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Fascia Boards: The Ultimate Guide to Exterior Trim

Exterior trim is one of the most important finishing pieces of the design when siding your home. When you’re planning the trim and determining its color, placement, and impact on the rest of the facade, it’s also important not to overlook the fascia board, and the impact it can have on your design.

Fascia boards may play a small role in the overall appearance of a home, but it’s still important to the function and the style of the finished exterior. Make sure to understand everything there is to know about fascia boards, so you can use it more effectively on your exterior designs. 

What Are Fascia Boards?

Fascia is a specific type of trim, which is installed just below the roof line. It helps to cover the soffit, and provides a more finished appearance for the roof and eaves of the home. The fascia board may vary in width, but is generally a slightly wider or thicker version of the same trim used on the rest of the home. It’s normally painted the same color or given the same finish as the other trim, so that the home can have a more cohesive design or appearance. 

What Do Fascia Boards Do?

Besides its appearance, fascia board actually has a practical function supporting the roofline of the home. Fascia boards are made from structurally strong wood, which helps give support to the gutter, as well as to the soffit, which is installed just behind it. The fascia supports these sections of the home, and gives the gutter and gutter tiles something to attach onto. It also gives the roof sheathing and the roof flashing something to adhere to while giving the area a weather tight seal.

The fascia board needs to be able to bear the weight of not only the soffit, and the edge of the roofline, it also needs to be able to support the weight of the gutters when they’re filled with rain. That is why fascia board is generally a little larger or thicker than the trim used elsewhere on the home, and why it’s so important to choose a fascia board material that is strong, durable, and that will hold up well over time no matter what the climate or elements it’s exposed to.

What Are Fascia Boards Made From?

Like many siding and trim products, fascia boards can be made from several different materials. In many instances, it will be matched to the soffit and trim used elsewhere on the home, so if these materials are made of wood, the fascia board will be also, to help give the most cohesive appearance to the property.

Unlike the rest of the trim on the home, fascia boards can also bear a great deal of weight. For this reason, it’s important to choose a material for the trim and fascia boards that are strong, durable, low maintenance, and able to withstand the climate.

Cedar and other woods typically used for trim often don’t hold up well when used as fascia trim, because the constant weight and exposure to the elements means that the finish will often bubble, peel, and crack exposing the wood beneath. The wood will absorb this water, leading to cracks and eventual rot, which in turn means that the gutter is no longer being securely held in place. 

Vinyl and PVC trim has become a popular alternative to wood for these reasons; it doesn’t have a finish that will peel or crack, and isn’t impacted by moisture. However, any type of plastic fascia board will have issues that mean that it can fail even more quickly than cedar or other types of wood. Vinyl and plastic fascia boards will soften in the heat, and the weight of the gutters could then cause the fascia to warp. Very cold climates can cause the material to become brittle, which means that the weight of the gutters can cause cracks, and the ultimate failure of the area.

One good alternative to these materials is to use preservative-treated wood as the fascia board and trim. Preservative-treated wood has been topically treated to help resist issues that may lead to wood rot. It’s also been given a primer that resists moisture, and helps the paint last longer, so the wood fascia trim can stay protected and looking its best for greater lengths of time. 

5 Fascia Trim Design Ideas

Fascia trim isn’t just functional; when properly installed and painted it can also be an important part of the home’s finished design. The following design ideas can help you visualize how exterior fascia trim can play an important role in the finished style.

1. Decorative Fascia Trim

Fascia board trim can be decorative, particularly when the trim is layered to help create more depth for the area. This type of design also helps strengthen the area, helping it last longer. 

2. Clean White Trim

This fascia board is used to completely frame out the roof overhang of this small front porch. It’s used at the roofline, and at the transition point between the overhang and the posts, helping to bring more attention to the area.

3. Dark Contrast

This home features a red tile roof with a white stucco siding. The dark-colored fascia trim helps to create a bridge between those two colors and helps unify the areas, while also highlighting the various rooflines, calling more attention to them. 

4. Subtle Fascia

Not every fascia board trim needs to be oversized or to stand out. This subtle roof fascia trim helps make the transition to the soffit, but doesn’t call any additional attention to the area.

5. Roofline Accent

This home has a few different roof peaks, which are accented with different colors of siding. The substantial fascia trim helps to call more attention to the areas, helping them stand out and get more attention in the design. 

Make the Most of Your Fascia Board Trim

Fascia boards are important to both the looks and the function of the home. Make sure that you’re using the right type of fascia board to help your home look and perform at its best. Contact Belco Forest Products to speak with an expert on fascia boards today.

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