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Question DetailsAsked on 5/24/2018

Can a ceiling vent be moved a foot in a condo where there is no crawl space above?

Want to build a wall where the vent is to close off the area for a den. This is in a first floor condo and there is no access from above. It is likely that there are wires and pipes in the ceiling.

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1 Answer


Yes. In actuality, there is likely 6-12" space up there (the depth of the overhead floor or roof framing) so by removing the vent grill or fan in the room, should be able to hook up a bit of additional ducting to reroute the inlet location away from the wall. Generally, if a powered vent (bathroom fan for instance) would normally be located in the approximate center of the room to be vented.

Depending on how ducted (especially if rigid rather than flex duct) an exhaust fan arrangement might require removing the overlying roof vent hood as well to reroute the ducting - working both from above and below, but unless you are in a real messy framing situation should be able to keep the same roof hood location to avoid having to do roofing work to seal up the old hood hole.


If instead of a fan you are talking central air ducting, unless you have concrete ceiling (like overlying condo has concrete floors) where the ducting is cast into the concrete, again you likely have 7-12" of space up there for the utility runs - would have to open up the ceiling (possibly by removing the vent and disconnecting and moving the duct around to see with a fiber optic scope) to see wht room you have.

Another possibility, if this is an HVAC duct, is keeping it the same place and centering the wall on it, using low-profile ducting (designed to fit in standard stud bay in the wall) down into the wall, then putting the vent/register in the upper part of the wall open on one or both sides of the wall to provide ventilation to one/both spaces as appropriate. There would be a gap in the top plate of the wall where the duct comes through, but that is no problem because you are talking a non-load bearing wall.

Obviously, the less distance you need to relocate the vent, the easier to it likely to be and the less chance of interference with other utilities in the ceiling space.

One other possibility, though not the most aesthetic - there are prepainted (and can be repainted) ducts designed to be mounted to and exposed on a ceiling or wall - have curved connection to connect to the in-wall or in-ceiling ducting then lie flat on the wall or ceiling - so you would just connect one of those to the existing ducting at the existing vent ducting, run it the foot or whatever needed to get to one or both of the rooms on each side of the wall, with a standard grill on the exposed end. These are commonly used in exposed-framing and exposed-concrete ceiling "artist loft" and "ultra-modern" architecture where all the ducts are exposed in the ceiling. (Yuck).

Note because you are building a new room, you will likely (both for building permit purposes and to get condo management approval of the job) need an architect's plans for the job - for electrical and ventilation at a minimum, and for emergency egress and fire alarm and such requirements.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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