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Can you install a ceiling fan or light to an empty ceiling?

There’s a handful of home improvements we do that totally amaze our customers — things they assumed were impossible. One is installing a ceiling fan or light fixture on a totally empty ceiling — no existing light, no electrical box, maybe not even a switch for it on their wall. Have you been wondering how to install a ceiling fan or light to an empty ceiling in your house? Then you have come to the right place.

So, how do we do it? You see, we have on staff a technician named Samantha, who is married to a hapless advertising executive named Darrin Stephens, and when she twitches her nose… Oh, not young enough to remember the TV series ‘Bewitched’? Sorry, my bad.

Well, the truth is that we install these ceiling fixtures by going fishing. But, this time I’m not kidding. We run new wires through your ceiling and walls by ‘fishing’ for them. What this means is that we find or make a hole to shove a wire behind your walls, then try to reach this wire from another place, as far away as possible, and pull the wire through.

This way we don’t have to cut open, then repair, very much if any of your finished and painted walls just to hide wires behind them. And when we DO have to cut into your walls, if we do, we limit these small-as-possible cut-outs to places where we must absolutely do it, like in places where a horizontal stud or vertical joist is in the way.

So, now you know that not only are we fake doctors, we are also fake arthroscopic surgeons, conducting minimally invasive surgery on your home. But while our last name is ‘Doctors’, we would never attempt to pull ourselves off as MD’s, even though we ARE PhD’s — Professional Honey Doers.

Of course, fishing is only one of the many techniques required to perform this ceiling fixture magic trick. As you might imagine, there are big differences in how this is done depending upon whether or not there is an attic immediately above said ceiling. And, what if there’s already a light fixture on the ceiling? Can you simply attach a fan to it? (Short answer: almost always, NO).

I hope we haven’t disappointed those of you who actually thought we had technicians with magical powers, similar to the female leads in 1960’s sitcoms ‘Bewitched’ and ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’ Or, that like Darrin Stephens and the astronaut played by Larry Hagman, I felt a puzzling need to conceal them. Believe me, if we ever DID make such a hire, you will be the first to know.