When I think of builder grade, the first place I think of is the kitchen. More than any other area of the house, kitchens tend to be at the top of everyone's “what I want to change about my home” list. And where to start with taking your kitchen from builder-grade to beautiful (since that's kind of our thing)? With the cabinets! It all starts with painting (usually), but there are lots of great options beyond paint, too. Our guest today is showing how she upgraded her cabinets with a DIY custom range hood (for under $50!):
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How to Build a Custom Range Hood
by Jill of The Rozy Home
Hi everyone! I'm Jill from The Rozy Home and I've been blogging my way through a remodel for the last few months. I am a huge fan of Remodelaholic and have getting inspired from Cassity and the gang for the last few years. Imagine my surprise when they asked me to do a guest post about my $50 Custom Range Hood!
We bought our house in 2010, two months after the birth of our son, and I have been working non-stop since then to make our house our home. When we walked into our home the first time, I looked at my husband and said “nope.” But then something wonderful happened. We went outside on the upper deck and saw the view. Oh the view! I often call it our little piece of heaven in the middle of the Texas hill country. I took a minute, walked around the house and decided that I could make this place beautiful. It had a good layout, the rooms were large and it had a ton of potential.
One of the first projects we worked on was the kitchen. It looked a little something like this when we bought it.
The first thing I did was paint the cabinets and remove that dreadful microwave from over the stove. Why did I remove the microwave? Even though I know there is no prove of it being an issue, I just don't like having a microwave buzzing next to my head while I'm cooking. My solution was to just take it down and replace it with a vent.
One of the questions/comments I hear the most is “What was wrong with it like that?” or “It looked fine like it was” That's the thing – it looked fine. Nothing spectacular – just fine. Since our kitchen opens up to our living area, I look at it – a lot! I wanted more personality. Oh and did I mention that vent I purchased fit perfectly into the cabinets? So perfect, in fact, that I couldn't plug it in. For the last two years I had no vent, and no light.
Helpful hint: When ordering a vent to use for this project, make sure you order one several inches smaller (width and depth) than your cabinets.Seems like common sense, right? But when you are new to remodeling/DIY things that should be common sense aren't always so black and white.
Also, a little note about the vent itself (because boy have I gotten a ton of questions on this part of it): you can use an outside venting unit for this project. The vent I selected was recirculating because that is the way my home was set up. I had quotes to get an outside venting system put in but it was in excess of $1000 (the side of our home was stone so it would have required a masonry expert in addition to plumbing/electrical). Because this tutorial is for the range hood, the vent you use makes no difference (recirculating or outside venting).
Building the range hood:
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- 1 4X8 Birch Plywood Panel
- 1 X 2 X 8 Support Boards
- 1 x 3 X 8 Pine Board (for top face)
- 1 X 4 X 8 Pine Boards (for bottom face)
- 2 8 foot lattice pieces: $7.28
- Liquid Nail: $2.52
- Trim Pieces: $8.52
Begin by taking off the cabinet doors and removing the bottom of the cabinet. I also knocked out the front support piece. Now you may be wondering why wouldn't I just remove the center cabinet unit. I couldn't. The side and middle cabinets are all one piece – bummer! If you are lucky enough to have a separate center cabinet, all you have to do is remove that section.
I'm sure you noticed I didn't move the stove (or even the tea kettle). My husband cracked the cooktop last year so it only has one functioning burner. Please, please, please move or at least cover your stove prior to doing this project.
After demoing and cleaning, decide how far you want the hood to project out. I played with a few varying lengths before opting for 16 inches. Next, float in the two side supports, level them up and attach them to the adjacent cabinets using a nail gun.
Add the front and back supports.
Remember how I said the vent fit just perfectly? Well because of that I had to attach the vents to the side of the supports. Since all of you will be purchasing a vent that is smaller than the space provided, I would recommend doing the following:
Measure the width of your cabinets in the front and the back (they should be the same, but sometimes they can be off by a 1/2 inch or so).
Cut two support beams to this width.
Next, cut two support beams to the overall length you decided on for the range hood (for me it was 16 inches).
Next, cut a 3/4 inch thick piece of plywood to the overall width and length of the finished box frame. Set the vent on top of the plywood and draw an outline. Cut out the outlined section. Attach the plywood to the bottom of the box frame.
Attach the box frame to cabinet.
Now we are all on the same page!
Attach the vent to the supports.
Install the vent (ie plug it in, attach the outside venting, if needed, etc).
Next, add a front face to the bottom support. It should be roughly 1/2 inch longer than the support and should be mitered to 45 degrees on both ends.
Next measure the amount of exposed supports on the side and cut a face front for each side (again with mitered edges).
Attach a thinner face front to the top of your cabinet frame (the top face front is the same length as the bottom face front and should also be mitered at the ends).
Depending on how far your top face front sticks out, you will need to cut side face fronts for the upper section as well.
Measure the length between the top and bottom face front and cut three supports beams to that size. Attach them to the back of the face fronts (I mitered the ends of the boards so that they would attach just behind the face fronts).
After adding the supports, measured the open area from the outside of the left support to the outside of the right support and from the top face front to the bottom.
Using these measurements,cut out a plywood square.
Attach the plywood to the supports using a nail gun.
Because the hood is slanted, the plywood should sit right behind both the upper and lower face fronts.
Next, determine the angle of the side pieces. For lack of a better option, I folded a piece of cardboard over the side and then cut the cardboard to size.
Using the nifty cardboard template, trace out the pattern on a piece of plywood and cut. Attach to supports using a nail gun.
Mine weren't perfect but they didn't need to be (the lattice and caulk will cover up the edges).
After attaching the sides, sand the entire range hood.
Next, cut two pieces of lattice to the width of the center plywood area (making sure to miter them on the edges).
Measure the length between the upper and lower lattice piece and cut 5 pieces of lattice to this length. Attach in equally spaced segments across the front of the plywood. Make sure you have a piece of lattice on each edge – this will help “disguise” those imperfect side pieces.
If you want to spruce it up, add trim to the top and bottom face fronts. I grabbed some trim I had in the garage. Feel free to get creative and make it your own at this point.
After caulking and filling in the nail holes, sand, prime and paint. Then sit back and marvel at your handy work!
So there you have it! Four hours and $50 laters, my kitchen gained a lot of personality.
For you budget-savvy DIYers, here is how the cost broke down.
- Birch Plywood Panel: $10.67
- 1 X 2 X 8 Support Boards: $2.61
- 1 x 3 X 8 Pine Board (for top face): $5.43
- 1 X 4 X 8 Pine Boards (for bottom face): $8.64
- 2 8 foot lattice pieces: $7.28
- Liquid Nail: $2.52
- Trim Pieces: $8.52
- Total: $45.67!
Note: This doesn't include the crown moulding. I was replacing all of that on my cabinets anyway so I already had it on hand.
Jill, I love it! What a great update for such a small investment, both time and money. I love kitchens with personality!
Pay Jill a visit at The Rozy Home and see all the other great things she's doing in her home!