General Question

metadog's avatar

How can I hang a plant below an eave with vinyl perforated soffit panels?

Asked by metadog (325 points ) June 20th, 2012

Hi! I have a deck on the back of my house and there is a perfect corner where the house meets the deck and a hanging plant would look great. However, the eave (or soffit) has these vinyl perforated panels and I don’t know what is inside them (besides the roof, of course). Here is an image:

http://www.biytoday.com/Soffit2.jpg

I don’t want to damage anything, and I don’t want to just randomly jab a threaded hook up there hoping to hit a beam. Any idea how I could make this happen? Thanks!

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6 Answers

chyna's avatar

This I think you just pinch it open.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@chyna That would work for an open 2 X 4 or joist under the roof line. @metadog Do you have access to the attic? Look and find a soffit joist from in the attic and use a drill then a lag stud for hanging baskets You need to find the structure for the soffit otherwise it will pull the soffit down. ;>(

Coloma's avatar

What about getting one of those tall poles with the hook on the end” They are metal or wrought iron and look like a giant shepherds staff with the “S” shape at the end. I have one at the end of my deck, it is about 5 feet tall and is wired to the deck rail in the corner. I have another one I use for a hummingbird feeder down by my corral.

metadog's avatar

Unfortunately the eave is a part of a sun room with a cathedral ceiling, so no attic… :( Additionally, the deck and railing system is made of synthetic materials so I’m not sure an iron shepherds hook would work out. That was my first thought too!

CWOTUS's avatar

Assuming standard construction techniques, the soffit will be fastened to ceiling joists of some kind, probably on 16” centers (at least away from the corner; spacing of the final joist before the corner can be much smaller). You may not see the fasteners because of the way the soffit appears to be installed: the pieces snap together so each new edge probably hides the fasteners for the edge that it overlaps. Either that, or the soffit is only fastened at the edges and then those fasteners are covered with molding or other trim.

So what you’ll want to do is gently tap on the soffit at various points along its length until one of your taps results in a “thunk” feel of something solid behind that piece. Check 16” or so away from that to see if you get another “thunk”. Those are the joists. You can screw anything through the soffit and into the joist at that point.

Assuming the joist is whole and solid (no knots, not rotten or dry-rotted, etc.), and your fastener is correct for the application and the weight you intend to hang, you should be okay then.

majorrich's avatar

You could fashion a long J-hook attaching to or engaging the gutter and hanging slightly more outboard from the soffit.

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