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Question DetailsAsked on 9/22/2016

is it acceptable to have the L shape aluminum trim bent during installation of vinyl soffits with hidden vents

I had new vinyl soffits with hidden vents installed on my house. They did not remove the gutters or the aluminum trim that is against the house (L Shape at top to support soffits). During the process of removing the old stuff, they bent the aluminum by the gutters and also the L Shaped trim on the house They put a box shape aluminum cover where they bent the area at the gutters, that looks fine. They did nothing to the aluminum trim against the house that has a ledge at the top to hide or fix the damage. Mostly it is just little bends and looks like a ripple, but several areas are bent down quite a bit and it really looks bad. I was told that is what normally happens. I was given a price for the new soffits and gutters and one for just the soffits. I opted for just the soffits as my gutters are fairly new. Should the trim that holds the soffits up have been included in the cost of the soffits, if they thought the trim would end up damaged during the process?

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Voted Best Answer

Yes it can get bent if they are not careful putting the soffit panels in - or if the hanging brackets (trim strip) are mounted too high to be able to angle the soffits into place without bending the trim strips (more properly called F-trim or soffit ledger strips). The waves are from bending it around - but certainly they should have at least bent the bent-down portion back up horizontal - not only for looks, but to properly support the panels.

But - a quality contractor (hence usually NOT the low bidder) would not try to reuse the trim in most cases, both just to do the job right and also to get a color match with the new panels. New soffits should generally have included new suspension strips as well - though a cheap contractor might argue that he sold "new soffits" (actually soffit covers or soffit panels - the soffit is the underside of the roof overhang itself), not "soffits and trim".

I would take a few pictures of the wavy/downturned trim and send them to the contractor asking him to redo the job with new trim because the workmanship on the job is substandard - and that you expect this to be done at no additional cost to you within the next ____ days (say about 14-30 would be fair). Could start with eMail, then if he refuses or fails to respond use Certified Return Receipt Signature Required delivery, keeping a copy and all the mailing receipt and return receipt of course. Of course, if you have not made final payment you hold a lot more power over him than if you paid in full before inspecting the job.

If he then refuses or fails to respond, in addition to appropriate dinging in an AL Review, you could file a claim with his Bonding company asking that they have the substandard work redone by another contractor with the Bond money.

Last resort would be suing - probably Small Claims Court for this issue - and you would need a firm quote from another contractor to fix the job as evidence of the amount you should get back from the original contractor, and photos to demonstrate that the job is shoddy. A letter from the soffit panel manufacturer or an architect that the work shown in the photos is not up to par would also help.

Hopefully you checked out the ventilation net free air (NFA) of the soffits versus ridge vent or attic gable vent ventilation demand first - because MANY of the "hidden vent" soffit panels do not provide enough free airflow area or have slots that are too small and restrictive to airflow to let in the ventilation that your roof needs.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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