Layout of HVAC chase, half-bath, pantry?

CamGNovember 21, 2012

We are SO close, the drafters are waiting for me to figure this last detail out. I forgot to put the chase in the original plans. The placement below works great, as it takes up part of an otherwise HUGE closet on second floor... but it makes the half bath a bit awkward. I don't think I mind this, the clearances all meet code as far as I'm aware, and it even puts the toilet a bit further from the kitchen which is nice. To save space I would put in a pedestal sink, which we wanted anyway.

How does this look? Any thoughts on how to improve? I can pretty much move anything around, although I really like having the nice big desk, shelf in the pantry, and room for cabinets in the mudroom. Thanks for all of your great thoughts!

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brickeyee

What are you expecting to fit in the chase?

HVAC ducts may take up the entire thing, leaving no room for plumbing lines, especially larger DWV lines.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:48PM
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CamG

The builder didn't say anything about plumbing, so I'm thinking just hvac and maybe a gas furnace flue, although apparently I may not need that if we get a high efficiency furnace? That chase should be right at the dimensions the builder told me (20" x 24").

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:15PM
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kirkhall

Cam, I think this works fine. If it needs to be larger, just spare 1/2 of your hall closet there (or even chop off the back bathroom corner of that closet). Just be extra doubly sure your toilet area is large enough.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:42PM
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oksir83

That powder room layout looks similar to how our plan is. However, since we are building a ranch, we added the "cubby" for small appliance storage in the pantry. Same overall powder room shape though, which works fine, IMHO.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:10PM
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energy_rater_la

what does hvac company say about this layout?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:15PM
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CamG

Kirkhall, I'll have to go measure some hall closets and see if an opening off less than 3' seems acceptable. You're right that this would be clearly comfortable if the closet only intruded a few inches, rather than a good 18".

Energy_rater, HVAC hasn't had anything to say, I'm going off of what my builder told me. If we have to go with a larger chase, there are contingency plans, which involve putting this either in part of the desk or part of the counter in the pantry (both of which also will take up part of a laundry room above, so they are doubly undesirable).

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 4:07PM
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kirkhall

My hall closet is 24 inches... It seems sized right, especially if it isn't your only closet. In your case, you have a good-sized mudroom.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:32PM
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brickeyee

How does the sink drain without DWV in the chase?

This is heading towards disaster status.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:38PM
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kirkhall

I don't have a chase in my house. And, I have sinks and toilets that drain... So, it entirely depends on how that is all planned to be built. 6" plumbing walls can take care of the DWV, right?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:42PM
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energy_rater_la

equipment is in attic or basement?
isn't in info posted.

if this is a return chase make sure it
is sheetrocked & made airtight.
return leakage is a concern.

getting hvac company's input may help
to clarify install..for them, builder
& you. and they may point out any issues
you & builder may have missed.

I'd get their input also.

and yes..if you go to high efficiency gas
furnace..these are selfcondensing & do not
need venting like 80% furnaces.
in may of 2013 80% furnaces will only
be sold south of the mason dixon line.

for hvac industry to make this kind of mandate
backs up the savings of the more efficient
furnaces. once you upgrade to two stage heat..
you'll never be happy with single stage again.

lots of changes comming from hvac industry in
the next few years. for them to realize what efficiency
experts have been saying for years..is a good thing.

best of luck & Happy Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:15PM
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CamG

brickeye,
Good point--I didn't think about that we need space for a vent. I imagine this can be done by making the wall to the chase 6", as kirkhall mentioned, or by making the chase larger. The rest of the plans have 2x6 walls for vents, I just didn't think about it here. Ultimately, this plan will be reviewed by my builder, who should catch these things--I'm trying to figure out the best placement now, and as I've mentioned, I have a few inches of wiggle room to accommodate things like a 2x6 wall instead of 2x4. So hopefully we're a ways from disaster status...

energy_rater, the equipment will be in the basement. Good to hear that high-efficiency is becoming the norm. This is the last major change before I get these plans to the builder, and we can go over these things in detail. I don't know who he is going to use for HVAC, but during the first meeting going over these plans, he got them on the phone to double check that we can do a single unit with dual thermostats for this plan. So we can verify these kinds of details, too. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:10PM
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renovator8

The chase size your contractor gave you is probably the inside dimension. I suspect the chase carries ducts to the attic for distribution so there are many other issues involved.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:14AM
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renovator8

An alternate layout:

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:23AM
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live_wire_oak

I think the toilet alcove will be too tight and needs to be switched with the sink in order to have enough room to access it properly.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 2:20PM
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renovator8

I don't know why anyone would need a toilet space larger than 3 ft x 5 ft in a powder room. Often these dimensions are 6" smaller.

There are other layouts that would make the toilet less viewable from the hall but you would need to find out from the HVAC designer what the main duct size will be instead of relying a guess from the GC. Don't forget to leave space for insulation.

Here is a link that might be useful: min sizes

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:27AM
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CamG

Renovator8, I appreciate the sketch. That definitely makes sense to put the sink as you have it, so I can make that wall 2x6 and put the vent there. As I've said, we can change the dimensions by a few inches by moving other things around as necessary. I was mainly looking to make sure this design generally worked--it's obviously not ideal, but it preserves some other aspects of the house that are more important to us than a particularly spacious half-bath.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:02AM
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