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Lynn Javoroski
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 102
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 05:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We had designed a EIFS soffit for a building. The soffit is 12 feet deep by about 400 feet long. The Construction Manager wants to substitute metal panels to "save money". Metal soffit panels that I'm used to are at best 1 foot wide, so we would be placing 400 pieces. I would guess this would not be much in the way of a labor saving. EIFS requires a control joint every 15(?) feet, for a more monolithic appearance, as well as a less intense installation.

The designer has asked me if I know of a product that would satisfy everyone: the unitary appearance of the EIFS, the perceived economy of the metal panel.

Any thoughts or product suggestions? Thanks for your help.
robert swan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 05:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ask the question on what makes the EFIS "expensive"
Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 72
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 06:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

You will have more joints with metal than with EIFS (and I don't think that EIFS is a terrific material for a soffit). Sheet metal is available maximum about 5 feet wide, so you will have joints every 5 feet or so, either transverse or longitudinally. Also you will have to worry about metal thickness, and fastening/detailing to prevent oil-canning.

What about exterior gypsum board--I can't believe that is more expensive than EIFS, even with painting. You still will need zinc control joints every 15 or 20 feet.
Rafael C Nelson
Senior Member
Username: rc_nelson

Post Number: 6
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 08:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Take a look at Hadie Industries Hardi Soffit. It's a fiber reinforced concrete panel.
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 09:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I spec Dens Armor for this and just have the panels painted.
Richard Hird (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 11:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If you add to anonymous' Dens Armour just the EIFS finish system (no insulation), you get the appearance of EIFS at a reasonable cost and pretty good longevity. Soffits should be ventilated so you want to put the insulation at the wall line.

As David says painted Gypsum soffit board is the least expensive. It is O'k for a retail facility that will be reworked in ten years. On projects that anticipate a longer life, the Gypboard will eventually sag due to humidity.

Metal panels are great, but less expensive? I must be missing something.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 220
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 08:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Possible reasons for added cost of EIFS: Metal panels can probably be put up in one pass, whereas EIFS cannot, requiring three or four--sheathing, insulation, two-coats of finish. If the soffit is higher than can be reached with simple rolling staging, this could be a substantial cost. If the GC does not have any other work for the plasterer, it's a separate contract, which could mean less-than-favorable pricing. Insurance costs for applicators of EIFS is huge right now, or even unobtainable. Or maybe the GC just doesn't like to use it, and has added a "hassle factor" or a "this stuff is risky" cost premium.
Ralph Liebing
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 77
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 10:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There are metal-faced composite panels [Mapes Industries,for example, has a variety of panels,and notes use for soffits] that come in 4-foot wide sheets, and could be installed three-wide with associated trim. Comes 1/4", I believe, and stable.
Gerard Sanchis (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 08:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Verify that codes in your area will allow EIFS soffits. To my knowledge under the UBC it cannot be done.

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