How to vent old half story with no soffits
Posted by Saul on December 31, 2001 at 21:06:27:
Hi All,

Last year I gutted a half-story room that is attached perpendicularly to the original colonial structure. I am seeking advice on how to vent the half-story. The original structure is over 200 years old and the "newer" section with the half story is about 100 years old (and about ten feet lower). The rafters lie on top of horizontal support beams and do not over hang; no provision was made for venting. The rafters are hand-hewn and average 4 5/8" square. They are a little over three feet apart on center in general. There is a knee wall about two feet high also. I plan to replace the flat ceiling and install a gable vent. I am also planning to use two sheets of Tuff-R 14.4 which is 1 7/8" thick to conserve space and retain a space of at least 2 3/4" between the roof and the insulating material. The portion of the roof that abuts the support beams on either side of the room is essentially sealed. I realize I could drill a large hole between each set of rafters and cover it with insect screen. I am interested in what others may have done during similar renovations. It seems that I can either redo the entire roof (not a viable option) by shimming the top of the rafers, leave it as is, cut a few makeshift vent holes, or make a custom box for the entire length of the eaves to encase soffit vents. To securely attach the latter, a groove would have to be cut through a corner of the horizontal support beam at each rafter to tie the frame to them. I suppose I could also put some unsightly vents on the outside of the kneewall. The house is in rural Maine. What to do?

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