Welp. Today’s post was supposed to be about how we’ve continued to update our patio. About how we bought some more furniture and lights on our path to turn it from just functional to functional AND pretty. Then we woke up to find it NOT functional and definitely NOT pretty.
Yep. Not something you want to see as you’re headed out the door for work. A big storm blew through last night and knocked off over 20 feet of our gutter, bending it at a weak point and taking our fascia (the wood trim that caps off the ends of your rafters) with it. And it broke a strand of my lights darn it!
So yeah, not exactly the patio update we were planning on sharing with you guys… BUT the good news is we are earning +10 home exterior DIY skill points and we get to share what we’ve learned with you. Lesson #1: clean your gutters.
The other good news is I’m going to write this post as we go, so as of now as I’m typing, we are still in progress. Dunno how it’s gonna turn out yet. Kinda scary, kinda exciting, but we are all in this together!
So before we could leave for work, we had to address the 6 inch tall, 20+ foot long hole leading into our attic. You can see it in the photo above right under our roof line. We didn’t want rain getting it wet or squirrels letting themselves in, so we set to cover it up with plastic tarp til we could fully deal with it.
As we climbed up to take a closer look at the hole, we realized that the still-attached part of the gutter was starting to pull away too so we decided to cut off the detached piece (in retrospect we maybe shouldn’t have cut it since it may have been salvageable, we’re not sure though). We couldn’t find our flashing clippers so Evan grabbed his saw zaw. Then that died so we grabbed our jigsaw. Lesson #2: owning the right tools is great, but if you can’t find em or they’re not charged, they aren’t any good.
By the time Evan got it cut he was covered in gutter juice.
But at least we didn’t have this hanging from our house anymore:
Next we put up a strip of plastic tarp with a few quick tacks from our staple gun, called it a morning, and headed to work, leaving our patio looking like a war zone.
After work Evan swung by Home Depot to get supplies and then pulled off the remaining few feet of gutter that was still attached to the house. Now that we had a clean slate, we could replace our fascia. Having a big hole running into our attic was no bueno, so our goal was to install new fascia by the end of the night. Since at this point we didn’t even know what fascia was (we’d just been calling it “siding under our roof”), we weren’t too hopeful haha.
But before we could add anything new, we needed to figure out what was going on with the hot mess we left behind.
We just decided that anything that didn’t seem structurally sound we would cut off. Seems logical right? And here’s Evan using hedge clippers to trim the flashing above the wood. Still couldn’t find those metal clippers so we used what we had haha.
Once we had all the bad stuff off we could start adding the new stuff. Time for power tools!
We saw that the existing boards were cut at 45 degrees so we did the same with our new boards. One at a time, we lined them up along the roof line and screwed in at every rafter tail. In the photo below you can see the hole into our attic and the rafter tails peeking out. And oh hi there soffit vent chutes, we remember installing you and almost stabbing our heads with roofing nails.
So I held up the board on one end while Evan screwed it in on the other. Once we got a couple screws in I could let go and get the next piece ready.
We noticed that under the old gutters there was a 1 inch thick piece of trim acting as a spacer between the top of the fascia and the gutter, so Evan had also picked up some trim on his Home Depot trip. It was getting dark at this point but you can sorta see the trim along the top of the board in the photo below after we screwed it in.
We were luckily able to finish our goal of replacing the fascia by the end of the night! It’s hard to see much in the photo, but it sure looks good to us :)
With the hole to our attic officially closed off, we could sleep easy. The next day we hit our fascia with primer, caulk, and paint to really seal the deal. We read somewhere online that sometimes primer can help caulk stick to wood so we decided to do the primer first. We used Zinnser Cover Stain primer, which felt nice and solid.
After letting it dry for a couple hours, it was time to paint! I took first paint shift and thought it would be cool to take painting selfies. #shouldbeholdingontothatladder
Then Evan got out there for shift 2 of painting. All in all this was the easy part so we don’t have too many photos. But we are super excited because now we are DONE with replacing the fascia, woooo!
Just need to power wash the patio. And put up our lights. Oh yeah and add gutters! Well we can at least do one of those three things tonight.
We still need to do more research to see if we want to tackle installing gutters ourselves or hire it out. Looks like it’s not terribly complicated to DIY, but the downside of DIY-ing it is that you have to buy gutters in smaller sections (which is weaker) instead of getting a seamless run from a professional. So we will keep you guys posted! For now, it feels good to just not having a gaping hole leading to our attic. Have a great weekend guys!