Soffit Repair Restoration


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Not exactly woodworking so hopefully off-topic is the best place for this.   

My 1910 home has original copper integral/inlay gutters but the molding  that supports the gutter is rotting, the mitered corners are way open, and much of the soffits underneath have rot and decay and last summer we were the winners of a giant paper wast nest in the attic because of this. 

I am planning on rebuilding the soffits (while I home :) :). And was wondering if you guys/gals think my approach is sound?  I will attach a drawing set.  But basically I need to add a Sub Fascia so am planning to trim down the rafter ends and attach sub facia to that, which i think will enable me to keep the same pitch at the roof and not have to mess with shingles/sheathing much.  We are installing fiberglass gutters not shown ($$$$) to match the look and feel of the original inlay gutters that look(ed) like a beautiful molding as opposed to an aluminum gutter.  

Thanks for your help.  If you know of a better forum to ask home reno repair restoration questions, please let me know.  Thanks!  Curtis

SoffitPlan.jpg

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Should work fine.  Pull a line from one end of the house to the other to set the rafter extensions to.  Fasten the end ones where you want them, pull the mason's line really tight, and set all the others just leaving a hair of light under the line.  Don't Push The Line with any piece.

I did a similar repair to an 1850 house, that had built in gutters originally, and someone just hacked those off, leaving a really tall fascia, and less overhang.  I think there are some pictures of the process on the Structural page on my website.  edited to add:  Sorry, I checked my website, and that's not on there.

When I built new houses, piece by piece, I always used a "sub fascia" too, but I made them out of 2x material.  I used 2x's for the soffit framing too.

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Thanks guys!  Really appreciate it.  And Tom, yes the Fascia board or Sub Fascia and nailer should say 2x.  Don't know why I put 1x, I think I meant that for the Fascia.  It looks pretty straightforward, Im guessing I will spend most of my time getting up to the second floor scaffolding and always forgetting something and having to go back down :). 

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On the old one I was talking about, I didn't cut away any of the old rafters.  I just scabbed on extentions.

It was this one.  I used the opportunity to incorporate a soffit vent, even though it had never had any. 

DSC_0006.thumb.JPG.00e351099a24c1f65884eb325bb8b478.JPG

This is what we started with.  This fascia was a little over 15" tall.  They had hacked off the built in gutters, and didn't add any length back to the rafters, but just built up a fascia.

roofsag.jpg

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It doesn't need a ridge vent.  The whole roof breathes.  The Cypress shingles have purlins 3-1/2" wide, with 3-1/2" space between them.  The shingles have 7" of exposure.  You can go up in that attic, in the daytime, and see light coming in all over between the shingles.  They are four layers thick, being 28" long, but have some open space between every one.  

There are several ways to do a ridge.  They had ripped the original ridge cap off, when they put on that standing seam in 1982.  I did the best I could do to replicate what was there originally, with only the old nail holes left for a clue.

That's why they last 150 years.  With the recommended method of installing wooden shingles, these days, they might last 25 years.  We have Cedar Shakes on our house, on purlins, that are 40 years old, and still as good as when they were first installed.  The life has been engineered out of wooden shingles, by trying to come up with a "better" way, that doesn't let them breathe.

We had to help the sag in the roof.  That was the job I was called there to do.  The roof was about to cave in.  We ended up working there for almost two years.  You can see the shingles, and purlins in this picture from underneath.

 

 

finishedtrussview.JPG

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Here's the way we left that place.  It was the only thing I've ever worked on that was more than 10 miles from home.  This was 35 miles away.  I only did it because they were desperately in need of help on it.  We'd still be there working, but I got it to a good stopping point, and came back to working close to home.  The windows were completely restored, including handblown cylinder glass to match the only 18 original panes left, and operate perfectly, as do the shutters.

If you look at the earlier picture in this thread, you can see that we changed the 20th Century Chippendale Balustrade to a more correct 18th-19th century version.  They keep begging me to come build a reproduction separate kitchen building.

CIMG2126.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/18/2020 at 5:08 PM, Tom King said:

Should work fine.  Pull a line from one end of the house to the other to set the rafter extensions to.  Fasten the end ones where you want them, pull the mason's line really tight, and set all the others just leaving a hair of light under the line.  Don't Push The Line with any piece.

 

Tom, quick question if you happen to see this.....just wondering what you like to level the fascia board in reference to. i.e. drip edge, shingle line, window trim, siding? etc.  I ran a laser level line just to see, and over 20 ft, the roof egde corner to corner, there is about 1 1/4" difference so definitely can't go off that :)

 

Thanks again. 

 

I also changed a bit how I am doing the sub fascia.  The rafter tails are pretty wavy, at each tail I am installing individual blocking (2x6 turned 90 deg, so i dont have to screw into end grain) at each rafter tail,  that I can adjust each separately to the string line creating a new, hopefully straight, nailing face.  Fingers crossed.  

 

 

 

 

SoffitBlocking.jpg

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That's the way I would do it.  Pull a line really tight, and set the upper, outside point of the extensions to the line.  Other than the end pieces, where the line is attached, leave a hair of light under each of the others.  Regardless of how it works out with anything else, that needs to be a straight line.  I use several 4 penny finish nails to hold the line exactly on the right point on the end pieces.

I like to leave about a quarter inch of clearance behind the drop of the drip edge.

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A masons line is your friend. Often you are not after level and plumb in every orientation. With a masons line and an understanding how to stretch it taught, you can get a feel for how connecting two points in a plane will interact with the other lines of your house. This typically only requires a board attached or clamped to your fly rafters. 
 

Ha!! Hit post in time to see Tom’s post.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Soffit rebuild and new gutters almost done. Excited to share some pics when I am done, so thanks again for the help above.  Helped tremendously.  

 

Quick question, what is this corner return section is referred to (image attached)?  It looks like a simple box with a gutter on it from below, but I have quickly realized its a little more complex from above with how it ties into the crown , siding and flashing.  Previously the inlay gutter was simply covered in a piece of lead.   But this area was a reason for some water intrusion in the original home.  So hoping to try and do it right, but need the correct terminology to search for it :) :)

 

 

Soffit return.jpg

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Cornice Return is one name for it, but there are many.  The Greeks had their own names for every part, and many are still used, but not for that one.  Raking Cyma's have to be custom made for each roof slope, but that is almost never done any more.

Google:  "cornice return"   and you will see many pictures of details, and different names for parts

Boxed-eave Gable-end Returns - Fine Homebuilding

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Here is one I did that I was able to modify some stock molding to get the raking Cyma to match the horizontal.  Details of the process are on the Architectural Details page on my website, but like most of the pages on my website, I never got around to finishing that page.  This picture was just in the process of building it.

DSCN8798.JPG

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