I'd like to install a washer-dryer that vents outside. What's involved, and how much will it cost?

Q. I want to replace my washer-dryer with one that vents to the outside. What’s involved and much should it cost?

A. As much as I’m reluctant to answer a question with “it depends,” in this case, it really does depend. Adding a dryer vent is not a small job. It has a lot of specific elements which, undertaken by themselves–i.e., not a part of a larger remodeling project–can prove complex and expensive.

Start by asking your property manager whether the building will let you create an external vent and, if so, the process you need to go through in order to build one. New York City codes, and most condo and co-op boards, require that you file a permit to do a job like this, meaning that you’d have to hire an architect to prepare filing drawings, which could run you $2,000 or more. (The permit will cost a minimum of $250.)

Keep in mind that you definitely won’t be allowed to tap your new vent into any existing kitchen or bathroom exhausts, which are designed to remove air from internal rooms like kitchens and baths that generate odors/humidity. Exhaust ducts draw air at a very specific rate, calculated for the number of apartments that share the shaft. Tapping into the shaft with a dryer exhaust–which pushes hot air–upsets the balance of the draw, and can be a fire hazard.

Read the full post at Brick Underground’s Renovation Qs, where you can find the unvarnished answers to your renovation conundrums.