We bought a new house last year. Going up to the loft we noticed there is a considerable gap (5-6 cm) between the roof and the wall, like this:

enter image description here

Is it supposed to be like that?

It's freezing up there but I'm more concerned about animals entering the house.

  • 1
    Good question. Understanding passive attic ventilation should be a requirement for home ownership.
    – Evil Elf
    Jan 31, 2017 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Is it supposed to be like that?

There needs to be air circulation in unheated space to prevent condensation causing rot.

enter image description here

It's freezing up there

That is good. It means your loft insulation is working.

I'm more concerned about animals entering the house.

I found fixing wire-mesh externally to any small gaps at the top of the walls keeps unwelcome types of animal out. You could instead apply this internally.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds encourage builders to make provision so that critters can enter your roof to nest.

enter image description here

Note the wire-mesh guard to prevent them getting to areas where they would be unwelcome.

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    Thanks! Do you have any official reference for this so I can point it out to the constructor?
    – algiogia
    Jan 26, 2017 at 11:46
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    If anywhere, I expect it will be in BS 5250 I believe that is where there is a requirement for a continuous 10mm gap at eaves. Jan 26, 2017 at 12:10
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    Is that supposed to say " can't enter the roof to nest", rather than "can"?
    – Kat
    Jan 27, 2017 at 0:23
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    "The RSPB encourage builders to make provision so that critters can enter your roof to nest." What the heck? No. I don't want animals making a mess and dying in my home. This sounds like a health hazard.
    – jpmc26
    Jan 27, 2017 at 0:45
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    @jpmc26 I know right? What better way to promote the welfare of birds than by imposing them as an unhygienic nuisance on the unsuspecting buyers of residential properties...
    – Tom W
    Jan 27, 2017 at 10:30

That area is supposed to be open for venting the roof. However it should be covered with a material made of aluminum or vinyl with a type of screen to allow air to enter but keep small animals and rodents out. To get an idea of what I am talking about GOOGLE "soffit and fascia",and you will see typical installations. This roof area should be cold unless you are using some of this for living space. If the area under the roof is just for storage or nothing then you should have adequate insulation over the conditioned space below. Are you sure the contractor has finished the building of your home. I would check other houses near you to see if theirs is like yours or covered. The contractor may have forgotten to finish the job.

  • 4
    The builder of my house has been on the news lately for the many things their contractors seem to forget...
    – algiogia
    Jan 26, 2017 at 11:45
  • 4
    @algiogia might be time to get a lawyer... Jan 26, 2017 at 15:03

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