I could really use some help. I live in an apartment and am renovating my kitchen (and L shaped galley – see pic below) and have run into an issue I am not sure how to resolve. I would like to open up the kitchen to look out over the living room by making the full wall behind the range and adjacent cabinets into a half wall. The building inspector said that I could do that however he told me that I must reinstall a recirculating fan over the range. I was planning to install a ceiling mounted range hood with a recirc. fan over the range but when the engineer inspected the wall to determine if it was a load bearing wall, he discovered the following:
(a) there is an I-Beam in the ceiling that runs lengthwise above the range and adjacent cabinets that is approximately 2 feet high and 18”-20” wide at the base, and 10” of that I-beam sits above the range area, the exact spot that I would have to install the hood; and
(b) the ceiling is a dropped sheetrock ceiling being held up by metal strips (maybe called furring strips) and rods hanging from above with approx. 2 feet of space between the sheetrock and the floor above; and
(c) The partition walls were built with metal studs.
So, assuming I can get the wiring to the hood, here are some of the questions that come to mind:
1. Is there any way to drill into the I-Beam to attach the recirc. range hood?
2. If not, are there any types of clips that exist to attach the hood to the I-beam?
3. If I was able to find a creative method of attaching the 60 lb fan to the dropped sheetrock ceiling, is that kind of a ceiling system strong enough to hold up a fan of that weight?
4. If I were to half the wall but keep about a foot of wall attached to the ceiling (top stud still attached to I-Beam by several nails) and attach the hood to the hanging wall instead, I wonder if that would require me to have some kind of post in the corner to hold up that upper portion of the wall.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.,
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