I'm looking to install a vented range hood for the electric range in my kitchen.

The kitchen has only one outside wall, which is mostly window, with a cast-iron radiator and a chimney for my oil-fired home-heating boiler for good measure. There's only about 6 inches between the top of the window and the soffit.

So... Are there any code or practical restrictions on how close the external vent for a range hood can be to a window? Either horizontally through the wall to one side of the window, or downward through the soffit over or beside the window?

(The house is solid brick, circa 1920, Toronto Canada)

  • 1
    I don't think you would want to cut through unless at least 3" from the window because of the header and king studs that hold it up. I don't know the code for your area but remember the exhaust will be full of cooking residue and may stain the brick over time. I would rather have that stuff outside. If your home is a single story I would take it out through the roof. I have installed damper vents like this in walls with metal pipe not flexable as required in my area.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 28, 2016 at 13:38
  • No header; no king stud; no studs; no sill plate. Solid brick. Three bricks thick from footings to ground floor joists; two bricks thick to second floor joists.
    – DJohnM
    May 1, 2016 at 7:17
  • Wow, I haven't worked on solid brick walls just brick faced. Since I don't know enough to really help I will set a bounty to see if we can find some help.
    – Ed Beal
    May 1, 2016 at 14:12
  • 2
    I don't believe hover bricks are a thing yet, so there's still load being supported by them, up the wall, and via a lintel over the windows and doors. Just make sure that any opening you create can still properly transfer load to the structure below. I'd also avoid an exhaust fan that close to a soffit, otherwise you're going to have kitchen grease drawn into the attic.
    – BMitch
    May 1, 2016 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


there are not many specific guidelines . all there is in the obc is this:

9.10.22. Fire Protection for Gas, Propane and Electric Cooktops Installation of Ranges

(1) Reserved

(2) Clearances for and protection around gas, propane and electric ranges shall be not less than those provided in Articles and Vertical Clearances above Cooktops

(1) Except as provided in Sentence (2), framing, finishes and cabinetry installed directly above the location of the cooktop shall be not less than 750 mm above the level of cooktop burners or elements.

(2) The vertical clearance described in Sentence (1) for framing, finishes and cabinets located directly above the location of the cooktop is permitted to be reduced to 600 mm above the level of the elements or burners provided the framing, finishes and cabinets,

(a) are noncombustible, or

(b) are protected by,

(i) asbestos millboard not less than 6 mm thick, covered with sheet metal not less than 0.33 mm thick, or

(ii) a metal hood with a 125 mm projection beyond the framing, finishes and cabinets. Protection Around Cooktops

(1) Except as provided in Sentences (2) and (3), combustible wall framing, finishes or cabinets within 450 mm of the area where the cooktop is to be located shall be protected above the level of the heating elements or burners by material providing fire resistance not less than that of a 9.5 mm thickness of gypsum board.

(2) Countertop splash boards or back plates that extend above the level of the heating elements or burners need not be protected as described in Sentence (1).

(3) Except for cabinetry described in Article, cabinetry located not less than 450 mm above the level of the heating elements or burners need not be protected as described in Sentence (1).

and Outdoor Intake and Exhaust Openings

(1) Separate air intake and exhaust outlet openings, when located on the same wall or roof, shall be installed so as to avoid contamination of the ventilation air by the exhaust air.

(2) Intake openings shall be located so as to avoid contamination of the ventilation air from other local sources such as automobile exhausts and exhaust from adjacent buildings.

(3) The distance from the bottom of an air intake opening to finished ground level or to any nearer and lower permanent horizontal surface shall be not less than 450 mm or the depth of expected snow accumulation, whichever is greater.

(4) The distance separating air intakes from building envelope penetrations that are potential sources of contaminants, such as gas vents or oil fill pipes, shall be not less than 900 mm.

(5) Air intakes shall be clearly labelled as such for identification from locations outside the dwelling unit.

(6) The distance from the bottom of an exhaust outlet to finished ground level or to any nearer and lower permanent horizontal surface shall be not less than 100 mm.

(7) Where air intake and exhaust openings are in exposed locations, provision shall be made to protect them from the entry of precipitation by the use of louvres, weather cowls or other suitable protection.

(8) Air intake openings shall incorporate screens or grilles to protect against the entry of animals and insects.

(9) Except for exhaust outlets serving heat recovery ventilators, exhaust outlets shall incorporate backdraft dampers.

(10) Except for clothes dryers, exhaust outlets shall be fitted with screens of mesh not larger than 15 mm, except where climatic conditions may require larger openings.

(11) Where a screen or grille required by Sentences (8) and (10) has a screen mesh less than 6 mm, the screen or grille shall be removable for cleaning.

(12) The gross area of the screens or grilles installed in intake and exhaust openings shall be three times that of the duct served.

(13) Screens and grilles shall be of corrosion-resistant material.

(14) The net free area of an air intake or exhaust outlet shall be equal to or greater than the cross-sectional area of the duct served. Installation

(1) Installation of fans and heat recovery ventilators shall be in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions for minimizing noise and vibration transmission and achieving the required sound rating.

(2) Where flow-regulating dampers are required, they shall be adjustable and accessible without requiring the removal of fans, motors, or insulating materials and without the need for specialized tools.

(3) Ventilation equipment shall be accessible for inspection, maintenance, repair and cleaning.

(4) Ventilation equipment installed in unheated spaces shall be installed so as to avoid condensation of moisture on fans and motors in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

however, if you are looking for advice:

  1. in a solid masonry wall, a penetration through the wall for a vent stack or discharge should not be within 300 mm of a window or door lintel (this way you avoid a collapse of the hole from a transferred overhead load.

  2. if you have masonry lintel (caternary arch type), i would be very wary of doing a penetration anywhere near the foot of the arch without an engineer looking at it. masonry lintels can exhibit huge horizontal compressive forces on a solid wall a long way horizontally from the foot. you usually have to sleeve the interior of the penetration hole with a thick steel pipe section to take the load.

  3. if you can't go through the wall for whatever reason, just go up. you can either vent

    • a) directly up through the attic space, then through the roof (just remember to use insulated pipe and a proper roof stack, cap and waterproof boot

    • b) up into the attic space and come out through the eave with a soffit drop vent port (just make sure to use insulated pipe and a drop vent with a baffle valve).

  4. do not, under any circumstances use flexible metal duct. its not legal and it makes for a huge cleaning nightmare over time with a kitchen exhaust. only use rigid galvanized steel duct pipe

hope that helps

  • 1
    When quoting from a source, please use block quotes and cite the source.
    – Tester101
    May 6, 2016 at 14:54
  • That looks good the only problem is it is 2 story cant go up Mentioned in comments. I did not think about steel pipe for strength that was my concern in cutting out the brick. thanks for the help. i hope they use it.
    – Ed Beal
    May 6, 2016 at 14:54
  • SOP on two storeys is to go out through the wall at the joist cavity, but they identify the vent as having to go through soffit - so i assume this is a second storey kitchen (not uncommon in some of the older areas of toronto). maybe @djohnm can clarify or add a photo or two May 6, 2016 at 15:13
  • @tester101 - OBC is universal here in ontario for ontario building code. i am not going to use quotes as these are direct cut and paste citations identified by their passage numbers May 6, 2016 at 15:15
  • @personalprivacyadvocate Block quotes are simply markup, that makes the quoted text stand out (see my edit). This allows others to easily see what text is yours, and what text is being quoted from another source.
    – Tester101
    May 6, 2016 at 15:28

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