How to Install Aluminum Soffits and Fascias

A soffit prevents unwanted insects and birds from creating a home in your eaves as well as giving your home a more finished look. To install or replace soffits and fascias is an easy task that is within the skill set of many homeowners. In this tutorial, aluminum soffits and fascias are used because of their low maintenance after installation is complete.

Aluminum soffits and fascias are preferred by many homeowners because they are light, easy to work with, and need little maintenance. You should choose a soffit that is the appropriate width for your particular home and consider the color carefully. It is difficult to paint aluminum soffits or fascias, so be sure that the color you choose will be appropriate for many years to come.

If you already have soffits or fascias, carefully examine them for signs of rot or decay. You should also check for any signs of rot on the rafter edges. Anything that is rotting should be replaced before beginning to install aluminum soffits. If your wood sub fascia is in bad shape, remove it an install a 2″ x 8″ or 1″ x 8″ to act as the new fascia. If you install a new sub fascia, you should also install a drip edge over the sub fascia to prevent water from working its way underneath the roofing. With a sound sub fascia and drip edge installed, you can then install your aluminum soffits.

Begin by installing F channels along the exterior wall of the home, abutting the edges of the rafters. You should also install F channels on the inside of the new fascia. You can use screws and an electric screwdriver to make the job go more quickly, but be sure to space your screws only 6 inches apart to insure that the F channels can support the aluminum soffits.

You should then install a nailing strip to help support the aluminum panels once installed. A nailing strip is not always needed: if you live an area with little wind or the width of each panel will be less than 14 inches, you can skip this step. Otherwise, you should install a 1″ x 2″ at the midpoint of the rafter, running parallel to the fascias. You can use screws and a driver for this step, just put a screw through the nailing strip at each point where the strip meets the rafter.

With the F channels and nailing strip in place, you can now install the aluminum soffits. Begin by cutting the aluminum soffits to the correct width using aviation snips to fit between the two F channels. You should then put each aluminum soffit panel into place, butting each panel up against the panel next to it. Nail through to the nailing strip, two nails to each aluminum panel if you have installed a nailing strip.

Now you can finish with an aluminum fascia. To do this you should cut the new fascia to the proper width using snips, being sure to only cut the edge that will butt the drip edge. With the proper width, slide the fascia into place, hiding the cut edge underneath the drip edge. Make sure that the fascia fits snugly around the wood sub fascia and then nail it into place. You should space your nails approximately 18 inches and nail through the edge of the wood sub fascia and through the bottom of the aluminum fascia.

Installing new aluminum fascias and soffits is an easy job for a homeowner with some experience with hand tools and an afternoon to spend working on the project. If you have less time on your hands, or little experience working with a screwdriver and hammer, contact a professional who can do the job for you.

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