We looked at several places for the “ceiling fan of our dreams” (OK, slight exaggeration there), but ended up back where we started, Home Depot. We fell for the cool curved blades on the Hampton Bay Altura ceiling fan. It came in several sizes (56, 60, and 68) and two finishes – rubbed bronze and brushed nickel (brushed nickel is no longer available as of April 2016). We also found a couple similar looking fans for the other upstairs bedrooms.

First step in mounting a ceiling fan is read the instructions. The second step is read the instructions. The next step, if it is not in the instructions is to turn off the power to the room, or if you are unsure, the whole house. Then follow the rest of the instructions.

What happens if you don’t read the instructions (what self-respecting handy guy needs to do that)… you’ll have a fan in one room that looks like this…

First fan with extra parts left over

and the same fan in the second room you do, after discovering the extra part at the end of mounting fan number one that looks like this…

Second fan with all the no extra parts left over

Notice the extra little bit on the top? I’m hoping no one but me notices it is missing on the first one. Of course now that I’ve shown it to everyone I’m likely to get comments and eventually break down, take the fan apart and put the missing part where it belongs, not in my tool chest, but on the fan!

Extra Part in tool chest

Well marked electrical boxLuckily I’ll only have to turn off the power, completely remove the fan, disconnect all the wires, then remove the downrod from the fan motor, put the missing part on the downrod, then put it back together, and install it in accordance with the instructions I failed to read. If no one notices (even after reading this), I’ll move the extra part to a less obvious place.

Speaking of turning off the power, did I mention to be sure to do that before you go near the ceiling mount. My house is new construction and very well-marked, so it was easy to determine which breaker to flip off. Even so I tested the wires for power before starting.

We got two of the Altura model fans. One for the Master Bedroom and one for the Family Room. I installed the Master Bedroom fan first, and even though I read the instructions I ended up redoing the wiring a couple of times. Not positive, but I think the issue ended up being matching the codes on the remote to the controller in the ceiling. The Altura Ceiling fan does not come with a lighting kit (although the remote has the ability to dim the light). For the Family Room we were OK with that, but for the bedroom we found one that fit the style of the fan at Lamps Plus. It was more than the basic lighting kit costs at Home Depot, but it’s style matched the ceiling fan much better.

Master Bedroom fan - 56 inch

We ended up really liking the way this fan looks in our bedroom. Really works great to cool the room too.

Ceiling Fan Ceiling MountCeiling fans are designed so that one person can install them. Once you install the mount on the ceiling and assemble the downrod and fan motor the fan will support itself on the ceiling. By the way, be careful to put all the covers on the downrod before you attach it to the fan motor because they won’t fit over the ball at the top of the rod once these two parts are connected. I know this from experience, actually multiple experiences… anyway, the instructions are clear about this too.

Ceiling Fan mounted and ready for connectionSimply lift the downrod up and place it in the ceiling mount. Avoid pinching any wires and be sure to follow any other instructions, for mine it was to line the groove in the ball up with the pin in the mounting bracket. For the Family Room we got the 68 inch fan which came with an 18 inch downrod. As soon as I had the assembly up I knew the downrod was too long. Time for another trip to Home Depot! In order to pick the right downrod, I followed the guidelines above the parts rack for ceiling height and downrod length. I wasn’t happy that Home Depot doesn’t sell downrods for their own Hampton Bay brand of fans, but they said the Hunter downrods would work. Of course once I started moving parts from the original downrod to the new one, it became obvious that they were not completely right. The bolt holding the ground wire to the downrod was too large for the new downrod… one more trip to Home Depot! This was a small bolt, so I had to buy a bags of them. This was not a big problem because the bag cost less than $2. Either I’ll have a supply for future projects, or my kids will have to dispose of them some day.

Once I had the downrod reassembled it was about another 30 minutes to connect the wires, attach the blades, turn on the power, and cool off under our new ceiling fan!

Family Room Ceiling Fan

The four fans ended up taking a couple of weekends and one week night to install. We were busy so I couldn’t spend the whole weekend on this, and we had to special order the one larger fan. But if you follow the instructions, installing a ceiling fan is a one person project and can be done in about an hour. We expect to enjoy these fans for years and getting them installed before the summer really kicked in was great timing.

  1. Darren says:

    how long is the downrod you eventually went with? how tall are the ceilings?

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