Soffit and Fascia Project

It’s been a pretty busy but uneventful weekend around the Collins homestead.  We decided that we’d better get started working on a couple projects if we’re ever going to finish them and still have time to play around this summer.  I’m going to give you guys a photo documentary of what I spent all weekend working on.  Ready?  OK.  Let’s get started.

We’ve got some fascia and soffit problems, as I’ve documented before.  So I just jumped in head first.  Here’s a before picture:

A couple things to notice in the photo above – peeling paint, wire mesh keeping animals out, and the whole thing is sagging right off the side of the house.  You can’t tell from the photo, but since the whole thing is sagging, the gutters are sloped the wrong way, so they don’t do anything anyway.  Ok, so I just ripped the end off and here’s what I found:

Holy rotten wood!!!!  It’s not clear to me how whoever worked on this last expected this to drain.  the whole inside the eave was just a single 2×4!  This is clearly a problematic design (if the 2×4 is level it won’t drain, but if it’s sloped, then the soffit and fascia have to warp to match the slope.  The warping soffitis clearly demonstrated in the next photo:

Ok, so I started chopping out the rotten wood, and it was pretty much just crumbling in my hands.  Then I found this:

Clearly, somebody has been living in my soffits.  It looks like a bird nest.  Here’s a look at how warped the fascia was:

Next I ripped the soffit off and had my mind blown.  I knew things were going to be rotten in here, but it was worse than I expected.  It’s a little hard to tell what you’re looking at in this next photo, but some of y’all will agree that this is not a good situation:

The next step was to replace a chunk of the totally rotted wall sheathing:

Next, I screwed on a new chunk of wood (technical term) to level things out:

In the photo above, you’ll notice that there’s a good 4 inches of space below the 2×4 and where the vinyl siding starts that wasn’t there when I started the project… that’s just what happens when the vinyl siding is added after the thing was sagging off the house… now that it’s back up in place, there’s all sorts of space underneath I’ll have to fill somehow.  The next step involved putting up a couple new braces and then cut a piece of roof sheathing.  I needed the roof sheathing to be able to curve to match the rest of the roof, so I scored a flat piece of OSB.  I just cut a bunch of grooves about halfway through the thickness of the board so it would be a little bit bendy (technical term):

Now things are starting to come together:

Alert readers will notice that it’s still wonky and crooked.  That’s because I’m not very good at this stuff and don’t actually know what I’m doing.  Ok, well now the next photo looks like we’re actually making some progress!  Check out the new fascia:

That board was really hard to nail in place since I’ve only got one ladder.  Imagine Mel standing on the ground supporting one end of the thing with a 12′ extendo-board while I’m nailing the other end.  Awkward.  I think it looks pretty good, though.  Here I am checking out my skillz:

Here’s the side view of what we’ve got so far:

Yea, yea, yea… I know pocket-hole screws aren’t the right way to screw something like that in place, but I don’t know what the right way is, so I used pocket-hole screws.  There’s two more screws on the other side of that board too, in case you’re wondering.  I think it’s looking pretty good.  You’ll notice that instead of just a 2×4, I’m using a 2×4 and an awkward little wedge to make the roof curve.  OOH.  such a superior design!  Behold my superiority:

HA!  Next, I cut a new piece of fascia for that curved end:

Looks pretty good to me.  Then I put on the new soffits:

Next step, I need shingles & flashing:

OK, that’s it for now. I’m going to go eat sherbet.

8 thoughts on “Soffit and Fascia Project”

  1. Your superiority really is something to behold. The after looks sososososoooo much better than the before. Impressive. I'm also quite impressed at the scoring on the sheathing.

  2. How can you feel bad for the next owner when you just replaced a soffit made of bird's nest and rotten wood? I think you did a great job. I'm impressed with your knowledge of technical terms.

  3. Wow, this is really impressive work. That was a pretty crafty trick, scoring the OSB so it would match the curve of the roof.

    Also: pocket screws in cabinets are the work of the devil, but for soffits I think they’re okay.

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