kitchen / renovations

Soreli Range Hood Installation

One of the most important parts of my renovation was getting a range hood in the kitchen.  I was tired of the smoke detectors going off every time I cooked and I was tired of the kitchen being full of grease every time I fried fish on Fridays.  Everything in the kitchen was sticky.

I saw this kitchen on Gardenweb by a woman fondly called Mamma Goose.  She did a lot in her kitchen and there were so many things in it that I love and the one idea I wanted to borrow was the range hood.  I loved it and the fact that she made it out of a rusty old chicken feeder bin made it even better. (If you are interested in her kitchen story and how she made her range hood let me know and I will see if I can post a link to it).

That got me to thinking I wanted to make my own range hood also. I tried to find a chicken bin like hers but to no avail so I started scouring the internet looking for unique range hoods.    I found this and fell in love.  I have a rosewood room divider I can take apart and use it for the trim.  Mine would be straight not curved at the top and  I don’t know about the corbels being that they are so expensive.

I went crazy looking for range hood inserts.  They are not that cheap and the ones that are have mixed reviews which fall mostly on the side of negative.  I did not even know what specs I was looking for at first, all I knew is I wanted it to suck the grease out the air, not be loud and rattely and it should have a light on it.  I finally narrowed it down to this 28″ ss (stainless steel) range hood insert that had 900 CFM (that’s the air flow), is super quiet, and has 2 halogen lights. I loved it and it met all my criteria BUT it cost $469 and that was too much for me for just an insert.


I then started checking out regular hoods but it had to be the kind I could build some sort of cabinet around and it could not be too high (it had to be less than a total height of 19″ including the area for the vent and I was not interested in those ugly behind flat range hoods.   I became obsessed in finding a  range hood for the price I wanted to pay and I was not going to stop until I found it.

As I started looking I starting wishing I could find one with the chimney on it but they were always close to the thousands.  Too much for me.  I finally found some for a good price but dang gone it I could not find any of them that would fit my ceiling height.  NOT ONE.  I found these less than $250 (if you want one click the photo to be linked to the eBay vendor…no ….again….I am not getting paid to advertise its just such a great deal I had to pass it on)


After a straight week of doing nothing but surfing the Internet for a deal I found this one.  It is a Soreli 30″ under cabinet unit.  It is quiet, has 550 CFM, 2 filters and 2 LED lights and it was $219 but I made an offer on it for $199 and he accepted it.  I looked for similar units everywhere and they were not to be found for less than $600!!  YES!

I put it up and to be honest it looked great just the way it was.  I wished I  could have left it with no cabinet BUT I have to cover the ducting.    I left the blue plastic protective covering on it until I had it secured to the wall.  I did not want to scratch my new baby.

I had white 1/2″ wood  cut as follows:

  • 1 shelf 30 1/2″ w x 19″ deep
  • 2 sides 21″ high and 19″ w
  • front piece 21″ h x 301/2″ w

The electrical outlet was too far over to the right so I had to take the cover off of it.  That was the problem I mentioned in another post asking if you could see a problem.  In a normal installation this would be installed under a cabinet but I didn’t have a cabinet so I did the next best thing and built a shelf on top of it.

I also made a template of the cabinet top for the shelf.  I then used a drill to drill out the 4 corners of the vent hole and used a jigsaw to cut out the hole.  If this was in a cabinet you would use the template to cut the hole in the bottom of the cabinet.  I also cut out a notch for the cord.  I don’t understand why the unit did not come with a template because this step could have been a disaster.  Maybe that is why the units are so cheap…  because they give you the unit,  an instruction booklet, no screws and no template and no  actual vent to connect it to.  That’s okay, I have screws up the ying-yang round this joint and I made my own template.  I am however still without a 90 degree duct because I don’t want to spend $9 on it.  I might as well bite the bullet cause I have to close this up today.

So anyway, back to what I was explaining…I placed the vent thingy over the hole and secured it with screws

I then laid the shelf on top of the vent.  In order to access the inside I had to take the filters off.  Once I did that I was able to screw in the shelf to the top.  there were only 2 holes on either side.

Next I held the side up to the outside and used a level to see if it was level and I made a mark on the ceiling.  I couldn’t hold the wood and the level and take the photos so it looks  crooked and it was but trust me…where I drew the line the level says its level.  I double checked that.  I am not into my stuff looking all jacked up and home made.  I have a reputation to keep up.  LOL

My ceiling is not exactly even so believe it or not I had to put a shim on the edge of the front.  LOL that looks crazy but once I put it together it won’t be seen.  I also missed the right furring strip so many times so there is like a zillion nails in it now LOL.

The left side area of the ceiling is lower than the right side and that made me stop for a minute.  I noticed outside the other day that  the roof looks low there and I just got this roof put on. Actually Rick (the handyman) pointed it out to me. I have to check my old photos and see if it was like that when they put the roof on.  I swear I did not notice that and as you might have figured out I am very particular in critiquing other people’s work and having it fixed if need be.   I hope nothing happened to the roof.  I thought about going up in the attic to see if a beam broke or something  but at this point do I really want to see whats happening up there?  NO.  So I left it alone. I don’t have the money to fix it so I don’t even want to know.  It would drive me crazy and I have enough driving me crazy as it is.   I tried putting some screws into the studs to see if I could pull the ceiling up but that didn’t work so it is what it is.  I am working around it.

After I got that side up  I went to taking the room divider apart to get the pieces I need from it.  I found out the pieces are all put in this divider like a puzzle.  hmmm.  At first I felt bad for taking it apart, now that I got a close up of the craftsmanship that went in it, but  I don’t feel bad anymore because I think it’s better for them to be used than to be sitting in a barn rotting away.

I spray painted them with my ORB paint.  I did that in the dark so God only knows how its gonna look. This is where I stopped for the night.

July 15 @ 8 AM

I slept on my project last night and I decided to just make a cabinet that goes over the range hood vs totally enclosing it.  Its just too pretty to cover up LOL.  I marked the wood but then I had to get ready for church.

9:34 PM

I came home from church and I am still not feeling well so I went to sleep.  I woke up and decided I better work on this kitchen or else it will never get done.  I had to go to Lowe’s to get that 90 degree elbow for the vent.  I almost felt like crawling back in the car to come home.  It dawned on me that maybe I am severely malnourished from eating fast food for the last 2 months of not having a kitchen.  I threw away all the sodas and tea in the fridge and been drinking water and tangerine juice and I am feeling better kidney wise.  I hate I started this project.  HATE IT.

so what have I accomplished today? I changed the height of the box and I put in the duct.  I sealed it with purple duct tape 🙂

I turned it on and hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm it blew so quietly.  YES…Love it.  I did feel some air escaping around the the top of that vent I screwed into the shelf so I put some caulk around it.  I think it would defeat the purpose if the air was blowing inside the box instead of outside.  If I had to do it again I would put some caulk on the plate before attaching it to the shelf so that it would have a solid seal.

It doesn’t look like a lot was accomplished but it did take some time cutting those boards down and making sure everything is level before securing it.  The left  side of the wall is a full inch lower than the right side and that is a real problem and I don’t know what to do about it.  I said I was going to ignore it but knowing me it is going to worry the heck out of me.

Before I closed the box I left a note in it:

July 15, 2012

Dear Whomever finds this

Please don’t be too judgmental on my work as I did it myself.

I have to wonder why you are taking my box apart.  I hope it is not for something to do with my work 🙂


Current Homeowner

When I put the face on the box the uneven ceiling was really noticeable.

I am pretty sure that I will be able to make it less noticeable when I put the molding up.  Ugggh it looks terrible for now though.  So much for my reputation LOL.  I also am regretting not painting the wood before I put it up.  I might lose my mind if I get paint on my range hood.  Well I should be going to bed but I am going to put the trim around the window and shim the other wall.  I have to do that much so I CAN PAINT.

Like soon.

Oh and when I went to Lowe’s I found some stuff that clears the drain with heat action.  You put a tablespoon in the drain followed by cold water.  I tried it and uggh the smell.  Burning hair and burning wasps and whatever other junk was down there.  I turned on the water about 15 minutes later and bam…the line was clear as a bell.  I will see later if it is really clear or not but for now it seems to be.

11:18 PM

Two hours later and did I put that trim on the window?  Nooooo.  Why?  Because my nail gun is empty and I could not find the friggin nails.  I moved them the other day and put them some place that I would be able to easily find them.  Yeahhhhh.  So I decided to spend the time putting tools together and sweep and make the kitchen a little more together.  I still did not find the nails.  That really upset me but then when I thought about it it’s probably for the best because I should paint first and then put the trim up.  It will be easier to paint.

I should have had this project finished this weekend including paint.

I am going to bed.  I won’t be able to work on the kitchen again till Thursday because I have school and I have to do some school work  study etc so I can keep the weekend clear.   This is just crazy. It feels like its never gonna get done.

But the good news is my drains are clear!

4 thoughts on “Soreli Range Hood Installation

  1. Of all the details in this post, I most latched on to the Fast Food thing. Seriously? If I ate fast food for one day, I would feel like death for a month. I know some people can eat it and feel fine, but if you’re sensitive to that stuff, you might really be making yourself ill. I’m sure you will feel better once you have an actual kitchen to cook in!!

    Congratulations on getting all that done! Love the purple duct tape, and your note to whoever comes along and dismantles all your hard work!

    And? Seriously, molding makes everything look better. It always looks rough and not what you had in mind until you get the trim up.


    • I knoooow. I don’t want anyone to see my kitchen till I have the moulding up LOL. This fast food is killing me. I have been trying to eat more restaurant food but its kind of the same thing and its killing my pocket. I tell you what…it will be a long while before I eat it again, once I have my kitchen back. I am drinking plenty of water now. OMG I was drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, 2-3 mountain dews, sweet tea, and then fast food. I have a bad kidney and it really let me know it did not like what I was doing. I got rid of all the sodas and tea in the fridge and now drinking only water and juice. Plus I started taking my medicine again. I DO FEEL MORE BETTERER (as my son used to say when he was a kid).


  2. Sorry the junk food is making you ill. Add a bit of stress to it and it is not a good.when we were doing our kitchen or should say kitchens I used our microwave and an electric fry pan to cook our meals. Dishes in bathroom sink. I also planned ahead and made up lots of meals ( for freezer) before I tore our kitchen apart. I know too late for that now for you. Maybe lots of steamed veggies and rice or noodles with cheese. Mtn Dew is not a good thing. It made me sick with only a couple of bottles of it. No idea what is in it that is so bad. Hope you get to feeling better soon. Chris


    • Yes I was thinking about that. As soon as I paint my microwave shelf I will bring it back in the house. I am not sure what is in the Mountain Dew either but my doctor told me to steer clear of it.


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