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Community and Q&A

Venting: Roof ridge and gable ends without soffit venting

Richard_ | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

We are doing a vented roof with access to the attic space through the East Gable End.
The Roof Ridge will be vented.Instead of the soffits to provide air floor to roof ridge use the gable ends to provide air into attic space.

General info
20 feet x 35 feet length to gable ends. 700 square foot home
7/12 pitch simple gable roof
12 inch raised heel roof
Synthetic roof under lament
Low Heat coated Metal roof
The gable ends face east and west
Area in which we live in receives good south west wind most of the year.

So the question do I need soffit venting?


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    For a new home, you should specify soffit vents. Building codes require that any unconditioned attic include soffit vents.

    That said, there is no reason to believe that your attic will have any problems, even if the attic lacks soffit vents. The most important point is to do everything you can to create a tight air barrier at the ceiling level (below your attic). If you don't have air leaks from the interior of your home into your attic, you won't have any problems that require fixing through the alleged virtues of attic venting.

    For more information, see All About Attic Venting.

  2. Richard_ | | #2

    Thanks Martin

  3. user-980774 | | #3

    Check your local code. The 2015 IRC, Section R806 specifies the amount of ventilation area needed
    (1/150 of attic area) but does not specify location. Ideally half the vent space would be low and half high (ridge vent), but no requirement in 2015 IRC for it to be in soffits.

    Attic access in exterior gable is an excellent idea. Very rarely is an interior ceiling attic access done correctly.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Thanks for the code clarification.

  5. Reid Baldwin | | #5

    Make sure to tell the insulation contractor that the attic access is in the gable ends.

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