It is disturbing how casually Carl drills holes through external walls. He did this in our last house – to the point I was vaguely concerned the structural integrity was compromised. The house is still standing, thankfully. I’m not surprised, therefore, that Carl drilled a hole in our garage wall within a week of moving in.

The hole is extremely useful, though, since we are venting our tumble dryer through it.

Here’s how we went about the job.

Drilling a hole in an external wall to vent a tumble dryer

You’ll need a few tools to get the job done. You can see Carl below with his SDS drill and a diamond core drill bit. You should use a drill with a safety clutch – it kicked in right before we took the picture below and it probably saved Carl’s wrist when the cutter jammed.

Our garage wall was only two bricks thick, with no cavity, so probably the easiest situation (our last house had stone rubble, not fun).

Carl drilled a pilot hole for the cutter’s pilot bit. This helps keep the cutter located while you get started. Don’t drill the pilot hole to big or the cutter will wobble. Make sure you’ve disabled hammer action on the drill to and start drilling. Slow and steady, keeping everything as lined up as possible to avoid jamming. It’s a bit slow but can’t be rushed. Carl drilled about half way from inside, then went outside to finish.

If you have a rubble wall, don’t bother with this method because the cutter will keep jamming and the chances are the stones you cut will end up falling out of the wall anyway. Unless you have a nice big stone and want a hole right in the middle of it, just dig a few out, push your tube through and fill around it with concrete.

drilling

Obviously you’ll have to choose where to drill the hole and how big. This will be a function of where you actually want to put your tumble dryer, and the kit you buy to fit the vent in the wall.

This is what you’ll end up with when you’re finished drilling – plus a lot of dust.

hole

The vent kit comes with plates to fit on each side of the wall, and then the duct from the tumble dryer fits right in.

materials

vent-and-duct

Done and dusted (or dusty?), and ready to dry all our laundry.

fitted-dryer

Shopping List

You can get a vent kit for your tumble dryer from Screwfix. The one we got included the external vent, an extensible aluminium tube to go through the wall, a plate to go on the internal wall, 8 screws and plugs, and a hose to connect to the dryer (that we didn’t need because our dryer came with its own hose with a different type of fitting).

Obviously you’ll need a tumble dryer as well. We already had ours. While we generally go second-hand with appliances, we had a lot of trouble finding a second-hand tumble dryer that worked, and ultimately bought a new one from Argos while we were in our last house.

Tools Needed

You’ll need a diamond core drill bit (aka core cutter or hole cutter) in the correct diameter (about 10mm bigger than your vent tube) and long enough to go through one layer of brick. You’ll also need a suitable drill, ideally one with a safety clutch. Hammer action isn’t needed and must not be used with the cutter or it will ruin it. Both cutters and drill are available for hire but it’s worth buying a cheap set of cutters if you’re going to be using them three or four times, especially if you already have a suitable drill. We hired a cutter once and the “wear and tear” charge that was added when we returned it was far more than the base price (still not sure if this is standard or if we got ripped off). If you do hire, make sure you ask for the right fitting for your drill (SDS isn’t the only option). We also used a 6mm masonry bit to drill holes for the plugs to hold the plates in place on both sides of the wall.

Budget Wrap-Up

We already owned the drill and tumble dryer, and we were able to borrow the core drill bit from a friend. This left us paying £11.99 total for the vent kit.

fitting a tumble dryer

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