Folks, I just received an estimate that I think is way too high for 5
runs of AC duct work in my small home. What is involved if I attempt
to do it myself? Any Gotchas?
I appreciate all advice, and if any websites or other information, I
would be most grateful.
Thanks so much in advance, Richard
Planning your runs and how you are going to accomplish them. Take a lot of
Sizing of ducts to get the correct volume and velocity of air.
Drawing detailed diagrams for a fabricator to make pieces for you. Not all
fittings are off the shelf.
Working with sheet metal (Many sharp edges) - Need some specialized hand
tools and good gloves.
Cutting holes in walls and ceilings without damaging more than is necessary.
Caulking duct connections so as to not lose precious air.
Insulating ducts to get the maximum efficiency.
A lot of patience if you are not used to this type of work.
A hot tub would be good to have to help ease the aches and pains.
Folks, let me explain. This is a house that is ~10 years old, and has
the original flexible duct. I hope to just replace the duct, and
perhaps the vents, so I don't plan on cutting any holes in walls and
ceilings etc., just perhaps install new vents and connect the duct work
Sounds simple to me.
First, install several lights. That one attic bulb isn't going to cut it.
First, though, take out the existing ducting. A real PITA, since it went in
there when there was no roof on, but it isn't that hard to cut it into small
pieces and hand it down the attic access stairs. Have a good supply of
Band-Aids and first aid supplies handy.
Move and reconnect the existing wires that you have disturbed and messed up
during the previous step.
Fix any holes you may have made in the ceiling by stepping on the sheetrock
in the previous two steps.
Enlarge ceiling access to allow the new pieces of ductwork to be put into
the space. Be sure to brace up the joists you cut so it doesn't fall into
the room below. You may have to cut more than one new attic access points
to get your ductwork up there, and you may have to cut a lot of joists.
Crawl around on old insulation to maneuver the ducts.
Tape them together in cramped spaces. If you have any children, put them to
work. Those small arms and tiny fingers can get into some of the tight
Make new connectors to fit them snugly to the existing registers in the
Repair the joist/s you had to cut to get these things up there.
Repair all the holes where you stepped on the sheetrock and broke into the
All in all, a pretty simple sounding job to me.
Excuse me? In my area, the attic duct runs were put in after the roof was
on. Sometimes the shingles had aready been installed, making it even
Now, if you're talking about the ceilings, no, they weren't in.
That's a good point. I was assuming the replacement would be metal
rather than the flex stuff originally put in. Metal would certainly be an
upgrade. However I am not sure the OP indicated he was planning metal.
No, I am planning on using the flex duct because the metal is more
difficult to join and more expensive (chief reason). And the house is
~20 years old, not 10. Sorry if I said that earlier, but it is past
time for us to replace the duct.
Don't use flex duct. The stuff may be easier to use, but it also is far
less efficient at moving air and as you have found out, has a shorter life.
Do it right once and you don't need to do it again. Use metal.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.