DIY Network

How to Install Attic Soffit Vents

Attics can be cooled down substantially by adding some attic ventilation. One option is the addition of soffit vents. Learn how to install soffit vents for added ventilation in your attic.

More in Remodeling

adding attic ventilation
  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Mark the Rafter and Cutting Locations

Important: To install the vents, holes will need to be cut into the soffit. When cutting the holes that will allow ventilation, it's critical to make certain that you don't cut into the roof rafters. Cutting the rafters could weaken the structure of the roof. Use a stud-finder to help determine where the rafters are located before cutting the vent holes. Visible nail or screw heads on the outer soffit surface or fascia boards may also give indication of rafter locations. Once the locations of the rafters are determined, use the vent itself as a template to establish the locations where you'll be cutting.Scribe a line around the outside of the vent, remember you'll need to cut a hole slightly smaller than the dimensions of the vent. Make the cuts about 3/4" inside the lines to incorporate an allowance around the edge into which the mounting screws will be secured.

use vent itself as template for where to cut

Step 2: Drill Holes into The Soffit

The lower surface of the eaves will need to be cut into using a jigsaw or keyhole saw. Drill some holes in the wood soffit in order to insert the saw-blade and begin cutting. Use a cordless drill and a spade bit to drill the holes into the wood.

drill some holes in wood soffit

Step 3: Cut and Remove the Area

Once the holes are drilled, use the jig saw to make the cuts inside the scribed lines. With all four sides cut, carefully remove the cut-out.

use jig saw to make cuts inside scribe

Step 4: Install the Vent

Center and install the vent over the hole using self-tapping screws. Install the vent so that the louvers point toward the house.

install vent using self tapping screws