Fascia Board Replacement: A DIY, Step-By-Step, How-to Guidec

Chris Gennone
Published Feb 16, 2022
·
7 min read

Fascia board replacement

Image source: IKO

Fascia – it's what gutters fasten to.

And like gutters, it's one of those components homeowners tend to forget about until they need to be replaced.

It might seem complex, but as long as you break it down into simple steps, replacing the fascia board on your home can be done yourself!

Whether wood rot, mold, or cracks are the source of your problem, follow this basic guide to replace your fascia board seamlessly.

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Fascia Board Replacement Steps

There are 14 simple steps to replacing your fascia board. Let's jump in.

1. Inspect Existing Fascia Board

Step 1: Existing fascia board on a residential roof

Image source: Arizona Daily Star

Tools needed:

ladder

Before tearing anything off, get a good look at your fascia to identify the problem areas.

You can cut material costs and installation time if you only need to replace a small section as opposed to the entire board.

Additionally, this is an ideal opportunity to determine where the damage came from and address it.

Wood components need replacing eventually, but there may be a preventable reason that prematurely damaged the fascia.

Common issues include damaged roof shingles, insufficient downspouts, clogged gutters, or malfunctioning drip edges that allow water to rot or grow mold on the fascia.

2. Uninstall Gutters and Drip Edge

A roofer removing gutters from a home

Image source: Idaho Custom Rain Gutters

Tools needed:

ladder, cordless drill, a partner

Unscrew your gutters, gutter brackets, and drip edge as they rest on the fascia.

If they're in good condition, you can reuse these components as opposed to buying new gutters.

Therefore, you should exercise care and work with a partner during this step. Long gutter runs and drip edges can buckle when unsupported.

Unscrew your soffit boards as well to get a clear view beneath the roof overhang of your rafter tails and eave decking, which may reveal other urgent issues worth repairing while you have direct access.

3. Cut the Fascia into Smaller Pieces (Optional)

Tools needed:

ladder, safety glasses, mask, hearing protection, oscillating tool

This optional step allows you to remove fascia in a more controlled, piece-by-piece manner.

Additionally, it's easier and safer to remove smaller fascia pieces than an entire board at once.

To start, mark the fascia you plan to remove every three feet.

Then, cut the fascia board along the marks with an oscillating tool, making sure not to cut into the sub-fascia.

Wear safety glasses and a mask to protect yourself from sawdust.

4. Remove the Old Fascia

Rotted old fascia board on a residential home

Image source: Guttaclean

Tools needed:

ladder, utility knife, pry bar, cat's paw

First, cut away the caulking at the fascia seams with a utility knife to disconnect the board from adjacent components.

Using a prybar, peel back the fascia board to remove it from the sub fascia.

To avoid breaking the board, it helps to gouge out the nails first using a cat's paw tool.

Removing the old board should expose the sub-fascia.

5. Examine and Prepare the Sub-fascia and Rafters

Sub-fascia on a residential home

Tools needed:

laddr, sandpaper

It isn't unheard of for fascia board decay to spread to the framing.

With the sub-fascia freshly exposed, you can visually confirm whether or not this is the case.

The time to repair these components is now – when the gutters and fascia trim are removed.

If the sub-fascia and rafters seem in good condition, make sure to sand the wood clean of any residual sealant and paint to allow the new fascia to fully adhere.

6. Pull out Nails

Nail being pulled up by a hammer

Image source: Upgraded Home

Tools needed:

ladder, hammer, oscillating tool

Remove any remaining nails poking out of the framing so the new fascia board can sit flush against the sub-fascia.

Hammer in or cut away any nails you can't pull out of the sub-fascia with a metal-cutting-blade-equipped oscillating tool.

7. Measure and Mark Your New Fascia

Measuring tape flush against a fascia board

Tools needed:

tape measure

Determine the length of your new fascia by measuring the old board or the gap in your fascia.

Once you know the correct length, mark it on your fascia board so you know where to cut.

Ensure the new material you buy, whether that be lumber, PVC, or aluminum fascia, also measures the right width.

In most cases, a fascia board measures 3/4 inches.

The old carpenter's adage, “measure twice and cut once,” applies here.

By that, we mean you should double-check your measurements to avoid wasting time and money cutting your fascia to the wrong size!

8. Cut Your Fascia

Circular saw cutting through wood

Image source: Rockwell

Tools needed:

sawhorse, safety glasses, mask, hearing protecton, speed square, circular saw

Set up your sawhorse, secure your material down with clamps, power up your circular saw, throw on your safety gear, and get to cutting to the proper measurement.

For a perfect cut, use a speed square to guide your saw.

You may need to cut the board ends on 45-degree angles, a process called mitering, to fit the board around corners.

A mitering saw is ideal for this step. However, most circular saws allow you to adjust the cutting angle to make miter cuts.

9. Hammer in a Starter Nail (Optional)

A homeowner hammering in a nail

Image source: Southern Pine Awareness Network

Tools needed:

hammer, 2 inch nails

With your cutting complete, drive a nail halfway through the board.

This step saves you the trouble of lining up the nail perfectly while trying to hold the unfastened board in place.

10. Test the Board

Tools needed:

ladder, partner

Hold the board up to make sure it sits neatly atop the sub-fascia. For longer stretches of board, recruit your partner to help you keep it straight.

Pay attention to where the fascia meets existing boards to ensure an approximately a ?” gap.

Although fitting the boards snug seems ideal, it provides little room for caulk to seal the gap. Allowing too much space, on the other hand, leaves more space than caulk can seal.

After gauging how your board fits, make adjustments as needed with your saw.

11. Nail in Your New Fascia

Tools needed:

ladder, nail gun, nail, partner

If the board fits well, drive in two nails – one high, one low – every few feet to secure it to your sub-fascia.

A partner helps out a great deal here. Have them stand at the opposite end of the board to assure it's perfectly straight when you begin nailing.

To prevent the board from curling out over the years, make sure to nail both ends.

12. Caulk the Seams

A homeowner caulking the seams around a fascia board

Image source: Sharper Impressions Painting

Tools needed:

ladder, caulk, wood filler

Apply caulk around the new board and, if you used wood fascia, wood filler atop nails to protect the fascia from future water damage.

To ensure the caulk fills the seams, smooth the caulk beads after applying with your finger.

You may need to apply extra layers of caulk to fully seal the fascia board.

13. Paint the Fascia

A homeowner painting a fascia board on a residential home

Image source: Retail Insider

Tools needed:

ladder, paintbrush, paint roller, primer, paint

If you're not using a matching board or metal fascia trim, it's time to coordinate the fascia with the rest of your house.

That means applying at least one primer coat and two paint coats.

14. Re-install the Gutter System

A homeowner drilling in the gutter system on a residential home

Image source: A Touch of Color

Tools needed:

ladder, cordless drill, partner

With your spick-and-span fascia in position, you can now put your gutters and drip edges back onto your roof to restore its former glory.

Note that gutter installation arguably requires more precision than fascia repair. For instance, gutters must incline towards the downspouts to drain properly.

Reach out to a professional seamless gutter installer if you want the peace of mind of a job done right.

Fascia Replacement Isn't Hard, but It Takes Patience

A new fascia installed on a residential home

All these steps might seem like a lot to take in, but it's not all that complicated to pull them off one by one.

Even DIY beginners can replace their fascia board as long as they take the time to perform each step correctly.

Of course, you can always hire a roofer to take care of buying the materials, measuring, cutting, nailing, and sealing for you.

Repairing roof framing and shingles, which is necessary alongside some fascia replacement jobs, also typically calls for the expertise of a roofing contractor.

Fortunately, Fixr.com can get you a free, instant repair estimate based on the size of your roof and local pricing data.

Get a gutter installation estimate for your home