Installing Ridge Vents

This story shows how to install ridge vents.


Ridge and roof vents are easier to install just prior to a roofing job, but they can also be retrofitted onto an existing roof. Soffit vents can be installed anytime.

Venting goes hand in hand with insulation. Measure the thickness of your attic floor insulation (or wall and ceiling insulation, if the attic is finished) and ask your building department or a home center whether you should add more.

If you need more ventilation but don't want to cut a new hole in the roof or gable, consider adding a power vent, which can be controlled by a thermostat and/or a wall switch.


Several hours to install most venting products

Tape measure, drill, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, chalkline, circular saw, hammer and chisel, trowel

Basic carpentry and roofing

Determine how much and what type of ventilation you need. Tear off the roofing or plan to cut back shingles for the installations. Make preparations for working safely on the roof.

Soffit, roof, ridge, or gable vents; nails and screws; roofing; roofing cement

Step 1

Snap chalklines on both sides of the ridge to cut a slot of the recommended size -- typically 1-1/2 inches on each side of the peak. Set a circular saw blade to cut through the sheathing without damaging the rafters below. Stop cutting about 12 inches from the end of the ridge or as recommended by the manufacturer. Finish the cut with a hammer and chisel.

Step 2

Add roofing up to the hole cut for the vent. The venting may come in pieces or a continuous strip. If using a continuous strip, cut it into two pieces and work from each end to the middle, taking care to keep the pieces fairly taut so they don't sag.

Step 3

Drive nails through the holes provided or every 12 inches, making sure nails penetrate the sheathing.

Step 4

With this type of vent, the underside must be cut away so the vent seals at the end. Other vents have end caps at the rake. Make sure the vent seals against the roof on each side.

Step 5

Cut ridgecaps as you would for a standard roof. Set each so it wraps the ridge vent. Use a 5-inch reveal on the ridgecap.

Step 6

Use long roofing nails -- 2-inchers often will do the job -- that completely penetrate the sheathing. Drive the nails just flush, without indenting them.

Comments (3)
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6/9/2016 01:42:26 PM Report Abuse
lillyadams790 wrote:

Roof vents are very easy to install after you just had your roof replaced. We are in the process of having this done along with installing new doors and Andersen windows from

11/23/2010 08:47:35 PM Report Abuse
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