Cutting Dryer Vent Hole in Sheetrock Wall

What is the Best Method for Cutting a Dryer Vent Hole in Sheetrock?

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: What is the best method for cutting a circular hole for a dryer vent in sheetrock? I am in the process of adding a laundry room addition in my garage and want to have access to the dryer vent in the garage to clean the vent pipe. I installed the 4″ dryer vent inside the new wall and ran the vent to the outside through the attic. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer: First of all, I am glad you are not planning to just vent the dryer out to your garage. It is always important to properly vent a dryer so that the moisture does not build up in the home. The release of moist dryer air into the home can quickly lead to the formation of mold and mildew, which is a concern for both you and your home.

To cut a dryer vent hole in your sheetrock wall, first drill a small pilot hole in the sheetrock where you want to install the dryer vent.

If you are not sure the area behind the wall is free from wall studs, or wiring, etc, you can use a small section of a bent coat hanger to check. Insert the coat hanger, bent at a 90 degree angle, into the hole and spin it around. If you feel no resistance you are fine. If you do feel resistance, then find another location for the dryer vent.

Once you have established a location for the dryer vent in the sheetrock, tie a 2″ string between a nail and a pencil.

Insert the nail into the pilot hole, and make a circular mark around the pilot hole, while holding the string taught. When done you should have traced out a perfect 4″ diameter circle on your sheetrock wall with your pencil.

Now use a hole saw to cut the sheetrock out, starting at the pilot hole.

Alternatively you can use a router to cut out the dryer vent hole, but go slowly if you want a clean cut. Sometimes the router cuts so quickly you could inadvertently cut a misshaped or larger hole than desired.

For information on repairing a large drywall hole, see the “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook from  The “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to repair your damaged wall so that it looks as good as new.

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