Are you one of the Americans who would tackle one of the annual 113,000,000 DIY home-improvement projects per year?
We thought so. With a wealth of research at your fingertips, it's likely you feel you can do any job your home requires. Most of the time, it's true. Especially vinyl soffit installation.
The highest priority in this job is safety, as you'll be dealing with ladders and heights. Always remember to follow proper ladder safety guidelines.
Your eaves are waiting, are you ready? Let's hop to it, double-time!
The Quick and Dirty on Vinyl Soffit Installation
Before you start, make sure you have the required tools. You'll need a level, a hammer, plenty of nails, tin snips, a 90-degree speed square, and a tape measure.
Of course, goggles and ear protection as well as your ladder. Got it all? Let's get to installation.
Installing the Channel
First of all, identify if you have open or enclosed eaves. You'll need to install the soffit receiving channels onto the wall, applied level to the bottom of the facia board.
You can use f-channel installed directly into the wall or a woodblock strip can be used for installing j-channel if you have open eaves. You can also cut tabs from the nailing hem of a j-channel and use this modified channel by nailing the tabs into the wall. For enclosed eaves, channels can be added directly to the existing wood soffit.
Nail every 8 to 12 inches, but nail loosely with about 1/32" gap under the nailhead.
When turning a corner, you need a transitional channel to receive mitered panels. In some cases where the sizes of panels don't match up, you'll be able to make a square corner instead.
For this, you can use a back-to-back j-channel, or a factory formed h-divider.
At the peak of the gable, you can bend the back-to-back j-channel, to match the pitch of the eaves.
Installing the Soffit
You must cut panels to fit the span from the wall to the facia board. Try to keep it less than 16" wide or you'll need to install an intermediate nailing strip for sagging. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Measure from the wall to the facia board and subtract 1/2" to account for panel movement. Mark the measurement on the panel and use tin snips to cut. Insert the panel into the receiving channel then nail into the facia board on the ends.
At turns, miter the facia panel to match the transition channel installed earlier.
Installing the Facia Cover
Vinyl facia covers are often bent to match the facia in the field, but, they can also be bought factory formed. Keep in mind, if you are bending your own, you have to cover the edge of the soffit panels.
Slip the facia cover under the drip-edge and on the facia board. Never nail trim sheet tight to the wood surface.
Overlap the facia covers by at least 3/4". At a turn, cut a tab on the vertical portion and make sure to overlap at least 1" after the corner. Miter the bottom edge of the overlapping facia cover.
At the transition from a gable to a horizontal eave, a birdbox will have to be formed from facia cover material using a 90-degree speed square. The birdbox is installed first before the facia cover is installed over it.
Vinyl Soffit: Installed
It's not a huge job to install it after all. It does take a while, and it's quite repetitive. You'll get better after a few panels, so it's a good idea to order a little extra in case of mistakes.
As promised, one quick guide to vinyl soffit installation.
Check out our other soffit and gutter guides and information today!