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Ventilation 101: A Guide on Ridge Vents and their Cost

December 12, 2023
Ventilation 101 A Guide on Ridge Vents and their Cost

Ventilation plays a crucial role when it comes to making your home more cozy and extending your roof’s lifespan. Among the various ventilation options available, ridge vents stand out as one of the most effective choices.

You’d be surprised at how big of a difference these inconspicuous ridge vents can make in your home’s comfort level. Not only do they promote better airflow, but they also keep the attic moisture-free.

In this article, we’ll break down what ridge vents are, how they work, and their benefits and drawbacks. We’ll also help you estimate how much it will cost to get these vents for your own home.

What is a ridge vent?

What is a ridge vent

A ridge vent is a ventilation system that lets fresh air from outside come in and pushes out the hot and stuffy air from the attic. It’s installed along the ridge, which is the highest point or peak of a roof where two roof slopes meet.

Basically, a ridge vent is like a breathing hole for your house. It lets your house “breathe” by letting air in and out, making your home more comfortable and preventing issues like mold and heat buildup.

What are the pros and cons of ridge vents?

Pros

  • Effective ventilation
  • Extend roof’s lifespan
  • Blend with the roof’s appearance
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Hard to install
  • Weather vulnerability
  • Not suitable for all roofs

Pros

When properly installed, ridge vents offer effective ventilation for your attic or roof space. By creating a continuous pathway for airflow, they allow hot and moist air to escape while fresh air enters. 

This helps regulate the temperature inside and prevent moisture-related issues.

Ridge vents can also help extend the lifespan of your roof. Heat can strain the roof without proper ventilation, leading to a shorter life.

Ridge vents also don’t require much maintenance. There are no moving parts that could potentially fail or degrade over time.

Furthermore, ridge vents do not disrupt the style of your home. They seamlessly blend in with the roof design, preserving its charm.

Cons

It’s important to note that ridge vents are not suitable for all types of roofs. Some roof designs, such as hip roof or or a roof with a very low pitch, may not accommodate ridge vents effectively.

Ridge vents rely on continuous ridges, so they won’t work well on hip roofs with no continuous ridge along the top. Roofs with very low pitches or slopes may also not have enough space to install ridge vents.

Ridge vents are vulnerable to leaks in severe weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall or driving rain. It’s important to ensure they’re properly installed to avoid leaking and any other damage.

It’s best to hire a professional when installing them, as they can be tricky to install for those without enough expertise. Small mistakes can lead to bigger problems like pest entry and leakage.

How much does it cost to install a ridge vent?

How much does it cost to install a ridge vent

Installing ridge vents can run from $350–$650 per roof, including labor and materials. The price for each ridge vent is usually around $150$350, while labor could be from $200$300 per job.

This cost varies based on many factors, such as the complexity of the job, roof size, roof type, and the pitch of the roof.

Factors That Will Influence Ridge Vent Installation Costs

The roof’s size, shape, current ventilation setup, accessibility, the contractor’s rates, and how much roof repair is needed are some of the things that can influence the price of ridge vent installation.

Roof Size

In general, larger roofs will require longer ridge vents, which means they’ll naturally require more materials for the installation. More materials mean higher material cost, so it’s inevitable for the overall installation cost to increase. 

Larger roofs will also require more time and effort to install the ridge vent along the entire length of the ridge. This can contribute to higher labor costs.

Roof Style

Ridge vent installation might prove trickier on elaborate roofing systems that sport multi-peaked profiles, multi-valley roofscapes, and dormers. 

Roofing contractors have to deal with these obstacles in order to properly seal and ventilate your structure, which can mean more work and greater expenses.

Ridge vents may also have to be customized for roofs with additional features such as skylights and chimneys. This personalization adds an additional expense to material and labor.

Installing ridge vents on simple roofs like gabled ones with two slanted sides meeting at the center will usually cost less. Their inherent simplicity makes the installation process quicker and easier.

Existing Ventilation System

It’s possible that some preexisting ventilation systems, like gable vents, box vents, or static roof vents, may have to be eliminated or sealed to provide space for ridge vents. This would all cost extra because installers have to modify and remove old stuff.

Accessibility

Ridge vents can be dangerous to install, especially on super-high or very steep roofs. Contractors may need to add extra PPE, such as harnesses, scaffolding, and lifts, to provide better safety for employees.

Moreover, some roof materials, like steel and stone, may demand specialized handling, which would make it harder for the workers. You may even have to hire highly skilled workers in some cases; they usually charge higher rates.

All these factors can rapidly drive up costs.

Labor

Half of your total budget for ridge vent installation will typically go to labor fees. The rates will vary based on regional location and are often driven by local living costs and local demand.

When you hire roofers, it’s advisable to select ones who have licenses and insurance, even if they may charge a bit more. This precaution will safeguard you from burdens in case an unexpected accident occurs.

Roofers usually charge $30 to $80 per hour for vent installation, so you can expect to pay around the same range for ridge vents.

Roof Repair

If your roof is in good condition and doesn’t require any repairs, the cost of ridge vent installation will primarily cover the materials and labor associated with the installation itself.

However, if there is existing damage, leaks, or issues, the roofers will have to repair them first before installing the ridge vents. This is to prevent bigger problems from occurring and to ensure the efficiency of the vents.

These repairs will naturally incur additional costs, but it’s best to address them as soon as possible. Ignoring these necessary repairs may cost you more in the long run.

How do you save money when installing a ridge vent?

Ridge vents can have high upfront costs, but you can lower them by doing some work yourself and ensuring you get the best deals. Here are some ways you can do this:

Compare quotes from multiple contractors

Seek estimates from several reputable roofing contractors and compare their quotes to ensure you’re getting a competitive price. 

However, choosing a competitive price doesn’t mean choosing the lowest price. It means hiring a contractor that can provide you with the quality of work you need at the best possible price.

DIY the preparation

You can save on labor costs by preparing the roof area yourself. Clear the ridge of any debris, trim nearby tree branches, or perform any minor repairs that you are comfortable handling. 

Make sure to be cautious and safe while working to avoid accidents and hefty hospital bills.

Opt for local materials

Getting ridge vent materials from local suppliers can sometimes help you save some bucks since you can reduce transportation fees.

You can talk this out with your contractor, as they usually have a long list of suppliers.

Combine installation with other roofing work needed

If you have other roofing jobs, like shingle replacement, opt to get them done with your ridge vent installation service. Roofing contractors would often give discounts to clients hiring them for a lot of projects.

Get it done in the fall or winter

Roofing contractors are often busy during spring and summer. Due to the demand, they may increase their rates around these seasons.

Consider scheduling your ridge vent installation during the off-peak months when contractors may offer lower rates to fill their schedules.

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