Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling
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crmaslyn
Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling

Hello,

I am trying to figure out how to install a ceiling fan when your ceiling is 16' above the floor. I don't want to rent a manlift for this task and there has to be an easier way than trying to open a 90 pound A-frame ladder with a 8'6" spread in a 12x14 room. The location I want to put it is already wired and I will verify that there is a ceiling fan bracket once I figure out how to get up there. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Ryan

dj1
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling

You can rent a 10' scaffolding to install the fan, the kind you put together on the spot.

However, what will you do if you wanted to get up the for service? change a light bulb, clean the blades or reverse the rotation?

crmaslyn
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling

I wasn't sure if scaffolding would get me high enough, but it would permit me to have a helper... I am going to use a 6' downrod to get the fan to the optimal height for the room. Thanks for the reply!

jkirk
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling

scaffold comes in 5' high sections that you keep stacking on top of one another, you can also get 3' sections.. just go up as high as you need. if its a odd height you can set up 3 platforms and work off a step ladder on that if needed. just be sure or your balance if you do this though

sparky1
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling

your gonna want to use scaffolding! I havnt installed that many celing fans maybe only 30 or so. The ones I have are all a pain in the azz though!! so you will want a nice good surface to work off of. A step ladder isnt bad, if your use to putting up fans. but if its a new thing to you good luck.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling

According to the situation you might be able to use an extension ladder by placing the top against a supported part of the ceiling on one side, the placing the base on the opposite side of the room. It will provide as stable a work platform as using an extension ladder can. When setting this up keep in mind that you're going to be about six feet below the peak standing straight up so the ladder will be away from the peak at the top. I do this all the time and it works well so long as the ceiling isn't too flat where the ladder rests on it.

Phil

dj1
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling
Mastercarpentry wrote:

According to the situation you might be able to use an extension ladder by placing the top against a supported part of the ceiling on one side, the placing the base on the opposite side of the room. It will provide as stable a work platform as using an extension ladder can. When setting this up keep in mind that you're going to be about six feet below the peak standing straight up so the ladder will be away from the peak at the top. I do this all the time and it works well so long as the ceiling isn't too flat where the ladder rests on it.

Phil

Phil,

What you are suggesting is probably something you've done many times, but is extremely dangerous for most folks, because it can very quickly lead to a fall.

Scaffolding are easy to move in and out the house in pieces, and they are safer to walk and work on.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling
dj1 wrote:

Phil,

What you are suggesting is probably something you've done many times, but is extremely dangerous for most folks, because it can very quickly lead to a fall.

Scaffolding are easy to move in and out the house in pieces, and they are safer to walk and work on.

DJ, I appreciate your thoughts but the OP seems to be ladder knowledgeable, having mentioned "A-Frame" ladders. The method I suggest is as safe as using an extension ladder anywhere, and it has the benefit of not 'walking' the way A-Frames can and often do. In a room with enough ceiling pitch it can be impossible for the ladder to fall since it will hit the other side and stop. Using any ladder requires caution and care in set-up.

Is scaffolding safer? Sure, but safest would be to hire someone else to do the job, wouldn't it? And by the time you get your scaffolding in place I'll be wired up and installing the trim. I do appreciate your input but to deny a DIY'er use of a ladder is to essentially keep them from doing 3/4 of the things they will want to do.

Unlike many here I have much working experience with extension, step, and A Frame ladder to 60', experience with freestanding scaffolding to 30', the same stuff 6 floors up tied off, bucket lifts, scissor lifts, swinging stages and once a home-made bosun's chair. I also climb radio towers on a semi-regular basis. I do not expect everyone else to understand what I do with using this stuff, but of all these methods my solution is practical and reasonably safe- it will work just fine if the ladder is set up properly. There is no failure-proof method of working off the ground, there are only relative levels of safety.

Any method used to access work off the ground carries some risk and requires that you set it up and use it properly. Anyone who doesn't understand that is going to get hurt. That is beyond my control. I'm not going to suggest anything unsafe here, but I'm not going to post a disclaimer to everyone wanting to paint their kitchen that the stepladder they will use can be dangerous- in fact more people get hurt from those than extension ladders, which are almost always a more stable work platform when used correctly. Used incorrectly any tool (including ladders and scaffolds) can cause you harm. I believe that most who come here for advice will understand that- those who don't will learn the hard way and you cannot help them; they will find some way of hurting themselves. It's called natural selection and is what has kept me intact and in business for over 3 decades.

Kindest Regards and with all respect,
Phil

dj1
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling

Phil,

I really see where you're coming from and I respect your experience.

About 10 years ago, a neighbor asked me for a good way to clean 2nd floor windows, from the outside. I told him to get a ladder tall enough to reach safely, get up there and clean. That's what window cleaners do. I warned him about the risks and told him not to blame me if he fell.

Well, he got the ladder, and fell from about 8 feet, not from the 2nd floor.

He spent 6 months in bed and after 4 years he was still limping.

This is why I stopped recommending going up on ladders. You never know how much experience the fellow who asks you has.

A. Spruce
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling
dj1 wrote:

Well, he got the ladder, and fell from about 8 feet, not from the 2nd floor.

He spent 6 months in bed and after 4 years he was still limping.

This is why I stopped recommending going up on ladders. You never know how much experience the fellow who asks you has.

You cannot save people from themselves, no matter how many laws politicians try to create. :rolleyes: The best you can do is offer your knowledge and experience with the given caveat that EVERYONE is responsible for their own actions and safety. You had nothing to do with your neighbor using a ladder that may not have been set properly or used properly or was beyond the expertise of the neighbor. You cannot be held accountable for that.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Ceiling Fan Installation - Cathedrial Ceiling
A. Spruce wrote:

You cannot save people from themselves....

Exactly- I just didn't want to be he first to say that here. I do mention uncommon and unseen hazards I am aware of, but if your common sense will not sustain what you're trying to do you will do yourself in anyway and that is not my problem- or anyone else's except your own.

Phil

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