Ceiling joist - bathroom fan replacement

Old 01-15-23, 02:41 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Ceiling joist - bathroom fan replacement

I'm in the process of replacing our bath fans. It's clear they were put in before the ceiling, all the screws are angled down. I'm not able to get the fan unsecured from the ceiling joist. Have tried different bits, screw extractor, handheld screw drivers of different lengths, brute force. Nothing will get these screws out.
I don't want to cut up the ceiling to access it.
Is it possible to cut out the piece of ceiling joist, about 1ft worth then sister in a new piece or is that just not worth the structural damage and it's better to just cut up the ceiling and fix it after?
Old 01-15-23, 05:43 PM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,187
Received 175 Upvotes on 143 Posts
Don't you hate it when what should be a simple job becomes a PITA because of something like this.

Don't cut the joist. You can't just put in a short replacement piece and have it be able to support the necessary loads.

Several ways to go. Use a rotary tool with a cutting wheel or burr to cut off/grind off the screw heads and then pry the fan away. Or an angle grinder if there's room. Use an oscillating multi-tool with bimetal metal cutting blade to cut the screws. Use a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade to cut the screws. even if you have to cut slots in the sheetrock to slice the screws they will be easy to patch. Or just cut out the sheetrock. Patching sheetrock is really not that big a deal unless it's textured and even then it's not terrible.

[eta:] It may be easier depending on the fan design to just destroy the housing by prying it off the screws; they are usually made of thin metal that will pull off the screws easily by using a prybar.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: