Duct Duct Goose

Full steam ahead on Bob’s new bathroom. We’d like to complete the walls and ceiling, and then install the tile floor. But first we spent a good chunk of time doing some behind-the-scenes utility work.

Three ducts hide behind the various bathroom walls. The shower fan vents to the outside via a drop ceiling. The dryer vent blows lint and hot air to the outside behind the knee wall. And the heat-exchanger runs from the dining room to the living room, as I’ve mentioned before.

Mark and I bumped out the knee wall to accommodate both the dryer’s rigid 4-inch duct and the heat-exchanger’s flexible 6-inch duct (along with some plumbing). We salvaged a door from the old upstairs configuration, cut it to match the roof pitch, and installed it in the knee wall for future access. Threading our 25 feet of flexible duct through the various races, we found it reached from the chimney all the way around to the toilet, leaving about a 5-foot gap to the dining room intake.

That gap was the perfect length to install a fan, along with a couple of rigid angles and a rigid straight duct we already had. Connecting adjacent pieces of ductwork is quite simple: slide the male end into the female end, drill 3 or 4 self-tapping screws around the perimeter, and seal the joint with shiny metallic tape. At least it’s simple in theory. In practice, access with a drill can be very difficult, and the metal may bend instead of catching the screw. We took our time and did it right. In one instance, Bob used a crimping tool to convert a female end into a male end.

Above the new duct, Hans puts up drywall around the witch window.

Above the new duct, Hans puts up drywall around the witch window.

We installed drywall to cover up the knee wall, and we mitered our first piece of whitewashed ceiling board to fit snug to the top of drywall. Ceiling installation went smoothly until we ran out of prepared pine. I ran out to the barn to locate and stain a bunch more 12- and 14-footers. They’ll be dry by next time, and then we can finish the job. We’re making steady progress on the other bathroom walls, too.

Artistic Mark finishes another wall with salvaged barnboard.

Artistic Mark finishes another wall with salvaged barnboard.

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