I found out how to do soffiting/siding last night thanks to this web page: http://www.familyhandyman.com/walls/how-to-install-fiber-cement-siding/step-by-step I didn’t follow it step by step… but before reading this I had NO IDEA how to do either!
We nailed up J-strips on the rafters against the front wall of the house and against the sub-fascia, and then cut the soffiting into 26″ lengths to fit between.
After putting up all the soffiting on the front of the house, we switched gears to the trim. We ripped 1/2″ thick treated plywood down to 1-1/2″ wide lengths to put the trim on so that when we overlapped the siding planks, they would fit under the trim. Whelp… the trim was not sitting far enough away from the wall, so we had to make-shift and rip some planks of 1/4″ thick hardi-plank siding to nail to the plywood strips. This put the trim JUST at the right spot, and the overlapped siding fit perfectly underneath. Tomorrow we will simply rip down 2″x 10″ boards to 3/4″ strips instead… this will take MUCH less time.
After figuring out the trim, we began putting up the hardi-plank (finally). We were able to get just above the windows before it started getting dark. Tomorrow we plan on finishing the front wall by 10am and then putting up the pole-jacks so that we can start on the back of the house.