Service time: 1-2 hours
(Dear Reader – I’m no longer able to offer ceiling fan installation due to shoulder rehabilitation. This has occurred after this articles publication, but I leave it here for your information)
I’m certain I have lost work over the phone by just blurting out a price, and not justifying it. When it comes to installing a ‘simple’ ceiling fan(s), this is pretty easy to do.
The first thing you want to know about your installation, is if the electrical (octagon) box can support the weight of the fan. If you have a metal box with a solid anchor, it goes a long way to reduce the installation time. If the box is loose, or obviously unable to support the weight, the serviceman must go into your attic and install a bolstering stud that will act as a new anchor for the electrical box and carry the weight of the new fan. In all cases, your new fan will have a safety wire that is designed to hold the fan in the event the mechanical connection to the box fails. In some cases with a securely fastened box, this wire can be connected to it. Otherwise, the directions will illustrate that the security wire must be fished up into the attic and anchored to a ceiling stud or roof truss.
So, figure on 20 minutes for set-up of tarps in the attic access closet to protect the clothing and floors, erection of the ladder and running of an electrical cord and light into the attic. The amount of time the service man spends in the attic depends on how long it takes for him to dig under the insulation and find the electrical boxes, attach the safety wire or new bolstering stud and redistribute all of the newly displaced insulation – at LEAST another 30-45 minutes. OK, now there’s another 10 minutes or so to remove the tarps, and vacuum up the mess created in the closet.
A nice, expensive fan comes with blades that have complex vibration grommets and connection bracket assemblies. If you figure several minutes for each blade, you’re looking at another 15-20 minutes per fan just for blade attachment.
The above deals with fans installed on the top floor of the house. If you want a fan on a lower floor and the box will not support the weight, the drywall ceiling has to be cut open, and then repaired before the installation can start, which will easily add another 2-4 hours ++ to the service call. If your ceiling is stucco..well I won’t even go there…
Considering all that, it’s fairly easy to see now how your ‘simple’ fan took so long to install. The simple top floor installation could easily take a half day for someone who wants to DIY, and has never done it before.