It’s pretty easy to install a ceiling fan. All you need are all the right tools, three hands, and the proper bracing.
Good news! Two out of three are pretty easy. Three hands? Can’t help you there.
Well, maybe we can.
-Tools. Every project is a little different. Sometimes opening the ceiling is opening a can of worms. But if you don’t have wire-strippers/cutters, voltage meter, a screw driver and/or a cordless drill, you might as well leave the ceiling fan in the box. Oh, and unless you’re really tall, a ladder.
-Out of the box. Before we install a ceiling fan we always do as much pre-assembly as we can. A big table or workbench is great to spread everything out and get all the little parts organized and visible.
-Into the ceiling. When we install a ceiling fan it usually means means removing an existing light fixture and replacing it with the fan.
Before we install anything, we always check the box the wiring is in. If it’s not rated for a ceiling fan, we swap it out for one that is like a pancake box like we used in this video. A side-mount box is ideal if you have access to the framing from above, like from an attic. And if your ceiling fan location is between two joists, a spreader bar is the way to go. Each of these boxes is rated to properly support a ceiling fan’s weight and motion.
Tip: If you’re planning to install a ceiling fan and trying to figure out if you need to spend the time installing a new box, remove the light fixture and take a peek. at the box. One good signal: If you see blue plastic, chances are the box is only rated to hold a light fixture.
And about that third hand: Using a good ladder (as opposed to a step-stool or heaven forbid, a chair) is really helpful because you can keep lots of things right at your fingertips so you don’t need three hands. Easy.
To find out more about this and other projects, or to connect with a contractor, check out HomeAdvisor.