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Old 01-10-2019, 12:14 PM   #1
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Moving this return - a DIY job?


Hey all. As part of an attic conversion project, a stairway will need to be where the pictured air return currently is. I will need to move the return about 5 feet in the direction of the boxes of Christmas decorations I have been to lazy to carry to the attic, which is about 5 feet back over the dirt in the crawlspace photo. (For some reason the photo thumbnails are oriented weirdly.) The return sheet metal box is about 30" x 13". This is one of three similarly sized returns in the house (two in the hallway, one in the living room).

Is moving this a short distance a DIY job? Could I just move the box where I need it, put a 90-degree elbow in the large duct and connect everything with a short length of new rigid duct? Also, does that 30x13 box need to be so large? It's an old house, so I'm guessing the big box was from some previous HVAC system and they used it for the current one. I would prefer not to cut a hole so huge in my hallway if that box is oversized.

I have basically no experience with HVAC, other than moving one register a few feet with some flex duct, but I am generally good at figuring things out with online research and this forum.

What do you think - try it myself or hire someone? If I hire someone, any idea what would be reasonable to pay?
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: Moving this return - a DIY job?


I think they have used a big box because it is under a floor joist, if it could be length ways in one bay it could be just a 90 into a flat sheet of metal nailed to the bottom of the joists. That white tape may be asbestos.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: Moving this return - a DIY job?


Agree on the asbestos tape.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: Moving this return - a DIY job?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Agree on the asbestos tape.


Well thatís unfortunate. I assumed it was regular mastic.


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Old 01-10-2019, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: Moving this return - a DIY job?


Could I put the return into the wall to avoid having a register in the floor of my hallway?
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:32 PM   #6
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Re: Moving this return - a DIY job?


Quote:
Originally Posted by eholmes77 View Post
Could I put the return into the wall to avoid having a register in the floor of my hallway?
Yes but the support for the wall has to be considered and if it a bearing wall the support for the floor has to be considered too.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:52 PM   #7
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Re: Moving this return - a DIY job?


That's a good point - there's a main support beam right under that wall. I may put in a different non-load-bearing wall and route the ducts as necessary. Floor registers are a pain in the butt with stuff always falling in them.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:35 PM   #8
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Re: Moving this return - a DIY job?


Quote:
Originally Posted by eholmes77 View Post
That's a good point - there's a main support beam right under that wall. I may put in a different non-load-bearing wall and route the ducts as necessary. Floor registers are a pain in the butt with stuff always falling in them.
Two pictures, one shows how they used the joist bay for the return air with just sheet metal
The other shows studs and joist lined up in a bearing wall the plates are cut out and not hurting the structure.
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