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I believe strongly that we are always just an idea away from an improvement. This played out recently when a client asked for something that we had never done. What happened was less important than the outcome. The bar has been raised, and we are proud to show off our new “How we do it here” Levco Style.
The Mechanical code is part of the building code and that is generally watched by our sub-trade partners who are licensed to do this work. Our client asked that her remodeled bathroom have a duct run from the floor under her cabinet to a toe kick vent. Initially, it sounded unreasonable but then it dawned on me to do some further investigation. This is a permitted project with mechanical upgrades who was asleep at the wheel?
Why Wasn’t it Caught?
The building code says we should provide a duct, but the code is primarily a tool to ensure that the new housing stock meets the minimum standard approved by our government agencies. Turns out there is a code requirement for new construction ducting, but no one ever follows it in remodeling. Inspectors look the other way because they figure there are so many other duct leaks in older homes that what is the point. Well, the point is that without a duct connected to the vent there is a large air leak that would never pass the duct blast test.
Who Benefits From Not Following the Code?
No one! Why make something worse if it is so easy to do right in the first place? Thank you for bringing up your concern and allowing us to improve Levco’s processes for the future. Rest assured, we will be ducting toe-kick registers from here on out because 1, This is a better way to do it. 2, it’s the right thing to do.
Sadly, the institutional knowledge was lost (while wandering through the desert for many years). I caught it just in time and dredged up this article. Sadly there was some eye-rolling from my staff which reminded me how important it is to hammer home how and why I remodel houses, but I got my way. The HVAC contractor thought it was a marvelous way to solve an age-old problem. “This is what sets Levco apart,” I told him. “Just in case we forget to ask, this is the way we want it done from here on out!” It is the little things that make a great remodeling project. This is one of them.
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If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor, please contact me. You’ll be glad you did.