Getting A New Roof? Why You Should Add Overhangs, Too

The replacement of a roof is an opportunity to change, add, or remove features that affect how comfortable your house and property are. You can add or replace gutters, change the roofing material, and even change the pitch, if you're willing to go through the construction that requires. One relatively simple change is to add overhangs to sides that don't already have them. Sometimes builders actually don't include overhangs on some sides of a house for a number of reasons. For instance, that might be the case if the overhangs would potentially interfere with a nearby wall or tree. But a lack of overhangs can adversely affect how you feel when you're in your house and how well your property handles rain.

Directing Runoff Away From the Foundation

Overhangs force runoff to fall away from the foundation of your house. When you don't have an overhang or gutter on a side of your home, the rain on that side simply runs down the side of the house and onto the ground right by the wall. That can cause problems with erosion and leaks if the wall and foundation aren't watertight. An overhang makes the runoff go elsewhere (even more so if a gutter is attached to the overhang).

Better Shade for the Windows

A longer overhang can provide protection for windows from the sun. More shade in summer keeps those rooms cooler, thus reducing your air conditioning bill. A very long overhang can interfere with some views — you'll still be able to see out, of course, but you won't have the huge views of both the sky and the horizon. However, it may be worth it to give up parts of the view to protect your house from harsh afternoon sun.

More Protection From Rain

In addition to forcing runoff to run away from the house, an overhang also stops a lot of rain from hitting the side of the house and the walls, the windows, and features like external light fixtures. This can reduce the amount of damage to screens (heavy rain and hail can deform screen mesh) and help prevent water damage to the rest of the wall. While the sound of gentle rain hitting a window might be nice, heavy rain that sounds like it's going to push the window in is not a nice sound. An overhang can provide necessary protection.

When you arrange to have your roof replaced, ask about adding overhangs. Simple overhangs are not that difficult to add on, but they will require extra planning and materials, and your costs will change. Discuss this with your residential roofers to ensure you know exactly how much you'll have to spend.

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