I need to have about 100 ft of my fascia and soffit replaced, and I'm
thinking about doing it myself. But before I proceed further, I would
like some expert opinions:
1. How much would a handyman charge for this job (material looks like
cheap wood, not vinyl or aluminum)? Is this something a homeowner with
average skill can do, or does it have to be done by a professional?
2. What kind of primer and paint should I use?
3. Would I need any special tools?
Handy-man can do it - there's no such thing as a "professional soffit
If your hand fits a hammer, you can probably do it, too. Once you take the
old ones down, you'll see how they were erected.
Whatever you like. Latex exterior house paint is probably easiest. Hint:
Paint the boards BEFORE you put them up - it's easier. Then all you do is
"touch up" the finished construction.
No. I don't know about your fascia, but the soffit boards are probably 1/4"
plywood. A power saw and some saw horses are indicated.
Now here's an interesting thing: You can't have too many soffit vents. In
your case, these could be large openings in the soffits covered with wire
mesh (to keep out the birds). Create these vents before you mount the
The above advice may be correct, depending upon where you live. In this
area of central Florida, soffits are usually perforated aluminum sections
without separate soffit vents. The entire soffit area is perforated and
allows airflow. The soffit comes in 12' long sections, 2 panels wide, and
you cut them to the right length for your particular requirements. They
come in white and bronze. Other styles/colors are probably available from
roofers or aluminum sources.
I used to try and do my own maintenance work, but now I've got enough other
tasks that I don't want to spend hours doing things a qualiafied tradesman
can do in minutes. In my case, during renovations the roofing company
installed new soffit material. For reasons that aren't worth explaining
they left a gap of about 9" at one corner. There was interference with an
adjacent wall and awning over a doorway and I didn't want to take the time
to buy a single section of soffitt, maneuver around the obstructions and
insert this small section so I prevailed on the renovation contractor to get
it done. The aluminum screen-room guy was able to get it done in about 45
minutes once he had the right materials. It would have taken me hours, left
me with a lot of left-over material, and wouldn't have been as neat a job as
The reason I even mention this is that you may want to check your soffits to
see if you have any areas that are difficult to reach or where working on
them would be difficult -- if so, you may want a roofing company or aluminum
company to do the work, since they're faced with those problems every day.
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote on 29 Jul 2007 in group alt.home.repair:
I charge $30/hour in Fort Worth, TX. Just giving you a SWAG, I'd say
it's probably a two-day job, but could be much less depending on your
level of expertise. Every job takes longer than you expect because you
find something unexpected when you take the house apart. Blame that on
the idiot lazy carpenter who put it there to start with, then move on.
You can probably do it yourself, if you're careful. You'll screw up the
first piece, everybody does, so start somewhere hidden. Getting the old
wood off without damaging the stuff that stays is a big part of the
problem, so be careful.
Ask at your favorite REAL paint store what kind of paint to use. I
usually buy Sherwin Williams because I get a 30% discount, but all the
manufacturers sell pretty good stuff. The guys at the Lowes Depot
counter are sometimes retired painters, so you might even get good
advice there, if you're lucky. I seldom go the the big box stores.
You'll need a pry bar to take off the old materials. I recommend a
pneumatic hammer to keep your arm from falling off nailing upsidedown.
You can rent one or borrow it from a buddy. Get a helper to hold the
soffet pieces up while you nail them. An alternative is a couple of T-
shaped braces made from 2x4, but the helper is much better -- s/he can
run for the first aid kit.
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