Everything You Need To Know About Fascia And Soffit

When talking about roofs, we most often mention shingles, flashings, and less often sheathing and insulation. The topic of siding also comes up on our blog, but it’s worth taking a look at elements that are found in virtually every home exterior, and yet, they get very little attention. For this reason, in today’s article we will examine what is the difference between fascia and soffit, We will also find out how to choose good fascia for your home.

What Is Trim In Construction?

what is trim in construction what is fascia in construction

Trim is the total of items used to mask joints. Most often, these accessories are used on roofs and within the upper part of the house, but they are sometimes used around windows and doors as well. Sometimes trim is also installed in interiors, but this is not as common, especially in architecture typical to the northern part of the United States. The most common components that make up trim include fascia, soffit and bargeboards, but more broadly, it also includes skirting and soffit boards, overlaps or pillars that mask wall corners. In exterior finishing, trim can have a structural significance, while in interiors, it usually has a strictly decorative function.

What Is Fascia?

what is fascia

Fascia is a long, straight, vertically located, decorative board located at the bottom edge of the roof. In doing so, it serves as an attachment for most types of gutters. Fascia board is attached to the bottom edge of rafters – in addition to the aesthetic aspect, it also serves a structural function, stiffening the entire roof truss exactly the same as the ridge beam / ridge board. Fascia covers are also known as fascia trim, but it is exactly the same thing.

The fascia must feature high strength, because during a heavy rain, up to 15-20 gallons of water can fall on the roof of an average Chicagoland home (1700 sqft floor area) in a minute! That’s a huge load that must be constantly drained through gutters and downspouts. In addition to durability, fascia boards are also expected to be aesthetically pleasing. For this reason, their manufacturers offer a very wide range of color variations and make their products from many different materials. Fascia boards are also used over doors and windows.

What Is Soffit?

what is soffit in construction

According to Wikipedia, soffit is a horizontally located architectural feature, running from the top edge of the walls to the edge of the roof. Connecting seamlessly with the fascia, soffit also serves both as a decorative feature (masking the insulation and roof truss) and as a structural feature – further stabilizing the facade elements, although it carries much less load.

However, these are not all the roles of the soffit. One of the most important functions of this element is to ensure proper ventilation of the attic – water vapor circulates at all times in the upper parts of your house, including the ventilation. In the case of mineral wool insulated roofs, the construction should be done in such a way that moisture can escape both upwards (through ridge vents) and downwards, precisely through the soffit. To improve this process, many manufacturers put vents in the panels, but this is not essential.

The soffit is also used to hold lighting, and in some cases, hooks can also be installed in it to hold flowerbeds as well as other decorations.

What is Bargeboard?

what is fascia trim soffit bargeboard

Bargeboard is the third of the elements surrounding the roof. A less keen eye might mistake it for a fascia, but this would not be correct – although bargeboard is also placed horizontally, but no gutters are installed on it, and although it is also located at the edge, it is set at an angle, along the roof pitch. Bargeboards very often have a decorative function. It can feature various ornaments, although in the United States, this is not very common. The applications of bargeboards are primarily aesthetic, as vertical loads are mainly distributed to rafters.

How To Choose A Good Fascia?

Choosing the right fascia is difficult because it has relatively many functions – in addition to aesthetics, it is responsible for carrying loads, so your roofing contractor needs to pay more attention to the durability aspect.

In our experience, configurations in which the fascia contrasts with both the color of the roof and the facade look very good – a safe choice is white, light beige and soft gray. If your siding is very light, such as white, you can choose gray or brown. As for materials, the choice is relatively simple – currently produced composites such as vinyl and fiber cement are distinguished by their durability, aesthetics and strength.

Most of the trim elements used for our projects are produced by James Hardie, but we can also recommend brands such as CertainTeed, WindsorOne and PlyGem (Mastic) with a clear conscience. Siding accesories usually resemble wood, but other textures are also available. You should definitely consider completely smooth pieces.

Some manufacturers also offer metal fascia boards, dedicated custom metal roofs in Chicagoland. This is a good choice, because if you opt for a premium product, its operation will be trouble-free. Aluminum and stainless steel are almost completely UV-resistant, which cannot be said of vinyl, for example. One of the best manufacturers of such solutions is the already mentioned PlyGem. If you want uniqueness and natural character, you can consider buying a wooden trim from Fraser.

How To Choose A Good Soffit And Bargeboards?

As with the fascia, the choice of the other elements that make up the trim should take into account aesthetic criteria, as well as durability and longevity. We strongly recommend that all accessories come from a single manufacturer, although it doesn’t necessarily have to be the brand you got your siding from – most combinations will match. When deciding to install trim, pay attention to the warranty terms. Although there are a growing number of manufacturers that provide transferable lifetime protection, some companies are not as generous. This has a major impact on the value of your home when you sell it.

How To Choose A Trim Contractor?

You already know how to choose the right trim for your home exterior, but you need to pay attention to one more detail – the company that will be responsible for installing all the accessories on the roof. Be sure that your Glenview trim contractor offers:

  • Long transferable warranty period with favorable terms for you;
  • Short service delivery times;
  • The right prices;
  • A transparent process for the project, from the initial arrangements to the final cleanup.

This and much more will be provided to you by A.B. Edward, the market leader in exterior finishing services in Chicago’s North Shore and surrounding areas. For more than 20 years, we have proudly served residents of Chicago, Winnetka, Glenview, Highland Park, Evanston and many surrounding communities, making their dreams of beautiful homes come true. We have already been trusted by 11,000 people – you should too!

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