Built-In Vent Hood: A How-To

This is going to be a bit of a different How-To post, less exact and more “This is how we did it so you can adapt for your own house.” We all know that custom cabinets cost lots of cash. And those fancy built-in vent hoods are up there. So we planned to do our own. How? We had no clue! This was one project where I totally just winged it. But it worked! Here’s the skinny:


We kicked things off by installing the vent. We purchased a 90 degree elbow from McCoys and secured it with a large pipe clamp.



Next we installed the hood. I cut a piece of 1/2″ ply to 11.5″ wide (the depth of my cabinets) and 31.5″ long which was the length between the two cabinets. We held it up to the elbow and traced where the hole needed to go. I cut out the hole with a jigsaw, and we mounted the board to the cabinets with pocket holes and 1″ kreg screws. Next we installed the hood into the board using 1 1/4″ drywall screws. It was what we had on hand, and since it’s being covered I didn’t care to blunt them.



Once the vent was up I added another 1/2″ ply piece to the top with pocket holes and kreg screws. You can see that the vent hood isn’t centered over the oven. This would have driven me INSANE if we had gone with an exposed hood. Thank you, Tilson, for your impeccable attention to detail. Moving on.



My next step was to add the front facing. I cut a 31.5″ strip of 1/2″ ply at 5.5″ wide. I cut two side supports that were also 5.5″ wide and about 12″ long and screwed them together to form a 3-sided “box”. I slid it over the front lip of the vent and attached it to the side cabinets with 1″ screws to hold it in place. I didn’t want to risk drilling into the vent. Once that was up I measured and cut a rectangle that was 31.5″ long and about 18″ wide. I placed it onto my front support and top piece and simply nailed it into place. I didn’t get fancy with angles or miters, I just let it be since I was covering it up with trim.



Now that my front was covered, it’s time for the sides. In this angle you can see the lower side support from the “box” I made earlier. To get that triangle shape, I held up the plywood on the outside and traced the opening with a pen.

See the pen? Then I cut it out with a jigsaw and nailed it into place.



To allow my doors to open fully on the outer cabinets, I had to use scrap 1/4″ ply for my trim on the sides. I cut it into 1.5″ strips (the width of a 1×2) then held it in place for each measurement. Then I just cut and stapled them into place. Once the side trim was on I attached the front 1×2 trim with glue and nails, measuring each separate piece.

Then I filled all the holes and gaps with Dap and sanded it with 150 grit. Doesn’t it already look sooooo much better than how it started out? It’s amazing what trim will do to polish things up. What was a jagged jigsaw cut before is now a blissfully smooth edge. Once it was sanded I dusted it off and brushed on two coats of Olympic’s Grey Marble just like the cabinets.

So with a little ingenuity, a lot of elbow grease and about 30 bucks, I have a beautifully custom vent hood cover! I know it’s a bit confusing to follow for inexperienced builders, but it’s one of those projects where every situation will be different. I’m hoping it helps illustrate a general process and hopefully inspires one of you to build in your own vent hood!


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