• In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor and electrician Scott Caron head to Denver to install a fan on a cathedral ceiling.

    1. Turn off the electrical power to a nearby wall switch
    2. Unscrew the cover plate and switch from the switch box.
    3. Use needle-nose pliers to snap off the plastic tab from the rear of the switch box.
    4. Use a drywall saw to cut an access hole in the wall near the ceiling directly above the switch box.
    5. Drill a ¾-inch-diameter hole through the top wall plate.
    6. Use a drywall saw to cut a second access hole in the ceiling on the opposite side of the wall.
    7. Push a fish tape through the hole in the switch box and up to the access hole at the top wall plate.
    8. Attach a length of 14-3 electrical cable to the lower end of the fish tape, and pull the cable up through the wall to the access hole at the top wall plate.
    9. Push the fish tape from the top plate to the second access hole in the ceiling.
    10. Attach the cable to the fish tape, then pull the cable across the ceiling to the second access hole.
    11. Cut a round hole in the ceiling at the ceiling-fan location.
    12. Push the fish tape from the second access hole down to the ceiling-fan hole.
    13. Attach a 14-2 electrical cable to the end of the fish tape, then pull the cable to the second access hole.
    14. At the second access hole, install an old-work plastic fixture box, then make the wire connections: white to white, black to black, and bare copper ground to bare copper ground. Leave the red wire unattached.
    15. Screw a blank cover plate over the fixture box.
    16. Snap a cable connector onto a pancake box, pull the cable through the connector, then screw the box to the roof rafter.
    17. Install a 36-inch-long downrod to the ceiling fan.
    18. Screw the fan's mounting bracket to the pancake box, then fasten the fan's brace to the bracket.
    19. Hang the ceiling fan's ball joint onto the brace.
    20. Make the wire connections at the fan box, then attach the fan blades to the ceiling fan.
    21. Install the light kit to the underside of the fan.
    22. Make the wire connections at the switch box, then reinstall the switch and cover plate.
    23. Turn on the power and test the operation of the fan and light.
    • Difficulty: Hard
      requires mid-level electrical skills

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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • multi-bit screwdriver
      • needlenose pliers
        Needle-nose pliers
      • drywall saw
        Drywall saw, used to cut access holes in wall and ceiling
      • drill
        Cordless drill with ¾-inch-diameter bit, for boring cable holes
      • fish tape
        Fish tape, used to pull wires
      • scaffolding
        Scaffolding and ladders, for working at ceiling height
      • lineman's pliers
        Linesman pliers, for cutting and twisting wires
      • wire strippers
        Wire strippers, used to remove insulation from wires

      Shopping List

      Remote-control ceiling fan with light kit

      14-3 and 14-2 nonmetallic electrical cable, used to power the switch and fan

      Electrical tape

      Old-work fixture box and blank cover plate, for concealing wire connections

      Pancake electrical box with cable connector, used to mount the ceiling fan

      Twist-on wire connectors, for joining together electrical wires

      36-inch-long downrod, used to lower the fan from the ceiling