My Boyz in the Hood

Operation Heart of the Home : Hood Building edition

Whazzup.  Hood in the hizzouse!

That sounds lame even in my brain.  I blame my mother and the fact she didn’t offer me a gangsta-language-arts class.  Shame on you woman.  And you call yourself an educator.

So basically, last we chatted about the kitchen progress, we prepped for the hood installation.  And I hate to tell you guys this because its painfully obvious….but seriously guys….we are DIYers.  Not professionals.  Not do-it-righters.  Not we-know-everything-ers.  We improvise.  We do things cheaper (our total kitchen makeover budget is 2K….that’s like how much it costs for Trading Spaces designers to modge podge dirt on the walls).  We don’t recommend anyone to do it like us.  This is just a way we are doing it.  Obvious with a side of duh!

If you are looking for a place that tells ya how-to or what’s best, this ain’t it.  This is the hood.  We are gangsta, remember? 

This was my drawing before we started.  I didn’t share that before.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense.  It is more of a picture of inspiration than anything…so Jer and I could be on the same page.  I recommend trying to draw things out or sharing photos if you are DIYing with your spouse…mostly because renovations can cause divorce, depression and psychotic behavior.

When our upper cabinet was hung, we knew that we wanted the most simple way to cover the stainless steel hood.  I really wanted a built-in-hood look.  So before we cut the wood, we drew out a template on a piece of cardboard.  It helped us visualize exactly what size all the pieces of wood needed to be.  The last thing we wanted was to look at it after everything was attached and wish we had made it lower or bigger or more or less, ya know?    It’s basically like photoshopping yourself before a boob job.  It’s kinda important.

Once we had our template drawn and cut and everything looked good, we cut it out.  We had leftover 3/4″ plywood from Will’s toy chest so we used that for the sides and a 2×4 for the back.   The crossbeam in the back would attach directly into the studs in the wall.  The sides get screwed into the cabinets next door.

Then Jer attached another support piece.  He had to rip it to make it fit.  This picture shows it in one layout but he actually rotated that support piece another ninety degrees to make it work (you can see it later).

The real reason I want you to see this is because it reminded us of a Star Wars ship…sortof like a hybrid base for a TIE fighter.  Excuse me while my geek is showing.

We could slip the hood inside the bottom…the duct we previously attached slipped right between the back 2×4 and the other support beam.  On the bottom of the frame, we attached 1×3’s cut to the exact length.

Here’s the view from the top.  Note how the duct squeezed in the gap.  That’s what he said.

And the screws that you see coming through this side of the smaller front support beam?  Those screws actually support the hood (along with two that are in the 2×4)…so that leaves about a four inch gap from the support beam to the bottom of the cabinet.  And that is why we couldn’t hang the hood directly from the bottom of the cabinet.

All we had to do at that point was attach the thing to the studs…

Then tighten the screws that attach the hood to the frame. 

Because we were working, we must admit that we were those parents.  The distracted ones.  The kind that popped in a movie.  The kind that could see him through the plastic drop cloth but not really paying that much attention to the details.  He came in looking awfully guilty… 

Apparently the popcorn went POP.

I’m still vaccuuming kernels outta the shag rug.  This is called momshaming people. 

The next day, we worked on the ductwork.  I was neglecting my photography-of-the-project responsibilities when I hear Jer say “Um Katie…I’m gonna need you.”  He was measuring the duct to cut it when his hand slipped and he got an inch long gash in his wrist.  It scared the poo outta me.  It was so freaking close to those big veins.  I handle gross and blood really well.  I wanted to be a doctor at one point…but seeing someone you love bleed…totally makes me green in the face. 

Don’t worry – he’s up on his tetnus shots and it stopped bleeding once he stopped messing with it.  Now it’s mostly healed and he’s gonna have a very manly scar that looks a vampire bite on the wrist…a la Bella :)

Will thought it was the best thing ever.   

We kissed his faux-boo-boo so many times he probably was gonna get a brush burn.  That’s called wishful thinking :)

Jer uses pliers to bend the edge of the duct to fit inside tight the reducer we had already attached. 

A couple metal piercing screws and some duct tape later, we have a pipe from the hood into the laundry room (YAY!).

Jer hooked up the wires and turned back on the power to test the fan and the lights (and the little outlet it’s all attached to)…Double YAY…it all works.

Then came the time for the Boyz to get their vacuum on…

Will is such a good helper.  I love that about him.  I’m hoping that by the time the Little Baby is born, he can learn how to fix our gutters.  I am not joking.  I really do hope that.

Now came some finishing boards….just the fronts and some accent trim.

The very top piece was cut to the right width and then cut our angle for the top and then used a ruler to get the bottom angle.  The board in the front was cut to inset and sit flush with the sides of our TIE fighter.  Then we just used finish nails to put on the trim.

Now for a little side by side action….before and during.  I’m hoping the after looks really good.  We shall see.  We shall see. 

Wait….gangstas say shall, right? 




  1. says

    Hi! I just started following your blog..and I must say that these posts are awesome. My husband and I have talked about installing one of these over our stove for several years now..just haven’t gotten around to actually DOING it! Thanks for the great photos!

  2. Jason says

    I see that this has been mentioned numerous times above – that is just how big of an error that it is – but you cannot use that ‘duck tape’ on ducts – regardless of the heat within them. That tape will get old and deteriorate into a stringy mess that won’t hold anything (including smells). With all that bacon grease going through that duct it won’t be long before that tape is no good far anything. I would strongly suggest that you remove the wood that you need to know to get that tape off and use the proper material.
    Duck tape has it’s purposes – but for use on ducts it isn’t.

  3. Meghan says

    Everyone is all concerned about you using duck tape on ducts…I’m shocked no one has mentioned you leaving Will alone in a room with popcorn ;)…Katie Bower, don’t you know that popcorn is a huge huge huge choking hazard! ;)
    I so wish they had a sarcastic font!
    Looking great! Can’t wait to see more updates!

    • says

      haha…yes I actually do know that! The first time he tasted it was just a few months ago…I was so paranoid! But now he has it almost everyday and hasn’t choked…yet…knockonwood :)
      xo – kb

  4. says

    Bonus points for referencing TIE fighter. #starwarsforever And you guys are doing a great job on a frugal budget, I’m excited to see how the final kitchen turns out! Good luck.

  5. says

    Yup. It’s great. I had no energy during my pregnancy, so I would just hand some nice chunky crown molding over the demo-ed tile and call it a day. Looks great!


  6. says

    Keep up the good work! You are better people than me, when it comes time to do our kitchen, we are hiring pros! It would take us 5 years to DIY and too many tears to DIY. No shame in being distracted parents, how else are you going to accomplish anything?! I know that look of kid guilt well, in our house it’s usually accompanied by a sharp “leave me alone” or a hurried “I need a rag”.

  7. says

    Love the hood! I read the other prep post and see that you ran it through your laundry room outside – but do you have any details on that part? Is it visible in your laundry room and how did you actually vent it to the outside wall? We have the same setup so and are looking to add a hood soon. Thanks!

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