Roofline Repair Tools
Roofline repair tools, like any other tools, should be good enough to do the job properly. You may find that about 50% of the tools you need to repair or replace your roofline are in your general household toolbox.
This is a list of the roofline repair tools my fitters use when carrying out roofline replacements.
Most of the hand tools mentioned can be bought on a budget. However, I and my fitters have found that cheaper quality tools just simply are not ‘man enough’. For example, avoid cheap screwdriver sets, in fact you may not need them if you decide to use a drill.
(I’ve included pictures of some of the tools to help you identify them… but these are pictures of my fitter’s roofline repair tools so look well used, as you’d expect).
Roofline Repair Tools – Hand Tools
Crowbars – You can get a good set of crowbars from any general DIY store for a very reasonable price. Make sure the pack includes a flat bar and a long bar. Check the weight and if it feels comfortable to use as you will need to put a lot of pressure on it.
Screwdrivers – invest in a good set of screwdrivers. For Philips screws, get the heads marked as Pz2 or Ph1. Flat headed screwdrivers do not normally have a specific grade except for the width of the flat head itself.
I prefer to use Pz2 headed screws for my fixings (gutter brackets, studwork etc.) as they fit onto the screwdriver/drill driver easier and are quicker to use.
Stanley Knife – it is always best to get a good Stanley knife. I have used (and broken) all types along the years and find that the best are the ones that do not look so ‘flashy’. Steer clear of any with rubber handles and multiple components. This tool is used for a wide range of tasks and should be kept handy.
Hammer – A general 16 oz or 24 oz hammer gives you enough force to set the nails in firmly.
Hammers can be one of the cheapest tools in the toolbox but a good solid grip is worth paying extra for.
Tape Measure – Considering that lengths of fascia and soffit are produced in 5m lengths, and gutters are normally 4m, get a tape measure that is at least 8m. A 5m tape measure may be adequate but unrolling it to the very max makes it harder to work with. These are picked up fairly cheaply from local DIY stores.
Tri Square – Used for all 45 and 90 degree cuts. Try not to use the saws own angles for these cuts. I have found them to fail quickly as the handles work loose after ongoing use. This is the proper tool for the most accurate guide. These can be picked up at a very reasonable price from any main stockists over the internet. If you want to be even more precise with the cut, check the tool for a British standard number that the more well-known makes meet.
Scriber – Basically the same as a tri square but with the added addition to it being used to help you make accurate lines along plastic for cutting references and nail markers so that a length of a fascia’s nails are lined up. Also, like the tri square, very reasonable if you take a look around.
Pens and Pencils – A very handy tip here – get loads! Scatter them on the bench, in the tool belt and even behind your ear. A pencil or a marker pen is used to write down measurements, mark cuts, scribe reference lines and for marking notches
Saws – rough wood saws and precision saws live on the workbench. Do not attempt to carry out roofline replacement work with a single saw for every cut.
A typical wood saw is used for cutting up the waste fascia whilst the precision (fine tooth) saw is used to give each cut a neater finish.
Normally, fine tooth saws are half the length of a normal saw and the teeth of the blade are closely packed together.
Check your local plastic stockist for the best choice in quality and price.
String Line – A string line is used for studding out and gutter falls. It needs to be a good quality and a good few metres longer than any of the fascia runs that are to be replaced (i.e. a 10m gutter run will need around 15m as you need a bit of slack to work with).
I do not recommend anything too stretchy so, even though it is just ‘a bit of string’, it will need to be up to the job. Any DIY stockists will have this. It is also known as ‘builder’s line’ ‘plumb line’ etc.
Carpenter’s Bevel –
This is used for setting the angle cut for bargeboards when any angle is anything other than a 45 or 90 degrees (achieved with a tri square). This is a more specialist tool amongst the hand tools and can be quite expensive.
Routers – a router is a drill bit mainly used to make small circular holes in fascias for pipes such as overflows from attic boilers. Sizes vary but the main ones used for roofline work are 22mm, 25mm and 32mm. You may get it as part of a drill bit kit when you buy a drill, when purchased on its own it can seem expensive for what it is, especially the auger bits.
Spanners – Nuts and bolts do not normally occur in the construction of a roofline but it is handy to invest in a good quality set if your property has any fixed television aerials. These are normally bolted into the gable ends at the very apex.
An adjustable spanner could do the job without the expense of an entire set but it is a very awkward task and dangerous if you are removing them without help. I find that the adjustable sets do not hold a good grip consistently on a bolt that has been driven in extremely tight.
Wood Chisel – A chisel can be the difference between taking 5 minutes to anything up to an hour to rip out a run of fascia or bargeboard. This tool does not need to be of the highest quality as it is not used for any finesse work. It is purely used to split existing wood along existing nails to remove the wood.
1m Spirit Level –
More of a reference tool but it is worth having. I recommend the more expensive brands. You can buy a set that includes the smaller level (known as the ‘scaffold spirit level’).
The 1m level is used during the roofline installation, mainly to check whether the soffit, cladding and fascias are level after each process.
On some properties, mainly due to age and build, a level can be disregarded but you should always use it to make sure that the gutter falls towards the soak aways.
Scaffold Spirit Level – Can be part of the set with the 1m spirit level to reduce the cost a little. This level is used when ‘studding out’ and also for reference if the 1m level is too long.
Roofline Repair Tools – Power Tools
Internet stockists normally have good offers for power tools if you can wait – personally I would not recommend any power tool under 18v / 1.5ah for fascia replacement.
Consider upgrading your tools if you have old equipment.
Avoid corded tools, however cheap they may be. Working at heights is daunting enough and having the trip hazards of corded tools when carrying out roofline work adds more danger.
Another note – there are increasing deals on tools that are ‘body only’ and, therefore, do not come with a battery. Sometimes a battery and a charger can cost as much as the tool itself. Make sure you thoroughly read the package description. A lithium ion battery can cost £50 for some makes and a charger can start at around £60.
There may be cheaper options, but these are the prices for a good professional, and reliable, make of tool.
Circular Saw – A good circular saw is useful for other jobs around the house. Powerful and robust, a circular saw that has at least 18v goes through plastic and wood with ease.
Drill – Probably the most expensive of the power tools. You need a combi drill of at least 18v that includes a hammer drill setting for making holes in cement and bricks for downpipe fixings. Impact drivers do not give an option of drilling into walls or making pilot holes. They are primarily made for removing and driving in screws.
Reciprocating Saw – Not essentially needed, but it is a tool that makes ripping out easier. They are great for cutting verge nails that have been driven into bargeboards. If the replacement roofline has a gable end – consider buying or borrowing one of these unless you want the extra work of re-tiling and cementing.
Angle Grinder – A real dangerous tool in untrained hands. Never consider using one of these if it is your first time replacing a roofline. An angle grinder needs to be used to remove cast iron as removal of iron fixings can burst bricks and greatly damage your property needlessly. If you are new to it then I urge you to get someone who is competent to do the cuts. You can hire the use angle grinders. They are normally hired out at a standard charge plus however many millimetres of the blade that has been used when you return the tool.
Jigsaw – Of all the power tools needed, the jigsaw can be as cheap as you like. Just make sure the blades come with it. Buying the blades separately can work out more expensive. This is used to cut out large and precise holes in soffits – such as stack pipes and gas pipes etc.
Alternative To DIY and Using Roofline Repair Tools
If you decide this list of roofline repair tools looks daunting, you may be thinking that it might be easier to get someone else to do the work for you. And, of course, if you decide to have a uPVC replacement roofline fitted it means there’s no maintenance work of any kind needed for at least 20 years.