The Benefits of Adding a Roof Overhang System

Adequate roof overhangs help shade windows in hot weather and reduce the amount of rain that hits your siding, windows, and doors. Roof overhangs are the amount that the roof hangs over the top of the siding in residential home construction. The siding underneath the overhang is known as the soffit. Overhangs are common in most house designs, providing protection against both wind and rain. The length of the overhang depends primarily on the climate. The longest overhangs are seen in the wettest climates.

adding an overhang to existing roof

Many residential designers pay too little attention to roof overhangs. Roof overhangs have several important functions: they can protect exterior doors, windows, and siding from rain; they can shade windows when solar heat gain is undesirable; and they can help keep basements and crawl spaces dry. A house with improper overhangs can overheat in the summer, can suffer from water entry problems at windows and doors, and can have premature siding rot.

Does your house have a roof overhang? If it does not, you might realize your need for one if you have experienced water in your basement or crawl space. One function of a roof overhang is directing water away from the foundation. A high-quality gutter system is necessary for this as well, but roof overhangs greatly increase a roof’s productivity in this area. A roof overhang also protects the upper portion of your exterior walls that it is attached to from rainfall. In addition, it shades the windows under it from the sun.

If your roof ends right where the walls begin, you might want to think about extending the overhang of your roof. Or you might need to do it in order to solve a tricky foundation problem. On the other hand, you may not have even thought about your roof’s overhangs, but you like the look of the cottage style and want to incorporate it into a more dated and basic ranch-style roofline.

Adding Style

Generous overhangs are a hallmark of an eye-catching style. They are one of those things you might not notice you’re missing if you’re not a designer, but you can see the difference they make in the overall balance in the look of a home. Deeper eave overhangs create the possibility for more style addition in the form of fancy soffits (the underneath part of the overhang) and the kind of custom woodwork extras you would see on Victorian or cottage style homes – like corbels.


Roof overhangs are not just eye-pleasing, they are functional. They provide shelter and shade for your home’s windows and siding. They can protect your home and give those exterior elements and longer lifespan.

Easy Install

The good news is that a roof overhang can usually be added without having to change the main structure of your roof – which is a more expensive and all-encompassing job. Rafter extensions would need to be added onto your existing rafters. You can contact and request this from your expert roofing contractor Ambler PA so that you’ll be able to make the necessary additions to your roof. 

Things to Consider

This project is ideal once the lifespan of your roof is near its end as it will be hard to match the color of your existing shingles with this type of addition. If you replace the entire roof after the new overhangs are in place, the extensions will be seamless. You can also take this opportunity to replace worn-out fascia or make it a different color.

On the other hand, if your roof is relatively new, it might be possible to have a very close match in shingle color to your existing shingles, although typically you would want to complete this with a new roof and or roof and siding project

Maximum Length of a Roof Overhang

Two feet is the general maximum length for a typical roof overhang. This will protect a roof from most types of damage. Roof overhangs can extend farther than 2 feet, but beyond this length, they begin to lose structural integrity and require external support. This can make extensive roof overhangs more trouble than they are worth in all but the harshest climates.

A roof overhang is an essential part of your roofing system to protect your house. If you are simply adding function and protection, or if you want to incorporate a new style to update the exterior of your home, a new roof overhang is a good idea. An even better idea is having the best roofing Ambler PA contractor install the extension to your home.

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