Everyone can use a little ventilation.  Unless you’re Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton and you’re getting out of a car with swarms of paparazzi watching every move you make.  Maybe I should say every kitchen should have adequate ventilation, especially over the range.  Just to pull the smells, heat, and moisture out.  It comes in really handy when you burn something, too.  Not that I’ve ever done that.  My point is, after tearing down the wall between the kitchen and living room on Saturday, Ben installed our new vent hood.  I briefly explained our vent hood choice in this post, but we’re sharing all the details now.

We started with a 40 inch insert, with plans to hang it as close to the ceiling as possible.  You know that nice hole we opened up?  Yeah, we didn’t want to cover any of it.

To get started, Ben found the center of the wall and marked it.  Of course, it came out on a joist.  Ben did some bracing in the attic and then proceeded to cut a hole in the sheet rock and joist to run the duct work.

Our vent hood, like most, had one flat side and three angled sides.  Typically, the flat side would be mounted against the wall and the remaining three sides could be boxed out either square or following the angles.

For about two seconds, we considered building a box that followed the angles of the fan, but we decided not to for two reasons.  Number one, we’re planning to add decorative trim and paint everything white and the angles would complicate that.  Number two, Ben worried (and I did too after he mentioned it) about grease and dust settling on the angle and we’d have a perma-dirty hood.  We opted for the simpler square box frame.  Ben carefully measured the vent and built a 2 by 4 box surround to support the new fan.  He screwed it into the joists to make sure it was securely held in place.

In goes the vent, held 1/2 inch from the bottom using the adjustable brackets that came with.  Smartie Ben used a piece of sheet rock as the guide for the spacing.  You’ll also notice that we put the flat part to the front.  This is because our vent has several buttons (for lights and various fan speeds) on the inside of the insert.  I’m short and this sucker (literally) is tucked right up to the ceiling.  If we had turned it 180 degrees, I wouldn’t be able to reach the buttons without either burning myself or getting a chair to stand on.  Neither of which seem ideal.

With everything wired up, Ben covered the box with sheet rock.  Now, our giant hole in the wall looks something like this.

In all honestly, I was a little shocked at how deep it was.  In the week since we took the cabinets and soffit down, I had gotten used to the open feel.  And I really liked how much more open everything was after knocking down the wall.  So this seemed heavier than I anticipated.  But, I was so happy the vent hood only drops 1/2 inch below the sheet rock of the support beam.

Not to mention getting task lighting and a fan back.

And it’s still pretty from the underside.

The 1200 CFM fan provides more than enough air circulation and it’s still quiet.  After installing, Ben turned it on the highest setting and we could still hear the music and carry on a normal conversation between the kitchen, living, and dining areas.  Two weeks ago, this is what you saw when you walked in the front door.

And now, behold our kitchen (and Vincent’s head) from the same angle.

It was difficult to get a good picture with all that new light streaming in from the dining room and sink windows.  Still more sheet rocking to do.  And, don’t pay attention to the too tall stove back, microwave, and jumble of wires.  If you’re concerned about safety, we’ve securely closed off the outlets so little fingers can’t get in.

Consider your self up to date on the kitchen progress.  Hopefully we’ll get some sconces, finish up some cabinet work, and look for countertops soon.  Of course we’ll keep you updated on any and all progress.  You’ve been warned.  Annoying minute details are in your future.

The boys and I are off to do some shopping.  Cross your fingers for a good deal!