It can be difficult to understand how, when, and why to replace your fascias, soffits and guttering, but it is as important as it is necessary to keep up to date with the maintenance of your home.
Doing this will avoid surprise costly repairs in the future, as well as preserving the curb appeal of your home.
If your fascia and soffit does need to be repaired or replaced, there’s also the budget-friendly option of capping them. However, capping comes with advantages and disadvantages which we’ll run through later in this guide.
In this guide, we will cover:
Keep reading to learn about each point in more detail.
Why replace your fascias, soffits and guttering?
Despite their ability to protect your home for between 20 to 30 years, your fascias and soffits won’t last forever. This is due to:
- Weather exposure: Their constant exposure to the elements will result in a need to replace them eventually, and by checking them regularly you can prevent any damage to your roof, which may end up being far more costly.
- Water damage: If your fascias and soffits aren’t in good condition your home is far more susceptible to water damage, so watch out for that gusty rainstorm!
- Roof rot: If you choose not to replace your fascia and soffit boards when needed, your roof may eventually rot which is an expensive problem to fix, not to mention the damage your guttering may experience from unfit protection from your fascia and soffit.
It is advisable to check your fascia and soffit boards as often as you check your guttering (which should be at least twice a year!). If you see any damage to your fascias and soffits, such as cracks, missing boards, or chipped sections, it may be time to replace them.
The process of replacing fascias
A fascia installation follows the same process, whether you’re carrying out the job yourself or you’ve hired a trained local expert. Before you begin, it’s important to ensure that you have the equipment you’ll need to complete the job. This includes:
- Table saw
Once you have your tools ready, follow our nine-step guide below to install a fascia safely and efficiently:
Remove your gutter system to access the existing fascia board
You must first unscrew and remove the gutter system and locate the brackets that hold the guttering in place. Lift the gutter system away from the fascia board.
- An electric drill is useful to unscrew your guttering. However, you may need to remove the nails with a crowbar or claw.
- Teamwork! Grab another pair of hands to help support your guttering as you remove it to prevent causing damage.
Vertically cut the damaged fascia board
This step is optional however it is a good idea to vertically cut your damaged fascia board into 3ft sections. This helps to remove the fascia board with more ease. If you choose to complete this step, ensure your 3ft cuts are between each roof rafter.
Grab a hammer to remove the existing fascia board
Ensure you are holding the fascia board and use a hammer in your dominant hand to whack the fascia board in order to loosen the nails holding it in place. This will enable you to remove your existing fascia board. Some parts of the board may be rotten due to water damage and can be pulled off manually as they need less force to remove. If this is the case, it is a good idea to locate the water source causing your fascia board to rot to prevent it from happening again.
Ensure you have a flat surface to work on
Once you have successfully removed your fascia board, there may be some materials left behind, such as nails or seals. If this is the case, you must remove them to ensure you have a flat surface to work on. If nails are remaining, it is better to remove them or cut them with a metal cutting blade. Whacking them back into the structure may cause damage to the shingles.
Measure and mark up your new fascia board
Prepare your new board to fit the required length. Ensure the measurements are accurate and mark up the new board.
Cut your fascia board for installation
Clamp to a sawhorse and cut, it is advisable to use a circular saw.
Installation of new fascia board
Place your new board, two nails are to be put in the high and low parts of the wood. The board is to be attached to the rafters, so this is where you should nail it.
Exterior caulking is essential
Ensure to use caulking to seal the fascia board. You may need extra layers of caulk to fully seal it, and pure silicone caulk is a great choice for its water-resistant properties.
Time to paint!
You can now paint your fascia board. Ensure to use exterior paint and primer for the best results!
The process of replacing a soffit
If you need to replace your fascia board, it is recommended that you check your soffit. If your fascia is rotting, there is a high chance that your soffit is too, and vice versa. Don’t worry, you can replace your fascia and soffit at the same time. Here’s how:
Take out the soffit
Remove the fascia board, as detailed above. The soffit will be held horizontally against your home. You may be able to slide it out however you should check if it is nailed to the rafters. If this is the case, you may need a crowbar or claw to remove the nails. If both your fascia and soffit show signs of rot it is important to check your timbers when both have been removed.
Measure and cut new soffit
Use a thin piece of hardboard for your new soffit. Measure and cut the hardboard accordingly. If your old and removed soffit can be used for help with measurements, do so. It is a good idea to use a wood sealer or a wood primer on your new soffit to increase its longevity.
Place the soffit horizontally
Place the soffit back into the moulding you took it from, holding it horizontally against your home. Then, ensure you fasten it both where it is and at the underside of the rafters using nails. Install the fascia board back onto your structure now, as detailed above.
Ensure closed seams for both soffit and fascia
Ensure you have closed all seams and caulked areas that may leak or are susceptible to water damage.
Ready to paint!
Remember to prime all exteriors with exterior primers before applying a few coats of exterior paint.
Additional factors to consider when replacing fascias and soffits
When you’re considering a fascia and soffit replacement there are also some additional factors to consider which may add to the total cost. They include:
- Scaffolding: The Health and Safety Executive, the UK government body responsible for worker wellbeing, official guidance states that “There is no maximum height for using a ladder. However, where a ladder rises 9 metres or more above its base, landing areas or rest platforms should be provided at suitable intervals”. This means that the use of scaffolding may be needed if your home is over 9 metres tall.
- Replacement tiles: Occasionally, carrying out a fascia and soffit replacement may require the removal of existing roof tiles. This is because the gutter may only be able to be removed by accessing a particular part of the system which requires removing a roof tile. Also, it’s possible that roof tiles may become accidentally damaged during a fascia and soffit replacement, so will need to be replaced once they are installed.
- Paint: If your new replacement fascia and soffit is made from timber, you will likely need to paint them to match your home. This will not only add an extra cost to the work but also additional time. Be sure to factor this in when planning a fascia and soffit installation.
Before any work begins on your home, whether it be fascia and soffit repairs or something else, always ask for an itemised bill if a local expert is carrying out the job. This will help you clearly understand the work that’s taking place and any complementary work needed to complete the job.
The process of replacing your guttering
If it turns out you need to replace your guttering, here is some helpful information on how to carry out the job:
In order to fit your new guttering you must have the correct length of gutter. Make sure you measure the length across each fascia and don’t forget the downspouts! They must be measured from the roofline to the group for the most accurate figure.
Remove the old gutters and downspouts
You will need a screwdriver or claw to pull out any nails, in some cases, you may need an electric drill. Ensure you remove all downspouts first for ease of removal when it comes to the gutters. Mark where you removed the downspouts from for reinstallation or mark up where you desire to move them.
Lay-out new gutters on the ground
It is useful to layout your new gutters on the ground to ensure you will fit them together correctly. If needed, cut gutters to size however sometimes overlapping of gutters is necessary but you must ensure that they are significantly overlapped to prevent any leaks. The advised amount of overlap between lengths of gutter is eight inches. Remember to factor in where your downspout holes will go and ensure you cut the holes for them in each relevant section of the gutter.
Always attach the end caps
If some parts of the gutter do not turn corners, add end caps. You must ensure that they are sealed with pure silicone caulk as it is watertight.
Fascias, soffits and guttering FAQ
When should I replace my guttering?
There are five main things to look out for when considering a gutter replacement. If you happen to notice any of them, it’s recommended that you contact a local gutter professional as soon as you can to quickly correct the issue and prevent any further damage. Here’s what to look out for:
- Damaged brickwork: If you notice any bricks surrounding your guttering have been damaged, there’s a chance a blockage has occurred somewhere along the gutter. This leads to water and other substances passing through the gutter which rises and overflows onto the bricks, causing damage.
- Evidence of pests: Guttering is the ideal place for animals such as birds, ants, and bees. If the animals form a nest, it can also cause blockages which could be harmful to both the animals and your home.
- Stains: A gutter which has been poorly maintained could lead to water staining the soffit, fascia and supporting bargeboard. The result of this is an eyesore on the exterior of your home.
- Water overflow: The most obvious symptom that you need to replace your gutter is overflowing water, which is extremely unsafe. If you notice water overflow, it’s highly recommended that you contact a guttering expert urgently.
- Rust: Guttering made from materials such as copper and cast iron is prone to rust. If you notice any, not taking action to correct the issue could lead to problems such as misalignment and cracks.
Do my fascias and soffits need to be capped?
The traditional material used for fascias and soffits is various types of timber, although it is now accepted that a far more enduring material is uPVC, and many people now choose to replace their wooden fascias and soffits with uPVC.
However, it can be quite costly to replace your fascia and soffit entirely, so some people may instead opt to cap their fascias and soffits. Capping them, instead of replacing them entirely, can be a far more economical way of protecting your home and its timber.
The cost of capping your fascias and soffits can vary depending on the size of your home. The cost of the job also depends on how much the labour may cost, if you need scaffolding, and the materials needed.
Looking for information on how to replace your fascia, soffit, and guttering? Head over to our fascias and soffits page for everything you need to know to make an informed decision on the best way to move the job forward. Whether you’re considering a fascia and soffit replacement on a budget or have a little more to spend, our cost guide will give you
To get quotes for fascias, soffits or guttering – post a job now.