Monday, September 17, 2007

Duct relocation

One of the flip's little puzzles is how to reconfigure the basement stairs.

Right now, only a petite sixth-grader could walk downstairs without getting beaned.

Left: Sign from the estate sale

It would cost about $1,000 to move the drain pipe where the sign is hanging, then we'd still have to cut into the upstairs floor to create head room.

Instead, we're looking at removing the turn in the stairs and shooting the stairs straight alongside that wall.

Helpful tool: Staircase calculator.

So I'm trying to move all the other stuff in the way of the proposed staircase.

Like this gorgeous duct on the left, which was the main view on the downstairs descent.

The ductwork leading to this nasty elbow ate up prime head space in the basement, as you can see on the left.

When you see crazy ductwork like this, follow it to see where it goes.

The vent ended behind the bathroom vanity, where it created a nice batch of mildew as cool air blew against the damp particleboard.

Look for another option.

The duct can be tucked up in the ceiling joists, and the vent moved to a more sane location in the bathroom.

It took me about 20 minutes to pull it down. The newer ductwork was held up with a few sheet metal screws. The old vent had a few nails, and only one piece of wire strung up the nasty elbow.

Left: Inside nasty elbow duct

Another point: Get your vents cleaned once in a while.

For my house, I used:

McGill Environmental Cleaning

(402) 551-0999

It cost about $300. Count the number of vents in the house and they can give you an estimate by phone.

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