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DIY kitchen vent hood in 6 simple steps

A kitchen without a vent hood is like a beautiful car without an engine. It might look good from the outside, but it’s not going to go very far. And when you can DIY one… why not add one that will make a statement! It’s totally a plus if it coordinates with the rest of your design, including your hardware and cabinetry!

Cooking can be a messy business, and if you’re not careful, the smoke and fumes from your stovetop can quickly fill up your kitchen.

While you could install a ventilation hood to help suck the smoke out of the room, they can be expensive to buy and install. But don’t worry, there is a cheaper alternative: you can DIY your own kitchen vent hood! 

So if you’re thinking of DIY-ing a kitchen vent hood, read on for the ultimate guide for this project. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing the right type of vent hood, installing it, and keeping it running smoothly. 

Read on some helpful bits of information! 

Can You DIY Install A Range Hood?

Most people don’t think twice about the range hood in their kitchen – it’s just there, quietly doing its job. However, when it’s time to replace an old range hood or install a new one, the process can be daunting. 

Range hoods are not cheap, and installing one is not a simple matter of putting in a few screws. You’ll need detailed know-how and the right tools to install a range hood yourself and make your kitchen more functional. The key is to take your time and be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  

Before you begin, make sure that you have the correct model of range hood for your stove. When you have a good range hood and the right supplies, the actual installation process is relatively straightforward. 

Most range hoods attach to a wood or metal frame that is then mounted to the ceiling. You’ll then have to connect the range hood to an electrical outlet.

The specific steps will vary depending on the model of range hood you are installing, so follow these instructions carefully. With patience and attention to detail, you can save a lot of money by installing your range hood.

What Tools/Supplies Will I Need For Range Hood Installation?

Installing a DIY range hood can be a fun and affordable way to improve your kitchen. But before you start, it’s important to have all the right supplies for this project.

Here is a list of the most common tools you’ll need for a DIY range hood installation:

  • Vent hood and duct work
  • Cordless screw gun
  • Table saw
  • Miter chop saw
  • Drill bits
  • Wood screw
  • Paint brushes pain
  • 6inch hole saw to cut a hole for the vent
  • Sander
  • Wood filler
  • Plywood 
  • 1×4 trim board
  • Urethane or enamel 

A Step-By-Step Guide to DIY Your Kitchen Vent Hood

If you take pride in your home and love to do things yourself like me, installing a kitchen hood should be on your to-do list. Installing a kitchen vent hood can save you money, and it’s not as hard as you might think. 

I’ll now walk you through the steps involved in installing your own vent hood:

Step 1: Measure Your Area and Order Your Supplies

Before you can install your brand-new kitchen vent hood, there are a few measures you need to take. Firstly, ascertain the area where you will install the vent hood.

This will determine the size of the hood you need to order. Next, order your supplies and get the screws, brackets, and nails required for the job. With all your supplies on hand, you are now ready to install your kitchen vent hood. 

Step Two: Cut A Hole for The Ductwork on An External Wall

The second step of installing your kitchen hood is to cut a hole for the ductwork on an external wall. This may seem tricky, but with a little patience and the right tools, you can make it quite effortless.

You can use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and a pencil to mark the outline of the hole. Use a drill to create pilot holes around the hole’s perimeter, and use your jigsaw to cut out the hole. Once the hole is cut, you can begin installing the ductwork.

Step 3: Build A Frame to Support the Vent Hood and Install Said Vent

Your next task is to build a frame to support the vent hood. This frame will be attached to the cabinet’s underside and provide a sturdy surface for the vent hood to rest on. 

Measure the width of the opening in the cabinet, and then cut two pieces of wood to that same width. These pieces will form the sides of the frame, and they should be long enough to extend from the front of the cabinet to the back. 

You will need to cut a third piece of wood the same width as the other two but only half as long. This piece will form the top of the frame and should be positioned at the front of the cabinet.

Once all three pieces are cut, assemble them using screws or nails and need to install the vent hood on top of the frame.

The exact method for doing this will vary depending on the vent hood type, but most models require you to screw them into place. 

Step 4: Wrap Your Frame in Plywood

The plywood frame provides a sturdy surface for the vent hood to be attached and prevents the vent hood from being damaged by water.

Once the plywood is in place, you can then attach the vent hood to the frame. Be sure to use screws or nails appropriate for the type of material you are attaching the vent hood to. 

Step 5: Trim Out The Bottom And Top

The last but one step in installing your hood is to trim out the bottom and top of your plywood vent frame. Depending on the rest of your kitchen’s design, you can go with different materials and colors for the trim.

For example, we used white 1×4 trim boards for the top and maple paneling for the bottom to tie in our wooden cabinets with the vent hood.

This added a nice touch to our kitchen and gave it a more finished look. If you’re not sure what to use, consult a professional or look online for inspiration to make the wooden frame look sleek. 

Step 6: Sand, Paint, And Seal

The final step in installing your vent hood is to sand, paint, and seal the entire hood frame. Finishing and sealing your installation is important because it protects the frame from weathering and wear.

Sanding smooths out the wood and prepares it for painting. Painting provides a barrier against moisture and dirt while sealing preserves the wood from deterioration.

By taking the time to sand, paint, and seal your vent hood frame, you can ensure that it will last for years.

Do Range Hoods Have To Be Vented Outside?

Most kitchens have range hoods, but the owners don’t know that these systems should be vented outside.

This is because the purpose of a range hood is to remove smoke, grease, and odors from the air. If the range hood is not vented outside, these airborne contaminants can recirculate back into the kitchen and create an unhealthy environment. Over time, this build-up can cause serious damage to your stove and exhaust fans. That’s why you should ensure that your range hood is properly vented outside your home.

Do Ductless Range Hoods Really Work?

If you’re considering a ductless range hood for your kitchen, you might be unsure if it will work as advertised. After all, most range hoods rely on ductwork to ventilate your kitchen and remove smoke and odors. So how can a ductless range hood possibly be effective?

Here’s how it works: a ductless range hood has a fan that draws air from your kitchen and passes it through a filter. The filtered air is then expelled back into the room, effectively removing smoke and odors.

Because the air is filtered, there’s no need for ductwork, which makes installation much easier (and less expensive).

Of course, a ductless range hood may not be right for every kitchen. If your cooking style involves a lot of high-heat cooking (such as stir-frying or searing), you may find that the fan isn’t powerful enough to completely remove the smoke and odors from your kitchen. In this case, you should consider a ducted range hood instead. 

But if you do most of your cooking at lower temperatures, a ductless range hood can be a practical addition to your kitchen.

It is easier to install and saves you money on energy costs since it doesn’t have to work as hard as a ducted range hood to keep your kitchen well-ventilated.

Should I Buy an Already Assembled Wooden Vent Hood?

When finding a kitchen vent hood, there are two main options you’ll come across: buying a pre-assembled unit or picking up the pieces and putting it together yourself. There are pros and cons to both choices, so the ideal choice depends on your budget, DIY skills, and time availability. 

If you’re handy and comfortable working with wood, assembling the wood vent hood yourself can be a fun project and save you on installation costs.

However, if you’re not confident in your abilities or don’t have the time to spare, it’s worth buying a ready-made unit. Whichever route you choose, do your research to end up with a beautiful and functional kitchen vent hood!

What Is The Minimum Duct Size For A Range Hood?

The duct size for a range hood depends on the kitchen layout, the type of range hood, and the fan capacity. The minimum duct size for a range hood should be at least 3.0 inches in diameter.

If the range hood is installed on an island or peninsula, the duct size should be increased to 4.0 inches in diameter. The type of range hood also dictates the minimum duct size.

For example, if your range hood is vented to the outside, the duct size should be at least 6.0 inches in diameter. If the range hood is recirculating, the duct size can be reduced to 3.0 inches in diameter.

Lastly, the fan capacity determines the minimum duct size – a range hood with a 400 CFM fan would require an 8.0-inch duct. 

Size significantly impacts the ductwork for range hoods, so follow these guidelines to ensure your kitchen is up to code!

Can I Cover My Existing Range Hood With Wood?

Wood hoods are quite popular because they provide a warm, natural look that can complement various kitchen styles. If you already have a range hood, feel free to give it a custom look by wrapping it in rustic wood.

Doing this can be a relatively simple DIY project if you want to add character to your kitchen. When choosing wood for this project, select a durable and easy-to-clean type.

And always finish the wooden frame with a sealant to protect it from grease and moisture. Some extra creative effort can transform your ordinary range hood into a beautiful, one-of-a-kind focal point for your kitchen.

Angela from Angelamariemade wrapped her current metal vent hood with a DIY wooden structure for only $30. Totally worth checking out!

How Do You Hide The Pipes On A Range Hood?

A challenging aspect of installing a range hood is hiding the pipes because when you’re not careful, they can affect your kitchen aesthetics.

The best way to hide the pipes is to build a frame around them and then wrap the whole thing with plywood for a sleek finish. 

Doing so will encase the pipes and make them virtually invisible. Also, you should use a frame that is sturdy enough to support the weight of the wood, and the plywood is cut to fit snugly around the pipes.

You can also use decorative molding or trim to cover the edges of the plywood, giving the range hood a more polished appearance. 

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Chat soon,

Rounding Up

After seeing the results of my kitchen vent hood project, you may be motivated to try this DIY project for yourself. Trust me, it is easier than you think, and the results are worth it.

DIY-ing this task can save you some bucks and help you customize your vent hood to match your kitchen aesthetics. 

I hope this guide inspired you to try out this project yourself. I can attest to the fact that it was fairly simple to do and only took me a weekend.

Not to mention, it was much cheaper than hiring someone to do it for me. So go ahead and give it a try. You might be surprised at how satisfying it is to see the results of your hard work. Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out the next post in my kitchen series on choosing the right kitchen light fixtures for your design!

Chat soon,

Kori

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