Average Labour Cost/Price of Fitting/Replacing Fascia/Soffit Boards

Job 1
All the fascias and soffits (none of which are asbestos) on your semi are being clad with PVCu, the roof is tiled and it has two “hips”. There are no problems with either access or scaffolding erection (no conservatory in the way). There is a bay window at the front and the soffits are the usual 6” (150mm) wide all round but wider each side of the bay.

This will take two men 1.5 days plus materials, scaffolding isn’t necessary……….£500.00

Job 2
Same job (semi-detached house with a tiled, 2 hip roof) but you want the fascias replaced with PVCu and the soffits clad with PVCu.
(Scaffolding will cost £700, PVCu £175, some replacement tiles and tipping £50)

This will take them 3 days and scaffolding will be necessary…………

Job 3

Same job (semi-detached house with 2 hips) but you are replacing the fascias with new
primed wooden ones and not touching the soffits. This will require scaffolding and take 2.5 days………….£1475.00 (Who will do the painting)?

Job 4
You have an ‘up and over’ Victorian terraced house and you want the front and rear fascias replaced with new primed wooden ones. (Victorian terraced houses, being smaller, and when built, cheaper, don’t usually have soffits). The roof is slated and there is no conservatory to obstruct the scaffolding. This will take two men a day and a half plus scaffolding, materials and tipping………£875.00

To paint a further 2 coats ……….

Job 5
You have an ‘up and over’ Victorian “terrace” and you ONLY want the front and rear FASCIAS clad with PVCu.. Assuming there is no conservatory, and access is good, there should be no need for scaffolding. This will take two men one day……….£375.00

Job 6
You have a rather large, posh Victorian villa (gable ends front and back which have no guttering) and you ONLY want the fascias and soffits down both sides clad with PVCu. Assuming access is good there should be no need for scaffolding. As the side access is usually very narrow we do not recommend scrimping and not having the soffits done while the workmen are there. Do it all at once and then forget about it!

Because of the restricted access, this will take two men one and a half days plus materials etc………….

General Fascia/Soffit Board Fitting/Replacing Information

informationFascia Boards
Fascia boards are the timbers which edge most roofs, they are fixed to (and therefore usually hide) the protruding ends of the rafters which overhang the house walls. (Rafters are the
structural timbers, which make up the slope of the roof).

Soffit Boards

Soffits (when present) bridge the gap between the back of the fascia board and the house wall. They were introduced during the late 1920’s when some bright spark thought it might be a good idea to redesign roofs and get the rain water further away from the house walls. They are not always wood though; as they take no weight, they are sometimes made from asbestos sheet.

Soffits get almost no weather at all so require very little maintenance. Fascias however take not just rainwater but every
gutter leak runs onto them, so they always deteriorate over a period of time. Even when they are painted the bit above the gutter is rarely touched and when a metal flat backed Victorian “ogee” gutter is eventually removed, the 100 year old exposed wood can resemble brown candy floss.

An option in this scenario is to cover the fascias (and soffit if desired) with PVCu cladding. This is available in either white or black to match the rest of the woodwork on your house. The fixings are covered with little caps and joints are covered with joining pieces. The result, although not traditional, will be virtually maintenance free (save for the occasional wash down) for the foreseeable future.

Assuming all your fascias are rotten (or you are just sick and tired of painting them), there are several ways to approach the problem.

1. You can simply
clad them with PVCu. (that’s UPVC of course, but for some reason lost on me, its now ‘spelt’ differently. It seems to be the ‘Prince’ of the building world – the Poly Vinyl Chloride unplasticised formerly known as unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride…

This is the cheapest solution. However you must remember that the old fascia may be quite rotten and the new plastic will be fixed to it! So make sure the chaps doing the job fix
through the old fascia into the rafter ends because you can bet your life, they won’t even think of it. You can tell by looking at their nails or screws, if they’re not at least 2” (50mm) long, they can’t do the job.

2. You can rip them all off and fit new PVCu ones.

3. You can rip them all off and fit new wooden ones.

2 & 3 will require
scaffolding. This is because the bottom course of your roofing tiles rests directly on top of the fascia board. When this is removed and the nails (if they are nailed) are 50 years old and rusty, the tiles will all drop off! So all these will have to be removed (including any hip tiles), before fascia replacement commences, then stored on the scaffolding and of course replaced on completion.

Slates however will probably stay in place. Though it’s a heck of a job forcing them back into the correct position with the new fascia and trying to fix it to the rafter ends at the same time.

Also you can’t wrench off timber boards and fix new ones accurately, whilst also trying to remember that you are actually only stood on a thin cylinder of aluminium 15’ up in the air.

If you fit new
wooden ones, they will be planed timber and this never comes “tanalised” (or weatherproofed). They should be “toshed” (that’s builders parlance for painted) with preservative, then at the very least primed with oil based (as opposed to water based) paint before fixing. This will mean a time delay while everything dries and possibly even getting decorators in, if the roofing boys don’t possess the dexterity to manipulate a paintbrush.

Questions to ask the roofer during his quotation visit.

Firstly try and make up your mind which job you want before he gets there. (see pricing below). Some PVCu chappies don’t even know what a piece of wood is, so it’s no good getting them along if you want wooden replacements.

Will it be necessary to remove the soffits?
Usually no. They are probably as sound as the day they were fixed. Sometimes though, a thin soffit can drop a bit, if it’s nails get rusty. If they are asbestos, then just paint them.

Asbestos is only dangerous when it’s flaking, or it’s dust is inhaled, if you are daft enough to go drilling into it. If you want rid, it must be removed by specialists and I suspect these gentlemen drive Porsches and you might just be buying them a new one.

If you are having the fascias
clad, do the soffits as well! AND don’t waste your money and ask him to refit the old guttering, get new stuff all round.

If replacing the fascias, when you replace the tiles, will you be nailing both the eaves course and the first course as you put them back (with galvanised nails)?
Make sure their quotation states that they are.

If removing hip copings, will you be fitting new hip irons and slapping some PVA (adhesive) on the underside of the hip tiles as you are mortaring them back into position?
They better had!

Will you quote for painting new wooden fascias before the new guttering is fixed?
Someone will have to and all that lovely scaffolding is just sitting there (with your roses mashed underneath it).

If you are having just
some of the fascias replaced with new wooden ones, (because those are the only bits you think are rotten), make sure that he states in his quotation the full extent of the agreed work and tells you in writing his hourly rate for unforeseen extra work, because he will find some when he begins the job.

The cost of fitting new guttering and or painting, is covered in other articles and must be added to each of the following pricing schedules.