Knowing your Gable End from your Elbow – guide to fascia

Knowing your Gable End from your Elbow.

Our fasciaquoter website shows you diagrams to help you identify how and what to measure – all measurements should be able to be taken from the ground, including the gable ends so you haven’t got to reach for the ladders to get an online quote.

Roofline refers to the wood or plastic boarding around your home that runs between the roof and the tops of the walls. Your guttering is included in the term ‘roofline’ as it’s the boarding that your home’s guttering is fixed to, collecting rainfall from the roof covering.

Traditionally, roofline has always been wooden and flaking and rotting timbers around the roofs of properties are surprisingly commonplace. Left untreated, this can easily lead to leaking roofs and ceilings as bad weather forces its way through into the loft / wall cavity space behind.

Very often, this rot goes beyond the visible timbers and affects those that hold flashing in place etc. This is when water is most likely to leak through and into the inside of the house, ruining interior decoration and furnishings.

Maintenance of wooden roofline is a constant battle with the elements and usually involves a yearly sanding down and re-painting chore and not a very pleasant one either. Having to balance off of a wobbly ladder with paintbrush in hand (if the weather allows you) – it’s not much fun! Also, the costs associated with repairing rotting roofline can be quite high now as new health and safety regulations may mean the erecting of scaffolding where previously a ladder would have sufficed for access, which is why Upvc roofline has become most appealing.

Upvc roofline has become the modern material of choice. Like its window counterpart, it doesn’t need re-painting, is extremely low maintenance and doesn’t rot and it doesn’t just come in white. You can very often specify dark or light woodgrain effects as well. To complement the colour of your upvc windows or doors etc or just to blend in with your homes exterior in general.

However, asking for advice when you don’t know the ‘lingo’ can be daunting and off-putting so here’s a quick guide to the essential roofline components:

Bargeboards – these are the fascia boards that follow gable end rooflines. They are usually cut to form a neat join at the apex of the roof (eaves end) and the gable end (where bargeboard meets fascia).

Soffits – this is the boarding that runs right angle to the wall surface, facing downwards. Its very often ventilated with mesh covered slots to allow roof space to breathe, the mesh stops birds and other wildlife entering your loft space.

Cladding – this is the ‘overlapping planking’ you see on some properties either in gable ends, or on walls. You’ll also find it on some properties that have bay windows – the cladding being fitted between the upstairs and downstairs bays. Again traditionally wooden, wooden cladding can soon need re-painting, is prone to rotting and letting damp affect interior walls. Upvc cladding solves these maintenance problems and is also available in insulated upvc cladding in a tongue and groove or overlapping style.

Guttering – the half pipe and whole downpipes that collect rain water from the roof edges and take it to drainage on the ground. This also includes the clips that the guttering fixes to the roofline with. Guttering is now available in square as well as round pipe, and usually white of black plastic.

Fascia – this is the boarding that guttering normally fixes to. Its usually in straight lengths so it’s pretty easy to pace or measure the lengths from the ground when you want to get a quote.

Flashing – usually lead – is the ‘grey metallic’ strip that is usually cemented into the brickwork and covers / lips over the edge of the roof, making a durable waterproof ‘edge’. It’s not usually affected by the fitting of new fascia, except where flashing meets the roofline. In most cases, it can be bent back (it’s quite a soft pliable material) out of the way and then re-hammered and bent into place afterwards. Most noticeable around chimney stacks where they meet the roof and on some modern homes, it’s used where moulded bay window canopies meet the wall. You’ll also find it where conservatory roofs meet the wall of your property.

When having roofline replaced and especially if its replacing wooden roofline, then its important to check the felt underneath. This is usually the point at which felt deteriorates the most. If it does need replacing, then it’s usually a matter of removing the first few rows of tiles and fitting a new length of felt before replacing the tiles. Sometimes, the first wooden baton the tiles fix too has also rotted beyond repair. No worry, a new baton is simply fixed in its place whilst the roof is exposed. No sense in having to remove it all again next year to do the job then.

Home Improvement Quotes has a dedicated website where you can get an instant online quote for your property – Just type in your measurements, specify gable or straight runs, if you require guttering (it usually make sense to have the lot done at the same time) and if you require the old roofline removing.

Go to and try it now. Its completely free and only takes a few minutes to give you a price quote there and then without the need for a salesman to call! You can save pounds by getting an online quote and a considerable amount of hassle and time by having approved companies come and do the work for you.

If you are still thinking of replacing your fascia yourself with upvc, one thing you must watch out for is the correct use of upvc fixtures and fittings and as upvc roofline involves the use of end strips and cappings, that these follow the line of rainfall so they don’t attract and trap water – causing more rotting problems that you had before. Then there’s still that ladder to contend with…

5 thoughts on “Knowing your Gable End from your Elbow – guide to fascia”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *