Over the last 16 years I have fitted roofline fascia and soffit boards to hundreds of houses. Here is my step-by-step guide, I hope you find it useful.
Below is some detailed information on exactly how I remove the old boards and replace them with a new system.
If you intend to use this guide on a DIY project, you should know that it’s not practical or safe to do this work from ladders. I own scaffold access towers and always use them for this type of work.
Step 1) Fully Remove the Boards
The first row of roof tiles are removed and set aside for re-use. Using a Stanley knife, cut the existing felt back a few inches from the front and then remove the guttering.
Instead of capping over existing boards like many cowboys do, the existing timber fascia and soffit boards should be removed using a crowbar/pry-bar. If the soffits are sealed to the window frames with a silicone/mastic sealant, then this can be cut with a knife.
The exposed rafters can now be checked for rot. If any is discovered it can be cut out with a saw and replaced. The timbers on the roof shown in these photos were in good condition and the rot was only present on the fascia boards that were removed.
Step 2) Fixing the Soffits
The new Upvc soffit boards are fixed to the underside of the timber rafter ends with stainless steel plastic capped nails.
Timber “packers” or lengths of baton can be used to close any gaps between the soffit and the rafter, I use 28mm thick timber baton, but I also keep several other sizes/quantities in the van as they are frequently needed.
The back of the soffit board rests on the top of the wall and is pinched down with timber “legs” to prevent the wind from lifting the board up.
The soffit boards used in this installation are 10mm thick and 5 metres in length, an expansion gap of 10mm is allowed for at each 5 metre joint. Alternatively you could use hollow cladding boards as a soffit here.
Are you looking for information about soffit and roof ventilation options?
Step 3) Fixing the Fascias
The 18mm Upvc fascia boards are then fixed to the timbers with 65mm stainless steel nails.
Two nails are used to prevent any buckling or pivoting of the boards. Don’t forget that these boards must hold the weight of the roof tiles, the guttering, rainwater and any snow or icicles that may form during winter.
All windows are now fully opened and closed to ensure the new boards are not obstructing them. If a window cannot be fully opened because the fascia is blocking it then the boards will need to be adjusted, possibly by trimming back the rafters. It is best to check the windows before fixing all the nails into place.
We have compiled a list of all the materials used in this installation. Think of it as a roofline checklist.
If you are unsure which nails to buy then here is a list of all the screws and nails I use on a typical roofline installation.
Step 4) Eaves Vents and Gutter Support Brackets
A 10mm eaves vent strip (colour black) is then fitted to the top edge of the fascia board (you can see this in the photo to the right) to prevent loft condensation. It is secured with 40mm nails
The gutter support clips/brackets are then screwed to the fascia using two 30mm screws. A string line and spirit level is used to ensure the gutter has the correct gradient fall and all water flows freely to the pipe outlet.
To prevent the guttering from sagging in later years, the support clips are spaced no greater than 800mm apart.
Water should never “pond” in the gutter. The life expectancy of any guttering is greatly increased when the water runs freely to the outlet.
Step 5) Guttering
The Upvc guttering is then inserted into place and all joints are screwed to the fascia with a 30mm screw to prevent any movement. Gutter adapters can be used on the joint with the neighbours guttering (if the profile is different).
The gutter is then tested with water to ensure everything is leak free and working correctly.
At this point in the installation, a new rainwater pipe is usually installed to replace the existing one, connectors/adapters can be used to connect into any existing pipework.
Fed up with blocked gutters? You can read my reviews of gutter leaf guards here.
Step 6) Eaves Felt
Roofing felt rots on the edges that overhang into the guttering, thus we need to install a new product that will last for decades.
Replacement eaves felt “trays” are tucked under the existing roofing felt and overlap into the guttering.
This type of eaves felt is rigid and unlike traditional felt it is designed not to rot or sag. These felt trays are now being used on newly constructed homes as well as refurbishment projects.
As you can see from the photo this product prevents rainwater from splashing up from the gutter onto the fascia boards.
Step 7) The Completed Installation
The boards and guttering are now cleaned and a mastic/silicone sealant is applied to the window frames and external walls. This prevents insect infestation and leaves a neat finish.
Here you will find a list of all the materials used in this installation.
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