Protect your home against the elements involves more than just the walls themselves. The eaves of the roof need to be covered as does the soffit section below the eaves. The fascia is the section along the edge of the roof which hides the soffit. These products are referred to jointly as "roofline products". Roofline products are available in a wide variety of styles and types, with wood being the most common. The fascia, soffit and cladding will deteriorate over the years and will at some point need replacing. You can order the roofline materials and do the job yourself if you have basic carpentry skills and access to the right tools and equipment.
However working at heights is not for everyone and often to replace roofline products safely you will need special equipment like roof ladders which are expensive. In addition even the most enthusiastic DIY handyman will struggle to match the finish of a professional carpenter! Most of us will need to find a good carpenter to complete the work correctly, safely and quickly.
If you don't already know a reliable carpenter or roofline specialist, you can start by asking family and friends for recommendations or do your research online. If you can't get recommendations for carpenters from friends, family or colleagues, you need to carefully check online reviews before making a short list of local carpenters. You can do this quickly and easily using the free quote service provided on this site, simply enter job details, budget and contact information, then let recommended local tradesman near you get in touch with advice and prices. Once you have whittled down your list to at least 3 carpenters, contact them to visit your property and provide a detailed written quotation. At this time you can also ask for proof of liability insurance and membership of any trade associations.
Many trade associations such as the Federation of Master-builders will screen members and check qualifications and insurance as well as deal with any complaints. When comparing quotes remember that the cheapest price is not always the best deal, carpenters are highly skilled tradesman and expect a fair price for their work, really cheap prices could an indication of a really cheap job! Always ask for references before hiring a carpenter and check them to make sure they are legitimate.
The cost to fit/replace fascia/soffit boards will obviously vary with the size of the property, ease of access (houses with a conservatory are more expensive as they require scaffolding) and the materials (some older properties have asbestos fascias and soffits which require specialist and expensive removal). But as a rough cost guide, on a typical semi-detached property clad with PVCu and no problems with access or scaffolding erection required, you are looking at around £700 and a full days work to remove and replace fascia and soffit board 150mm wide all round. If scaffold is required the cost can easily be doubled and wooden fascias are also much more expensive than PVCu.
Do not be tempted to simply cover over old boards with new PVCu to save money, this will cost more in the long term. In addition, guttering needs to be removed during the replacement of fascia/soffit so consider replacing guttering and drainage pipes at the same time as you will already be paying for the labour and the products themselves are quite cheap.