Over the few years we’ve had the house, we’ve noticed a problem with the master bathroom – the paint was starting to look awful in random places of the wall. The most obvious source of this was humidity. We took showers often, at least 3 a day in that bathroom, for at least 30 minutes each time. It never had a fan and the dual light fixture constantly blew out light bulbs. Since there was a window in there, code didn’t require a fan. How ever, I hated opening the window at 4:30am and on some days the humidity was worse outside than in. So we bit the bullet and got a fan.
The idea was simple: Keep the window closed from now on (saving money there) and just install the new fan where the old light was. We decided to spend a little extra money and get a fan and light combo from Home Depot. At $110, it even had bluetooth and a speaker for music, and a remote for adjusting the music. Pretty slick, though months later I would find that no one uses that feature. Also included was a proprietary switch that has a toggle button and the various buttons for the light/nightlight, fan, music. It was a pretty good kit, if you already had a fan though.
Of the bat, things looked easy. I would cut a hole in the soffit, run some ducting, mount the fan in place of the old light, connect wires. Well. That isn’t at all how this ended up working out. The old fixture came down easy, as did it’s switch. The wiring was quiet crazy because it had more connections than what made since. No problem, wiring is something I handle well. I put in the new switch and have the toggle control the new overhead light and the vanity lights. The only issue here is that the vanity lights are always on if you any part of the fan on, like the music or the fan. Not a huge issue, I can add a switch to the vanity and fix that for a few bucks.
Now for the next issue: The hole in the ceiling. I’m not really sure if I had imagined it differently, or possibly under the influence of something, but I expected a larger hole for the light fixture and a smaller hole needed for the fan’s frame. Everything on those assumptions was wrong. Once the commitment was there for this, there was no turning back. Using parts of the box it came in, I made a template to use for cutting the hole. The reciprocating saw I got to match my impact and drill made this a super easy task. Except… I couldn’t mount anything from here like I thought I could. I had to go to the attic for that. Sigh.
More wrong assumptions. I got in the attic, pulled up my tools and the fan too. Most of the attic is easy to navigate, except for my temp sensor is reading in the upper 130 degree range. I’m sweating everywhere and its just miserable. Getting to the area for work, I quickly mount the support rails and get this thing secured and wired up. By quickly, I mean that I wasted no time, but it still took a good 30 to 45 minutes to get it situated. The hardest part here was the heat and the fact that I had to lay down on the rafters to do the work. There are no photos of this, because it was too hot to deal with that and with out an assistant – just not happening.
After getting out of hell, and taking a few hours to cool down, I decide to tackle the last part of this: The soffit vent and ducting. The drill and appropriately sized hole saw made a clean hole, I could feel the heat rushing out of it as I stood on the roof the of porch, tied to the door of the bathroom through the window. What a day. With the vent secured, I navy seal my way back inside and prepare to go back up to the attic to connect the ducting. While I’m up there, I’m grunting and cursing the whole time. Its hot, my chest is sore from low crawling to the most narrow part, and my shoulders hurt from holding myself up through all of this. It takes almost 15 minutes just to get myself into a position just to leave the attic.
After all said and done, this ended up being a 2 day job, because the heat of the middle of the day was just unbearable to work in the attic. Now that its over, I’m happy that the window can remain shut as I watch the steam literally swirl up and out through the fan. The LED light of the unit is massively bright, also. Totally worth the trouble, but I’m happy to not have to do that again.