The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Hood: Part II

Today’s post is a continuation of Wednesday’s post about our new range hood installation.

Daffy Duct
After the hood was attached to the wall, next on the list was installing the ducting to ventilate the hood.  This entailed having a hole cut in our new roof, a roof cap installed, a hole cut in our ceiling, and ducting installed from hood to cap.  This is where things went from bad to worse.

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Per the instructions from our roofing contact, my dad drew the location of the hole on our interior ceiling.  While my dad and Chris were both traveling for their respective jobs, the roofing team came out to do the cutting plus roof cap.  Unfortunately, when the team leader began cutting the ceiling hole, he ran into a roof truss in a place where there shouldn’t be one. If we had cut the hole ourselves earlier, we would have known about this issue and would have had more time to troubleshoot (that’s what we get for following instructions, I guess), and there I was, with the roofing crew, trying to figure out what to do.  Note: My declining Spanish proficiency was not a help here.

The truss was a few inches out from the wall, right in the middle of where our duct needed to go, rather than sitting along the top of the wall as it ideally should be. Because of the thickness (or lack thereof) of the interior wall, we couldn’t run into the wall and up through its middle without hitting the plates for the wall studs.  We couldn’t go to the left or right because of studs (and the same truss issue); plus the gas line was running up the right.  Thankfully the roofing team leader spoke decent English, so the two of us were able to brainstorm a solution.  The only viable option was to cut the hole in front of where our hood needs to connect to the duct.  Now, rather than getting to use our awesome stainless steel chimney, we were going to have a funky pyramid hood with awkward ducting coming out of its top and curving into the ceiling out in front of it like a trumpeting elephant.  Less good for ventilation because it required two elbows rather than a straight shot, and major ugly.

There was no turning back at this point, and not seeing any other options for venting through the roof, we implemented the trumpeting elephant plan.  The roofers cut the ceiling and roof holes and installed the roof cap.  What complicated our situation even more was that we don’t have an accessible attic space above the kitchen, so we can’t connect the duct to the roof cap inside the attic space.  To work around this, the roofing crew had to cut an even larger hole in our ceiling so that we would have just enough room to work inside the headspace to install the ducting.  The picture’s kind of dark, but if you look closely, you can see the truss on the inside left of the big hole.  The original circular pencil marks show where the desired hole location was, the small hole is where the roofer began cutting until he ran into the truss, and the large double-bubble hole is the final hole cut to work around the truss plus extra work space.image (8)

Now we had a gaping hole raining down insulation on our range until Chris or my dad could get home to help install the duct (I am way too short to reach anything remotely higher than the hood itself).  While waiting for this phase of the hood project, I painted what I could reach in the kitchen.  The color is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.  


Later that evening, Chris and I finished the painting and the ductwork.  We used one 5 foot section of 6″ rigid metal duct cut into two straight sections for each end (our range hood called for 6″ sized duct), two 6″ elbows, a clamp for connecting to the hood, and foil tape to bind and seal all the seams.  We had to measure, mark, cut, assemble, and tape everything down below in the kitchen before putting it through the hole and attaching it. Tricky, tricky.

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It doesn’t look as bad as we thought it would because we were able to use part of the hood chimney to hide some of the duct, and the current plan is to create a soffit above our future upper cabinets that will hide the rest of the exposed duct.  We aren’t huge fans of soffits above cabinets and do like the industrial look, but the metal foil tape doesn’t really have aesthetic appeal for us.

Sugru to the Rescue
You may have noticed the dangling power cord in the picture above.  Before we could actually use our hood, we used sugru to patch the insulation on the wiring.

image A little goes a long way, so we also patched some other electronics like those wimpy iPhone power cords while we were at it.


It worked fairly well, thought it leaves a funky residue where you use it (and on your hands) and doesn’t bond as seamlessly as I hoped (note the slight roughness on the right in the picture below).  Of course, this could be a user problem, rather than a product issue.  This was our first time trying it, so with successive uses maybe our technique will improve. Chris was more satisfied than I was.


It did seal the hole in the insulation, and after waiting the requisite 24 hours for it to cure, we cooked dinner with our new hood running for the first time.


The new hood works amazingly better than the previous hood. So quiet, yet so powerful.  The light is soothing yet sufficient.  We also had a huge thunderstorm that same evening, and nothing rained down our hood.  Except insulation, which is still dribbling from the part of the ceiling hole not filled by duct.  I guess we know what’s on the to-do list next….

If you have a precision eye like I do, you may have noticed that the hood looks slightly off-center to the range.  It is.  We plan to move the range ever so slightly to the right when we redo our kitchen cabinets, so it will end up right underneath the hood at that point. It is realllllly tight (scrapingly so) right now, so we want a little more room for our range.  Plus, that whole section to the left of the range  (one micro-sized base cabinet and the pantry) is going to be redone in a more useful way down the road.  Get excited!


Demolition Diaries: Cleaning up the ‘Hood

When we bought the ‘Zoo, we knew that most of the things in the kitchen needed to be replaced sooner or later, starting with appliances for functionality.   The ‘Zoo came with these gems of a hood and range, you may recall:


Substituting the existing fridge with ours and installing a new gas range were major improvements, but after Chris began cooking on the gas range, he realized the ineptitude of our recirculating range hood meant another appliance purchase.  Best way to describe it? It performed at two settings: wimpy and wimpier, accompanied by a whining sound to mask its false industry.



Meanwhile, I was still living in the city, so I began trolling Craigslist for possible options, where I spotted an ad for this Bosch chimney hood for $350 (retails for $899-$999).  The price was a little higher than what we would pay for a nice recirculating hood at a big box store, but it was also a much better hood than those we could normally afford.  Plus, it’s better to vent outside, especially with gas, so we thought it might be worth investigating.


(Picture courtesy of Houzz)

I called to ask some questions and found out it was being sold by a kitchen/bath design store because it was installed in a kitchen model but never used.  It had some scratches that didn’t seem too noticeable, so we decided if it was still available the following weekend, we would take a look.  Why wait, you ask? We wanted to give the purchase some thought since it was really more than we’d originally planned to pay but knew it was a great deal.

Sure enough, the hood was still available the following weekend, and it was way more functional than our existing hood.  After I pointed out a gouged out section in the insulation for the electric cord that had not been mentioned in the ad or when I called to inquire about it (they hadn’t noticed it because it was on the side of the cord you couldn’t see without really looking closely and feeling around), they agreed to knock the price down to $325.  We walked away with the hood for $358 (we did have to pay tax because we bought it from a home design store but thought it was worth it).

We also had to purchase a mounting kit ($11.97) and brackets (2 @ $7.99 each) plus $8.99 shipping because the person who uninstalled the hood from the model kitchen didn’t keep all the parts.  We also purchased some Sugru from Amazon for $22 to patch the insulation instead of buying a $27 plus shipping for a replacement cord, bringing our total purchase to $416.94.  Compared to buying it new at the lowest retail price we could find, we had a total savings of $482.06.

Time for Amy’s demo dance (yes, this is a thing)!

Last weekend, we uninstalled the old wimpy hood and discovered this awesomeness:


Apparently the builder’s crew didn’t install an outlet for the hood and couldn’t find where to hardwire it, so they hired a woodpecker drilled holes in the drywall until they found electrical.  Then they didn’t bother to clean up their mess because it was hidden by the old hood. Classy, huh?

This means we will be installing a new outlet and doing some serious dry wall patching in addition to taking down the upper cabinets so the new range hood can be installed.  While we’re doing electrical work, we’ll go ahead and install the outlet for the range that was missing (you can read more about that here).  Keep your wires fingers crossed that all goes well!