Step 2: Remove box and cut new hole

cutting a new hole to install a ceiling fan
Photo: Shaffer Smith Photography
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Remove the old electrical box from the ceiling. If it's nailed to a joist, pry it free with a flat bar. If it's suspended from a bar, you may have to take off a metal plate to unscrew the box; then pry the bar from the joists.

Hold a 1/2-inch-thick pancake box against the ceiling, centered on a joist, and trace around it with a pencil.

Cut along the line with a drywall saw.

Tip: Hold a vacuum cleaner wand next to the saw to catch the dust.

Ask TOH users about Cooling

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    Tools List

    • wire strippers
      Wire strippers
    • nailset
      Nailsets
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • drill
      Drill
    • drywall saw
      Drywall saw
    • ratcheting screwdriver
      Screwdriver
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun

    Shopping List

    1. FAN-RATED 1/2-INCH-DEEP PANCAKE BOX

    2. MEDALLION

    made of rigid foam, not plaster, which may crack



    3. FAN BLADES

    4. FAN MOTOR

    5. LIGHT-FIXTURE HOUSING

    6. LAMP SHADES

    7. DOWN ROD, CANOPY, AND CEILING PLATE

    all included in fan kit



    8. REMOTE-CONTROL TRANSMITTER WITH 9V BATTERY

    9. TWIST-ON WIRE CONNECTORS

    10. CAULK OR SPACKLING COMPOUND

    for filling nail holes in medallion



    11. 6D FINISH NAILS

    for attaching medallion to ceiling



    12. LATEX PAINT OR ACRYLIC SPRAY PAINT

    to paint medallion; optional