Soffit is comparable to vertical siding, and its installation entails more than the actual panels. It protects the underside of eaves and porch ceilings and can provide a hidden vent system. Aluminum and vinyl are the predominant materials, and they are available in solid, fully perforated or lanced, or combination soffits.
Prep the Area
Follow these steps to make sure the area to be covered is ready:
• Check surfaces to make sure they are uniform and straight.
• Reattach any loose boards or shingles that might affect your installation procedure.
• Remove any existing trim.
• Identify possible obstructions such as utility lines. Panels may be cut to fit around them, or you can contact your utility company for removal or replacement.
• Remove gutters. This can be cumbersome and difficult to do without damaging the gutters. If you plan to replace the gutters anyway and are not worried about damaging the old ones, this process goes much faster.
Install Receiving Channels
F-channels or J-channels can be used as receiving channels, and they should be attached by nails every 12 inches along the wall.
When the soffit turns a corner, the channel then needs to be installed with a 1/4-inch gap that can allow for expansion at the walls. Do not overdrive fasteners.
Install each panel one at a time:
- Insert the soffit panel into the channel.
- Make sure the panel forms a 90-degree angle with the wall.
- Nail up the panel.
- Repeat these steps for each panel.
- Be sure the tongues and grooves of each panel line up with the panels alongside them.