In our area of the country, most eaves are enclosed soffits.
WAIT! What is a soffit, you say?
A soffit is defined as:
“The underside of an architectural structure such as an arch, a balcony, or overhanging eaves”
So why do we have enclosed soffits? One possible reason is economy. In order for an open eave to look attractive, the roof sheeting needs to be something other than sheet goods, such as plywood or OSB. Also, rafters that are just plain 2x4s are not very elegant or pleasing to the eye.
The second reason for enclosed soffits is venting of the attic. Homes that my grandfather built did not have much venting or insulation. Today’s homes need to breathe… attics need good ventilation and good ventilation starts at the eaves of a home. But how do you get air space into the eave and not bugs? Usually some kind of screen or mesh is used, which typically when used on an open eave is unsightly.
Once in a while we construct some open eaves like yester-year. Here are a couple of eave projects we have done recently: