A soffit is a material used to enclose the underside of porch ceilings and eaves. Installing soffit determines the location of the outside and inside of the corner posts. The material can protect your home from weather elements.It also eliminates the need for priming, painting and scraping every year. As a homeowner, you have the choice of aluminum or vinyl soffit. Each material has its own unique features, pros, and cons.
Want to know how to install soffit?
Read on and learn the tips to get the best soffit installation for homes.
Step One – Gather Your Tools and Materials
Install soffit as a DIY project. To do so, you need the right tools. Here is what you need.
- Combination square
- Tape measure
- 3-inch hole saw
- 3/8-inch cordless drill
- Wood chisel
- Extension ladder
- 1 ½ inch sheet metal screws
- Aviation Snips
- 1-inch aluminum trim nails
When it comes to materials, you have the option of aluminum or vinyl soffit. Others include J-channel and fascia wrap.
Step Two – Cut the Soffit Material Neatly
If you are working with factory-finished aluminum soffit, use hand and power tools to cut. For medium sized cuts, use aviation snips. But for large and repetitive cuts, use a sliding compound miter saw.
To extend the life of the miter saw blade, apply a few drops of WD-40. The applied finish on your aluminum soffit will last for decades. Problem is, it scratches easily when going up.
To reduce the scratches, install self-sticking felt pads on the saw’s support arms.
Step Three – Installing Soffit and J Channel
Start by measuring the area to determine the space required by either the brick or stone veneer. Now, allocate the J Channel the same distance from the wall. Fasten the J Channel and that's it.
The next step is how to install soffit. Measure the area first. The reason for this is that the eaves do vary in width.
By measuring, you are sure that the space you are working on will fit neatly.
You also have the option of cutting soffit pieces to suit the space. When cutting, make sure that the pieces leave a ¼ inch space from the wooden eave framing. To secure the aluminum soffit, use framing as a center punch.
This will get nail holes in all pieces of the soffit. Using aluminum nails that come with the fascia and soffit material will not work. Why? They are too soft and short.
Use stainless steel nails instead.
Installing Vinyl Soffit and Keeping It Attractive
When you install vinyl soffit or aluminum soffit, ventilate it. By doing so, you prevent excessive heat to build up. Also, you prevent condensation from forming.
To prevent this, choose to install soffit during hot weather. This trick works for aluminum soffit too. For vinyl soffit, install several aluminum soffit vents. In combination with ridge or gable vents, it improves attic insulation.
How to Install Soffit like a Pro
Now that you know how to install soffit, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, follow all ladder safety rules to avoid accidents. Second, wear protective gear such as protective eyewear, and work gloves.
Do this when cutting aluminum and vinyl soffit materials.
Did you enjoy our post on how to install soffit: tips to get the best installation for homes? Learn more about how to build a soffit.