When working by yourself, how do some of you get the fan box flush with the ceiling when installing after the sheetrock etc. is up? The latest installation I did worked out pretty good, but I'm still looking for a better way. I cut my hole, used one of the new Raco metal fan boxes that has a detachable bracket that nails to the ceiling joist. The box itself works great when your measurements puts it close to a ceiling joist. You can put the brackett on it and it goes up through the hole without much trouble at all. My only little problem was trying to keep it in place til I went up in the attic to screw it in place. I finally used duct tape to hold it flush but was a little reluctant because I thought it might pull off some of the finish on the ceiling. I didn't overlap it much so it worked alright and no mess on the ceiling, although I was a little afraid it would fall when I finally went up in the attic, but all went well. Has anyone else got a better way when working by yourself? Thanks for your thoughts.. Steve..
Greg, I'm not to keen on a rare earth magnet. I can see where the magnet would hold up against the box, but what would keep it from falling down from the ceiling? I tried masking tape, but the tape I had on the truck was probably too weak. I may try to get me some painter's masking tape. I think it's a little stronger than household tape. Thanks for the reply. Steve
Sure am glad we have "progressed" to these fancy, .abor-saving, fan-rated wonder-boxes!
Before there was any of this bureaucratic Jabberwoky, you simply used a 4-square with a round mud ring, selected to fit the thickness of the ceiling .... or, you used a pancake and added a 2x4 to the framing (thin side vertical).
Since we don't do that anymore, you're left to letting the box hang by the wire, while you fasten something - even a bit of scrap- to the face of the box. Once you're in the attic, you fish the box up, pulling just hard enough that you can feel the scrap touch the ceiling.
There used to be/is a fan box & bar that you install from the 'room' side. The bar has guide feet that sit on the topside of the ceiling rock. You cut the hole, push any insulation out of the way, insert the bar thru the hole. You tighten the support bar thru the 4"round cutout hole; it has barbs that penetrate the joists. Then you mount the box to the bar. Done.
There are similar 'kits' available at the big box stores.
I still like the 'old way' of a 2x4 and a listed box.
As to keeping the box flush to the sheetrock to work from above, using the 8/32 box screws mount a 6-8" flat stick (or metal) & when you pull the box up, the face will be flush w/ the rock.
John, thanks for the idea of the stick. That may the trick I'm looking for in case my masking tape don't work. Guess I was looking too hard when it was something simple. I may make me a "custom" stick with padding on it, so it don't scar the ceiling in any way. Good idea!! As far as the bar boxes goes that bite into the ceiling joist, I've used them before, but don't seem to trust them. I'm sort of afraid they won't "bite" into the joist enough, then "boom", my insurance will have to kick in to pay for the damages or hospital bill when it falls:) Only time I would consider using them if I could not get into the attic to the area the ceiling fan was to be installed, or on the bottom story of a 2 story house. Thanks for the replies. I need all the help I can get while working by myself:) PS: Another thought. I'd better use a light weight stick, such as one you stir paint with, otherwise the weight will make the box I'm talking about, drop down on the floor. Also this might be hard if you had to nail a 2x4 up between the joist. Kinda hard holding the box up with a string or whatever, while trying to nail the 2x4 in place:(
I thought everyone just used the expanding bar fan box kits for old work these days. The box depth is generally preset on those. If it's right on a joist, I'll use one of the plastic saddle type fan boxes. I can practically hang from one hand off a step ladder on one of those expanding bars before the box is installed, so I find them to be more than adequate for the average ceiling fan.