Are Soffit and Fascia Necessary?

Soffit and fascia under a roof

Is fascia board necessary?

Unless you’ve been in the house building industry or live with somebody that is you may ask “What are the soffit and fascia?” and “Why soffit and fascia and what soffit and fascia use does my house need them for?”.  The soffit is located beneath the rafter tails on the span and the fascia is the horizontal band on the rafter ends. While they may add to the architectural elements of your home along the eaves, they serve a purpose too, and we will go into this topic a bit to examine what soffit and fascia benefits are for a house, and in what way.

They attach your roof to rafters when building the house. Those are the boards you see on the attic ceiling. The fascia boards close the rafter edges up, without them, it would be wide open into your attic. Fascia boards are necessary for a gutter system to be installed, which is important to keep rain moving off your roof and away from your siding and foundation.  A soffit and fascia are paired together, and the fascia board is where the roof and the outer walls meet.

Do gutters need fascia?

Not necessarily.  If your house doesn’t have fascia board, and you want to install gutters, you’ll need roof straps and fit them to the hanger inside the gutter runs then attach them to the roof directly.

For an old house, experts recommend NOT lifting the shingles up to attach the strap. This could cause the shingles to break or crack.  Because metal gutters need a strong back, go with a vinyl gutter system if your house doesn’t have a fascia board. Yes, you can add a fascia board, but its time-consuming and will have to be cut precisely at the right angle.  If you get the fascia board too big and can block the windows.

What is the best material for soffit?

Fascia boards come in different materials:

  • Aluminum: This is a popular choice when replacing wood fascia because it is more durable and flexible, easy to wrap around corners for weather protection. Because it is flexible, it makes it easier to install.  It comes in an assortment of colors and can be painted if you change in your home’s color scheme.
  • Composite: Made with recycled wood chips and sawdust that epoxy resin is used to bond together, which makes it more costly than aluminum fascia. It is the cost that makes it less popular, but if you’re looking for colorfast, durable and resistant to rot, composite fascia board is the way to go.
  • Vinyl: Just like vinyl siding, vinyl fascia board is durable, easy to install and when it comes to maintenance, the vinyl fascia board is the best. IF it becomes discolored, it easily brought back to life by having it power washed.
  • Wood: If you want the most affordable fascia board, wood is your choice. It is multifaceted and water-resistant when the right finish or treatment has been applied. Painting it will extend its life expectancy.
underside of roof showing soffit

Should I use vented or solid soffit?

If you want your attic to have more ventilation, a vented soffit is often one way to go. The question now would be whether you want the entire soffit vented or part paneling and part vented? There are several reasons to use either or as we have explained here:

Continuous Soffit Vent Advantages

The continuous soffit vent has many advantages, starting with this is the best way to go when the roof eaves are narrow. A soffit joist is under sixteen inches across. If you had a larger vent installed in this position, it could easily damage the eaves and roof could easily. A continuous soffit vent has a more secure fit, lessening the possibility of that damage happening. The continuous vented soffit is a great way to go if your house has a large attic space to vent.

Soffit Panel Advantages

If your house wide eaves and a smaller attic, soffit panels are the better choice because your house doesn’t require as much ventilation. Here, if you went with a continuous soffit vent, your house would feel cold.  One alternative is to alternate between solid panels and vented soffit panels. 

If you’re shopping for an old house to be a fixer-upper, you’ll be better off with the soffit and fascia there now even if they may need pieces repaired or replaced. The cost of soffit and fascia install will vary due to house sizes, but on average, you can expect $30 per linear foot for the soffit. The fascia board costs as much as $20 per linear foot.  These prices are the national average for installation, so depending on where you’re located, you could pay more, or you could pay less.

Just like old houses have old plumbing, it often takes the expertise of a professional plumber to find where drain lines and sewage lines are blocked.  With their sewer camera, inspection is easy for them, whereas, for a basic homeowner, it is a hit and misses trying to find a blockage.

Maybe you still aren’t convinced that your house needs a soffit and fascia board, and if you have an older home that will need some work, it’s understandable with cost-saving efforts. Once you live in a house with a soffit and fascia, you’ll appreciate the purpose they serve in keeping the weather, mainly rain and wind, out of your attic. Call 832-246-7884 today for soffit and fascia in The Woodlands, TX.