Ceiling Fan Installation

A tropical looking ceiling fan.
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Wire strippers
Drywall saw
Caulk gun
Nail sets

One of the more versatile fixtures homeowners can add to their homes is a ceiling fan. Along with providing light to a room, ceiling fans circulate cool air in the summer and provide warmth by pushing warm air down in the winter. This dual purpose makes ceilings fans an attractive addition to any home. While ceiling fans are typically easy to install on your own, there are a few steps you should follow to ensure a proper installation.

Step 1 - Check the Electrical Box

If you have an existing light fixture in place, then installing a ceiling fan is easy because the wiring is already done. However, make sure the electrical box is replaced if it is not rated to hang a ceiling fan. You can typically find this out by looking for a rating sticker on the box. That being said, before you do anything make sure all electricity to the box is turned off. With the electricity off, remove the old light fixture and disconnect all existing wires. Try you best to avoid cutting the wires. Instead, simply twist off the plastic connectors at the wire ends.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Electrical Box

Now that the wires have been disconnected, fully remove the old electrical box. This can be tricky, especially if the old box was previously nailed to the joist. If this is the case, then use a hammer to pry the box free from the wall. With the box removed, it's time to install the new box. Hold the new box up to the existing hole and make sure it fits in properly. If it doesn’t, then trace around its edge and cut the drywall with a saw to ensure a snug fit. If the fan comes with a fan brace, then install the brace before inserting the new box into the hole.

Step 3 - Feed Through the Cables Into the Box

Before you screw in the new box, make sure all the electrical cables are fed through. Once this is done, you can place the new box in the hole and screw it into the joist. Remember, this bracket is what holds the fan in place, so make sure it's securely attached to the ceiling before moving forward.

Step 4 - Attach Ceiling Medallion

Some fans come with a medallion that adds a decorative piece to the fan. After the box is secured to the ceiling, glue the ceiling medallion into place using a bead of adhesive. If you plan on painting the medallion a different color then be sure to do this before installing it on the ceiling. Make sure all wires are not caught between the medallion and ceiling by running them through the centerpiece. Fasten the medallion into place with screws, which should be driven in with nail heads and caulked to match the ceiling.

Step 5 - Attach the Ceiling Plate

Once the medallion has been installed, it's time to attach the metal ceiling plate. Again, run the wires all the way through the plate and screw it into the electrical box to secure it.

Step 6 - Run the Wires Through the Canopy

Place the main fan unit on a flat surface and make sure the wires from the motor are exposed through the center of the canopy. Next, twist the down-rod pipe into the motor and use a wrench to tighten it in place. When running the wires, make sure they are not mangled in any way and and are placed clean through the canopy.

Step 7 - Connect the House Wires To the Fan Wires

Take the main motor and connect the canopy to the ceiling plate. It’s best to only hook one side up to the plate, then use wire connectors to connect the wires going from the ceiling to the ones you pulled from the motor in the last step. Follow the instructions in the fan’s manual when connecting the house wires to the fans wires. After this is completed, attach the other side securely to the ceiling plate. Make sure the wires fit nicely into the box. If they don’t, you’ll have to use wire cutters to cut the wires to a desired length.

Step 8 - Connect the Blades

With the motor in place it's time to connect the fan blades. Follow the instructions that came with the fan by attaching each blade with the provided screws. Then, plug in the fan’s light fixture into the wires hanging from the bottom of the motor. Make sure you install any additional shades and light bulbs per the instruction manual. After everything has been installed, turn the power back on and test out the fan.