Replacing bathroom fan in finished ceiling

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Old 12-31-13, 10:27 AM
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Replacing bathroom fan in finished ceiling

So I currently have this fan in my downstairs bathroom (Broan 5-1/2 Sone 70 CFM White Bath Fan). It is a 5.5 sone fan, so it is *very* loud, and I want to replace it with a lower sone fan.

However I have a problem with the cutout that currently exists in my ceiling. The current fans cutout is roughly 7.5" x 8.5" and any of the low-sone fans I have found all have cutouts of around 10" x 11" (or thereabouts anyhow). There are little tabs on the side of the fan, that you use to attach the fan to a joist in the ceiling. So the cutout required for the fan is actually bigger than the cutout for the fan box itself. I don't have access to the joists that the fan will hang on above the dry-walled ceiling, so i can't hang the fan from above.

How am I supposed to replace the fan without having to cut out a larger ceiling hole, and then be forced to do some ceiling repairs afterwards? Any ideas?
 
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Old 12-31-13, 01:08 PM
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Just going to have break some eggs of you want to make an omelet.
If this is just drywall it's a DIY 101 job to cut and repair.
What's above this ceiling to make it impossible to get to?
 
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Old 12-31-13, 01:15 PM
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Yeah I know I could cut/repair the ceiling, but if I can avoid it, why not avoid it?

The ceiling of the bathroom is right up against the joists of the main floor, so I can't access it from above.
 
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Old 12-31-13, 02:03 PM
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There are several things that may cause you to have to open up the ceiling anyway. One is that you need to secure the unit, which you have already identified. Two, you don't know which way the electrical comes into the unit. I have installed several and found that the electrical was on the opposite side of the unit. Third, you have to make a solid connection to the exhaust hose which most likely is rigid and therefore not able to be attached from the original hole.

In other words, plan on practicing your drywall repair skills. There are worse things that can happen, but sometimes the seemingly easiest of jobs turn out to be the most challenging.
 
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Old 12-31-13, 02:05 PM
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The biggest problem is not cutting the larger hole but to get the old one out.

You can fasten the new one directly thru the box into the beam if the location is near a beam.
 
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