Fun with flexible ducts!

In this installment of "Life with Bob", Bob decides to have the old, asbestos-covered ducts removed from the house in early November. Soon, the weather turns chilly... Bob comes down with a cold... Mary says she is cold... Maggie the cat takes to huddling in a tight ball on top of Mary's sewing...

Action must be taken. Bob rents a Sawzall and begins cutting holes in the floor. Here he is now, crouching over the (formerly) pristine oak floor in the bedroom, wrestling with that big, beefy Milwaukee bad boy. Can you believe it? $15 a day and you too can be ripping away through sub-floor, hardwood and the occasional embedded nail. And that's only the low speed setting!

Hacking the floor
So what made me think I could do this type of home improvement project? Was it the hubris of an engineer? The naivete of a home owner? Or, can I blame it on the internet? Why, yes, that's it: I can blame it on such on-line resources as the Home Energy Magazine Online where I learned (among other things) how to join and seal ducts and plenums. They have articles on all sorts of topics of interest to the professional and amateur alike.

Another good question is "Why would Bob want to do all this?" The short version: so that we have room in the basement for a laundry area. Longer answer: so that when we remodel the kitchen, we won't have the washer and dryer taking up space.

Return pile This is the stuff I had left over. You probably can't see all the little 3/4" and 1/2" black iron plumbing fittings in this picture, but the whole return took 2 1/2 pages of return authorization slips. To Home Depot's and Orchard Supply Hardware's credit, each only took 5 minutes to return all this stuff. Not like Fry's Electronics; But don't get me started! Come back later for the "I Hate Fry's" web page.
Can you guess the reason for the smile? Neither can I. The previous owners painted the 18" return duct as you see it (I'm refering to the clown on the right). It was one of those touches that made us fall in love with the house. So, I had to keep it in the new heating setup.

I haven't quite finished insulating the the last of the connections... That small duct near my head is the 5" burner exhaust. The rest are 8" supply ducts to the individual rooms in our house.

HVAC & Bob
Flex Duct


Boots, elbows, grills, and collars


Sawzall rental and sheet metal shearing


Tools (e.g.a duct tie tensioner)


Tape, mesh, mastik, caulk, screws, whatever




Bob Villa always does a little reality check between the budget and the actual cost... Of course, I was unencumbered by a budget, so I'll just give you the figures.

I'm Trying out a new web counter from sprynet. Only people have seen this page before you.


"HVAC Bob" / Bob Baylor /