Framing a Roof Soffit for a Flat Roof

What You'll Need
Safety goggles
1/2-inch thick plywood
Wooden boards, 2-inch wide and 4-inch long
Table saw
Circular saw
Measuring tape
Corrosion-resistant nails

A roof soffit is present on the underside of the roof’s overhang, spread in a horizontal manner. In flat roofs, a roof soffit is seriously recommended since it ensures natural ventilation which is hindered in flat roof fittings. The ventilation is ensured in the form of attic vents that are installed within the roof soffit. The ventilation helps to keep the underside of the roof dry and thus free from maintenance problems like mildew/mold growth and moisture seepage.

Framing the soffit is not demanding but it can be difficult when the shape or design of the roof is a bit complex. This is usually seen in roofs with extensive overhangs or those with dormers or enlarged hips. However, a flat roof is a relatively easier surface for framing the roof soffit. Use the following instructions to frame your roof soffit.

Step 1—Getting Started

Ensure your protection by wearing safety goggles and placing a sturdy stepladder that provides you a stable base to seat yourself. You need to measure the amount of soffit needed. Start by stretching the measuring tape between the end of the roofing wall and the starting edge of the roof rafter. Using the table-saw, cut the wooden board according to the measurements.

Step 2—Creating Roof Ledger

You need to secure the sized board along the horizontal surface of the roofing wall. Use nails and hammer for this. It is better that you use steel-coated nails or any other variety of roofing nails recommended by a hardware store. The nailed board is called the ledger of the soffit’s framing. When hammering the ledger, ensure that you do a thorough job of securing the ledger compactly, i.e. hammer it hard to avoid any spacing.

Step 3—Creating Lengthwise Framing Attachments

Measure the distance between the ledger and the roof’s rafter with the measuring tape. Cut the wooden board according to the measurements. Place the sized board so that one of its ends is secured against the ledger and the other is closely packed against the rafter. You need to secure this piece of board using hammer and nails. Please note that this process has to be completed for every edge of the roofing wall that needs soffit framing.

Step 4—Creating Widthwise Framing Attachments

Using the similar approach explained above, you need to board the width of the roofing walls. Use the plywood for this purpose. The table saw is suited for slicing plywood according to the measurements.

Step 5— Making Vents

Proceed by making vent holes in every alternate roof rafter. You should use the circular saw for this purpose. Remember to use a saw with a heavy-duty extension cord, as you need to do this with minimal effort. It is difficult to approximate the circular shape of vents. It is better that you trace a circle on each of the rafters and then saw-off the marked circumference.