For so many of us, this last year has forced us to spend an awful lot more time at home than we normally would have. With time on our hands and nowhere else to go, many of us have looked at our homes and decided that those jobs that we were putting off for so long really do need to be done now.
2020, therefore, was a boom year for home improvement stores as people used the time to make positive changes in their domestic situation. If you found yourself spending more time at home you will have noticed that those small problems that you were previously too busy to deal with are now really annoying!
For most of us, we want our homes to provide a wonderful first impression. We want visitors to our home to be impressed the moment they step out of their cars. A common issue with houses, especially older houses is old, faded, or damaged fascias and soffits. Even if the house is presented beautifully with fresh paint, cracked or rotting fascia and soffit really leave the house down as it draws the eye away from the paint or external render.
If you think your fascias and soffits need replacement, read on to find out how you can improve the look of your home with this guide to updating your fascias and soffits.
What are Fascias and Soffits?
In basic terms, the fascia is a board that runs horizontally around the edge of the roof that acts as a seal for the gap between the roof and the walls. The soffit is a separate board that is fitted at a 90-degree angle to the fascia and acts to seal the gap between the wall and the fascia. Both elements serve to prevent water (or animal) ingress and are designed as both a functional and decorative element as they can be seen from ground level.
Certainly in older homes, fascias and soffits are most commonly made from timber however today there are several alternative types;
It is common for timber versions to rot over time and even uPVC can fade and crack so replacing them is a good idea.
DIY Or Specialist Fascia And Soffits Installers?
This depends on your ability obviously, but unless you are very competent and have a head for heights, it is probably best left to the professionals. As mentioned already, while your fascias and soffits are decorative they also serve an extremely important function in preventing water from seeping into the fabric of the house. The savings you make now could be easily wiped out if you have to rectify the damage caused by the shoddy fitting.
When choosing specialist fascia and soffits installers the same rules apply as to choosing any contractor to work on your home.
- Ask for examples of previous work or better again, references from previous clients.
- Make sure your installer is fully insured.
- Make sure you always get more than one quote and ensure all quotes received are on a like for like basis.
- Confirm whether the quotation is an estimate or fixed price – avoid nasty surprises!
- What guarantee do you get?
Which Type Of Fascia And Soffit Is Best For You?
Often the choice of which fascia and soffit to go for comes down to two things, the type of home and your budget. If you live in a timber-clad home or perhaps an older house, wooden fascia and soffit is the obvious choice. More modern materials will just look wrong and may take away from the overall appearance of your home.
If wooden fascias and soffits are for you, the good news is that modern wooden soffits are treated with chemicals that repel water and thereby increase the lifespan of the product ensuring that they will last the lifespan of your home.
Should you live in a more modern home then uPVC and Composite options are appropriate and relatively cheap while contemporary builds these days often have aluminium (or even steel, zinc or copper) fascias and soffits although these are on the higher end of the price scale.
If you’ve decided to replace your fascias and soffits now could be the best time to do other jobs related to them. Since your specialist fascia and soffits installers will likely also do gutters and downpipes now is the ideal time to replace those too. New gutters can modernize the appearance of your home and prevent any water from making its way into your home through leaking downpipes or blocked gutters.
If your budget allows, now would be a great time to look at replacing your windows and doors too. Your contractor will likely be using scaffolding so the overall cost of replacing your windows now will be lower than should you come back to it another time.
When all these are done and the scaffolding comes down you’ll know that not only have you made your property more attractive (and valuable) but you can relax in the knowledge that you have prevented the headache that water damage can cause.