Si-i-lent {fan}, ho-o-ly {fan}, all is calm...

This year's Christmas was one for the record books, and not for obvious reasons. I ended up in the hospital on Xmas eve and didn't come home until Christmas afternoon. While I didn't have a silent night with the nurses coming and going and the janitors outside my room waxing the floors all night, S and baby bee slept like absolute champs. S got this for Christmas eve:
And I got this for Christmas:
Clearly my boy can't read.

Despite minor set-backs with that hospital stay and all, with my dad's help we forged ahead with our holiday weekend plans to install a bathroom fan in our upstairs bath, identical to the silent fan in our new garden level bathroom. The house went 80 years with no fan, but suddenly we need one now. (All joking aside, we're hoping it cuts down on mildew and maybe now we'll shower with the door closed.) Because we lost a day, S decided to set our goal to get the fan in place and the electrical done before he returned to work Tuesday.

I was off feeding a baby all.day.long. and generally recovering from my traumatic weekend, but I did manage to take a few photos of the project, at least of the big stuff. Like this disaster:
In order to get the fan in the bathroom, S drilled a hole through the ceiling and into the attic centered in the shower/bathtub area. He then went up into the attic where we have a gazillion inches of blown insulation and tried to find the hole...then my dad tapped on the ceiling 'til the hole was located. They moved away some insulation upstairs and cut a hole for the fan using the template that came on the box. It made a mess. I took a picture and ran.
Unfortunately we couldn't center the fan hole exactly where we wanted because of the floor joists, but we did manage to get it completely concealed behind the shower curtain.
Here it is in relation to the shower curtain rod, pretty good location, no?
As you can see above, S used spray foam insulation around the fan to give it a draft-free fit and to keep the blown insulation from falling through the ceiling from above.

With the messy part done, the guys moved on to what they thought would be relatively straight forward electrical. We have one light in the bathroom that had a single outlet and switch just next to the door. We intended to tie into the existing electrical, add a box and end up with a double outlet and a double switch stacked on top of each other. Adding the second box wasn't too rough, but discovering the electric came from below (the kitchen) and not through the attic was a wee bit of a setback.
In order to get the wires for the fan down to the new box and the existing power, S had to drill through the header of the wall and into the cavity next to the door. As with everything in our 1940's house we discovered that the old adage "they don't build 'em like they used to" rang true; S had to drill through an 8" header. That's huge. And required a trip to the hardware store for a longer drill bit.

Thankfully once he broke through into the cavity, he was indeed in the wall cavity and not in the hallway, closet or bathroom. Whew. From there, the second box went in and my dad worked his magic with the wiring.
And by magic I mean I stayed the heck away from him while he attacked the frustratingly short and old existing wires with pliers, electrical nuts and strippers. I know not to ask how it's going and only to wait for a report.

Status report from my dad: electrical done, fan installed.
Remaining: patch and repair small areas of ceiling around fan, drill through exterior brick wall, install vent and vent hose, flip switch and listen to silent fan.

We hope to ring in the new year to the sound of masonry bits on brick and a silent baby. At least we can control one. Update to come - hopefully sooner than later since it took me a record four days to write this post!

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  1. This reminds me so much of our little old house - no fan in the bathroom, terrible brown crumbly insulation, strange electrical...

    And I adore those pics of the little one!

  2. Jenny L12/30/2011

    Hospital stay over Christmas Eve?! That sucks - I hope you're doing better. Fan project sounds very messy, but will be so nice to have it all done! Happy New Year!

  3. Hope you're doing okay! I don't like the sound of a hospital stay for you. Baby Bee looks super awesome.


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