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    How to properly vent my garage

    Asked Jun 21, 2009, 05:11 PM 17 Answers
    I'm having my house and detached garage roof stripped and reshingled in a month. My garage roof is not vented and I want to fix that. The roofer is going to install a ridge vent, but I have no vented soffits to let fresh air in. The roofer said that I can drill holes in what little soffit space I have, but I don't like that idea. At the moment my garage is unfinished, but that will change in a few years. When I do finish the garage, I'm going to sheetrock everything and make a cathedral ceiling so I can increase storage.

    I was thinking of installing something called a "smart vent." The Smart Vent material will cost me $175, but if will get the job done then I think it might be worth it. Here is a pic of my soffit space and the smart vent.

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    17 Answers
    jmjoseph's Avatar
    jmjoseph Posts: 2,729, Reputation: 1244
    Ultra Member

    Jun 21, 2009, 05:16 PM
    New to me. Looks like an excellent idea, just make sure the contractor installs it right. It might be his first time doing these. Good luck. I'd put it on my garage if I didn't have soffits.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 26,083, Reputation: 2202
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert

    Jun 22, 2009, 08:06 AM

    Not sure why you don't like the small circular soffit vents but both will work. When and if you drywall the ceiling you should come back here. You can't just install drywall on your joists and call it a day.
    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 325, Reputation: 6
    Full Member

    Jun 22, 2009, 09:07 AM

    I know I can't just pop the drywall up. I was planning on putting R11 batt insulation along with those styrofoam panels that allow air flow from the soffit vents to the ridge vent. I googled some pics of the circular vent and a strip vent that I remember seeing in Home Depot. I have a very small space for the vents to actually go so I will have to measure to see if they'll fit. I might be able to install the strip vent like they do here:
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    If I did go with the circular vents, I would probably have to put one in between each rafter... correct?
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    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 26,083, Reputation: 2202
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert

    Jun 22, 2009, 10:34 AM

    The actuall\ number of intake vents should roughly match the sq/in of the ridge vent. Hard to calculate but the manufacturer can supply spec for each.
    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,440, Reputation: 212
    Ultra Member

    Jun 22, 2009, 08:22 PM

    I'm not sure why the round soffit vent plugs are an eye sore here.

    Some specs on venting. Sure you looked it up already but posted some specs

    Vent calculator
    Attic Ventilation Calculator

    Your building code may differ check it and they should also have the answer on calculations.

    If the calculations call for more venting grilling can solve it.

    I'm for the soffit venting the usual way.

    The 'Smart View" looks impressive but it also will Bump the shingles up in that area and that I feel will be more noticeable then soffit vents. Also what about the roofs leaves/dirt/debris interacting with the gutter/ down spout possibly getting clogged or slow snow melting freezing up and clogging the 3/4" openings. They have exposed edges to the weather and can have a problem with freezing rain and water. Winter is the most important time for proper venting.

    Soffit vents Never have that problem simply because they hardly get wet.

    Just some food for thought here...
    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 325, Reputation: 6
    Full Member

    Jun 23, 2009, 09:13 AM
    21 Boat, I'm for the soffit vent the usual way also, however, I only have 3 inches of soffit area. Would I still be able to install a vented vinyl or aluminum soffit in such a small space? I do like a regualr soffit look the best.

    This has made finding a nice looking alternative difficult. Part of this is also because the garage is not tall... the soffit area is only up about 7 feet. I saw a strip vent installed online and it looked nice. But the strip vents are 3" wide and so is my soffit space... I'm not sure if I can properly install it with no extra room.

    The Smart Vent system is nice, but it also cost about $200 for my setup. It looks like it could work well. I hear what 21 Boats is saying about the look of the shingles being popped up a bit. I think that would be eventually covered by the gutters.

    Probably the easiest and most cost effective way would be to use the round vents. It would probably only cost me about $30. I should be able to squeeze in the 2" diameter vents and if I keep the soffit painted white, I think they might blend right in. I just have to use the cauculator thingy that 21Boat posted to see how many to install. I know I will have to install at least one vent per bay, but maybe two. I'll probably be going this route.

    Hey, is it just me or is there a larger variety of soffit and venting material in the UK than in the US? I keep seeing some neat fascia and venting materials. I wish I could find this fascia board locally. That little lip at the bottom would make my life a lot easier. It would probably allow me to use the strip vent too.
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,440, Reputation: 212
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    Jun 23, 2009, 03:14 PM

    Actually We fold our own fascia at what ever size we want. If you are entertaining the metal/alumi soffit it would take very little.
    Logan if it were me I would rear out that wood/ply 3" soffit and install a standard full vented soffit. Then cap the fascia board and be done with everything.

    The fascia board above I bet doesn't come in the colors in fascia we have here.

    Your roofer should also be a soffit and fascia man and have a metal brake to fold alumi fascia.

    Every thing is easy to cap here. The only scabbing that made need to be done is an "F" channel to slide the new soffit into.

    Heres how a re do goes on a job like yours. tear out the old 3" soffit. Add some scabs to nail the new F channel on the building. Now take a full length of all alumi vented soffit and cut the 3" pieces. One end slides in the new F channel and the other end is nailed up under the 3/4 wood fascia. After that is done then alumi fascia is bent or can be bought it white is used here. Then 3/4 bend on the new fascia caps the nailed end of the new soffit that's is flush to the old outside fascia board. This will give you FULL venting all along there. Also the painting is forever done on the soffit and fascia board. All is covered and capped.

    I do it for my customer all the time. Of course we have the 10' Alumi brake and all siding/roofing tools and equipment. We are more then just roofers. Which most should be equipped for this as part of a roofing job..
    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 325, Reputation: 6
    Full Member

    Jun 23, 2009, 04:39 PM
    Okay, after all the advice you guys gave me I know what my plan is.

    1. I will ask the roofer to install an aluminum vented soffit in the 3 inch space.
    2. If he says he can't or if I can't afford it, I will see if I can use vinyl vented soffit and do the work myself.
    3. If I'm having a hard time with the vinyl vented soffit, then I will install the 2" diameter round vents.

    From what you've told me and what I've read about soffits, I need to install f-channel on the back of the fascia. Then I pop up the soffit. Finally the soffit is held in place by another piece of trim that is nailed to my garage. Is there anything else I should know about installing soffits? Any pitfalls that DIYers usually run into?
    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,440, Reputation: 212
    Ultra Member

    Jun 23, 2009, 06:50 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ;
    Then I pop up the soffit
    Your are close but not quite. Nothing Pops up it a slide in soffit into F channel.

    On the building wall itself is where the F channel goes. In a pinch a J channel can be nailed there by nailing on the inside of the J to install. Either or. You level over form the roofs out side fascia board and mark that level point on the building wall. That establishes the location of the F channel. The 12" x 3" soffit pieces slide into the F channels grove. The other side of that same piece is surface nailed under the 3/4 fascia board. So don't forget when you measure your pieces of sofffit to cut it from then inside of the installed F channel to the very OUTSIDE of the wood fascia board. Logan If the old soffit is inlaid up under the fascia don't sweat it. This actually will help for the lowering of the F channel and have room above for a nailer. You may need to trim the back flange off the F channel not to hit the roof truss. Now that the soffit is up, the new fascia is bent in an L shaped. The numbers there is there should be about 1" for the small bent end and the long part of the L needs to slip up under the new drip edge. There is only about 6 nails or so that holds a 10' piece of fascia. It need to expand and contract so it doesn't ripple when the sun hits it. If the drip edge is installed right the fascia should friction up under it.

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