Mounting a security camera to the soffit can seem daunting at first. Especially have to consider a lot of things such as your camera specs, the tools you have, the type of soffit of your house, and what you want to do with the camera.
This extensive step-by-step guide will show you how you can install your security camera on the soffit without messing up your home decoration.
Even if you’re a beginner, you can follow this article and set up your home security in only a few hours. I’ll also share some tips you can follow and some rookie mistakes you should avoid.
Types of Soffits
Just like the variety in cameras, there are several types of soffits depending on the material. The difficulty of installing the camera varies due to the material.
So check which material your soffit is made from and take the provided necessary steps to mount to it.
Some of the most common types of soffits are –
- Vinyl Soffit
- Aluminum Soffit
- Wooden Soffit
- UPVC Soffit
- Fiber Cement Soffit
Mounting A Security Camera To A Vinyl Soffit
Follow each step and you will be done in no time.
Step #1: Choose A Suitable Location
The first thing, choose the best location (or locations, if you want to install multiple cameras) for your camera. Once you’ve chosen the location, it’s time to decide on the height and angle.
Try to install the camera high enough to get detailed footage of the front view. Keeping it too low will make it easier for it to get damaged or stolen. A good height can be between 8 and 9 feet.
For the angle, use your view to determine how wide you want it to cover. You can use a pencil or marker to mark the angle on the soffit.
Step #2: Prepare Your Aluminum Strip
Measure the soffit length from the outer side towards the inner side. You will need this for cutting your aluminum strip.
Cut the aluminum according to this measurement. Remember to keep it an inch or so shorter than the actual length you measured. This will allow you to fit the aluminum to the soffit easily.
You can use spray paint to give it the same color as your soffit.
Step #3: Install Your Mountain Bracket Onto The Strip
Most cameras have a drill template for you to follow. If not, you can still put the mountain bracket on the strip and mark the screw positions.
Use a drill to make some holes on the strip that match the screw positions. Put your mountain bracket on it. Now screw the holes. Make them tight and sturdy.
If you’ve followed everything carefully, you should have something like this:
Step #4: Setup the Strip on the Soffit
Now is the tricky part. Remember to keep your aluminum strip a bit shorter than the soffit length? You’ll know why soon.
Take the aluminum strip and try to attach one side to the inner side of the soffit. Try to do it at an angle. Once it’s in, try to fit the other side into the outer side of the soffit.
If you’re done, try to pull the strip toward the ground. This will help you understand whether the strip is attached firmly. If not, try to fix the angles to make it fit properly.
If you think the length is too short to fit, you’ll need to go over this step from the beginning. You can drill some extra screws on both sides to give it a solid foundation.
Step #5: Managing Your Wires
If you’re going with a wireless camera, you can skip this step. For you wired folks, you need to deal with this extra painful step.
Drill big enough holes on the soffit so that you can move wires without resistance. You can measure this using the connectors that you’ll need to go through the holes. Use the correct drill bits to make the holes.
You may need to remove some portions of the soffit so that you can see inside. This will help you decide where to make the hole.
Find a way to reach the attic of your house. You should find little space between the eaves and the side wall. If not, you’ll need to drill to make one.
Next, tape the wires to your fishing pole. Now try to enter the fishing pole through the space into the attic. It’ll be a bit difficult since you can’t see where exactly it’s going. Just push around, and you’ll get it inside in no time.
The reason we’re using a fish pole is to make it easier to get all the needed wires inside. Now, go to your attic and pull in the fishing pole. You now have all the wires.
Take them inside to finish all the connectivity. If you don’t have a power outlet nearby, you will need to use extenders. This is why choosing the correct position to place your camera is important.
For NVR cameras, connect your cable to the hard disk.
Step #6: Attach Your Camera
You have an aluminum strip fitted to the soffit. Now carefully attach your camera to the mountain bracket. Tighten up the screws properly.
Make sure you get the correct angle. This may take a few attempts to get right. If everything goes according to plan, you should have a setup like this:
You can use silicone to make the attachment even stronger.
Step #7: Power Up The Camera
You’ve done the tough part. Now to test out your new camera.
For wireless cameras –
For wired cameras, it depends on the power source. Read the manual to find out the power source of your specific model. Turn on the switch of your power outlet. Setup the hard disk system and you’re good to go.
Mounting the Camera to An Aluminum Soffit
For the most part, you can follow the Vinyl Soffit Guide to mount the camera to an aluminum soffit.
Here are a few things you can consider. Since aluminum is more durable than vinyl, you can directly drill and mount your camera onto it.
In case you think your aluminum soffit is not strong enough to hold the camera, you can use a wooden strip on top of it.
Mounting a security camera to an aluminum soffit is easy and straightforward. Below are a few steps that you can follow.
Step #1: Select the best location for the camera.
Step #2: Once you have found a perfect spot, prepare the area by removing any aluminum that may be in the way.
Step #3: Next, use a pencil or chalk to mark the spot where the screws will go.
Step 4#: Now apply a drill template and drill holes into the aluminum.
Step #5: Place a piece of pressure-treated 24 inside the soffit and secure the camera to it.
Make sure to drill a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch hole depending on your camera model. Before drilling, remember to knock on the aluminum or look for screws or nails. So you don’t damage them.
Once everything is in place, you can now enjoy having an extra layer of security cameras in your home!
Common Mistakes When Installing Security Cameras To Soffits
If you’re new to installing security cameras, you may end up making one or more of these mistakes. Try to avoid them at all costs so that you don’t have to face any brutal consequences.
- Mounting the camera too high or too low: If the camera is too high, it will be hard to see faces well. Mounting it too low can cause damage to it from people or animals.
- Drilling other wires or components: You need to be extra careful when using the drill. If there are other electric wires or devices near the attic or wall, you may end up with holes in them.
- Not aiming the cameras well: Try to aim the cameras in the right direction. The camera’s focal length and view angle will determine how you aim it. Make sure to cover any blind spots so that you don’t miss anything.
- Blocking the camera’s vision: If you’re using cameras with IR features, make sure nothing gets in its way. Walls or close objects can create unwanted IR reflection, causing foggy or distorted footage.
- Not weatherproofing your cables: Since you’re mounting your camera outdoors, weatherproofing your connections is a must. Put on weatherproof connectors before you crimp your cables.
Installing surveillance cameras is a superb way to monitor the outdoors. But when it comes to mounting security cameras to the soffit for the first time, it can seem quite challenging. Especially if you don’t know the ins and outs of security cameras.
When installing a security camera on a soffit, the three most important steps are picking the right type of camera, the right place to mount it, and the right way to install it.
This guide shows you exactly how you can achieve it without making mistakes. If you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.