability is greatly appreciated when it comes to this material. There is little maintenance required, no complicated installation and because of its durability, you can rely on having no cracking or chipping.


How do you measure for installation of a soffit board?

  1. Measure the width of the space under the eaves (from the wall to the outer eave board).
  2. Cut the soffit board to the correct length and width.
  3. Nail the soffit board to the timber using plastic capped nails or pins (usually 25-40mm pins are most suitable).
  4. Ensure soffit is at 90° to the wall – use plenty of nails to prevent rattling during high winds.
  5. Ensure there is a gap between each soffit board for placement of a soffit joint trim (used to create a smooth finish).
  6. Ensure there is a gap of 8-10mm to allow for expansion – failure to do so can result in warping, cracks or splits.

What are the common problems with fascias and soffits?

As with any solution, parts will have issues. Fascias and soffits are no exception. Here are some of the more common issues that can occur over time:

Asbestos

Asbestos is a toxic material that was traditionally used in home construction. Many will have heard of the use of such a material being placed in roofs in the 1900s. Although it stopped before 2000, many older properties standing today still have the material located in the roofing. Due to the nature of the material, it is vital that you contact a professional to investigate and remove the material if you believe it is in the roof prior to construction.

Rotting

Rain is unfortunately something we cannot stop. Wood-based soffits and fascias can in turn become damp and often begin to rot if not replaced or maintained. As mentioned previously, you can also reduce this risk by priming the wood before used to make it last that little much longer.

Broken systems

Rain isn’t the only thing the fascias and soffits will be exposed to. Over time there may be heavy snowfall as well as potential damage from other sources. Luckily, broken systems can be easily replaced. This makes broken systems one of the more minimal issues, but it will still need sorting if damages are found.

Bird nests

Some birds like to take up space in rafters and unused chimneys. This can, of course, be an issue if you’re planning to make adjustments to the home. If the case is that there are birds living in such areas, you will need to contact a professional to deal with their removal. This is not only because of safety but also because they could be of a rare species.


Replacing a fascia and soffit

The cost will vary as there are many different factors that will count towards it. Though many suppliers offer an average of £100 per meter. What you will first need to make sure, however, is that you or your manufacture can carry out the repairs correctly.

If you do decide to go ahead with replacements yourself, you can choose the alternative to fitting new fascia with a capping board. For more information about capping boards and how to fit a fascia capping board, check out our guide.


If you would like further information and advice, you can open the live chat box or give us a call for support on 01752 692 760.

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