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How To Install, And How NOT To Install, A Bedroom Ceiling Fan Bracket

When you consider how to install, and how not to install, a bedroom ceiling fan bracket, everything has its do-s and don't-s.

This is one of five ceiling fan locations.

They were installed after these folks moved in.

Not having bedroom ceiling fans, these folks opted for the comfort of having them.

In a previous post about electrical usage, ceiling fan installation is a very smart move from a energy-usage point of view.

A ceiling fan lends comfort to a room for very little money, about the equivalent of a 75 watt light bulb!

So, to put one in each bedroom is a far cheaper way to make the room comfortable then, say, air conditioning!

Let's have a look.

This bracket is perfectly installed.

It is anchored by roof rafters on each side.  It holds a lot of weight!

The box wired properly, with a connector clamp, and there is a cover protecting the box so it is properly encased.

They used a box that allows insulation to cover it.

They bought and installed exactly the right bracket.

This is how to install a bedroom ceiling fan bracket!

It is a Best Practice.

But wait!  I said this box allows insulation to be laid back over it!

Where is the insulation?

The insulation in this attic is 15" deep.  It is a good amount, providing a good thermal barrier, as desired.

But insulation is only effective when it is level and uniform!  There should not be holes, gaps, divots, or the like, and it should NEVER be flattened out under plywood for storage in the attic space.

There are five bedrooms in this house.  Each has now been equipped with its own ceiling fan.

And each ceiling fan bracket location, from the attic space, looks like the photos above!

This is how NOT to install a bedroom ceiling fan bracket!

Each of these locations represents 6 or 8 square feet of area with insulation, or with little insulation.

It is NOT a Best Practice.

HEAT SEEKS COLD!

In summer, heat is radiating INTO each bedroom.  In winter, heat is whooshing OUT from each bedroom!

The job would be perfect if finished.  And finished is defined as spreading the insulation back over each ceiling fan bracket so it is level and uniform and provides the intended R-value!

My recommendation:  DIY strikes again!  Or the electrician!  I have found in my vast experience with life that electricians are usually concerned with electricity!  The rest is periphery!  And the DIY guy just slaps it up, hopefully reading the instructions.  But I bet the installation instructions with these brackets say NOTHING about attic insulation!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 35 commentsJay Markanich • October 06 2013 05:56AM

Comments

It's kind of ironic, isn't it?  But, maybe they can add the insulation back. - Debbie

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) over 4 years ago

Of course WOW Counsin.  This installation was close, but no cigar.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

They probably uncovered them so you could find them easier... 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 4 years ago

How can I inspect the wiring of something covered with insulation, right Fred?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

And they'll be complaining about the high fuel costs for heat/cool

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Exactly. They were preparing for their inspection!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 4 years ago

This is great DYI information. Interesting to hear that even one hole in an installation spread can have such a drastic effect.

Posted by Vanessa Saunders, From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York (Global Property Systems Real Estate) over 4 years ago

I have heard sellers say one reason they were moving was because it cost too much to heat and cool the house Lenn.  And the attic space was full of boxes, missing insulation and plywood.

It took you to help me realize that Fred!  Thanks!

Actually it can have the same effect as an open window Vanessa.  But don't ask me to calculate the size of the opening!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay - Thank you for sharing another excellent blog about how to install and not to install a bedroom ceiling fan bracket.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) over 4 years ago

John - when something is done it needs to be done top to bottom.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay~ I'm sure that happens a lot, unless the installer is a general contractor that knows better!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 4 years ago

The general contractor thinks he knows everything Donna, as usual.  And does not, also as usual.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Looks like a job well done ....Almost!  looks like you found another short cut, how long does it take to do it right. A lot time then driving back getting your equipment off the truck to fix your laziness. 

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) over 4 years ago

Who knows how this was done or by whom Chuck, but the job was not finished!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Let me count the times I have shown a home where the homeowner tried to install a ceiling fan instead of doing the right thing of using an electrician. Thankfully I know my limitations and the last time i checked I didn't have an electrical license.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 4 years ago

Best to leave the specialities for the specialists Joe!  As you say.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

I bet that's exactly why there is no insulation - the instructions didn't tell them to add it! 

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 4 years ago

You are on to something Kat.  Here's the conversation - "Honey, what should I do about the insulation?  What do the instructions say?  Nothing.  Then don't worry about it."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Hi Jay,

I'm sure they were just waiting for the inspector to get finished then cover it. HA HA.

Have a great evening in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 4 years ago

They were almost there!  Luckily it's a pretty easy fix to go back and add that insulation. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) over 4 years ago

This is a great reminder of why I hire out for jobs like these. Yes, I could do it myself, but why? This is something that someone else can do much better and with much less stress. 

Posted by Terri Woods, Selling Real Estate in San Antonio, Texas & Area (Bexar and Comal Counties) over 4 years ago

Looks like they started out the right way but didn't complete the job. Certainly can make a difference.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 4 years ago

They wanted me to see the good installation job Clint!

Marc - it's an easy fix for sure.  And a good object lesson for my clients, giving me the opportunity to talk with them.

Terri - keep the specialities for the specialists.

Bill - overall this would be about the equivalent of a whole bedroom ceiling without insulation.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

It is best to let the experts handle things that we are not familiar with.

 

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 4 years ago

Good call Jay....electricians would drill through plumbing stacks if you let'em lol.

Posted by Goran Utvic, We Buy & Sell Chicago Houses Fast (606 Homes LLC | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656) over 4 years ago

For sure Gita!  And when you are done, be sure all the steps have been accomplished!

Goran - they will!  And so will plumbers, even cutting joists and beams!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago
It always seems that whenever people have work done, something is always left incomplete.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) over 4 years ago

Jay, at least it is an easy fix. It's obvious the electrician or the homeowner wasn't schooled in insulation.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 4 years ago

I think when you start cutting holes into your attic and wiring things, it's time to call a professional.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 4 years ago

Uh oh....I recently had ceiling fans installed....I best go up into the attic to check it out.....

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 4 years ago

Bill - very often!  At least this is easy to fix.

My bet is the homeowner Mike.  But who knows?

That's my opinion too, Suzanne, but the electrician may not think about insulation!

Good idea Christine!  Let me know!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Great post Jay, I wonder how many ceiling fans are just mounted on a standard light box without the extra support from this fan bracket.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) over 4 years ago

Hard to know Bob!  But perhaps too many!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay, Have you ever seen a tradesman put insulation back over something like this after work has been performed? I never see it here that I know of.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Not sure I ever have Don!  When we had a security system installed in our house, years ago, I asked the guy to please put insulation back over the siren and smoke detector when he was done.  He said he would.  To be truthful, I have never checked!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

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