How to Add Soffit Vents

What You'll Need
Soffit vent
Measuring tape

Symptoms such as distorted or damaged shingles on a roof are a common sign of lack of ventilation in an attic, so adding a soffit vent can help. Lack of ventilation in an attic can also cause your house to heat up considerably in the summer months, making your air conditioning systems work harder and cost you more money to run. Installing a soffit vent can be a great way to solve the problem. Ventilation will also extend the life of the roof. You can do this yourself with a basic set of DIY skills and the right tools at your disposal.

Step 1 - Buying the Right Vent

Choose the right soffit vent. This will depend on your requirements such as how much ventilation you need. There are various different types available including round ones, rectangular ones and they come in various sizes. Regardless of the type of soffit vent you buy, the installation process is largely the same. Depending on the size of your roof, you may want to buy more than one, to make sure that you have ample ventilation.

Step 2 - Basic Preparations

When you have all of the tools and equipment required, you will then need to choose the best place to install the vent. Find a place between two rafters and drill a hole in the middle where you want the center of the vent to be located. Make sure the installation is not located on or near any rafters as cutting through the rafters will damage the stability of the roof. When you have found a location and drilled the hole, poke a coat hanger through the hole so that you can easily find it when you get on top of the roof.

Step 3 - Making a Template

Before you install the vent, you will need to make a template. Make sure that template is about 1 inch narrower than the vent itself. This will allow you to have a mounting area of about half an inch id width around the vent. Cut out the template from cardboard. When you have made a template, get on top of the roof and place it to make sure that it is the right size and fits squarely with the soffit vent. If it fits, use your marker pen to trace a line around the template.

Step 4 - Cutting the Hole for the Vent

Using a reciprocating saw, cut a hole for the vent. It is a good idea to wear safety goggles when doing this to avoid sawdust getting into your eyes.

Step 5 - Installing the Vent

Installing the vent is the easiest part. When you have cut a hole in the roof, simply place the vent over the hole. You should find that the sides of the vent overlap the hole so it should fit perfectly. Using galvanized screws, screw it firmly in place.

Step 6 - Finishing Up

Finally, you want to test the installation to make sure that the attic is getting adequate ventilation. One way of doing this is to blow out a candle just underneath the vent and see if the smoke disappears quickly. If it does, then everything is working as intended.