How do some of you install a ceiling fan box in an existing house, when working by yourself? The kind where you have to install a piece of wood in the attic, and screw the box to the wood. I have problems getting the box flush with the ceiling, and level. I have tried masking tape on the ceiling to keep the box in place while I go in the attic and position my piece of wood, but the tape don't stick well enough, and plus it may damage the ceiling texture. It would be nice if they would make a box that could be temporarily positioned in place, and strong enough to hold til it could be secured in the attic. I know with a helper this wouldn't be a problem. He could tell when the box in flush while the other one nails in the attic. But I can't seem to come up with an idea at this time. Any help would be appreciated. Steve...
I'm afraid that I don't recall the name of the manufacturer, but there is a company that makes a box & support that can actually be installed through the 4" hole in the ceiling without making any trips into the attic.
Otherwise, try this, rip or plane a 2x2 to a thickness of 1" (when dealing with 1/2" drywall). Lay 2 pieces of this 1" thick material on the top of the drywall on either side of the hole in the ceiling. Lay a 2x4 flat on the 1" spacers. Run 3" long drywall screws through the joists or trusses to secure the 2x4 in place. Poke wire through the hole, go downstairs & install the wire into the box, push box through the hole & secure to the 2x4. Hang fan. Crack open a cold, you've earned it.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: ceiling fan boxes#52137 05/20/0509:00 PM05/20/0509:00 PM
I just put a fan in my bedroom last weekend. I used a fan bracket box right to the side of the joist. I think it may have been RACO or Appleton. The box is sunk below the bracket 1/2 inch so I just rested it on the drywall from above and drilled my pilot holes and ran the screws.
The only reason I used a deep bracket was because I needed a box to feed my new cans from, otherwise I prefer pancake. Most of the time a joist is within an acceptable distance to center to just hit a joist. Buzz a holesaw and done. 1/2" box flushes itself.
Re: ceiling fan boxes#52138 05/20/0509:27 PM05/20/0509:27 PM
Here is what I have been using lately, They available at most parts places also. A little more expensive than 2x4's and nails but it pays for itself with the time saved http://www.azpartsmaster.com/shopazp/Ceiling+Fan+Braces+(RAC100).html
Re: ceiling fan boxes#52139 05/20/0510:50 PM05/20/0510:50 PM
Rich, haven't you ever had those pop the nail heads in the drywall? I've never used them them, but when I first saw them, the first thing I thought was that it would probably pop the nail or scew heads as it pried the joists apart.
Re: ceiling fan boxes#52140 05/20/0511:08 PM05/20/0511:08 PM
Thanks for the replies. As far as the box with the supports that screw into the joist without going into the attic, I've never had to much confidence in them. Don't look like there's enough of the "spike" that goes into the joist to hold good enough, although I know they're UL approved. Just seem to be afraid to trust them. Tom, the suggestion you made, makes sense, seeing that the fan box I am talking about is 1 1/2 inches deep. I wish I would have thought of that earlier today. I had a time with 3 fan boxes in an old rewire I was doing must have been the heat and insulation Thanks again.. Steve
Re: ceiling fan boxes#52141 05/20/0511:12 PM05/20/0511:12 PM
If it's between the joists, I use a method similar to Tom's, but use 2 pieces of 1/2" drywall for the 1" scrap. I've tried those bars like Rich & they were a time consuming PITA. If it's near a joist I use a HD bracket box against the joist, and if it centers on the joist I use a ceiling fan pan.
Re: ceiling fan boxes#52143 05/20/0511:22 PM05/20/0511:22 PM
As far as the box with the supports that screw into the joist without going into the attic, I've never had to much confidence in them. Don't look like there's enough of the "spike" that goes into the joist to hold good enough, although I know they're UL approved. Just seem to be afraid to trust them.
Have you ever used them? They work great. You can practically hang on the bar it grabs so tight.