How to Install a Soffit Vent How to Install a Soffit Vent

The soffit vent serves to provide the ventilation for the lower part of an attic. Normally, these are easy to install. You should know your attic area to find the area of ventilation you need. Once you know the ventilation area, it is easier to decide the type of soffit vents that you will prefer to install. The soffit vents are available in different sizes and shapes. You can paint them to match the finish of the exterior of your home. It is important to ensure that all insulation is removed from that area before taking the project of installing soffit vents. If there is any insulation, the vent is of no use.

Materials and Tools

  • Ladder
  • Claw Hammer 
  • Pencil
  • Pry bar
  • Power hand drill
  • Drill bit 
  • Tape measure 
  • Goggles
  • Mouth mask
  • Torch light

Step 1: Locating the Position of Soffit Vent

Mark the center between two adjacent rafters from inside of attic vertically down between them to locate the planned soffit.

Step 2: Mark the Position

Drill a hole at that position or fix a nail. The aim is to fix the location of the soffit vent. You can hang a small piece of cloth to make it more visible.

Step 3: Calculating the Size of Soffit

Measure the area of attic and find the area of ventilation by dividing it by 150. Decide the number of soffit vents you like to put, and then you can find their size. Select the nearest size.

Step 4: Selecting the Type of Soffit Vent

Decide the type of vent you like to install. Generally there are many types of vents to select from. You can choose any one: rectangular, round or a continuous type vent, which may run the whole length of your soffit. The type will normally depend of the amount of ventilation and its size. The procedures for installation is same for all  types, only  the  difference will be that of shape of the opening to be cut according to the soffit vent that should match to fit it.

    Step 5: Making Template for Vent Hole

    Make a template of cardboard to match the size and shape of the vent. This will be more helpful particularly, if there are more vents. Make a hole in the center of template for location. The opening in the template should be ½” smaller on each side so as to allow an overlap of ½” all around the vent.

    Step 6: Marking the Vent

    Carefully set your ladder under the position where the soffit vent is to be put. Center the template on the hole marked in the attic and ensure that all sides of template are aligned. Mark the opening to be cut with the template and a pencil. 

    Step 7: Cutting the Vent Hole

    Cut the opening for soffit with a jig saw. Pass the blade through the center hole made to mark the location, and start cutting on the line marked with the template.

    Use safety goggles for protecting your eyes from sawdust.

    Step 8: Installing the Soffit Vent

    Position the vent over the cut opening overlapping it with the vent ½”on all sides and fix the vent with nails or screws in its place.

    Step 9: Testing

    Check that there is sufficient ventilation. Get to your attic. Make your fingers wet and hold them near the vent. If you feel your fingers getting cold, the ventilation is right. Install more vents, if the ventilation is insufficient.

    As mentioned earlier you need one feet of ventilation for 150 square feet of attic area. 


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