Friday, May 23, 2008

Sad Sad Soffits

I was debating if I should redo the soffits this round of siding work or wait till next year... until I discovered that the cedar shakes extended past the soffit and up into the eves. So began tearing down the aluminum covering the old soffits. Under that was a layer of plywood - slightly rotted - and finally the original tongue and groove boards. Or at least what was left of them. Past roof leaks from the old roof gutter system took a toll on the original wood and roof sheathing repairs can be seen. Of course when the house was enclosed in aluminum, the best solutions was apparently to cover all the sins up.

Anybody home??

So now what to do - have 100 years of collected soffit crap rain down on you of course! And then of course was the first eviction notice of the year - to a family of Grackles in the corner.

Now with the soffit demo done I must come up with a new soffit solution. I would love to use a composite material - but nothing I find is quite right. I could get some 1x3 and router tongue and grooves, but that's more work then I'm willing to put into this project. Right now I'm leaning towards using the pine bead board I've used in other eaves off the first story and run it short ways. This would require adding a nailer on the wall and along the gutter, but should look good (not quite original, but who will know??) and hold up pretty well.

It looks like I will need to remove the gutters too to expose the fascia which originally was a crown moulding trim which is still in place. What condition it's in remains to be seen. To add gutters after the roof system was removed, scrap pieces of wood were nailed onto the crown so the gutters could be fastened to the fascia. I might as well take care of this too while I have access to this hard to reach place. But, I won't have any gutter system for a while.

The cedar hanging is moving along. I've been only removing sections at a time as needed, so I always have an original row to reference my new shakes to that's not to far away. I've been using 15# tar paper underneath, which is a little more durable than the rosin paper originally used. Also I go through all the plank sheathing and add screws to help anchor it down to the studs better. I've found them to be a bit loose at times with the original nails backing out a little.

Next comes the first corner which is where the real challenge in shake hanging comes.....


Ranty said...

Oh man, I'm so glad someone else besides me is dealing with soffits and facia right now... I'll be happy to offer moral support! :-)

It looks like you really know what you're doing though. That is awesome and I look forward to gleaning info from your future posts, since I am completely in the dark! I am currently interviewing contractors for the job of replacing all the old fascia and crown on the HH. (Forget soffits - they're stucco-ed and I can't deal with it this year - too much.)

So far 95% of contractors have unilaterally rebuffed the job.


So you have those old-skool built-in metal gutters then, I presume?

mike & rachel said...

This place had 'em originally... but they were removed a long time ago and replace with standard gutters. Putting them back at this point would be too expensive. I think I will put the old half round gutters though, which still looks older than the ones you see normally today.