Am I over reacting

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Old 07-17-06, 06:02 PM
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Am I over reacting

I got home tonight to review the first day of work the vinyl siding contractor had completed and, discovered that rather than covering a 1 x 2" piece of wood moulding around the underside of the soffit along the exterior wall, the contractor ripped it off so he wouldn't have cover it. The removal of the moulding was not discussed nor agreed to and I was surprised (make that highly perturbed) that he would complete the work in this manner. I've not had much experience with siding contractors but is this normal practice. Is the moulding purily decorative or should I be concerned that its removal has created cracks for cold/hot air to escape or other potential issues.

He also advised me that he would cut out more soffet vents, however, did not. The house is approximately 1050 square feet w/ 18" overhang. Would anyone know what the recommended venting for soffets is. Thanks.



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Old 07-17-06, 07:25 PM
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The 1x2 was probably there for a couple reasons mainly to hide an ugly gap where your siding does not meet your soffit. It is commonly removed so that the soffit can butt directly against the house, and your new siding will meet up to the new soffit. There are no issues related to removing it. So in answer to your question: yes, that is a normal practice.

Regarding the venting, that's a little trickier to answer. The usual ratio given is 1:300. If your attic is 1050 sq ft, 1050 divided by 300 would mean you need 3.5 sq ft of ventilation. However the amount of ventilation is sometimes increased or decreased depending on various factors, so it would just be an estimate.

This 3.5 sq ft or 504 sq inches, would be divided up between intake and exhaust. If divided 50/50, with 252 sq inches of intake and exhaust, that would mean you would need roughly five 5x10 holes that would be covered with 6x12 soffit vent screens. I would just guess that whatever was on your house was deemed sufficient by both the builder and by the installer.

The thing is... no matter how much soffit ventilation you cut in, air will only pass though the rafter bays that are not plugged by insulation. That is something that is usually done by the builder at pre-established locations. So unless you are going to be getting up in the attic, removing the insulation that is probably stuffed between the rafters (which insulates your top plate) or adding styrofoam proper vents and insulating beneath them, it really won't do you any good to add more soffit vents. By the same token, if you increase the amount of soffit vents, you must increase the amount of exhaust by adding additional roof vents, otherwise the ratio of intake to exhaust will be upset. I only mention this in case you aren't sure how the whole soffit venting thing works.
 
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Old 07-18-06, 03:32 AM
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Thanks for your reply Sleeper, but the moulding I'm speaking of is not siding that was installed to cover up cracks. It is original construction on a 40-50 years old house. My thinking is that it should be covered with siding rather than ripped off. Is this incorrect. Thanks.
 
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Old 07-18-06, 03:50 AM
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I pretty much concur with the Sleeper, but pictures might say more to us.

When your 50 year old home was constructed the siding and soffit is not precision cut. That 1x2 was there only to cover the small mis matches where the siding met the soffit. Removing it should not be damaging at all. It IS part of the original construction.
 
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Old 07-18-06, 06:50 AM
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One thing that I didn't specifiy is that the moulding was up against brick not siding. Problably doesn't make any difference. However looking around the neigborhood in all most all cases were soffets have been covered with vinyl, it "appears" they covered the moulding rathter than removed it.
 
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Old 07-18-06, 02:49 PM
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If its the moulding I am thinking it is, its usually removed as Xsleeper,etc stated.
 
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Old 07-18-06, 03:53 PM
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OK, so your house is brick? The board you are referring to is usually called a frieze board. On a brick home, it's main purpose is to cover the gap between the top row of bricks and your soffit. Is it commonly removed when homes have soffit and fascia installed, since the new soffit will usually cover this gap.

I understand that you are upset that this was removed without consulting you. It certainly "could have been" clad with trim coil if that is what you wanted. It looks like this was a communication breakdown where you imagined it would be wrapped, but it was never put into words- or on a contract. Contractors often have standard ways of doing things (this is one of them), and they do not usually stop and ask the homeowner about every single decision. If they did, their hands would be tied and nothing would ever get done. There are two sides to the story, however, and contractors need to know when NOT to take liberty with your home. It would have been much better if he has discussed it with you before taking the trim board off, but what's done is done. As they say, there's no sense crying over spilled milk.

At any rate, if you liked the look of the trim board and definately want something there, I am sure that if you expressed that to the contractor, he could have a 1x2 board installed underneath your soffit and then have it clad with trim coil. You could at least offer to pay the extra cost of having it clad since he obviously had not planned on including that. If you handle this tactfully, I'm sure your contractor would be happy to do it.
 
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