The kitchen vent which had been on order these last three weeks arrived and we spent last weekend trying to install it. For reasons unknown the previous owner of our house had removed the kitchen vent. In the attic, the hole for the vent pipe was still visible and pieces of pipe lying where they’d been pulled out. The good news was that the hole cut through the wood planks was visible making it, theoretically, a small job to punch through the new metal roof.
First, though, we had to punch through my newly-repaired and painted ceiling. Finding a spot between the 2x4s in the attic was the first task. Our roof has a very gentle slope and the attic area above the stove is about 24 to 30 inches. Luckily for our team, I’m very flexible and can curl myself into a small ball to squeeze between struts. And even before my years in Japan, I’ve been able to sit on my heels in a squat position for relatively long periods. This was essential for working balanced on the attic’s 2x4s in a very small space.
On the left is the new junction box. The shining light in the middle is the new hole in the roof. I had to crawl through the struts–being careful not to put my foot through the ceiling beneath me–and lie on my back to drill the starter hole.
After successfully cutting the hole in the ceiling we hit problem two. Our electrician left wire the wire intended for the new vent sticking out of the wall. It needed to come out of our ceiling. I couldn’t pull the wire either because he nailed it to the stud or because he wired it to the outlet first. So, with some trepidation and much regret, I cut the new wire and installed a junction box in the attic. There is very little play in the wire, not enough to nail it down; I’ll have to be very careful not to trip over that wire in the future. I’m not too worried though as I’m the only one who can fit in that part of the attic and I’m aware of the problem.
We got the vent mounted. The only thing that went right in this project is that underneath the drywall is some planking where they had hung the old vent. So we are satisfied that the new vent is securely attached to the wall. I wired it in and turned the power on. Yay! It worked.
Day 2 we tackled making a hole in the roof. Five years ago when a tree fell on our garage we replaced our leaky asphalt shingle roof with metal. Neither of us was happy with the idea of putting a hole in our new roof. I thought I could punch a through from inside (where I could see the cutout in the wood) and then we could cut the rest of the hole from the outside. Wow! Our new roof is tough. Lying on my back in a 24 inch crawl space didn’t provide me with enough oomph to punch through the ceiling with punch and hammer. We tried the cordless drill and it wasn’t powerful enough either. We resorted to the electric drill. After much sweat and frustration I made a small hole. The rest was up to AJM.
AJM spent the rest of the afternoon balanced on the roof with metal shears and a reciprocating saw. If you’ve ever seen a reciprocating saw kick, you’ll understand why, for the most part, he chose to use hand tools to carve out a hole. Sometime before early night fall (on this first day of standard time) he managed to get the hole large enough to install the flashing and make a temporary vent cover.
Now all we have to do is fit the vent pipes together and cut the stainless steel chimney to fit. Oh, did I mention that the chimney comes in two telescoping pieces, the smallest of which is too long to accomodate our short 1940s ceiling?