This week was all about holes. And it was a task that Gary was dreading. You see, all that nice ductwork still needed to actually GET to the rooms. And that meant that we needed to install a return and supply vent in each room, and that meant we needed to cut two holes (at least!) in each room. And we knew that that would be quite a job. You see, this building was built in the 1920’s and it was built very well. And all those hotel rooms have been remodeled any number of times over the last 90+ years as they’ve added bathrooms and made building improvements. The floor of the attic (original ceiling of the second floor?) is 3/4″ tongue and groove pine. Over that is any configuration of cement board, drywall, ceiling tiles or any combination thereof. And of course, up in the attic is all that wonderful loose insulation.
We knew that with 22 rooms and an apartment (and a total of 51 holes (26 round, 25 square)), we needed to come up with a working plan pretty quick. With a little (a lot really!) help from our friends Bill and Tim, here’s what we worked out –
Bill would locate the best spot in the room for the hole (near a window for the round supply, near the door for the square return) and drill a test hole through the ceiling into the attic.
Tim (or Gary) would locate the drill bit (or a dowel which we later started to use) and dig out the area.
Then Tim would locate where the actual hole could be cut,
taking into account floor joists (or would they be ceiling joists?) and he would center his template and drill through to the room (and Bill).
Bill would center his template on the ceiling using Tim’s drill bit as a guide, making sure that there were no other obstacles (like trim strips) on his side. Then he would trace the template and cut the hole.
Once the hole was cut then the vent would be installed.
I’d like to say that once we had the process down, the holes became routine, but truth be told every room was different and yes, there were a couple “misses” as they worked together to find the right spot for the hole placement.
You know the saying – it’s easier to fix a couple of drill bit size holes than it is to fix an 8×8 hole in the ceiling, right? Our motto to be sure!
Although Gary got the guys started, once they got the basic plan down, he started connecting the duct runs to the vents. What started out looking like this –
looked like this by the end of the day Tuesday –
There is still plenty of “connecting” to do
but I’m happy to report that by the end of the day Thursday ALL 51 holes were cut and all the vents were ready for the next step.
Great Job, Guys!
So what was I doing all week, since managing a sawzall on a ladder is a little out of my comfort zone? I was the Advance Team – making sure the rooms were draped as much as possible
since the guys were making a pretty nice mess.
And then, I followed behind them trying to put the rooms back in order.
Yep, me and the shop vac – BFF! And well within my “skill set”.
So it was a great week! Our visit with Bill was wonderful and the Project Manager (Gary) is delighted that the Hole Hurdle has been accomplished. One little bonus of the week was this little guy who stayed curled up at the base of a tree not 3 ft. from the sidewalk all day. Apparently Mom had said – “Stay here until I return” and he obeyed.
See, it’s not ALL about the A/C Installation!