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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: 2,727, Reputation: 1244
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    #2

    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.
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    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,292, Reputation: 2274
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    #3

    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.
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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 333, Reputation: 6
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    #4

    Jun 22, 2009, 09:07 AM
    Ballenger,

    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:
    Google Image Result for http://img2.timeinc.net/toh/i/a/heating/attics-06.jpg
    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: 27,292, Reputation: 2274
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    #5

    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.
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
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    #6

    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...
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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 333, Reputation: 6
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    #7

    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: 2,441, Reputation: 212
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    #8

    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..
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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 333, Reputation: 6
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    #9

    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?
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
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    #10

    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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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 333, Reputation: 6
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    #11

    Jun 23, 2009, 07:10 PM

    Okay, I follow you. Does anyone sell an "L" shaped fascia or am I stuck trying to bend the aluminum on my own? I'd love to be able to buy something like in the picture I attached a few post back.
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
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    #12

    Jun 23, 2009, 07:28 PM

    Yes you van buy a pre bent fascia board. It usually comes in white only. It also has 2 very tiny round beads on it face to help stop the ripple sun effect. I not sure if you have a roofing supplier there that also sells siding/gutters/fascia coil stock. They usually have a alumi brake to bend a piece for the contractors to use. The problem lies in the coil stock is usually in the 50' or 100' coils and more. Its not cheap by the foot. Look at the big box stores that sell siding and they may have some stock pieces already bent. Its been a while since Ive seen it in the stores..
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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 333, Reputation: 6
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    #13

    Jun 24, 2009, 02:33 PM
    The more I learn, the more questions I have.

    I think there is just one last piece that I need to complete this puzzle. I was PSYCHED when I saw that Home Depot has the aluminum fascia. They have vinyl too, but it doesn't look as nice. The pre bent aluminum fascia is in a "j" shape and is designed to slightly wrap around the back of the wooden fascia board. When it comes to the soffit, that wrap around on the fascia is what I'm slightly confused about.

    I drew a picture below of how I think the soffit and aluminum fascia should be installed. You said that the soffit goes into the f-channel on the garage wall and then gets nailed to the wooden fascia board. Then the aluminum fascia covers up the edge of the soffit. But it doesn't seem like the aluminum fascia can wrap around the wood with the soffit in the way. It seems like it will have to sit and hang down a bit.

    Does my picture correctly show how to install everything?
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    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,292, Reputation: 2274
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    #14

    Jun 24, 2009, 04:11 PM



    I think that in addition to the F channel on the house wall you need more than the wrapped edge of the fascia to hold the vented soffit. There should be another channel on the right end of the soffit. Its been quite awhile since I did on of those but that is what I recall. Also trying to remember what I had for breakfast.
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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 333, Reputation: 6
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    #15

    Jun 24, 2009, 06:01 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ballengerb1 View Post
    I think that in addition to the F channel on the house wall you need more than the wrapped edge of the facia to hold the vented soffit.
    Wouldn't the nails underneath the wrapped edge of the fascia along with the f-channel against the garage be enough to hold it in place?
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
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    #16

    Jun 24, 2009, 09:52 PM

    There is no need for another channel at the fascia end ever really. Look at the picture. The soffit is nailed to the bottom edge of the fascia board. That's why We level from building to bottom of fascia. When the soffit is up it really doesn't need a alumi L fascia cap. The soffit is already secured. The soffit pieces is 12" wide from the box. And it cut to the width of what the overhang distance from the structures to the outside edge of the soffit.

    Logan when that is laid out and keep in mind that the widths of all soffit material being 12" wide. Usually you need to cut the first one down to chase out the 12 " to the other end so you don't have a sliver piece ending up at the opposite end. Is very important to keep the squared off of the building...

    There is only one fascia nail used for each 12" soffit piece. I prefer the fascia nails to hang the soffit. Also a sharp punch is good to brake through the alunmi soffit if you are not used to the small fascia nail and tiny to hold.. On all houses we use all alumi soffit because its stiffer in the winds as opposed to vinyl and doesn't make any noise. The viniyl soffit is easeir to cut but its not a structurally sound. Just a plywood blade backwards in the saw is how to cut it. Also duct tape the saws plate/shoes so not to stratch the alumi soffit. Big shears work but Im used to gang cutting soffits material and shears doesn't allow that.

    On your drawing at the bottom edge of the fascia board nail the soffit there BEFORE the fascia capp is installed. Alls the L fascia capp is for is to cover the nails of the soffit and to protect the bottom edge of the roofs fascia.

    There is no nailing on the F channel end when you slide the cut soffit in.

    Now my next question are you going to install and continue the fascia cap up the rake to the peak. Don't forget that part.

    Is the end of the original soffit boxed/capped with 1 bys?

    I box that in to make a nice clean transition there. A 3/4 pine cut in the Pie shape allows you to wrap the fascia around that right/left angel. This also provides a good nailing end for the cut down soffit ends. AND it provides a good overlapping of the fascia from the roof rake and give those ends a nice flare.

    Some jobs such as yours we scab a 2by 6 or 8 and bevel cut the top of that to the roofs pitch if there is a total re roof. That gives the soffit and extra 1 1/2" in width to help proportion the soffit the structure/ The metal drip edges then covers over the seamed 2 by , and over course the felt paper first to the very edge of the scab.

    By what ever width you cut to for the soffit
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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 333, Reputation: 6
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    #17

    Jun 25, 2009, 05:14 AM
    When my garage was originally sided years ago, the lazy slobs only installed fascia cap on the rake up to the peak. It was the two sides that don't have any cap (see pic).

    I know there is no need for another f-channel at the fascia. I tried to show that in my drawing. What looks like the second channel in my drawing is actually the fascia cap (drawn in red). The Fascia cap from Home Depot is not an "L" shape, it is a "J" shape. That's why I drew the picture. I was trying to figure out how the whole thing works with the "J" shaped fascia cap.

    I like your idea of aluminum soffit and I understand it is stronger, however, Home Depot and Lowe's only carry the vinyl. I'm very confident that since I'm only cutting a 3" section strength will not be an issue.

    Since my corners are shot (see pic) I will have to clean them up in some way. I think I will try and box them like you said, just as soon as I can figure out how to do that without tearing up the fascia on the bottom of the rake.

    Do I still seem like I'm on the right track?
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
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    #18

    Jun 25, 2009, 09:42 AM

    Hi logan, You have quite a hodge podge there. The original drip edge on the rake should have been snipped and bent around that corner.

    It looks pretty dicey where the gable end siding meets the old fascia cap for water to blow in there along the whole rake.

    Personally I wouldn't worry about the roof rakes alumi getting torn up. I would be tearing that off and adding new fascia to match the new fascia that's going on the soffit fascia. Makes it look like a new roof and all new drip edge and fascia. It all matches.

    To scab in that edge Just go back the overhang and find the next roof rafter. You can scab/sister a mini rafter beside the old and use that end for a nailer to add the new 2by from the overhang to the rake board.

    On the rake board coming down also scab a block there and set it back from the end of the rake for a nailer. If you replace that alumi rake fascia, skip the scab there and now you can face nail on that end to the added wood fascia board meeting it. It gets covered with a new fascia going up the rake. Then everything would match here
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