This has easily been the most annoying (didn’t say difficult) house project I’ve done to date. I spent half a day going from bathroom to attic, to bathroom to get the idea. Let me relate to you my tale.

This is as the original fixture. The fan unit was so old that new ones were no longer made, so online prices naturally started at $80. I could buy a new fan for that price, which is what I did. The ceiling cutout was originally 11” in diameter, which limits what I can replace it with. So I settle for the one with the leading pic. It was actually pricey at $120, but the ceiling cutout for the new unit was suppose to be 10 5/8” x 11 1/2”, which I figured I could make work.

So the instructions that stated to make the 10 5/8” x 12 1/2” hole for the fan lied. It wouldn’t fit. It had to keep trimming open the hole until the unit finally had enough room. This came back to bite me later on. Also, now would be a good time to mention this is my first time doing this...ever...

Some attic pics with my awesome discolored blown insulation.


When I finally got the fan unit in, I had to hook up the electrical stuff. This was the easiest part, since I was actually prepared for this segment. The unit had a fan, a light, and a nightlight; all with their own wires. So I combined the fan and light wires into one switch, since that’s all I had to work with.


Pictured below is the sole light switch for this unit. I plan on putting some trim around it later.

Last Saturday I got everything in and working, was really windy that day, and the wind got into the attic, and I’m not even exaggerating with this next line, the blown insulation was physically being blown into the house through the larger cutout opening I had made. I apparently don’t have a pic of it, but all four sides of the unit had some extra space between the unit and the ceiling. Here’s a pic with the light unit attached, and you can sort of see what I mean.


Anyways, back to the drawing board. I was forced to make the new problem go away. So after trying various ideas, I settled with spackle. Spackle on a popcorn ceiling....hmmm...I straight up told my wife “function over fashion”.


This pic is with the 2nd layer of spackle.

In conclusion, this job wasn’t too difficult, it just dragged on for too long for me. On my own (and my reluctant wife who just helped put the unit into the ceiling), it took me most of Saturday for installation, then that night I did the spackle, waited 24 hrs for it to dry, Sunday night did spackle again, waited another 24 hrs, and Monday night it was complete.


The most annoying part was traversing the attic because, let’s be honest here, it’s hard to get in and move around. Besides the attic part, it wasn’t too difficult, and I think anyway can do it if they put their mind to it.

What I desire next is to go back and add another Romex line (or two) so I can operate the fan and light (and possible the night light if desired) separately. Right now the fan and light are on the same switch, which I feel just wastes electricity. Of course, I plan on doing this without cutting into the wall, so I’ll have to preplan my method of attack.

Anyways, thanks for reading. I enjoy making these Houselopnik posts because 1. I get excited when I accomplished something new, and I really like to share my experience, and 2. Telling other people it’s not that hard to do and to inspire them. Plus, if you can learn from my mistakes, why not?