Not-So-Fast Fascia

Fascia and Rake Boards Installed

Fascia and Rake Boards Installed

Thursday, November 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving)

Who helped today:

  • Sheila
  • Joy
  • Andrew

What we did:

Today, we finally got to install the fascia and rake boards underneath the eaves and the gable edge that I have been carefully cutting, preparing and staining off and on for the past couple of weeks.

As final prep for installation, I opened my last can of stain yesterday and went about staining the exposed rafter ends and all the plywood hanging off the edge of the eaves and the gable. It was Sheila’s idea to do this and it was a little bit of extra work, but I think it looks great and I’m glad I did it.

Rafter Ends Stained to Match Siding

Rafter Ends Stained to Match Siding

The installation went pretty much as expected and I’m happy with the result. When I was installing the first rake board, I had a little difficulty figuring out where to put the ladder and where to stand so I could properly reach all the places I need to screw the boards together. However, by the last rake board, I knew what to do and everything went surprisingly quickly. The 17 foot fascia boards underneath the eaves were easier. I installed the first one with Sheila’s help. She held one end while I screwed in the other end. By the time I was ready to install the last fascia board on the left side of house both Joy and Andrew were here to help. They were able to hold both ends while I screwed everything in. That one only took me about 15 minutes. I’m really happy with the final results. I think the fascia and rake boards turned out great and that they add a lot of character to the house.

It was really nice to have joy and Andrew here to help yesterday. I felt bad because I didn’t keep both of them completely busy the whole time they were here. However, it was really useful to have extra sets of hands when I was up on the ladders installing the fascia and rake boards. Instead of having to juggle the drill and the impact driver together on top of the ladder, Joy or Andrew could just end me whatever I needed when I needed it. It made the whole process so much easier and is a big part of the reason the last fascia boards went up so much more quickly than the first.

Andrew and I in Mid-Installation

Andrew and I in Mid-Installation

When Joy and Andrew were not busy handing me the tools I needed to install the fascia or rake boards, they took turns cutting up more of my metal roofing to length. That’s not an easy job. I told Andrew he probably wouldn’t be able to do more than one panel before getting too frustrated and tired to continue. I guess he saw that as a challenge, because he kept working on it off and on all day. Now I have five of my six panels cut to length. Only one more to go!

Andrew Cutting Panels

Andrew Cutting Panels

Today’s tiny epiphanies:

  • I discovered today that the fascia board under the eaves should be installed before permanently installing the rake boards under the gable or cutting the rake boards to size.  Doing the installation in any other order makes it very difficult to get the rake board marked and cut to exactly match the profile of the fascia board.
  • Your local lumberyard should be able to sell you 1 x 6 cedar boards in just about any length.  This is great because it means you can get a single fascia board that will cover the entire length of your tiny house without any seams (just make sure you order it longer than you need and cut it to the correct size).

Problems we ran into:

Other than figuring out the best way to stand on the ladder and put screws into my rake boards, I really didn’t have any problems today.  That means it was a good day.

Favorite parts of the day:

This is a tossup.  I really enjoyed standing back and admiring the newly installed fascia and rake boards.  However, I think my favorite part of the day was sitting down to a nice Thanksgiving meal in my dining room (the dining room of my not so tiny house) with good friends, including most of the people that had helped me with the tiny house this year.

Thanksgiving Dinner with My Tiny House Helpers

Thanksgiving Dinner with My Tiny House Helpers

While I’m thinking about it, it seems like a good idea to record the process I used to install the rake and fascia boards:

  • Start by cutting the fascia boards to length. The total length should be the length of the roof minus 1½ inches (to account for the ¾ inch thickness of the rake boards on either side). Be very careful about this cut because if you make it too short, there’s no going back. I must have measured my boards five for six times. There was no way I was going to ruin my 17 foot cedar one by six boards.
  • Make a 45° cut (or whatever angle matches your roof) on the rake boards for the end that will go at the peak of the gable.  Cut the other end of the rake board at the same angle, but cut it a few inches longer than it needs to be.  You will trim it to size later after you see how it fits relative to the fascia board.
  • Stain all sides of the fascia and rake boards. You can add a bit of stain to the ends of the rake boards later, after you cut them to size.
Stained Rake Boards

Stained Rake Boards

  • Install 2 x 4 nailing blocks under the roof sheathing in the middle of the roof sheathing. These nailing blocks should be cut so that they end ¾ inch from the edge of the roof sheathing. They should sit flush against both the siding (cut the back ends at a 5° angle to match the angle of the siding) and the underside of the roof sheathing. They should be held in place with two 2 inch screws screwed down through the roof sheathing (pre-drill).
Nailing Block for Rake Board

Nailing Block for Rake Board

  • Work your way down the length of the house at the eaves, marking the location of each rafter on the roof sheathing. This will make it easy to see where to screw the fascia board in place later.
  • Temporarily install the rake boards on the front and back of the house, either on the right or the left side. Install the rake board so it is tight against the peak but hangs down a few inches past the eaves. The rake board can be held in place with clamps and/or with one or two screws. I found it was very helpful to clamp them in place first and then add two screws in the middle to hold them while you work.
  • After the rake boards are in place on the left or right side of the house, install the fascia board on that side. Have a partner hold the fascia board in place on one end while keeping it flush against the rake board on the side, the edge of the roof sheathing on the top and the rafter on the back. Hold the other end of the fascia board flush against all the same surfaces on the other end and use two 2 inch screws to attach it to the rafter end. While your partner continues to hold the other end, come back and screw that end into the rafter as well. After that, the fascia board will stay in place and you can work your way down the rafters, adding two screws at each rafter.
Fascia Installed

Fascia Installed

  • Now that the fascia boards are installed, go back and trace a line around the ends of the fascia boards onto the ends of the rake boards. Take down the rake boards and cut them to length.
  • Add a bead of glue to the upper edge of the rake board and clamp it back into place. Secure it using two 2 inch screws at the ridge beam, the middle nailing block and at the fascia board. I strongly suggest pre-drilling all of these holes to make sure you don’t split the rake board, especially the holes that go into the fascia board. You have put way too much time, money and energy into these boards and you don’t want to ruin them now.
Installing Rake Board

Installing Rake Board

  • Screw the roof sheathing to the top edge of the fascia board with 2 inch screws about every 16 inches on center. You definitely want to pre-drill these holes as well.
  • Repeat the process on the other side of the house.
  • Stand back and admire your work.
Rake Boards Installed

Rake Boards Installed

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