Soffit is usually constructed of vinyl, wood or aluminum and is installed on the underside of roof overhangs and eaves. Soffits create a complete finished look for home and building exteriors.
Install soffit on a home before you install siding for ease and convenience. If this is not possible install the F-channel before the rest of the siding. This will make accessing the soffit easier for installation.
Soffit is relatively easy to install, but should be done with caution because of the height of gable roofs.
Step 1 - Measure
Measure the width of the subfacia (space on the underside of the eave from the wall to the outer eave board). Generally an overhang will be approximately 12 inches, but measure carefully since there are variations for each home.
Step 2 - Install F-Channel
Wearing protective gloves and protective eye wear, place the F-channel mold along the underside of the subfacia. This channel will run the entire length of the gable, running from the bottom of the gable to the upper tip of the gable, including along the other side. The F-channel will hold the soffit in place and hide it from view from the exterior of the house.
Step 3 - Plan the Soffit Installation
The soffit comes in a long strip but has ridges running down the length of the strip. These ridges will be placed perpendicular to the house when the soffit is installed. One side of the soffit has a groove which will be used to stabilize the jointing pieces of cut soffit.
Cut the soffit into pieces the same width as the subfacia, subtracting 1/8 inch. This will provide space for the expansion and contraction of the soffit with cold and hot weather, and prevent warping.
Step 4 - Install Soffit
Starting at the bottom edge of one gable, slide the soffit into the F-channel. Before nailing the soffit into place, slide a small amount of the soffit out of the back of the F-channel. This will prevent the soffit from bending.
Step 5 - Attach Using Nails
Nail the close edge of the soffit to the facia, starting by placing a roofing nail in the center of the section.
Step 6 - Install Next Section
Begin installing the next piece of soffit, following the same process as before. However, slide the smooth edge of the new piece of soffit into the groove of the first piece of soffit.
Step 7 - Continue Installation
Attach the new piece of soffit into place and continue to work up the entire length of the gable.
Step 8 - Complete Top Section
Bend the top piece of soffit instead of cutting it. This will create a smooth corner. Nail both sides to keep it in place.
Step 9 - Repeat Process
Continue installing the soffit down the other side of the gable, repeating the same steps as above. Cut the last piece of soffit to size using tin snips.