What is a Soffit?

8 minutes

Chances are that if you have ever done a roofing or siding project for your home in the past that soffits have been a part of the equation. But what is a soffit, really?  

While there are a lot of important aspects of your home such as your windows, doors, gutters, your soffits are equally as important. A soffit is defined as any horizontal surface that serves as a roof overhang. gable, or drop. 

What is a Soffit on a House?  

A soffit is an important part of your home’s ventilation system and helps to protect your home from water and pests. Soffits are also a wonderful way to add style and curb appeal to your home. You may think that these soffits are not a big part of your home’s exterior look, but once you get closer to your home, they are clearly visible. Soffits come in a variety of colors, styles, and materials to help you get the look you desire for your home. If you take the time to look closely at the soffits on your home, you will likely see that they are an important design element. There are many ways that you can use soffits to improve the look of your home, and they are a terrific way to add value to your home as well.  

There are a few diverse types of soffits that you can choose from depending on the style of your home. Vinyl soffits are a popular choice because they are durable and easy to maintain. Wood soffits are also a popular choice for their natural beauty and ability to be painted or stained to match the trim of your home. At DaBella our soffits are made of James Hardie fiber cement. Fiber cement has many benefits and can even be used as the material for your soffits. Usually, soffits are either matched to the siding or the trim of your home to give your home a finished look. 

Your soffit is essentially any material that is installed to cover the area underneath the overhang of your roof. 

What is the purpose of a soffit?

The biggest reason that soffits are an essential aspect of your home is because they provide ventilation to your roof. Heat builds up in your attic in 2 ways, this includes the sun’s heat as well as the heat that rises and builds up within your home. This trapped heat will eventually lead to premature shingle deterioration. 

Soffit ventilation will help to remove this trapped heat and help to extend the life of your roof. To properly ventilate your attic, you need a balance of intake and exhaust vents. The soffit is the perfect place for your intake vents as they are located low on your roof and can take in the cool air that is needed to balance out the heat in your attic. 

Soffits are also important for keeping pests and insects away from your home. Insects are attracted to the heat that builds up in your attic, and soffits help to keep them out. Wasps, hornets, and bees are all attracted to heat, and soffits can help to keep them from building nests in your attic. Soffits are also a great way to keep small animals such as squirrels and raccoons from getting into your attic. These animals can cause a lot of damage to your home, and soffits can help to keep them out. 

What are Fascia and Soffits? 

The soffit is what you see when you look up at the underside of your roof overhang, and the fascia is the board that is attached to the ends of your rafters. it is what you see when you look at the edge of your roof, They are an important part of your homes ventilation system, and the fascia is an important aspect of your homes appearance. 

What is the difference between a soffit and an eave? 

The biggest difference between a soffit and an eave is the purpose. A soffit’s main purpose is to serve as ventilation for the home, while an eave’s purpose is mainly aesthetic but also the eave provides protection from the elements for the soffit. Eaves are the edge of the roof that extends past the exterior wall of the house. They are often decorated with molding or other accents to improve the home’s curb appeal. 

The Benefits that your Soffits give your Home 


As we stated earlier, one of the main benefits that your soffits give your home is ventilation. Having proper ventilation in your attic is key to prolonging the life of your roof. The heat that builds up in your attic can cause premature shingle deterioration. Soffit ventilation will help to remove this trapped heat and help to extend the life of your roof. 


Wind and rain can cause severe damage to your home if your eaves are not properly covered. Another great benefit that your soffits give your home is weatherproofing. Soffits help to protect your home from the elements by providing a barrier between your home and the outside elements. Soffits also help to keep moisture and condensation from building up in your attic, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. 

Decrease Maintenance

Soffits also help to decrease the amount of maintenance that your home needs. Soffits that are made of fiber cement are minimal maintenance and do not need to be painted or sealed like wood soffits do. Fiber cement soffits are also termite resistant and will not rot like wood soffits.  

Added Curb Appeal:

Soffits also add curb appeal to your home. Soffits that are made of fiber cement come in a variety of colors and styles to match the exterior of your home. If they are maintained well, they can increase the overall curb appeal of your property. 

How Much Do Soffit Replacements Cost?  

The cost of soffit replacements can vary depending on the size of your home, the type of soffit you choose, and the company you choose to do the work. Wood soffits will cost more to replace than vinyl soffits. While fiber cement soffits may cost more than vinyl and are cheaper than wood soffits, they last much longer than vinyl and do not require as much maintenance as wood.  

The James Hardie Soffit 

James Hardie Ventilated Soffit

DaBella and our partner at James Hardie provide superb high quality fiber cement siding products as well as their fiber cement soffits. Their soffits come in 2 distinctive styles either vented, of course for better ventilation or smooth styled soffits. Both come in a variety of colors to match the painting of your new siding. Their vented siding is excellent not just for ventilation but also reduces the chance of condensation. Condensation in your attic will increase the chances for mold and mildew and staining and ruin your framing over time.  

James Hardie’s vented soffits not only prevent condensation in your attic, but they also allow humid air to escape. Homes in warm climates see high electricity bills because of the air conditioning costs, Vented soffits help with this as they help decrease those costs and help get rid of that unneeded warm air. In cooler climates that may see higher levels of snow and ice, vented soffits help reduce the condensation from forming on the interior side of roof sheathing and preventing the build-up of ice dams on the exterior side of the roof. 

DaBella is the leading Roofing & Siding Replacement Contractor in the US (United States) 

If you are looking to make an investment that will last a lifetime, consider DaBella for your next roofing or siding project. We offer some of the best roofing and siding products on the market, as well as a wide range of colors and styles of siding and roofs.  

With over 11 years in business, DaBella strives to transform the home improvement experience for our homeowners. We walk our homeowners through the entire project from start to finish, making the process as easy and stress-free as possible. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality products, outstanding customer service, and unmatched artisanship.  

DaBella has been recognized by many organizations for our commitment to quality and customer service including Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 List. This year DaBella ranked #11 on the list of the top home improvement companies in the country. In addition, we have been recognized by GuildQuality and one of their Guildmaster award recipient for the last 5 years.  

If you are interested in seeing what kind of transformation DaBella can make for your home, contact us today at 844-DaBella and we will be more than happy to schedule a free in-home consultation. We will discuss your vision for your home and walk you through the entire process, from start to finish. 

Steven Shortridge

District Manager

Portland, OR

Learn more about Steven