The Difference Between Open Eaves vs Closed Eaves

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between open eaves and closed eaves? If so, you are not the only one. There are many roofing terminologies that we don’t know, and one of the examples is as mentioned earlier. So, let’s discuss the difference between open and closed eaves and some related information about this terminology.

The roof eaves refer to the overhanging edges of a roof that extend beyond the exterior walls of a structure.

What’s the Importance of Eaves? Eaves prevent water damage to the exterior walls, foundation, and landscaping by directing rainwater away from the building.

Read also: How Many Types of Roof Overhangs are There?

What are Open Eaves vs Closed Eaves?

What are eaves on the house? Before understanding the difference between each type of eave, you need to know the definition of eaves.

So, eaves are defined as a part of a house roof formed by overhanging rafters. Oftentimes eaves are also called overhangs. Eaves, which are located at the edge of the roof, can be categorized into two main types: open eaves and closed eaves.

open eaves vs closed eaves

In terms of these mentioned terms: open and closed eaves, the difference lies in the existence of soffit. The soffit is the board that closes the overhang to provide a more finished look on the roof.

Given that the soffit plays a huge role in determining whether one eave is called a closed or open one, the definition of open eaves vs closed eaves can be described as follows:

  • Open eaves

Open eaves can be described as an overhang that is not equipped with a soffit. This means you can directly see the rafters that overhang. Open eaves typically involve a visible and exposed eave, creating a distinctive architectural feature.

Soffit vents, which are perforated panels located beneath the eaves, are frequently included in open eaves. Allowing for adequate ventilation, these vents aid in controlling the attic’s humidity and temperature.

  • Closed eaves

Closed eaves are described as an overhang closed with a soffit. This provides a more finished look and is neat as the rafters are not exposed. Closed eaves, on the other hand, involve a box eave design where the overhang is enclosed and not visible from the ground.

This type also typically features fascia boards, which are horizontal boards covering the rafter ends and providing a finished appearance to the eaves.

Closed eaves are commonly found in structures with flat roofs, where the overhang is integrated into the overall roofing system without being prominently displayed.

Read also: Guides on How To Extend A Roof Overhang

The Use of Eaves

You may wonder what the use of eaves is. Simply put, the eaves of a house can provide these things as mentioned below:

  1. Regulating the temperature of a house

Since it is overhanging the roof, it provides your house with shading. This is practical in protecting your home from the harsh sun. This also helps the wall escape from direct sunlight, typically leading to discoloration or chapping.

  1. A decent protection from moisture or leakage

Since eaves are overhanging from the roof, it can prevent the wall from getting wet too much due to weather factors. Eaves are a great protective part of the roof that protects water-related causes.

  1. Decorative purpose

Aside from the two benefits mentioned, you can learn that your roof will look more dazzling with eaves. Eaves have been linked with various types of architecture, which should help you get more insights about how to take eaves as a decorative ‘tool’ of your roof.

Soffits and fascia work together in closed eaves to create a neat and concealed edge along the roofline, contributing to a clean and modern aesthetic.

The Size of Eaves

In building your rood eaves, how big should the size be? Well, there is no basic rule about this; there is no standard you can use to determine the size of your eaves.

However, if you want to stick with the normal size, the width of the eaves is generally around 16-18 inches wide. If you want to have it as shading, it can be extended by 6 inches, making it around 24 inches.

Both types are good; it is just a matter of preference to choose which type of eaves you want. If you want the house aesthetically pleasing, having the soffit placed beneath the eaves would be great.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair