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krx 05-06-2006 06:37 PM

soffit or eave?
Alright, I know I'm asking for it w/this question, but I cannot for the life of me figure it out:

What is the difference between a soffit and an eave? I live in a 2 story victorian farmhouse w/gabled roof overhanging the perimeter walls about 2 feet. The t&g boarding on the underside of the section extending beyond the walls has some rain damage. I'm trying to figure out if this part is the soffit or the eave.

I figured roofers would be the guys to ask.

AaronB 05-06-2006 08:38 PM

From Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition:

soffit n. 1 The horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, etc.

krx 05-06-2006 10:18 PM

Thanks Aaron. I too looked it up - I also googled it and checked the encyclopedia. According to Webster's definition, my rain damage is on the soffit. But I've also heard this term used to describe the entire enclosure created in/by the part of the roof that extends horizontally beyond the wall. So, in that case, the whole overhanging section is the soffit. Also, I've had a couple contractors refer to the "damaged eaves" not soffit, when looking at the rain damage on my house. I've also heard the stud and drywall enclosures sometimes built around HVAC ducts (like in finished basements) referred to as "soffits" - which would support the idea that a soffit is (or can be) an enclosure. Thus my confusion...


MJW 05-07-2006 09:16 AM

I believe I call the Eave is the part where the fascia meets the roofline (where the roof edge goes). The soffit is everything underneath the fascia to the wall.

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