You’ve come to the point where your fascia soffit and guttering needs an overhaul, and you been presented with more options than expected. Now you're wondering what information is correct, who you should trust, and whether certain cheaper options are actually value for money? Hopefully this will help.

Fascia Replacement

A full fascia and soffit replacement is our preferred method here at Fascia Force. Removing the existing fascia and soffit provides the opportunity to strengthen, straighten, and level the roof line. It also solves hidden defects as the structure is opened and can be inspected. The original timbers do not usually provide adequate fixing for the new PVC boards, so fixing points and support can be created. This is achieved by installing short timbers known as “soldiers” Fixed directly to the side of each rafter. This results in a roof line that is both straight and strong. Fascia replacements should come with a comprehensive guarantee and peace of mind, knowing it’s been built to last.

Fascia replacement

Image depicting soldiers creating new roof line structure. Note degraded felt that would not otherwise be diagnosed without properly stripping the roof line as with a fascia replacement.

Fascia Lining – (Cap)

Known in the industry as a “cap”, “clad”, “cover board” or “cloaking”, thinner, cheaper boards are fixed directly over the existing fascia and soffit, giving the appearance of a fascia replacement at a lower cost. Fascia lining is used as maintenance free alternative to repainting your original wooden fascia, and is not a method of fascia repair. If you are considering a fascia lining, your existing fascia and soffits must be in perfect structural condition. However, as the roof is not opened whilst performing a lining, any hidden defects like degraded sarking felt or hidden rot are not exposed and there is little opportunity to fix simple issues like these. We must be clear, fascia lining is an inferior method to fascia replacement. Yes it is cheaper, but a replacement is always better value for money. As a result we do not openly encourage fascia lining as it is too often used to cut corners.

Fascia replacement

An example of rot harboured by a previously capped roof line. Notice the PVC boards capping the original rotten timber. Also note the rot has penetrated through the fascia / barge board all the way into the structural rafter, making the entire roof line dangerously weak.

Fascia half cap

Another method often offered is to replace the fascia but to leave the old soffit in place, fixing the new soffit to the old. This is often offered when the fascia is too rotten to cap. We recommend that this is avoided as we see it as a “half job”.

With a half cap the new soffit is reliant upon the security of the original soffits fixing after force has been placed upon it to remove the original fascia. The original fascia itself normally provides half of the original soffits support via a groove in the its back. When this fascia is removed, half of the original soffits structural integrity has been removed also, and then the new is fixed to it.

If you are going to replace a rotten roof line, actually replace it, and strengthen, straighten and repair the rot while you are there!

There are 2 reasons why others offer “half caps”.

  1. The first is laziness / cheapness. By cutting the corner of having to re build the structure of the roof line, the job is quicker for the installer. The structure however is not rebuilt.
  2. The second is that the original soffit is asbestos and the installer has no plan or method to remove or dispose of asbestos correctly, so they leave it in. This results in the new soffits being fixed to the original asbestos and causes asbestos dust in your home. (Please see our asbestos soffits post)
birds nest in roof

One of our fascia replacements adjoining a competitors recent neighbouring fascia cap. Notice the rot in the neighbours original capped fascia, and the birds nests holding damp in the roof

Guttering replacement

Never entertain re-fitting original guttering. Refitting the original guttering is the same time and cost in labour as fitting new, and the PVC guttering itself is cheap. If you have original guttering refitted you are highly likely to experience leaks and your missing out on manufacturers guarantees that can range from 10 to 50 years. Remember, your not going to save any labour costs here.

We hope this post has helped you make an informed decision. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.

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