Cost of Capping Fascia & Soffit Boards

All you need to know about capping fascia boards including costs of materials, labourer and time frames.

capping fascias and soffits

What the job entails

The fascia and soffit boards on many homes are still made of timber and will need repainting regularly to look their best. Fascia boards with peeling paint can make a home which is otherwise well cared for, look simply awful!. Plus rotting fascia boards can eventually lead to rotten roof rafters over time if not taken care of properly.

Capping fascia boards (sometimes called overcapping) is an incredibly easy and quick way to improve the exterior appearance of a house and eliminate the need for painting, this means you simply nail new fascia boards on top of the old ones. The work involved is a lot less when compared to completely replacing the fascia and soffit boards, therefore the job is much less expensive.

Capping fascia boards will involve the removal of all the rainwater goods (guttering and downpipes) so it makes sense to replace these at the same time. In addition this is a perfect time to examine the condition of the roof and joists for any rot or damage. Minor repairs to rotten timbers and damaged or loose tiles can be carried out during the fascia job by any competent roofer or tradesman.

Potential Problems with Capping Fascias & Soffits

But when considering capping rather than replacing, remember that timber will rot over time if it is exposed to moisture via broken roof tiles, splashing gutters or condensation. Cowboy roofers often do not tell the home-owner about any rot discovered during the job, they simply cap over it to finish the job and get paid. Once the fascia has been capped, any existing rot is hidden and it will spread over time unseen. This is why any guarantee offered with any fascia capping does not cover the old fascia that the new plastic is nailed to.

In addition, capping over the existing boards places the guttering further away from the roof tiles, which can cause water to run behind the gutter rather than directly into it. This issue is made even worse on really old fascia boards that have warped and buckled. Finally, in some cases it has even been known for capping fascias to block the opening of upstairs windows by reducing the clearance between the window and the existing fascia. If the window can’t fully open then this is a safety issue as upstairs windows are often needed as a fire escape in an emergency.

Hence it’s often best to just remove and replace all fascia and soffit boards and then fix directly to a solid roof structure, taking care of any minor wood rot or pointing problems as part of professional job. In fact you will find that most professional roofline installers or roofers will refuse to cap existing fascia as they cannot give any meaningful guarantee on the work!

If the existing fascia boards are completely rotten, then attempting to fix new boards onto the existing boards will be a complete waste of time and money. If attempted you will often find that the existing boards simply disintegrate when attempting to fix the new ones and there also may be damage to the underlying brickwork/pointing which is being hidden by the old fascia. A good contractor will warn you about these potential problems and will probably advice against capping the boards in the first place.

Access to the edge of the roof is another factor to consider, if the existing boards cannot be capped using ladders due to an obstruction (for example a conservatory), then the costs will greatly increase and it will not make financial sense to spend all that money on capping the existing boards, you may as well replace all the fascias and soffits if you are paying for scaffolding anyway.

Cost of Capping Fascia Boards

The average cost of capping fascia and soffit boards is usually in the range of £600-£1200 depending upon the condition of the current fascias and soffits, whether the roofline has easy access, and whether your house is detached, semi or terraced.

Most roofline workers operate in pairs and will usually charge around £200-£300 per day with the majority of capping jobs taking just a single day to complete.

Here are a few more example costs for capping fascia and soffit boards:

House Type House Size Avg. Cost Duration
Detached Bungalow £800 1 day
Semi-Detached Bungalow £700 1 day
Detached 2-storey £850 1.5 days
Semi-Detached 2-storey £750 1 day
Terraced 2-storey £600 1 day


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for a Semi-detached house of average size - Total Cost: £750

60%

Materials
£450

40%

Tradesmen
£300

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

It costs much more to remove all the old boards and replace them with new ones as this will normally involve erecting scaffold or access towers and even removing a few courses of roof tiles so the existing boards can be removed without causing too much damage. Capping just involves fixing new boards on top of the old ones, as you can imagine this is much easier and can often be done just with ladders and roof tiles and guttering does not need to be removed.

Capping can be done in a fraction of the time compared to a full replacement and needs less equipment, but is often not the best way to proceed - imagine if you had a rotten fence post and instead of replacing it with a new post you simply nailed another post on top to hide it!
Roofline installers and roofing companies tend to quote by the total length of boards required assuming no problems with access or old asbestos boards which need specialist removal. For a typical 3-bed semi detached house around 25 metres of roofline products would be required, which will cost around £800 to £1000. Whereas to fully replace all the soffit, facia and bargeboards (including removal and refitting of rainwater goods) on the same typical property, would cost around double the amount £1500 to £2000. These of course are average costs, a detailed quote will require a site visit to measure and assess the job properly.
In the vast majority of cases, it is better to replace all the boards with new ones, as this will normally work out cheaper in the long run. However, there are cases where it may be a good idea to cap rather than replace, for example with flat roofs the removal of the existing boards could damage the existing roof felt or rubber cover, which means replacing the roof. So if the existing boards are not literally falling apart, capping may make more sense.
Fascias are the horizontal strip just below the roofline which supports the guttering. Soffits are the underside of the fascia, whereas bargeboards are simply the fascia boards fixed to the gable end of a house. Together, all these roofline products preserve the timber roof structures and brickwork, by transporting water away from them and into the guttering and downpipes. Today in the UK roofline products are predominantly made of uPVC.
Not necessarily, this is possible with a cowboy job but reputable installers will over cap on the front and bottom only and use boards with a ribbed backing which allows airflow behind the capped board so any damp will dry out over time.