August 5, 2021

Getting Creative with HVAC

In this episode of Site Visit with NS Builders, I take you over to Project 169 to check out the HVAC subcontractors’ progress and share some design details that had to be tweaked.


A lot can happen in just a week—and that’s exactly what we’re seeing on-site today. The HVAC crew has been here all week. The air handler has been tucked up in the attic, and the ductwork is laid out. We pushed the ceiling up as high as possible, which added a level of complexity to the HVAC work. And the structural aspects of the space also presented some challenges. But challenges are just another chance for us to demonstrate how NS Builders looks for creative, intentional solutions to address problems.  

For example, we’ve got a rafter in the way of where we wanted to run ductwork. We weren’t going to move the rafter, so we put our heads together and came up with a clever solution—we can rework it by sneaking the ductwork around and behind into a wall we furred out. And as an added benefit, this will actually bring the air closer to the window. The window is the coldest point on that wall and it always will be. So by washing the area with heated air in front of the window, it’s going to help warm up the coldest spot in the room. In turn, it will work to keep the entire room warm.



There is a small hallway in this suite where there will be multiple electrical devices, a 24-inch x 24-inch access panel, and a 20-inch x 20-inch return. It’s really tight in the attic with all the equipment. We are basically pressed up against the rafters. And here is my concern: I don’t want this small space to look like a hotel lobby with access panels everywhere. So, we thoughtfully considered how to simplify the ceiling. Here’s what we came up with.

First, we are going to shrink the opening down—it’s over-framed. We’ll create a 25-inch x 25-inch return grill. And that return grill will function as the return and be designed to be pushed up and slid over, allowing full access to the equipment. The return grill will be plastered in and flush, creating a clean, simple ceiling.

It’s crucial to take some time, step back, and look at a potential problem through various lenses. Challenge your brain to come up with creative, innovative solutions.

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally craft for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen.

—Nick Schiffer


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