10 Steps to Seamless Ceiling Fan Installation

Blow yourself away with your DIY skills

Paige Novak
Written by Paige Novak
Updated May 11, 2022
A spacious and luxurious bedroom with a ceiling fan
Photo: moodboard / Adobe Stock
Difficulty

Intermediate

Perfect for handy homeowners.

Time to complete

4 hours

2–4 hours

Cost

$100–$275

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Step ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire cutters

SUPPLIES

  • New ceiling fan (comes with fan kit)
  • Fan mounting bracket
  • Screws for the mounting bracket
  • Electrical tape
  • Light bulbs

From covered patios to living rooms, fans keep you cool in the hottest of months. Plus, installing a new fan is a stylish and functional update to any room. If you plan to DIY ceiling fan installation, follow the steps below for a seamless experience.

  1. Turn Off Power

    First and foremost, turn off the power to the room where you’re replacing the fan. Then, go to your circuit box and turn off the breaker for the room. Double-check that the power is completely off before any work begins.

  2. Find the Screws

    A man installing a ceiling fan
    Photo: Bill Oxford / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

    After the power is off, it’s time to find the screws that mount the fan's canopy to the ceiling. Generally speaking, the screws are on the sides of the canopy. However, some are within slots on the sides too. Find these screws and unscrew them using the screwdriver.

    Once these screws are loose, be aware the fan is no longer completely attached to the ceiling. In this case, grab the base and pull it gently to come off of the mount.

  3. Disconnect the Wires

    When you unscrew the canopy from the ceiling, the old fan will be in limbo and you might need a hand on it to keep it secure. You’ll want to disconnect the wires to thoroughly release the old fan from the ceiling at this time.

    A second hand is always a wise idea at this point to help you handle the ceiling fan while you’re standing on the step ladder. Then, while a friend is helping you hold up the base, you can get to work untwisting the caps on the wires to break the wired connection completely. At this point, the old fan should be ready to be disregarded.

  4. Remove the Bracket

    It’s essential to get rid of the old bracket to make room for the new bracket. To remove the bracket, you need to unscrew the two large screws in the mount. Be sure to save these screws to use for the new bracket.

  5. Install the New Bracket

    Your new ceiling fan will come with a bracket you should install most of the time. This specific bracket is for your ceiling fan’s weight and particular needs, and it works to ensure that you balance your ceiling fan properly. To install the new bracket, you simply wind the mounting piece into the ceiling. 

    Once it’s in, you use the screws from the old bracket, then tighten them until they’re secure with your screwdriver. When the new bracket is tight, you’re good to start unboxing a ceiling fan.

  6. Cut the Wires

    Get excited because you finally get to unbox the ceiling fan you’ve been waiting to install. When you take the fan out of the box, you’ll notice the wires coming out from the motor that will later be connected. These wires are likely going to be way longer than you need. 

    If your ceiling is 9 feet tall or higher, you’ll need to use an extender pole. You thread the wires through the pole before cutting them. If your ceiling fan is less than 9 feet, it should be flush with the wall. Grab your wire cutters and trim the wires to a short length, exposing the wire ends.

  7. Connect the Wires

    After trimming the wires to a reasonable length (enough to be shoved back into the ceiling), you’re going to want to connect the wires. Typically, the same colors connect to matching colors as a general rule of thumb.

    • Black wire connects to black wire

    • White wire connects to white or other neutral wire

    • Green wire connects to copper wire (sometimes this wire is green)

    • Blue wire (occasionally striped) connects to red or other colored wire

    Once the wires are connected, you should cap the connected wires and then use electrical tape to bundle them together before placing them into the ceiling.

  8. Screw in the Motor

    A man connecting a new ceiling fan
    Photo: Yoke Fong Moey / E+ / Getty Images

    Next, after connecting the wires, you need to screw in the motor to the ceiling. Screw the ceiling fan into the previously mounted bracket using a screwdriver. Generally, the manufacturer's instructions will show where your specific screws are on your new fan.

  9. Connect the Light Piece

    Depending on the ceiling fan you bought, your light piece (the thing that connects your bulbs to the fixture) either comes pre-attached or not. If it’s not attached, you typically attach the matching colored wires then screw in the light piece.

  10. Install Blades and Bulbs

    Let out a deep sigh of relief because you’ve done it. Now’s the easy part—install the blades of your fan. Each is either screwed in using a screwdriver or clicks in with a specific mechanism. 

    Lastly, screw in the correct light bulbs designated on the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, flip the circuit breaker back on. That’s it! If your ceiling fan isn’t working at this point or installation didn’t go as planned, call a local electrical company for help.

DIY Ceiling Fan Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

Before moving forward with ceiling fan installation, it’s important to note that, for your safety, a professional electrician should handle the installation in a room where there is no pre-existing wiring or junction box. 

Also, if you are new to DIY projects and don’t have any electrical experience, you also might consider letting a pro handle this task for you.  

If you plan to hire a ceiling fan expert, then the labor cost of ceiling fan installation will be anywhere from $50 to $600.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.