Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Permanent Dryer Vent

This is what we've had to do every time we do laundry for the past year... Stick an adjustable dryer vent out the window. Not cool when it's snowing or raining, or when bugs decide to take you up on the open window invitation.

So we had my dad come over this afternoon to help us install a permanent dryer vent. We not only needed expertise, but also his non-exisitant fear of heights (our laundry room is on the second floor and there was no way either of us were getting up on a ladder).

We first had to decide on a location. I thought that from the outside it would look best if the vent were centered under the window. However, from the inside, that would mean I'd still somewhat see the metal vent between the dryer and washing machine. So we decided to just put it directly behind the dryer, about a foot off the floor. Of course in an old house nothing works out the way you want.

Both R and I were working on other projects, and after about an hour I went upstairs to check on my dad. Still no vent.. not even a big hole in the wall! He kept drilling small holes in the wall, only to have his drill get stuck and refuse to go any further. He kept leaning out the window to see what he could possibly be hitting (like the shutter?), but there wasn't anything he could see. Finally he got a big enough hole (about 2' higher than we had originally decided on) to see inside the wall... There was a big corner brace coming off of the beam in my bedroom closet, going down to the floor at a 45° angle. Now that he could actually see what he kept hitting, he was able to go a little bit above it and cut a larger hole. Only to run into more problems. The first layer was plaster, then lathe, then the brace (plus some other random vertical boards, which looked newer, and didn't really have any purpose, lots of blown in insulation (basically just a bunch of fibers), then some newer blown in foam insulation, then really really thick sheathing (this is where the drill kept getting stuck) and finally the wood siding.
What was suppose to be a quick afternoon project, of course, was anything but that. Because of everything in the wall it was very very hard for my dad to get a hole big enough for the vent. Eventually he was able to get it to fit, but of course by then it was 6:00, and we were all exhausted. Spending over 6 hours laboring in the sun and 85° weather isn't a lot of fun. 
Some night this week R will have to caulk around the vent, fill in the holes in the wall and reconnect the dryer. Until then I can't do laundry.. don't you feel bad for me? :) But basically it's done.. which makes me really really excited.. No more opening a window just to do laundry!

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