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Gable Vents – Do They Help?

I’m sure if you have ever built a house or needed to replace your roof, the builder would have mentioned ventilation and what your options are. Gable end vents are a great low maintenance and low-cost option for your home!

  1. Get a completely free quote of this vent, without any obligations.
  2. What is a gable vent and how can they help?
  3. What are the typical materials used for gable vents.
  4. A brief explanation of powered gable vents.
  5. What are the pros and cons of using gable vents?
  6. Do gable vents and soffit vents work together?
  7. How much can you expect to spend on it?
  8. A quick overview of installing gable vents.

What is a gable vent?

Gable end vents is a roof ventilation system that is placed on either side of a gable roof that assists in cooling down your attic or roof. These vents allow for a cross breeze through your attic, blowing out the warm air and replacing it with cooler less humid air. It is a great ventilation system, for your attic or roof, on a budget. Having roof or attic ventilation will also help decrease your power costs as well, so all in all this should save you money.

In hot summer months, humidity can build up with great heat risking damaging anything stored on your attic. This excess heat can affect the temperature of your house in general, thus increasing your energy bills. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in winter if this area is not ventilated properly, stagnant air can condense putting your house at risk of mold or mildew.

Attic gable vents are unlike almost all other roof ventilation systems. While most other ventilation systems are designed to blend in and be hidden from sight, these vents are meant to stand out and add an architectural element to an otherwise bare area on your house. There is a huge industry around decorative gable vents. They come in all different shapes and sizes, all the way from triangle gable vents to the round ones.

Typical materials used for gable vents.

They not only come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but also in a large variety of materials. While all of these work the exact same way, you will definitely want to choose one that matches the style and overall look of your home.

Metal gable vents – Metal or aluminum gable vents are strong, robust and can look very modern for a great family home today. A great bonus to choosing to go with metal is that there is no risk of having them damaged by woodpeckers or other rodents. They can also be painted an infinite amount of colors to suit your home.

Vinyl gable vents – These vents are just great and really taking on the market with them being installed on more and more homes yearly. Vinyl gable vents are easy to install making the overall cost less than its competitors if you plan on paying a contractor to install it for you. They can also be installed on any materials whether it be wooden siding or a brick house.

Wood gable vents – These are the typical gable vents that you are most likely to find on any house today. They can match just about any wooden house you may be building or already have, with the wide varity of wood you can make them out of.

Powered gable vents, are they any good?

On top of your standard gable vents, you can also try and assist this cross flow and cooling process by installing a powered one. Attaching a gable vent fan pushing air inside your attic or roof out will assist in keeping the humidity and overall heat down.

There is a downside to using them though, and that is you are now using energy that you could otherwise be saving if you just had decent air circulation in your roof. Combining soffit vents and your gable vents this should provide enough air circulation in your roof to keep the temperature and humidity down.

The problem of using more energy to cool down your roof that should in theory, be saving you money on energy costs, can be reduced by installing solar panels that would power fans in your roof. This, however, would increase the installation costs considerably as well as extra maintenance costs.

It is recommended that you only use gable vent fans in extreme cases, and I cannot express enough that this needs to be done correctly. If done incorrectly you could allow for excess humidity to hold up in your roof thus risk damage to your home.

Pros and Cons of using gable vents

Pro: When gable end vents are combined with soffit vents, this can keep a continuous air flow through your roof or attic. The cooler outside will be allowed to be sucked through your soffit vents and expel the hotter humid air through your gable vents. This will help reduce the humidity in your roof, reducing the risk of damaging your roof.

Pro: Metal or aluminum can protect against certain rodents, like woodpeckers damaging your vents. These are also less maintenance than many other roof ventilation systems, that often require more attention.


Pro: Gable vents are generally quite reliable when it comes to keeping your roof cool and also quite low maintenance when being compared to other motorized ventilation systems. When being compared to a rooftop attic fan, for example, that is prone to rust, bearing wear and tear and rodents getting in and damaging wires.

Con: Some roof types do not accommodate for gable vents. This being roofs like hip and valley rooftops that do not have gables at all, another ventilation system would have to be looked at like the ridge vent. You will also need your house to be made out of the right material as some gable vents will not be able to be fitted with these vents.

Con: They are not the best ventilation option when it comes to cooling down your attic, especially when being compared to other ventilation systems. However, their overall cost can be considerably less than many of its competitors, where you would only need 2 gable vents you may have to install a substantial amount more roof vents with other systems.

Con: While many may convince you that it is easy to install gable end vents, this is not always the case if you do not know exactly what you are doing. If not installed correctly, you may not only have a vent that is not lined up properly but also a serious eyesore to look at.

Do gable vents and soffit vents work together?

The plain and simple answer is yes. Just relying on your gable vents to cool your attic is a big ask, as this will only work optimally when you have a cross breeze blowing towards one side of your roof, blowing the hot air out the other side. By allowing for cooler air to be pulled through your soffit vents, this allows the hot and humid air to be pushed up and out of your attic through your gable vents.

PRO TIP: It is recommended that if you are planning on installing gable vents that you also consider, if you do not have already, installing soffit vents. This will take a big load off your gable vents shoulders and not only be relying on a cross breeze to blow the humid air out of your attic.

Special Offer: Get a Free Roofing Quote (United States Only)

Networx has kindly offered to provide all my blog readers a free quote on all your roofing needs. I highly recommend you take advantage of this generous offer by clicking here and getting your free quote for your gable vent installation or repair. You will not be charged at all for the quote! 🙂

How much does a gable vent cost?

A gable end vent can cost anything between $50 and $200 per vent depending on materials used, size and type. It would be recommended that you keep aside about $300 for getting the attic gable vents and the labor to install them.

A quick overview of installing gable vents.

While it might seem quite easy to install these vents in your attic, I would highly recommend that you consider getting a completely free quote from the offer above. Besides Not only from a visual standpoint, it can be detrimental should you install it incorrectly. From damaging your roof or siding, to leaving a terrible eyesore if done incorrectly, it is imperative that your gable vents are installed properly.

Let us get onto what you will need and what you will need to do to install your gable end vents.

What will you need?
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility Knife
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Chalkline
  • 2×4 Lumber

Step 1 First off you want to start by using the template that came with your new gable vent to mark the size of the vent on the inside of your wall. If you new vent did not come with this template, use the vent itself instead. Hold it steady against the wall and mark off the area you need carefully.

Step 2 Cut the 2×4 lumber boards to build a matching frame around your gable vent. Be sure to give at least 1/4 inch clearance. After this is done drill holes in each corner of the frame all the way through your wall.

Step 3 Use your chalk line to outline your gable vent by connecting the holes that you drilled. Using a reciprocating saw cut along the chalk line carefully to make space for it. Measure your gable vent flange and mark this on the outside against your siding. Remove the siding where the gable vent flange will fit.

Step 4 Apply caulking on the opening on your new hole you have cut out, this will assist in creating a watertight seal when you put in your gable vent. Slide in your gable vent and mount it to your house with screws two inches or bigger.

Step 5 Apply caulking all around your all around your gable vent and smooth it down with your finger for a bit more of a watertight seal.

In conclusion, you can see that a gable vent is a great option for your attic ventilation. They look great, especially if you have a particularly awesome looking variety, and they work well in keeping your attic cooler. Not to mention they can cut down on your energy bill. They can also potentially protect anything you have stored in your attic from getting damaged by heat, humidity or mold.


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