Venting a Vent….FINALLY

September was a long time ago.  It was when we were a three person family instead of a four.  That seems ages ago because now it’s weird to think about not having Weston here every day.  It’s like he’s been here forever.

So when I think about not finishing one vital thing in the kitchen since September, it does seem a little slackerish.  A little half-rear-ended.  a little lazy.  I’ll just go ahead and tell you about it.

We had a down-draft stovetop.  And nature dictates that hot air rises.  Therefore I hated the down-draft.  It just didn’t seem as effective as I liked.  Then we found a UBER-discounted gas stovetop.  It just seemed serendipitous that we have a gas stovetop and a vent hood over it.  My darling Jeremy built a great surround for a regular over-the-stove-ventilation hood.  It looks still very custom.  So we went from this:

to this:

You can read about that transformation here.

Some of you may remember that the solution to the overhead ventilation problem was to take the vent pipe and take it up into the overhead cabinet and through the wall into the room on the other side (which happens to be the laundry room).

Our luck continued because in the laundry room, there is a bunch of cabinets that run along one wall.  And since that set of cabinets really isn’t boasting much functionality on top…it seemed like the logical choice to run the vent pipe along the top of them to the exterior wall and then either build a bulk-head or some kind of ‘blocker’ to help hide the pipe.  WHEW.

The crazy (read: lazy) part is that we vented the hood up and into the laundry room and then stopped there.  We knew that eventually we would vent it outside but it got pushed back…what with having a newborn and all that.  I didn’t complain about it because I knew that when Jeremy got the kahoonas to climb on a ladder (we are both REALLY afraid of heights) that he would tell me.  Plus, every single time I cooked something, the heat from the vent was only about five feet from a fire alarm which would inevitably sound the siren and it was more than enough reminder to both of us that this project was left unfinished.  Fast forward seven months and now that we have started the laundry room makeover, we both knew it was time to tackle this vent issue.

The first thing that we did was buy some materials.  Here is what we needed to complete this project…

Total : $36 and a little more for extra baggy underwear :)

So the duct from the hood was already coming through the wall and into the laundry room.  So the first thing we did was figure out the right configuration of the elbow duct to make it extend along the wall.  After Jer got it twisted the correct direction, he fit it over the existing duct and then I held it in place while Jeremy taped it together.  The tape isn’t necessarily for it to stay together…but it does help with stability.  The main function of the tape is to help keep hot air from escaping the seams.

Then the shortest duct (the 6″x6″) got slipped inside the elbow…it’s like one of the connectors to make everything more seamless).

Then Jer put the longest duct over the end and ran it all the way to the wall.  He just held in place while tracing the edge.

This is where a little math comes in play.  You want to find your studs and make sure your hole doesn’t run into one because then your pipe can’t go through to the outside…so measuring from both walls, at 16″ increments, you should be able to calculate if you have a stud.  We also triple check with a stud finder (which we have found sometimes to be inaccurate so this is never our first choice) and a couple nail holes.

Then using a drywall knife, Jer cut out the hole.

See that stud?  Whew.  It was right on the edge so it worked out.

After we removed the insulation, it was time to drill through the house.  EEEK!

Jer used his new tool (a Milwaukee hammer drill) to drill through the exterior boards and siding to mark the edges of the circle.


But not as scary as this…

Yup…after marking the holes, he was able to get the blade of the jigsaw inside the boards and cut out the hole completely.

And this was done 24 feet in the air.  That to us is like 24 million feet of torture.  He might as well be doing stunt work on the side of the Empire State building.  But it wasn’t over yet.

Then came time for fitting the exhaust vent hood in the hole and attaching it to the house with exterior screws.

My man is so brave.  Seriously.  I would have just hired this out.  I’m such a chicken when it comes to heights that even watching him made me sweat.

After it was all screwed in (the sealant is something we wrote into our ‘house painting’ quote so we knew someone else would take care of it in a couple days), we headed back inside.

At this point it was simply a matter of cutting the longest pipe to the correct length.  We already had metal snips so that was easy.

This is where that long pipe goes…

And you put it in place and then tape the seams.

Bada boom bada bing.

Since we had the foil tape already pulled out, we decided to switch up the tape in the first part of the hood.  Some of you may remember the explosion of minds when we used duct tape on our ducts.  Literally.  There was some freaking out going on.

But like I said before…we didn’t have the right product on hand so we made do and thought of the entire thing like an experiment to see how long the duct tape would last.  Well the results of the experiment are in.  It definitely lasts at least seven months.

It was still sticky and nicely adhered…not crumbly or flaky or dry like it can turn after long exposure to heat.  It does look white because it was exposed to the spraying that we did to the cabinetry…but despite a little paint ‘dusting’ we see no real change.  So now all those folks can sleep at night knowing that all is right in the world :)


Of course, both Jeremy and I are extremely glad this project is finally Dee Ohh Enn Eee.  It is so nice to be able to cook salmon and not worry about our laundry smelling fishy.  And my children are no longer gonna be screaming at the fire alarm.  And everybody likes a $36 project and extra large panties.

So have you ever put a project off?  or did a project and experimented with a different product just to see how long it would last till you did it the right way?  Or perhaps you just wanna talk about your fear of heights and how it has kept ya from tackling something?



  1. qs777 says

    Nice job! I’m right there with you on the height thing. There is no way I could have done that so kudos to the man! Also, love how Weston is looking at the camera – “Yup, that’s my daddy!” – too cute.

    Since you mentioned house painting, I’m hoping you will be discussing colors soon (if I haven’t already missed that post). ;)

    • says

      When I decide on them I will! Ha! I have the trim color decided – Pavestone by Sherwin Williams…but the color for the back of the house is harder to pick!
      xo – kb

  2. says

    i always say i’m not afraid of heights, i’m afraid of falling, and that fear just gets amplified the higher i am off the ground :-p

  3. says

    Just took a trapeze class yesterday. I wouldn’t recommend it for you. Thirty feet up in the air, and you climbed a teeny ladder to get there. Don’t worry; we were clipped in at all times.

  4. Whitney Dupuis says

    “See that stud?”

    I fully expected to see Jeremy in the next photo. Ha! Way to keep me on my toes, Bower. No predictability here. :)

  5. says

    “And everybody likes a $36 project and extra large panties.”

    Bwahhahaha! Kills me with these little snippets. One day, we will be able to cook fish (well, anything with a smell) and not have our whole house smell like it too! Exciting stuff people. Exciting stuff!

  6. says

    EEK! That is high up! My husband has a legit fear of heights, so he absolutely hates when the ladder has to get pulled out ;) Gotta tell you – night and day difference with your kitchen. It looks awesome!

  7. Becky says

    Wow! First, awesome job! Second, that picture of Jeremy up on the ladder gave me the willies and made me weak in the knees…I’m not afraid of heights but for some reason, I can’t get past the third or fourth rung of a ladder. Whew, he certainly is brave! Out of curiosity, how did you get the up close pictures of him on the ladder? Was it zoom or were you hanging out of the window? Anyways, good job! You must feel great now that you can check that project off the list …and that your boy toy has big kahoonas, hehe :)

  8. says

    Nice job. No fear of heights here but I’d still be slightly afraid of being on a ladder 24 feet in the air. We have had a few projects take forever so hopefully that’s not the case as we start this summer’s to do list: two bedroom remodels, a bathroom remodel, built in shelves for my office, closet hardware for hubby, a large deck and a fence. Luckily my dad is helping because I’m 19 weeks pregnant.

  9. Brenda says

    So brave of Jeremy to tackle the vent on the ladder! The whole trying to stay balanced while my arms are above my head thing makes me so nervous.

  10. says

    It looks great and I’m totally with you on heights. I once watched my husband climb a ladder to the 2nd story in a rainstorm to try to finish up some siding and it nearly gave me a heart attack! Glad he’s down safe on the ground now :)

  11. michelle p says

    Feels so good when a job like that is done! We have an old house and we just have an overhead vent that recirculates the air. There is a filter but I think it pretty much sucks (or blows – haha). Oh and Weston is still adorable!

  12. says

    I’m still sweating over those pics of your poor hubby on the ladder. I’m not even really afraid of heights and I still thought that was scary!

  13. LauraCinIndy says

    My husband was on a ladder last year painting our trim. He was only up 12 feet and it literally made me sick.. I don’t know how you handled 24 feet! Great job.

  14. Trish Olive says

    Can’t wait to see the house paint colors! Weston looks adorable in your instagram photo today! He looks just like your mom in that picture. Love your blog :)

    • says

      We did consider it. In fact, in our last house, the vent hood in our kitchen was ventless with the vented option. We went with the ventless and it didn’t work as well as we had hoped…like if we did a stinky meal (bacon, fish, etc.) it seemed that it always smelled up the whole house. Jeremy is really sensitive to smells so we swore that if we ever did it again, we would vent.
      xo – kb

  15. Kate says

    Love your blog and love your writing style! What will you put up top to hide the duct work? and I see that the laundry room cabinets are looking ready for paint?! I can’t wait to see what color they end up ;)

  16. Jessica says

    Exhaust fans. Can’t live without ‘em. Mostly because I so often forget things and then there’s smoke and ruined dinner. What I didn’t understand was before you finished this project, did you just not use the vent at all, or was it venting the smells, smoke, etc., into your laundry room?

    I can’t get above the first rung on a ladder without absolute terror. When looking at that picture, I got a little queasy. I admit though, that I was equally nervous for Jeremy falling as I was nervous for Weston being directly in front of the ladder.

  17. June says

    I was helping a friend temporary fix our roof while my house was deployed and he could tell that I was so nervous/afraid that it was making him afraid (later he told me that he had never been afraid of heights!). After he insisted I get down (I wanted to help), I was so glad to have my feet on solid ground. Months later, we had our roof re-done and NO ONE would let me on the roof. No one wanted me to give them the willies when they had never had them before. I still get teased about that adventure!

  18. Amy B. says

    It’s great that its done but am I the only one freaked out by how Weston was pretty much directly in line with the ladder so if God forbid Jeremy took a spill and the ladder fell, it could have fallen right on that sweet little boy? Yikes!!

    • says

      I saw that too after the fact and was like whoa. Thankfully most ladders fall side to side (and these photos were totally staged…Jeremy wouldn’t move unless I was holding the base of the ladder – ha! So I would run back to snap the pics and then run to hold the base again).
      xo – kb

  19. says

    Just here to share my fear of height symptoms: while flying in an airplane doesn’t bother me (perhaps because I can’t fall out of a plane, there are closed doors and walls all around me – in fact, I am usually glued to the teeny tiny window watching the earth pass below), climbing a ladder, even a stepstool, causes all sorts of weird physiological phenomena to occur. I get the creepy crawlies right at the base of my back, just above my tailbone, like something is crawling there, tickling me. I get some palpitations of the heart going on, and sometimes, if we’re/I’m really high, I get a bit dizzy.
    The best part of this? 99 times out of 1oo I’m ON.THE.GROUND.WATCHING.HUBBY.CLIMB.
    Heck, I’m dizzy now, just thinking about it!

  20. Lisa says

    I am SO JEALOUS!!! It’s sad that one of the things I want most in life is a REAL vent in my kitchen!! We have our microwave above our stove so our “vent” sucks up through the bottom of microwave and blows everything out the top, ugh!
    My husband and I are afraid of heights! We have lived in our raised ranch for 8 years and every year say we are going to clean our gutters and each year both of us make is half way up the ladder and freeze!! We just don’t have the extra $$ to pay someone so the kids get a kick out of watching the birds bathe in the water that is stuck in them :/

  21. says

    OUr previous home owners used duct tape on the dryer vent to the outside. I don’t know when they did it, but it lasted 3 years of us in the house before I went down to the laundry room and thought something was drastically wrong when I saw dew on every single surface in the room. Thankfully it was just the vent, and not some huge moisture pit that had somehow spontaneously bust like I had immediately thought as I was running and screaming my husbands name.

  22. says

    When I first read the “extra large panties” comment, my mind automatically went to “Oh, room in case you fear-poo in them.” But after re-reading, I think you meant room for the big kahoonas (is that a Spanglish version of cojones?). But THEN I saw that brave, brave man up on that skinny ladder, and I was like, “Nope, it’s room for both.”

  23. Sonia says

    How will you cover up the silver vent over the laundry room cabinet? I have a similar issue only in my kitchen.

  24. Kim A says

    Hi, Katie. Is 18 years 9 months and 25 days too long for putting off a project. When we built our home in 1994 (moved in in August) I still had to paint my front and back door. Still not painted. But progress, I bought the paint for the front door last week. So I just might get it painted before long. Maybe.

  25. Lisa says

    Oh my goodness. Please be careful. Someone should be holding the ladder while your husband is on it…it’s too big of a ladder.
    My uncle worked on his house about 10 years ago without having someone hold the ladder…he fell when the ladder slipped to the side . He broke some bones after that and he said he’ll never do that again.

  26. Will says

    Nice Job.
    On This Old House they recommended using some type of duct putty over the tape. I’m not sure what brand they used but they seemed to think it was superior to the tapes.

  27. says

    I always scroll through posts to look at pictures first then I go back up to start reading. I couldn’t read this post. Seeing your huz on the ladder freaked me out. I freak out when my husband goes up just a few steps on a ladder to hang up Christmas lights. And we have a one story! ha! :)

  28. says

    Your vent running through the laundry room reminded me of the vent that ran through my shower when I bought my house! Yes, you read that right- the shower. I am anxious to see how you guys covered up the vent in the laundry room. My dad removed mine completely, and I am so thankful for that! I now have a microwave that is ventless, but I haven’t had any problems with it at all. I’d prefer for it to be vented, but I don’t have any method of doing so right now!


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