Outdoor living spaces, such as porches, are becoming increasingly popular amongst homeowners. Porches, patios, decks, and other spaces are being added to more homes than ever before as people choose to expand their definition of home and how they use the space.
More than half of all single family homes now have porches, with most new homes being built having porches installed there as well. But having a porch isn’t enough; because the porch is located at the front of the property, it’s curb appeal must also be taken into consideration. This means that all aspects of the porch’s appearance must be considered, including giving a finished look to its edges and underside.
What Is the Porch Soffit?
Part of any porch’s construction is the inclusion of an overhang or roof. While a deck is exposed to the elements, a porch is typically a covered extension of the home, and therefore of the house’s roof. The porch roof will usually have the same roofing material as the rest of the house, and it will be given a finished interior as well as exterior.
But one area that frequently gets overlooked is the soffit. This is the front portion of the overhang, below the gutter system.
Without a soffit, you would see the exposed underside of the porch’s roof.
Porch Soffit Ideas
The soffit has a few different purposes. In the first case, a soffit is used to create a finished look for this area. In this instance, the soffit is a big part of how your porch looks, and therefore contributes both to the curb appeal of your property, and the overall value of your porch. Without the soffit, your porch would not appear finished, or have as nice a look.
Soffits are also important to the function of the area, as well. If the rafters and underside of the roof and overhang are exposed, then they are susceptible to the weather. This can lead to mold, wood rot, and moisture damage to a crucial area of the home. These issues have a tendency to spread once they are first introduced, so while mold on the underside of your porch may not sound like a significant issue, it may spread to the rest of your roof and attic space. With a soffit in place, this area is protected from the elements, and you’re less likely to experience issues such as mold and mildew.
In addition, a soffit may also add ventilation to this area. Soffits are often perforated to allow the circulation of air through the rafters and attic space. This helps keep the area cool, and allows any condensation to evaporate naturally, preventing issues.
1. Add Character with Soffits
Soffits for porches also add character to the front of the home - the place where it’s most effective in terms of curb appeal and exterior design. Many people put a lot of focus on the siding and roofing of a house. And these are very important areas for giving a home its appearance. They aren’t the only areas that are responsible, however.
When you add a front porch, you’re changing the style of the home. The porch soffits that you choose will help define that style, and add character to the space. Not every detail of the soffit will be seen from the road, but many features will be seen by those utilizing the porch.
Consider using these porch soffit ideas and include these features and details to make the most of the area.
2. Wood Grain
No matter what type of cladding you use on your home, a nice detail for the soffit area is to give it a wood-look. Wood is actually not the best material for use in the soffit, as it’s too easily damaged by moisture. But materials like fiber cement, which can give a cedar-look to the soffit, make a durable, attractive option that can make the most of this area.
3. Smooth Surfaces
While wood-look grain is a nice detail, it won’t work on every exterior. In some cases, a smooth soffit will give you a fresher, cleaner appearance for this area. This particularly true when using a crisp, white trim on a home. The smooth surface of the soffit emphasizes the color as the accent, rather than the material.
4. Color Match to the Trim
Soffits are meant to complete the exterior of your home. So, make sure that the color of the soffit complements or matches the trim. There’s no need to keep it stark white or to blend it in with your roof; soffits can be primed or painted in a variety of shades to complement your exterior.
Complete Your Front Porch
Your front porch is not complete without a soffit to give it a finished look. No matter what type of exterior cladding you have, or what style of architecture your home and porch are, it’s possible to complete your porch soffit with fiber cement to get durability, style, and function for this important area of your home.