Three Factors To Consider When Choosing Which Fascia Board To Buy

 By: Chris Coxon
There is no doubt that a fascia board is one of the essential items when building a house. In practically every building, in fact, it is necessary to punctuate the edges of the roof and block the adverse effects of weather conditions that might otherwise compromise the building as a whole. But while to include such an important item is in no way difficult, exactly what type of material and structure it should be is something that needs more careful consideration.

In essence, fascias serve exactly the same purpose that cladding does, namely the protection of the building. The only real difference between the two is the area that each is protecting. Nevertheless, just as plastic cladding serves to keep an exterior wall and its brick work dry from the rain, protected from the snow, and sheltered from the glare of the harsh summer sunlight, upvc fascias also ensure that the elements do not cause damage to the roofing and the wooden rafters that hold it up.

The fact is that there are choices that can have a definite influence over such important aspects as the efficiency and the life span of the boards themselves and, consequently, the actual level of protection that is provided to the home. These factors can be categorised in three areas, namely materials, structure and style.

Materials

There are generally two materials used. Timber is the oldest of the two due mainly to the fact that upvc has not been in existence for very long. Though the traditional fascia material, it is also still quite popular today mainly on the grounds of its appearance, with the light and dark wooden finishes often serving to add some character to the exterior of the home.

But it has its downside. Wood has to be taken good care of if it is to last, which means treatments, such as oils and varnishes, that will keep the moisture of a wet summer or sleet filled winter out of the wood. Even in dry weather there can be problems, with the hot sun on a dry summers day causing the wood to crack. The result would not only be that fascias no longer have the aesthetic charm they had, but that they no longer protect the rafters and roofing, which is, after all, their principal purpose.

Structure

It is not just a matter of material that can ensure effective protection, but the actual structure of the fascias themselves. This relates mainly to the design of the boards, with square edge, ogee and bullnose three popular choices. With the square edge type, the panels are rather straight forward in design and can be simply placed side by side along a roof edge. The ogee style has decorate grooves cut into the bottom and top of the panels, which can also be placed comfortably side by side. Finally, the bullnose type of fascia differs in that it has a rounded end but is also easily assembled with corresponding panels.

The bullnose type is often used for commercial buildings, and can be quite large in size, while both of the square edge and ogee designs are usually used on residential buildings. The thickness of each type can vary too but typically are available in 16mm and 18mm. The thicker the board the greater protection it will give to the roof edge, and also the less likely they are to warp or loose their shape.

Styles

The style of the particular fascia board is also important. Since fascias are in plain view, it is understandable that such things as the look, colour and finish enter into the decision making process. While white is easily the most common colour chosen, there is a range of other colours to choose from. Mahogany, rosewood and golden oak are amongst the favourites, while grained finishes give the impression from a distance that these panels are real timber fascias.

Of course, it is important to match them with the overall look of the building, meaning aspects like the roof tiles, the colours of the window frames and especially any existing cladding must be considered. It does not matter whether it is plastic cladding or timber cladding, since the options exist to match any timber. What is important is the fascia chosen complements the building properly
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