Your house is the biggest investment you are ever likely to make so it seems obvious that you want to keep it a state of good repair. After all ,if it’s falling down, you probably wouldn’t sell it or if you did you would not get its true value.
Next time your in your garden take a look up to your roofline, that’s the part that has the gutter attached to it, is it looking past its best, is the gutter sagging or has it come away from itself?, have you noticed birds nesting in the roof, these are just some of the things that could mean your roofline needs to be looked at before it gets any worse.
Birds nesting in between the rafters cause the truss ends to rot, this is from the birds bringing wet grass back to build their nests, the body heat of the birds as they nest and also from rainwater getting behind the fascia boards (the birds make holes in the felt). Rotten wood needs to be removed, it will not get any better.
Some people will opt to have the existing wood covered over, this is fine as long as the original wood is in good condition ie. absolutely no rot whatsoever, however if there is the smallest amount of rot etc. it must be removed no questions. There really is very little difference in price for having full replacement maybe a couple of hundred pounds.
For full removal the first row of tiles should be removed, approx 6 inches of roofing felt should be cut away. This allows the fitters access to the rear of the fascia board which in turn makes it easier to remove. Once the gutter and fascia has been removed, the soffit can be inspected, in most cases the soffit could well be asbestos in which case it can be left in place, it does not rot and is expensive to dispose of, if the soffit is wood it can be removed if needed, some fitters leave the existing wooden soffit in place and cover over it with the new soffit, this is purely down to the fitter and does not compromise the work. sprockets should now be fitted to the truss ends, these are basically wooden batons screwed in to the truss ends that the new nails that hold the fascia on are nailed into, this is to stop any new nails being knocked into existing nail holes, you do not get a solid hold and the new fascia board may move a little.
Once the fascia board has been attached, it is time for the gutter to be fitted. This comes in either round, square or ogee, round or square are generally fitted – ogee is quite expensive, the gutter normally comes in 3 different colours, Black, White or Brown, there should be no difference in the price for colours or style.
Now the gutter has been fitted it is time for the venting system and bird combs (to stop birds re-nesting), this basically sits on top of the fascia board and slips under the existing felt, this ensures that any rainwater that gets between the tiles actually runs down the felt into the gutter and does not fall behind the fascia, the venting system allows air to circulate the loft space and stops condensation forming. Please note: depending on the type of tiles you have birds combs may not be needed.
It now just leaves the downpipes to be fitted, if your home has gables with fascia and soffit, they be replaced in much the same way as the fascia and soffit (with gutter) although there will not be any need to remove tiles, felt etc.
All of this can be carried out for a relatively small amount of money, an average sized house with 20 metres of fascia, soffit and gutter and 2 gables with 10 metres of fascia and soffit should not come to anymore that £1500.
If you have a coloured fascia or a woodgrain effect be prepared to pay almost double the price for white, unfortunately coloured and woodgrain are extremely expensive so beware.
Any decent fitting company should remove all rubbish from you property, they should leave your property clean and tidy.