Whether you’re building a new home from scratch or replacing old soffit and fascia, vinyl siding is easy to install. As the saying goes, vinyl is final. Vinyl is easy to install and just as easy to maintain. If vinyl gets dirty, no need to paint, just get out the hose and a bucket of soapy water. Vinyl never rots, fades, cracks or peels like paint or wood and has a lifetime guarantee.
If you’re starting from scratch, then you can skip the next few steps. Most people will start from an existing soffit and fascia, so let’s start from there. Begin by removing the fascia first. Use a nail punch to hit the nails through the existing fascia. Fascia is almost always nailed from the bottom, but can sometimes be nailed on the sides so keep an eye out for rouge nails. Pull the fascia down as you slide it out from behind the drip edge. Be careful not to damage the drip edge, this is really hard to replace! Work around the house from one end to the other. Remember how the fascia comes out! This is exactly how it will go in once the removal is complete.
Pull down the fascia one piece at a time using a pair of needle nose pliers to remove any staples still attached to the sub-fascia. Each piece of soffit interlocks with the next piece so removal is easy. Just remember how it comes down, it goes up the same way! Also remove any J-channel attached to the wall or leave it up and use it, the choice is yours.
Now that the old soffit and fascia is removed, its time to install the J-channel. Cut a few three inch slices into the long part of the J-channel. Fold these up 90 degrees. These will be used as nailers to hold the J-channel in place on the wall. Level over from the sub-fascia and make a mark on each end of one wall. Snap a line in between it and install the J-channel above the snapped line. Use tin snips to cut around any corners.
Once the J-channel is installed on one wall, its time to install the soffit. Measure the distance between the inside of the J-channel and the outside edge of the sub-fascia in several spots. Mark and Cut a few pieces of the soffit with a pair of tin snips. Test fit these in the J-channel and sub-fascia. If it looks good, then attach the soffit with either a staple gun or roofing nail. If you’re handy with a hammer use the roofing nail, they are better. If you can’t swing a hammer upside down well then use the staple gun. Continue along the wall sliding each piece of soffit into the last one you attached covering the nail or staple with each piece. When you reach a corner, 45 degree cut each end to fit together.
Now that the soffit is attached, you can install the fascia. Installing the vinyl fascia is a snap. Just have a friend help hold the other end. Slide the fascia in between the drip edge and the sub-fascia. Press the fascia up tightly to the bottom of the sub-fascia. Use a small aluminum nail in the bottom to hold the fascia. Nail these nails about every four feet or more. Don’t tightly cluster the nails or you will have what is called an oil can effect and the fascia will buckle during hot and cold periods. Make a small slice in the back of the fascia to bend it around corners. Never butt corners together, always bend them around the sub-fascia to prevent water damage.