Most properties have external timbers that need periodic decoration to stave off the threat of deterioration and decay. The most obvious place to start is at the front entrance. Even where the main door has long been replaced with a PVCu, steel or composite model, the original wooden frame and threshold could have been retained.
Changing main doors can do a lot to enhance a property’s kerb appeal, but may not always be the best option. The front door is central to the personality of your home, and on older properties, changing them can alter the building’s character.
Joinery Around the Roof
Things become more challenging as you move higher up the building to the joinery around the roof and eaves. Most properties have fascia boards running along the edges of the roof, covering the ends of the rafters, providing a handy fixing point for guttering. These often take the form of projecting ‘box’ eaves (comprising a fascia and soffit infill ‘ceiling’ underneath).
Soffits usually have vents providing ventilation to the loft, and may be of plywood, asbestos cement sheeting or, on period houses, lath and plaster or timber boards. Buildings with gable ends may also feature decorative timber bargeboards under the edges of the roof slopes (the verges).
All of which begs the question, why locate softwood boards on the most exposed and vulnerable parts of the house where they’re likely to suffer severe weathering and rot? This might explain why some houses were built with minimal external joinery — managing perfectly well with exposed rafter feet at the eaves, gables with corbelled brickwork, and pointed up verges.
If your house is generously endowed with exterior joinery, the good news is that, in many cases, the exposed timbers at roof level probably won’t be in too bad a condition. In older houses this is thanks to the fact that the timber was of superior quality, plus being so well ventilated, damp is free to evaporate. On the other hand, exposure to years of leaking gutters will eventually take its toll. So increasingly woodwork at the eaves and gables will have been replaced with (or concealed by) PVCu — often installed when the guttering is renewed.
If you would like more information about our exterior joining and maintenance work, we can be reached on any of the contact numbers below.
Areas covered are, but not limited to, Blackheath, Greenwich, Bromley, Orpington and surrounding areas. We will also travel further into Kent.
Please call 07912 252602 to discuss your requirements.