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Old 10-02-2009, 11:54 AM   #1
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house with no soffits?


Hi, just bought a house. An austere brick ranch built in 1951 (Decatur, GA). The thing is a fortress structurally, but looks a bit like a bomb shelter.

The architectural feature that I find curious is that the roof line comes directly down to the exterior wall, no awning at all. It's alright, just requires a little intentionality to make it look good from the curb (painting, landscaping, windown treatments...)

However, I'm now trying to insulate the attic, and am finding that there are no soffits/soffit vents. Hmmm. It seems the entire attic ventilation is depending on just gable vents. Can that be right? Anybody familiar with that construction style in the south?
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:06 PM   #2
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I have seen it a couple times on houses, and sevearl times on garages and outbuildings. I would think reason for doing it that way would be to reduce building costs.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:14 PM   #3
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So, to insulate the attic, I guess I can go all the way to the ends without regard for any soffit ventilation. In the long run, any tips on how I can ensure the attic has adequate ventilation. Anybody tried smartvents? http://www.dciproducts.com/html/smartvent.htm
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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Based on the detail they have on their site you would need to leave a little room at the end of your roof to ensure air flow, otherwise it looks like a pretty elegant solution. If you have detailed questions you can find a local distributor for the product and they will be able to answer any questions you might have.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:48 PM   #5
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Do you have a pic of where the roof & wall meet?
I'd consider putting in soffit vents & rafter vents depending upon the roof/wall meeting point

http://products.construction.com/swt...55/E715704.jpg



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Old 10-02-2009, 01:00 PM   #6
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Anybody familiar with that construction style in the south?

Not just the South. I've got the same thing up here in Jersey, 1940 brick colonial.

Anybody tried smartvents?

If you check out the roofing forum, I believe a moderator named Ed the Roofer has many positive things to say about smartvents.

On my own place, after checking out advice here, I've been considering either going with the smartvents or enlarging my gable vents and adding a fan to get the air moving.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:31 PM   #7
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ScubaDave, the roof line ends right on top of the exterior brick wall. So any attempt to punch ventilation through ends up in the house, rather than outside it. So, that'll probably not do.

Looks like the way to go is Smartvents or as RDS is considering, augmenting my gable vents, to optimize air flow up there. It doesn't appear to have any issues to date, but I'm concerned that the - soon to be better - insulated attic will change the air flow dynamics up there – and need better ventilation…(?) I probably won't need a roof replacement for another two years, when I was going to consider integrating the smartvents... RDS - keep us updated on what you do to those gable vents. Mine will have a big job for two years. I'd like to help them succeed.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:59 PM   #8
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This is a common detail in the UK on cheaper housing known as Flush eaves. It saves a bit of cash but offers less protection to the walls. Nowdays the rafter feet are cut about an inch longer, so the fascia board is away from the wall enough to allow ventilation. Ventilation on older houses is done by inserting vents under the eaves tiles and felt, but we don't have sheathing, so it probably wouldn't work for you.
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