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Rake Board vs Fascia (Everything You Should Know)

Are you thinking about sprucing up the exterior of your house, or perhaps embarking on a home improvement project? If so, you’ve likely come across the terms “rake board” and “fascia.” These may sound like just another set of confusing home construction terms, but don’t worry! In this guide, we’re here to break down everything you should know about rake boards and fascia boards, helping you make informed decisions about your home’s aesthetics and structural integrity.

Inside this blog:

  • A brief overview of of rake boards vs fascia boards
  • 4 key differences between rake boards and fascia boards
  • The pros + cons of materials used for these boards

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about rake boards vs fascia boards so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to which type to choose for your home!

What Are Rake Boards and Fascia Boards?

First things first, let’s clarify what exactly rake boards and fascia boards are. They play crucial roles in both the appearance and function of your home’s exterior.

Rake Boards

rake-board

Rake boards are the trim boards that run along the slanting edges of your roof, commonly known as the gables. They are often installed at the peak of the roof, providing a finishing touch and covering the exposed edges of the roofing materials.

Rake boards can be purely decorative, but they can also serve a structural purpose by protecting your roof’s edges from water damage and preventing pests from entering.

Fascia Boards

Fascia boards are the horizontal boards that run along the lower edge of your roof, just behind the gutter. Their primary function is to support the gutters and provide a clean, finished look to your home’s eaves.

Fascia boards also play a role in protecting your home’s interior from water damage, as they help redirect rainwater away from the walls.

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a closer look at the key differences and considerations for each of these essential components.

Rake Boards vs. Fascia Boards: 4 Key Differences

fascia-white-board

Let’s go over 4 key differences between rake boards and fascia boards.

1. Location and Orientation

Rake boards and fascia boards are positioned differently on your home:

Rake boards: These are found on the sloping sides of your roof (the gables) and typically run vertically, following the angle of the roof.

Fascia boards: These are installed horizontally, running along the lower edge of the roof, parallel to the ground.

2. Function

While both boards serve functional and aesthetic purposes, their primary functions differ:

Rake boards: They primarily provide a decorative finish to the gables but can also protect the roof’s edges from weather-related wear and tear.

Fascia boards: These play a more structural role by supporting the gutters and redirecting rainwater away from your home’s exterior walls.

3. Aesthetic Considerations

When it comes to aesthetics, both rake boards and fascia boards offer opportunities to enhance your home’s curb appeal:

Rake boards: You can choose various styles, sizes, and finishes to match your home’s architectural design or create a unique look.

Fascia boards: While typically less visible than rake boards, you can still select different materials and colors to complement your home’s overall appearance.

4. Materials

Both rake boards and fascia boards can be constructed from various materials, including:

  • Wood: Traditional and versatile, but may require more maintenance.
  • Vinyl: Low-maintenance and durable, ideal for areas with high humidity or weather extremes.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight and rust-resistant, suitable for harsh weather conditions.
  • Composite: Combines the benefits of wood and plastic, offering durability and minimal maintenance.

Materials for a Roof Rake Board vs a Fascia Board

Now that you understand the differences between rake boards and fascia boards, let’s explore the pros and cons for the various materials you can choose from.

Wood

Pros ✔️

  • Traditional and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Can be easily painted or stained to match your home’s color scheme.
  • Gives your home a classic, timeless look.

Cons ✖️

  • Requires regular maintenance, including painting or sealing to prevent rot and decay.
  • Prone to damage from moisture and pests if not properly cared for.
  • May be more expensive than some alternative materials.

Vinyl

Pros ✔️

  • Low maintenance, as it doesn’t require painting or staining.
  • Resistant to moisture, rot, and pests.
  • Available in various colors and styles to suit your home’s design.

Cons ✖️

  • Limited customization options compared to wood.
  • May not offer the same level of authenticity for historic or traditional homes.

Aluminum

Pros ✔️

  • Lightweight and durable, suitable for areas with harsh weather conditions.
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • Requires minimal maintenance, making it a long-lasting option.

Cons ✖️

  • Limited color choices.
  • May not provide the warmth and authenticity of wood.

Composite

Pros ✔️

  • Combines the durability of plastic with the appearance of wood.
  • Low maintenance and resistant to rot and pests.
  • Available in various colors and styles.

Cons ✖️

  • May have a higher upfront cost compared to some other materials.
  • Limited availability in certain regions.

Cost Considerations

The cost of rake boards and fascia boards can vary depending on several factors, including the material, size of your home, and local labor costs. Here’s a rough estimate to give you an idea:

  • Wood: $4 to $10 per linear foot.
  • Vinyl: $2 to $6 per linear foot.
  • Aluminum: $5 to $12 per linear foot.
  • Composite: $7 to $15 per linear foot.

Remember that labor costs for installation are not included in these estimates and can significantly impact the overall project cost. It’s essential to obtain quotes from local contractors to get an accurate estimate for your specific situation.

Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of your rake boards and fascia boards, regardless of the material you choose. Here are some general maintenance tips:

  • Regularly inspect for signs of damage, such as rot, cracks, or peeling paint.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent clogs and water damage.
  • Keep trees and vegetation trimmed away from the boards to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint or sealant as needed, especially for wood boards.

Rake Boards vs Fascia Boards: Which Will You Choose?

In the showdown between rake boards and fascia boards, there’s no clear winner—it ultimately depends on your home’s specific needs and your personal preferences. Rake boards add a touch of style to your gables, while fascia boards serve a more functional role, supporting your gutters and protecting your home’s exterior.

So, whether you’re aiming for a classic, rustic look with wood or prefer the low-maintenance benefits of vinyl or composite, make an informed decision that suits your home and lifestyle. With the right choice and a little TLC, your rake boards and fascia boards will keep your home looking great and standing strong for years to come. 

Contact our expert team of contractors to help you with your roofing needs today. We can’t wait to hear all about your next roofing project or any questions you may have!

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