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Mid-Century Malaise – "SHOW ME PICS" Version

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Friday
Nov292013

range hood radness

Roughly a year after the bulk of the kitchen reno was completed, I finally got the damn range hood thing up. There's been a couple of factors (that's a fancy word for "excuses")... I needed handyman Keith to do it, as I knew this was a little beyond my abilities and we knew there would be some sort of attic/rooftop factor involved, so Keith didn't want to do it in the blaze of Vegas summer. We also knew this would be a big undertaking (took two days) because you have to run power (which turned out to be super easy), make a big hole in the roof (and hope there's nothing in the way), and figure out solid way to mount this big chunk of metal (not so easy with a wall of glass tiles behind it).

First thing was to cut a big ol' hole in the ceiling to survey the obstacles we'd be dealing with. As it turned out, I got real lucky. Because you want it exactly centered over the cooktop, there's pretty much zero leeway as to mounting location. If there was a ceiling beam directly up there, I could've really been in trouble. Keith explained that these days they usually take the locations of vent fans into consideration when designing homes, but who knows where the oven initially was (the kitchen had been radically remodeled long before I got here) or if there ever was a fan that vented outdoors. Anyway, I super-duper lucked out because the only obstacle was a smallish brass water pipe and were able to avert it by taking the eight-inch diameter vent duct down to a six-inch (the thing you see in the pic is actually the flexible gas line I had installed for the cook top, but it actually wasn't in the way). Only thing is now the initially hole in the ceilng was two inches bigger than it needed to be, but I shoved fiberglass insulation in the gap at the end, so that worked out fine.

We were also going to need AC power, and since this wasn't built into cabinetry, it's not like you could just plug it into a hidden outlet. We got super lucky here, because directly behind this wall in the garage was an abandoned electrical junction box with conduit coming down from the ceiling. Upon opening it, we discovered live 220V AC (don't worry, we discovered it was live with a nice, safe voltage "sniffer" device), very likely left over from before the upstairs add-on/laundry expansion... in other words, there was probably a washer/dryer out there at one point. We figured out the correct breaker and shut it off (same as the pool pump... ugh, this place!). Once we pulled it out of the box and removed the metal conduit, we had plenty of slack to route it over the top of the wall on the other side, hence the picture above. Since we only needed standard 110V, we didn't use one of the "legs" (aka, wires).

We also had to solidly mount it. In my head, I always envisioned the thing hanging from the ceiling, but in reality it sort of just hangs on the wall like a picture- it's mainly held up by large bolts going through keyhole-style holes (there are two more holes for additional support). Of course there weren't studs exactly where we needed them, so Keith did some tricks adding 2x4 braces on the side of the wall (complicated by a weird double-wall because of the way they did the additions). This, of course, meant more cutting out chunks of drywall...

... thanks Keith, I LOVE PATCHING DRYWALL SO MUCH! There was another nice-sized chunk in the garage too. Grrr! It's a little hard to see in the pic, but Keith also had to remove a couple of the tiles, because after some research, we learned that it's really hard to drill glass tile without screwing it up (you need special bits, but even those are apparently a hit or miss affair). The top two didn't matter because they wouldn't be visible anyway, but there were two more on the bottom that would've been very visible, so on day two of install, Keith brought a little Makita rotary cutter thing and successfully trimmed down two tiles on the wall so we could get the screws in. Don't try this at home, kids.

BTW, as some of you may have seen on my Facebook page, unpacking this thing was the most awesome day of the cats' lives:

Hey, progress:

Mighty ugly without the metal shroud, eh? BTW, it's not curved, that's just the wonder of my camera's zoom kit lense (if anyone wants to buy me better lenses, let me know). Anyhow, here you can see the eight-inch to six-inch reducer we installed (I have no idea why they went so big in the first place, seems like massive overkill). You can also see the bracket up top on the wall, which the pretty square telescoping shroud cover attaches to. We didn't have "no stud behind" problems for this because there's double-stacked 2x4's at the top of the wall to screw into. I took the pic before I did it, but this is where I stuffed fiberglass insulation into the gap you see between the duct pipe and the ceiling. By this time Keith had already cut a six-inch hole in the roof with a jigsaw, and we bought a plastic roof vent dealie:

I'm too lazy to Photoshop all that extra white out of the picture... anyway, you put that guy on the roof which basically keeps rain, insects, pidgeons, helicopters, etc. from falling back into the house. The only other thing I should mention is that every square inch of soon-to-be-fingerprinted stainless you see was covered in plastic which I had the misfortune of removing. It's on there pretty good and is totally a no-fun job. The good news is it's all done and works swell- I made a nice smoky 'n' buttery tuna melt in a pan and sucked all the fumes right out. It's a tad a noisy on full blast but the other two speeds aren't too bad, and this was the most sleek and compact one I could find that wasn't $1000.

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Reader Comments (3)

These hoods are very well designed but the main problem is that the hole causes a problem of leaks in the roof. Details here

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Nothing's leaked yet. Haven't experienced a monsoon yet, but the plastic shroud dealie is supposed to prevent this kind of thing.

June 19, 2014 | Registered Commentercelebutante
November 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteronline pak

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