should addition of an overhang be added to our new roofing job?

elphaba_gwJuly 19, 2011

Our home was built in 1939 without any overhang (sometimes called eaves, right?)

We are having a new roof installed and are wondering if we should have an overhang added at this time? And if so, how far out is a reasonable distance for the "added on" overhang to extend? to make it worthwhile but still not require a canopy?

The exterior of our house is brick in front and hardi-board on the sides which was painted by the installers and we have a lifetime warranty for the paint. Hardi-board has been on three sides of the house and is wearing VERY well. We have gutters on several sides (or partial sides) of the house.

House is relatively small - one floor, 1900 sq foot. Attic space is very spacious - doesn't have a ridge vent so we are looking to have that added (comes included with roof). Also, edge vents added. Roofing contractor who we found because of good references answered a lot of our questions very well but seemed reluctant to recommend that we have an overhang added. Friends who are architects think overhang is VERY important. We're trying to get as many opinions as we can. Thanks in advance.

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I would need to see the existing conditions. What do you mean by "but still not require a canopy"?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 7:40AM
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It depends, somewhat, on the climate where your house is located. The roofer might hesitate because maybe he usually just does roofs and adding this kind of structure is outside of his usual practive.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Existing conditions are that there is no overhang. Not sure how else to describe it. None, nada. Roof stops at the top of the sides of the house.

None of the houses in our old neighborhood have overhangs except in one case where the homeowner had it added. It doesn't extend out that much, 1 foot at most, but probably a little less.

The roof is 17 years old and does need to be replaced. We just don't know whether we should add the task of adding an overhang to the job.

Our climate is almost tropical here in Houston, TX. No snow but a lot of heat.

The roofer "does do overhangs", at least according to what he says. Though this roofer was highly rated, we are going to at least interview another roofer.

"require a canopy" means (I thought) require extra build out beneath the overhang (other than the standard extension of the studs that are part of the roof) in order to support the overhang. (Kind of like requiring the brackets under each shelf that are used when building a book shelf.) Don't want to have to add brackets underneath the overhang, I don't think.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:00PM
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A roof eave overhang can be a simple extension of the rafters left open underneath or a panel can be applied to the bottom of the rafter extensions. Alternatively, the rafter extensions can have a horizontal soffit under it which is called a "boxed cornice".

In the case of an added overhang I suspect the boxed cornice would be structurally stronger and perhaps easier to build although it would require more materials.

I really couldn't give you an opinion about whether you should do it or not without seeing a photograph.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 9:30AM
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Siding would need to be removed in order to expose where the existing rafters rest on the top wall plates and any blocking removed. New rafters "scabbed in" to the existing rafters in at least 4' from the wall plates and out as far as what you are looking for concerning the overhang length. Blocking to still allow for air flow gives you an opportunity to have a continous run vented soffit coupled with a continous run ridgeventing dependent on your layout/roofplan and geographical location. If that works on your project, any existing venting types such as gable venting would need to be blocked off/sealed.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:03AM
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Do you have a problem? Or are you creating a solution to a problem that doesn't exist? In other words, WHY do you want an overhang?

What kind of roofing material is being used? Is it a flat roof or an angled one?

If you want opinions that will really be meaningful, you might want to provide at least a photo, but also a history of the house's weather problems if any. If you can't come up with any history of problems, well...


    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 1:04AM
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"Do you have a problem? Or are you creating a solution to a problem that doesn't exist? In other words, WHY do you want an overhang"?

If the contractor is competent and reputable and has experience, what would be a "problem"? Done correctly, there are many advantages to overhangs, more than just for run off. How the house sits on the property, the roof layout/floorplan are considerations for overhang lengths concening some of the advantages along with astetics. Yeah, pics would be nice along with more info.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:26AM
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"along with astetics"

The exception would be a traditional/historical home that was originally designed with no overhangs, you wouldn't want to mess up that kind of originality.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:40AM
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Forget the ridge vent and "edge" vents. Forget attic vents all around. You are in a hot, humid climate. The best change you might make to the attic ventilation would be to eliminate it. This is doubly so if you have air conditioning equipment up there. You seal the attic, remove any insulation between the attic and living space, and insulate the roof deck (low density spray foam).

Look into it. Here is a starting point:

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 4:00PM
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I added a small overhang, 3" wide, to a house some 20 years ago. I used a treated 2 x 10 and a treated 2 x 8 with one edge ripped off to an angle matching the roof slope of 7 for the top edge and the rip placed so that the bottom edge of both is flush. The results are great and the water does not run down the sides of the house as it did before. The resulting fascia is wide enough for the gutters. If you use today's treated lumber, use stainless steel for fastening it to the house and use some barrier between the lumber and aluminum guttering to prevent electrolysis.

Here is a link that might be useful: barrier

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 5:42PM
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