Installing Soffit: How to Choose and Install Soffit

An image of installing soffit.

Installing soffit can be as simple as just another weekend task that needs to be taken care of with this definitive guide.

3 min read

According to Home Energy, soffits are an essential part of making sure that your home meets basic ventilation requirements. 70% of homes don't meet those requirements, showing just how easy it is to overlook this important detail. Many years ago, not all homes went to the trouble of installing soffits. As time has passed, the construction industry has learned a lot about safety and making homes last as long as possible. These days, soffits are a standard part of every modern home. Read on to learn more about soffits and how to install them.

What Are Soffits?

Despite their now-ubiquitous presence, not everyone knows what a soffit is. A small section of your roof probably extends past the edge of your outer wall. Along the bottom of that overhanging roof, there are vents.

These vents are called soffits. They help make sure that air can flow in and out of your attic. Without soffits, the air in your attic can superheat due to the heat of the beating sun.

Your attic's hot air can end up damaging your roof materials, leading to leaks in the home. That's why well-designed soffits are so important to help your home resist the elements.

Types of Soffits

Soffits come in a variety of materials. Some of these include vinyl, wood, and aluminum.

Wood is a more expensive choice that people choose when they love the timeless aesthetic of wood construction. It is also more difficult to install and will require more frequent replacement.

Vinyl is a much cheaper alternative that resists water far better. The heat and sun can easily end up discoloring it, however.

Aluminum soffits installation is perhaps the easiest, as it can easily bend into any needed shape. Naturally, it does not develop mold and can resist the sun very effectively. It is also a very affordable choice.

You'll want to make sure your material and color choices work well with your siding and roof.

How to Install Soffits

Fortunately, many aspects of construction are more or less standardized. A typical soffit installation panel can come in either 12 or 16-inch widths, one of which should almost exactly fit your home's needs.

When you begin to place your soffits, you'll be installing them into receiving channels. You can buy F-channels or J-channels at many large stores like Home Depot. Your channels will be placed about a foot apart all along the bottom of your overhanging roof.

Once your channels are in place, you'll need to cut and install your soffits. The channels will have spaces to insert the soffit. Once in place, simply nail it in to make sure it doesn't fall out later.

In principle, installing soffits is a science with precise steps. In reality, there will be little bumps and irregularities in your home and materials. This is one reason that installing aluminum soffits can be easier since aluminum can more easily bend to accommodate these little irregularities.

Make Installing Soffits As Easy As Possible

We hope you learned something helpful in this piece about installing soffits.

An image of fiber cement.

Soffit And Fiber Cement Siding Problems And Their Causes

Soffit and fiber cement siding comes with some problems. Discover what they are, what causes them and what to do about them.
An image of soffit lighting.

Soffit Lighting 101: Your Guide to Installing Soffit Lights

Soffit lighting adds a wonderful home accent and is surprisingly easy to do! Our guide shares how to install outdoor soffit lights and helpful resources.
An image of soffit ventilation.

Soffit Ventilation: How Soffit Vents Keep the House Safe and Cool

Learn how to keep the whole house safe and cooler through soffit ventilation. Plus, learn how to start a project adding soffit vents to your home.