The overhangs on your roof serve a few important purposes. They protect the walls of your home from rain and snow and help provide shade during hot weather. They also allow your home to properly vent stale air, keeping your home fresh and free of mold. However, your overhangs need protection as well. Because overhangs are usually constructed of wood beams, they need to be protected from rot and mold. This is done by installing soffit and fascia. Soffit is the material that spans the bottom of an overhang while the fascia is the strip of material that runs along the outside edge of the soffit.
Soffit and fascia are available in many different materials. Common materials include wood, vinyl, aluminum, and steel. Before you decide which material is best for you, you should consider the following five factors.
Wood and vinyl soffit tend to be cheaper options, at $6-$10 per linear foot. Metal soffit is more expensive, with aluminum running $8-$20 per linear foot. Steel is rarely used for soffit and is more commonly used for fascia.
If you have a large area to cover, a cheaper option may make more sense. However, the more expensive options usually require less maintenance and are more durable than the cheaper alternatives. It is also important to note that you can save money by installing your soffit and fascia yourself.
Of all the available materials, steel is the most durable. It is a good choice in areas where there is extreme weather and you have a risk of frequent hail storms, because it does not dent. Aluminum is also durable, but is a better choice for soffit than fascia. This is because aluminum can dent under the impact of heavy rain or hail.
Vinyl is less durable than metal options, and it will eventually become brittle due to sun exposure, but this is usually after many years. Of all the options, wood is the least durable, as it can rot or mold over time.
Many people choose wood soffit and fascia because it provides a warm, classic appearance. It can also be painted any color to match your home. However, many types of vinyl offer fake wood finishes that give the appearance of wood and look realistic from a distance. Vinyl, aluminum, and steel all come in a variety of colors. However, aluminum and steel tend to have either a flat or glossy finish that does not have the complexity of wood grain and is best on modern or contemporary homes.
Since wood is the least durable, it requires the most maintenance. It will require frequent painting or sealing to prevent weather damage. Vinyl can be protected with additional coats of paint, but this is usually required less often than it is required for wood. Both aluminum and steel are known as maintenance-free materials. If you opt for one of these, you should occasionally clean your soffit and fascia,but you will not have to do much other maintenance.
Ease of Installation
Of all of the materials, aluminum is the most flexible and easiest to cut, making it easy to install. This can also cut down on installation costs if you hire a professional. Vinyl is comparable to aluminum but a little more rigid, making it more difficult to maneuver into place.
Both wood and steal require more specialized tools to cut and install your soffit and fascia, making them the most complicated and expensive options to install.
When deciding how to protect your overhangs, it is important that you start with the right material for your home and an experienced contractor from a company like Custom Exteriors.