Covering the soffit of your house can really create a new appearance for your home, and it’s not too hard to do. First, you need to determine whether you want a vinyl or aluminum soffit. I prefer the vinyl for several reasons. It is easier to work with, costs less, and will give a better appearance for a longer period of time compared to the aluminum.
Next, you need to choose the color. Most hardware stores will carry white and one or two basic colors besides white. Not only will you need the basic soffit, but you will need the vented soffit material as well. This is because your attic is vented through holes along the soffit, so in covering the soffit up, you want to be sure that air can still get in, keeping the attic ventilated. Along with the soffit material, you will need the inside and outside trim which will hold the soffit material in place.
The basic soffit material is 12” wide and 12’ long, so you will be cutting the material accordingly based upon the measurement from the house to the inside of the fascia board. Most soffits are about 12”, so if that is true in your case, you’ll be cutting 12” pieces from the 12’ soffit material. Start by installing the inside trim (going up against the house), using screws. However, be sure not to screw the trim all the way to the house. Leave about 1/8” of space, so that the vinyl can move slightly, as it will expand/contract slightly in different temperatures. Screwing this screw in all the way will cause the vinyl to warp after a short time.
After the inside trim is completed, attach the trim which will go against the fascia board. With that done, measure each piece of soffit, then insert it into the two pieces of trim. The vinyl pieces will snap together, creating a locking system that will last a long time. Be sure when you measure not to cut the piece too short, as this can lead to pieces coming down in a storm, if they aren’t secured properly. About each 5 to 6’ of soffit, you should use the vented soffit material, for reasons mentioned above.
You will likely find that having a second person will make the job go quickly, as it won’t require moving your ladder quite as much. However, if you do utilize a second person, don’t let them take the credit. Keep that all to yourself!