How to Install a Gable Vent or Fan
If you're looking for a way to amp up curb appeal and improve air circulation in the attic, you're in luck. Gable vents are attractive home additions that promote air flow. Plus they're easy to install, thanks to our step-by-step tutorial.
Before you begin, there are a few key things you need to know. 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 any time. Also keep in mind that 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.
You'll need several hours to install most venting products. Prep for the job by determining how much and what type of ventilation you need. Tear off the roofing or plan to cut back shingles for the installations. Also make preparations for working safely on the roof.
How to Install a Gable Vent
What You Need
- Circular saw or jigsaw
- Safety glasses
- Gable vent
- Caulk gun
- Framing materials, if needed
Step 1: Cut a Hole for the Vent
Cut a hole that will be covered by the vent frame. Set a circular saw to cut just deep enough through the siding and sheathing. Or use a jigsaw and stop when you come to a stud.
Step 2: Attach Vent and Caulk
Attach the vent louver panel by driving screws into the siding and sheathing. Caulk the edges as needed.
Step 3: Modify Framing
You may need to modify the framing, depending on whether the gable framing is 16 or 24 inches on center. If installing a gable fan, add top and bottom horizontal framing.
How to Install a Gable Fan
What You Need
- Gable fan
- Wire strippers
Step 1: Mount Fan
Mount a gable fan by driving screws through the mounting flanges into framing members.
Step 2: Attach to Power
Shut off power to the circuit and run code-approved cable to a nearby junction box. If no junction box is available in the attic, bring power up from a circuit in the room below.
Step 3: Wire Thermostat
Wire the thermostat following the manufacturer's directions. With the thermostat shown, stripped wire ends are inserted in a terminal bar and screwed tight. Adjust the thermostat control and restore power.