Capping barge and soffit boards with PVC


The barge and soffit boards on the gable end of my house need to be capped with PVC. The soffit boards seem quite thin so can I nail the PVC to them securely? What are the soffit boards usually attached to?
Bachgennewydd
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The soffit boards at the eaves are nailed to the spar feet. Dwellings built with a row of bricks above window height usually have timber frame from the side of the spar foot running to the wall and a timber fix to the side hanging vertical of the spar butting up to the wall to form a triangle. If there are no brick above the window then it is most likely that the back of the soffit rests on top of the brickwork for support and the outer edge nailed to the spar foot. The gable soffit and barge boards are usually nailed to the wall plate and any perlins running through the roof and the ridge tree. They can also have a different method where the soffit is nailed on top of the last two rafters and the roof covering fixed to the soffit boards. Modern practise is to have a ladder rack system, where the gable brick work is used to support half of the ladder with the other half extended out to fix the soffit and barge board to.
Keith
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Thanks for this advice Keith. I am not familiar with svereral terms you used (e.g. spar, perlin, ladder rack). My cottage was built circa 1900 and was modernised at some stage. A simpler question is: do I need to put the poly pins in where the existing soffit is nailed, or will the pins be secured anywhere in the soffit, which looks like ply?
Bachgennewydd
keith_765 wrote:

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I forgot to mention that there are four (2 each side) joist ends (that may not be the correct term!) projecting under the soffit board as far as the barge board. One final question: what is the best way of preparing the barge/soffit boards before covering them - paint or preservative. If the latter, what do you recommend?
Bachgennewydd
bachgennewydd wrote:

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PURLING is a support beam, either timber or steel, that runs from the centre of the roof under the rafters or spars, wall to wall theses are the timber beams that stick out of the gable brickwork that the barge boards are fix to. You called them joists. I know joists as ceiling and floor joists.
LADDER RACK is a timber frame resembling a ladder with stays spaced out about 1m apart. The inner vertical of the rack is nailed to the last rafter or spar and half of the rack is bricked in and over hangs the gable brickwork. The barge board is then fixed to the outer vertical rafter or spar of the rack. A ladder rack is usually used with roof trusses.
The idea of clapping barge boards and fascias, in my opinion is not a very good idea, as water can get at the back. soffits are ok as these are usually protected from direct weather. When I've seen clapping done there is no preparation carried out, just pined direct on to the original material. In the 1900s the soffit would have been tongue & grooved match boarding, similar to floor board but thinner with a vee cut in the joint. In some cases just a solid PAR board, " planed all round", butt jointed. To pin the pvc soffit to ply wood, I would advise you pin in the same area as the ply as been fixed, as plywood is very hard and bouncy to pin to and could cause damage to the roof covering, from the impact of hammering underneath. Pinning to the barge board should be ok as theses are made of solid timber. The problem comes of how to make the clapping barge board watertight to the underside of the roof covering overhang. As this is were the ingress of rainwater gets in. Relying on mortar pointing wont adhere to PVC, filling with silicon is as bad as this also doesn't adhere for long. One other thing to remember is to check how much overhang there will be left after its fitted. 15mm is an absolute minimum, the more the better.
Keith
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