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Community and Q&A

“Designing for Durability”

user-4524083 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Martin and others: I just read the article in Fine Homebuilding ( September 2015, #253) on the new HUD guide for building a durable house. I do not understand the “overhang ratios” given in the chart on p. 58., and am wondering if they have made an error. On a 9′ wall( single story house) the 0.5 ratio required to get excellent protection in a “Damp” or “Wet” climate means an overhang of 54″ . That’s one hell of an overhang! From my experience, it seems that a 16″ overhang on a cape or a one story building in a damp climate like Maine offers excellent protection to the walls, and blocks the sun nicely in the summer as well. Thanks. Kevin

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  1. Expert Member

    54"? They don't mess about! Here on the West Coast overhangs tend to be 24". I prefer 30. For exposed waterfront locations the overhang necessary to protect an exterior door is so great that it necessitates a porch or other supported roof.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    The authors of the article seem to advocate wide roof overhangs, especially in locations in wet climates that are exposed to the wind. Their position is defensible, even though it leads to wide overhangs.

    It is possible to build a 54 inch overhang, of course, although an engineer should be consulted if you live in a high wind area to make sure that the overhang doesn't invite a problem during a hurricane.

    I wasn't involved in editing this article, but if you want to submit a letter to the editor to comment on the article, you can do so using Fine Homebuilding's "Contact us" page:


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