Understanding Rake Board vs. Fascia and Their Importance in Home Exteriors

There are many different parts of a roof — from the shingles and gables to the eaves, rafters and more. It can be challenging to wrap your head around all the different roof terminology, especially when comparing rake board and fascia.

These two might seem similar, but they serve two completely different purposes for a home’s exterior. We wanted to take some time to discuss both materials, so you know the difference between the two moving forward.

What is Rake Board?

Rake board over the southwest window at Jasper Anglican.

The rake board isn’t actually on the roof. Instead, it refers to the sloped sides of the end of a gable. A rake can overhang, like an eave, or it can be flat without any overhang.

In fact, there are three different types of roof rakes:

  • Overhanging and exposed

  • Overhanging and boxed-in

  • Exposed

The rake board covers the top edge of the siding right where it meets the roof, preventing rain from running behind it. Additionally, it goes on the gable ends on brick homes to cover and protect the exposed top edge of the brick. In simpler terms, the purpose of the rake board is to serve as an awning of sorts to ensure that rain rolls off your roof and onto the ground

Rake board comes in various materials, including wood, PVC board and concrete, and it can also be metal-wrapped.

You may also hear the term “bargeboard” when talking about rake board. It’s simply an outdated term for rake board.

What is Fascia?

Fascia is the vertical finished edge that connects roofing to trusses, rafters and gutter attachments. You can find it right below a roof overhang. It serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose.

The fascia protects the entire roof from weather damage by blocking snow, rain, sleet and other hazards. It protects the siding as well. Fascia is such an essential component of the home that you will find it on almost every home built since the 1950s.

Rake Board vs. Fascia

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It’s easy to see why these two terms get mixed up. They’re both exterior trim options around the roof. They also both help enhance the beauty of a home while also serving a functional purpose of protection. However, there are major differences that need to be noted between the two.

One of the primary differences between the two — and the easiest way to tell them apart — is their placement. Rake boards only run diagonally on the gables of a home whereas fascia only runs horizontally along the roof rafters, trusses and gutters.

Fascia also protects the entire roof and siding from inclement weather while a rake board only protects the top edges of the siding and brick. As you can see, these are two different exterior trim options, but they are both important.

While both options help protect the home, fascia serves more as an ultimate defender of the roof and the siding. Let’s take a closer look at fascia, and what materials are available and best-suited for your project.

Fascia Material Options

Fascia comes in a variety of material options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the most popular choices to give you a better idea of what material will work best for your project.

A brick one-story house has tan trim.

Wooden Fascia

Wood is the most traditional material. It’s beautiful and rustic, but it comes with a handful of downsides. For one, wood can be pretty costly, depending on the species. In addition, it’s very susceptible to water and insect damage, which can result in expensive repairs or even replacement if the damage is severe enough. To avoid these types of issues, it will require regular maintenance and upkeep to maintain its structural integrity and its look.

PVC Fascia

PVC is the same type of plastic used in pipes and tubes, but it can be made to look like wood fascia. Unlike wood, it doesn’t rot, and it isn’t susceptible to insect damage. However, PVC can expand with heat. It can also turn yellow and can be damaged by hail. While it might be cost-effective, it won’t last as long as some of the other material options.

Vinyl Fascia

Like PVC, vinyl is a type of plastic. It’s relatively cost-effective and doesn’t have the same maintenance headaches as wooden fascia. However, while it’s easy to wash and maintain, vinyl isn’t the most durable option. It also fades over time, so you’ll have to replace it sooner rather than later.

Fiber Cement Fascia

Fiber cement fascia is created from recycled wood chips, sawdust and epoxy resin. This option is pretty durable, but is much heavier than other options. As a result, installation is somewhat tricky, and it costs more than other options, both in material and labor costs.

Aluminum Fascia

When it comes to installing fascia on your next project, aluminum is the best material to use. Aluminum is the most durable fascia option on the market, and it comes in a variety of colors. While aluminum fascia is only available in smooth and woodgrain, it resists scratches, dirt, pests and water damage with ease. It’s also easy to maintain, and the installation process is also relatively straightforward. Plus, aluminum fascia comes in various colors to match whatever color palette or aesthetic design you want for your project.

Choosing the Best Fascia Option for Your Project

At Alsco Metals, we offer high-quality aluminum fascia in 18 different color options to ensure you get the look you want and need. Plus, you can choose from a smooth finished look or get the appearance of woodgrain.

Plus, our fascia is part of the Perfect Trim Plus™ color package that includes soffit, drip edge, roof moldings, trim coil and rain carrying systems to make it simple to create a custom trim package for the project you’re working on.

In addition to our aesthetic design capabilities, our aluminum fascia is finished with a durable coating that sheds dirt and resists scratches, so it’s able to withstand harsh outdoor elements while maintaining its beauty and charm.

Ready to get started on your project? Contact us today.