Would you believe me if I said you can do this? Because that is what I am saying! Would you believe me if I said you’d also have fun doing it? Because I am also saying that you will have fun too! It’s okay to call me crazy, maybe I am a little. But trust me, you can do it. I believe in you! Here is how I installed a ceiling fan in our guest room, and I hope this inspires you to have courage and believe in yourself to do your own home projects!
So I will start by telling you that I did spend a lot of time in the attic, so it is best to do this first thing in the morning and on a cool day. The attic is always a billion degrees hotter than your house. You can say that I am exaggerating, but after a few hours up there and you come down looking like you went swimming, you’ll agree with me. Just remember that I said this would be fun 🙂 Before I get started sharing my process, I will provide these safety notes: I am not an electrician so it is always best to talk to an electrician (I have a buddy who knows everything about everything so I consult him so I stay safe). I am fortunate to have the original plans to my house, so I always review those before doing anything, I never want to compromise the integrity of my home. I also never to electrical work alone. I had my husband be my helper to check on my in the attic and make sure I was hydrated and also stayed safe. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: always turn the breaker off before doing any electrical work. Electricity is no joke! But when you do it right, the possibilities are endless and fun! So this is does not take the place of certified electrical advice, but rather a story of inspiration to help motivate you to do your own projects!
Now that we have gotten those little tid-bits out of the way…on to the fun stuff!
Step 1: Gather Supplies – you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of a project and realize you’re missing a key tool! The research stage may be boring and lengthy, but it is well worth being prepared. My research stage was longer than normal because I was relocating a light in order to install the ceiling fan. We had a wall scone that wasn’t very effective, so the ceiling fan was going to take the place of the former light. Thus, the research stage was lengthy and informative!
- Retro-Brace adjustable ceiling pan from Home Depot
- Fan/Light Dimmer switch from Lowes
- Wire Cutters
- Drill + 1/2″ drill bit
- 2×4 wood scraps
- Wire (10′) I wanted wire that allowed me to have my fan and light on different switches
Step 2: Locate – this is SO important. After all the hard work you will put in, you really don’t want to get to the end of the project and realize the ceiling fan is in the wrong spot. I measured for the center of the room and made a mark and then found a long thin piano-wire (it was actually a survey flag) to stick through the ceiling up into the attic. I had my husband stand in the room and poke the wire up while I climbed in to the attic to locate it.
Step 3: Install the Box + Feed the Wire- Since the location of my ceiling fan didn’t conveniently position itself next to a truss, I needed to use an adjustable ceiling mount to make sure that is was structurally supported. I got up in the attic and measured my spacing and made a box (because I am overly careful about structural integrity, even though I am sure the mount would be strong enough). The mount found at Home Depot is incredibly easy to use and has it’s own instruction guide that I would give five stars for clarity. To feed the wire to the switch I needed to drill a hole through the cap plate and top plate. This took some but don’t rush it! (I was really hot by this time, it’s okay to take water breaks. I really didn’t want to get dizzy and fall through the ceiling. That would have taken much more time to repair than taking a water/cool air break).
Step 4: Install the Ceiling Fan!- Installing the ceiling fan is not difficult, it just takes many careful steps. Thankfully many many light fixtures come with easy instructions. The key is to remember to connect the wires properly (explained in the fixture instructions) and to purchase a ceiling fan that has fan blades at the appropriate length. The length is determined by the size of the room and building code. It is important to know your local code that states the distance from ceiling fans to smoke detectors. Safety is so important. Once you have these details figure out, you get to see the final project come together!
This was such a rewarding project and we are thrilled to now have a guest room that stays comfortable in the summer time! Every home is different so always make sure you ask the experts for their help and advice but hopefully this post encourage you to go after your own projects! You can do it!