Start of Week 7: Still waiting and CFM drama

We’re in a holding pattern with the kitchen. We’ve picked out the tile, ordered the lights, and now we’re just waiting. The good news is that we’re finished painting and the kitchen is in heavy use, but it will be pretty great to get things finished off. While we’re waiting, we get to experience the next city inspection visit.

CFMs make me crazy. In the venting world, it means cubic feet per minute. It made me crazy when we were hunting to find a vent hood that wouldn’t break the bank. It made me crazy when I tried to find the right size exterior cap in stainless steel. (Never did, by the way. We’re thankful for spray paint.) And now, it’s making me crazy when the inspector starts investigating our air exchange. Minnesota apparently has a tougher code requirement with make up air. The issue is this – when you crank up the fan to suck the vapor, fish smell, and bacon grease out of the kitchen, it takes air from the house with it. Makes sense. We didn’t really worry about it because our house was built in 1926 and leaks like a sieve. A nice sieve, but nevertheless, it’s definitely NOT the airtight new construction model. But since the code indicates we need a make up air system, we need to put one in. The one that was suggested to us is expensive. More than the tile expensive. More than all the lighting expensive. More than the faucet and sink expensive. More than the range hood expensive. I knew it was going to be bad when Bob the Builder wanted to meet with us on a Saturday morning. Why else would he come over unless he had some unpleasant news? Anyway – as I panic about the pricing, I tried to devise ways to get around the code regulations. What if we bought a smaller vent motor? What happens if we ignore the code? Can we drill a hole in the basement and cover it with a flap? After Jeff had a conversation with the inspector, they came up with this crazy combination of a sealed gas fireplace, a tankless water heater, and something else that I didn’t even understand. In a final hail mary, I called the vent manufacturer to find out if they had any solutions for me. And – they did! For $150, they make an air damper kit that SHOULD solve our problems. That is less than our faucet! Way less! Now we’re just waiting for the gas guy to meet with the inspector guy to find out if its an approvable solution. Maybe he’ll watch the video to learn more about it. I sure hope so – as the air exchange issue was NOT part of our kitchen budget. But here’s some unsolicited advice for your future kitchen renovation. If you want an awesome gas range that can really kick out the BTUs and you’re getting a vent hood with recommended CFMs to match, make sure you check out your air exchange and build that into the budget….no surprises.

Otherwise, we have a good week ahead. The range will be switched out this week, so I’m excited to have an oven again. Depending on if the lights arrive on time, we’ll finish electric this week. And then it’s just two more weeks for the tile to finish up. So much for our original end date of February 13…..but we knew that was crazytalk from the beginning.

The original timeline. Didn't believe it for a second.

The original timeline. Didn’t believe it for a second.

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