Soffits and fascia are common parts of house exteriors that need special attention when it comes to siding. Soffits are areas facing down, such as the spaces on the undersides of rooftops and porches. Fascia refers to the trim that edges the house horizontally, serving as ornamental decoration but also providing key protection. Both soffits and fascia are types of siding, and though they be slightly higher-priced than the bulk of the siding, they are made of the same materials. Homeowners can find a useful idea of the difference in price between vinyl and aluminum soffits and fascia by looking at the general costs of siding, in which soffit and fascia costs are typically included.
Vinyl is a plastic component created from a resin. It is lightweight, easy to install and durable in many different climates. It is one of the cheapest options available for all types of siding, with prices in 2011 ranging from the low end of $1 per square foot of material to $7 or more for expensive siding that is professionally installed. Soffits and fascia cost more toward the high end of that range, because they are more complex pieces of siding and take more experience to attach.
Aluminum siding, although a metal, is also lightweight and can easily be painted, with little maintenance necessary in the coming years. It is more expensive than vinyl as a whole. Though at the low end it can average around $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot, varieties with coatings can cost as much as $15 to $30 per square foot. Like vinyl, aluminum is used both in both vertical and horizontal pieces and can be manufactured with different textures, so there is little physical difference when it comes to choice.
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Owners should factor in other costs when it comes to installing soffits and fascia. For instance, if it is a replacement job and you are having the work done for you, contractors will charge extra to remove and dispose of the old siding, which can tack on an additional dollar or two per square foot. When dividing costs out, soffit materials tend to be more expensive than fascia materials, and the thicker the siding the more expensive it will be to purchase. Vinyl, in particular, comes in several thicknesses.
Vinyl siding can last for a long time, especially with thick versions, but it is susceptible to certain types of damage. Heat and cold can warp the siding material, and vinyl may be ripped off a house during high winds. Aluminum, on the other hand, can fade over time with exposure to sunlight (not an issue with soffits) and maybe corrode in very wet climates, but it is highly resistant to heat.