The “roofline” is a term used in describing the area of a house between the roof and eaves. This is an important feature of any house as the wrong design, or materials used, can damage not just the look of the house but its resale value. When purchasing an existing property, the roofline comes as part of the package but for new builds, roofline design is of paramount importance in creating a pleasing aspect to the finished house.
Although the actual work of installing the roofline will be done by the builders, the choice of materials and colours is down to the buyer and understanding a little of what is involved will make the design process simpler.
Designing a roofline has four major components to be taken into consideration:
Literally meaning “band”, the fascia is the long strip of wood or PVC that runs directly under the edge of the roof along the length of the house. The fascia is probably the most noticeable feature of the roofline and choosing the right width, material and colour to complement the appearance of the house is crucial.
Looking from the ground up, the soffit is the underside of the roof between the house wall and the gutters. Soffits can be as narrow as a couple of inches or stretch three feet and more from the wall and a good looking soffit adds immeasurably to the aesthetics of any house.
A rain gutter will usually run the length of the roofline and feeds the runoff water and debris into a downpipe. Nowadays, gutters are constructed from many different materials including iron, zinc, lead, steel, copper, aluminium and PVC. The choice of which material to use should be made according to which one best complements the fascia and soffit.uPVC Gutters are a popular choice for their low cost and low maintenance.
At its simplest, a bargeboard can be a wooden board attached to the gable end of a house to protect and cover the ends of the roof timbers. At the other end of the spectrum, bargeboards can be moulded or hand-carved in the most elaborate designs.
The whole point of designing a roofline is to enhance the appearance of a house to make it look as attractive as possible. However, even the most lavish and exquisite roofline can end up looking totally ridiculous if it simply doesn’t fit with the house.
A small house with a wide fascia and soffit may look top heavy as if the roof is pressing down on the house and suffocating it. Similarly, a large house with a very narrow fascia looks unbalanced as the roof seems to have been added as an afterthought.
The slope, or pitch, of a roof should also be taken into consideration. A tall steeply sloping roof looks more natural with a wide fascia board while the reverse is true of a flatter less steep roof.
Choosing the right materials for a roofline can also have a dramatic affect on the finished look of a house. Common sense would dictate that an old-style house won’t be improved by the most modern PVC fascia and soffit. A (painted) wooden fascia board would be far more attractive in this case but a PVC fascia is perfect for newly-built or modern buildings.
Personal Choice and Personality
As with most things, designing a roofline is largely a matter of personal taste but should also be a reflection of the personality of the house. There are no hard and fast rules to designing the perfect roofline but it should be relatively easy to find the style you like and adapt it to personal requirements without needing a degree in architecture to achieve the look you want.