The flow of fresh air across roof shingles draws hot, moist attic air out through a ridge vent and pulls fresh air into the attic through soffit vents. This roof ventilation is important because it allows air to circulate in the attic so there’s a balance of air intake and exhaust. This movement of air reduces cooling costs and eliminates potential damage to the roof shingles. While most new homes are built with a continuous ridge vent along the peak of the roof for this purpose, some older homes were not.
If you’re a handy homeowner who has experience working on roofing projects, you can buy the ridge vent material for $155 and install it yourself, saving 67 percent, a nice reward for your work. You’ll need a circular saw, a chalk line, a utility knife, roofing nails, caulk and, of course, a ladder. Don’t even think about doing this job yourself if you have a steeply pitched roof.
The best time to install a ridge vent is when installing a new roof, but it’s possible to add one to an existing roof. Installation involves cutting into the shingles and then inserting and fastening the vent within the shingles, being careful not to cut into the roof rafters.
Not all homeowners are comfortable working on a roof, so if you are the least bit hesitant, hire a roofing contractor who will charge $470, including labor and material.
To find more DIY and contractor project costs, videos and calculators, visit www.diyornot.com on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved
$470 -- $155 -- 3.5 -- 7.0 -- $315 -- 67 Percent
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