Soffits and Fascia – An Underappreciated Home Improvement

July 2, 2014

Soffits and fascia are two important elements in home’s exterior, as fascia provides protection to the edge of the roof between the shingles and the soffit, while soffits are critical to attic ventilation, controlling moisture in the attic spaces and moderating temperature extremes.

Brad Flannigan, an exterior product specialist for Callen Construction, Inc., a full service remodeling company serving southeastern Wisconsin since 1986, said the cost of renovating soffit and fascia depends on linear footage, but it is typically a reasonable investment that enhances a home’s look and functionality.

Many soffits and fascia on older homes are wood and need to be replaced as moisture and the elements may have damaged them. “When replacing the soffits and fascia on your home, there are different materials to choose from,’ Flannigan said. “For most homes, I recommend aluminum for its many advantages.” These include:

• Aluminum’s durability and maintenance-free property.
• Aluminum eliminates the need for additional painting. “Anyone who has taken the time to scrape, prime, and paint soffits and fascia knows it’s a time consuming job – and it typically doesn’t last as long as you’d like,” Flannigan said.
• Aluminum’s inclusion of panels to eliminate expansion and contraction. “It doesn’t jostle in the wind and it’s more secure,” he said.
• Aluminum offers color variety to match or accent a home’s exterior. “We use Mastic products, which have a hard-coat finish, baked on enamel coating,” Flannigan said.
• Aluminum lasts the life of your home.

Flannigan said Callen exterior product specialists look at the entire exterior and advise homeowners on what will work best for their circumstances and if there is a repair that should take priority. For example:

• When Callen installs fascia and soffits, the staff looks at the existing board to make sure there is no damaged or rotting wood. “If so, we recommend that it be repaired at this time before your maintenance-free products are installed,” Flannigan said.
• On the fascia, Callen does a pressure bend so it doesn’t ripple and homes get a stronger profile and rigid performance.
• For soffits, Callen checks the existing venting to make sure the attic is getting the ventilation it needs. “We install vented soffits to enable air to go up through the attic to keep the attic cooler in the summer, prevent moisture damage, and prevent ice damming in the winter,” Flannigan said.
• Corners are butted, as everything is mitered to the gutters.
• Color coated nails the same as the fascia are used so they are not visible.
• If there is a brick mold under the soffit, which is a board band, Callen trims that as well to alleviate all maintenance.

Soffits and fascia can be installed at any time and is always done when a home is re-sided. “However, if you anticipate replacing your roof, you should do that first to avoid any potential scratching to your new soffits and fascia,” Flannigan said. “We also recommend that if you are doing the soffit and fascia, do the gutters too and include a gutter protection system that lets water flow through the gutter while the debris stays out. You will then have a complete system with no maintenance worries, added value to your home, and a boost to your home’s curb appeal.”

“When replacing soffit and fascia, you are taking care of bad wood, ensuring you have proper attic ventilation, eliminating maintenance, and giving yourself peace of mind,” Flannigan said

The Home Exteriors by Callen showroom in Brookfield on 191st and Capitol Dr. has a wide assortment of products on display, including Infinity® Fiberglass replacement windows from Marvin, siding, doors, and roofing, and Gutter Topper®. Callen’s Muskego showroom on 131st and Janesville Rd. contains a variety of samples, including full kitchen and bath displays featuring Kohler fixtures and Starmark cabinetry, countertops, as well as Infinity® Fiberglass replacement windows from Marvin.

Callen is a member of several home improvement and area associations, including the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, National Kitchen & Bath Association, the Metropolitan Builders Association Remodelers Council, Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce.

For more information or for a free in-home consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509 or visit

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