I'm looking for some advise on installing a ceiling fan to one of the rooms located on the 1st floor of the house with no attic access. I am a DIY person and have installed ceiling fans before but in the house we are currently at, there is a pre existing mounting bracket that is nailed into the studs that I am not sure how to remove without making holes in the ceiling. I have tried to mount the ceiling fan on this existing bracket but I'm not too confident that the bracket will hold the weight of the ceiling fan. I'm attaching the picture of the existing bracket to give a visual of what I'm talking about. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanksenter image description here

  • Was that a ceiling fan box? I can't tell from the fuzzy photo whether it's thin sheet metal or something more robust.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 18:50
  • this is not a ceiling fan box, if it was i could have used it to install the ceiling fan on it...this bracket was holding a light fixture and im quite certain that i will not be able to use it to install the ceiling fan Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


I agree that what we are looking at is an old bracket for mounting a box for a light fixture. Here is the Westinghouse version of a retrofit bracket which you can find in most hardware stores.enter image description here

I can also tell you from experience, that it isn't very easy to install. Wait until you try and mount the box to the bracket and you will see what I mean. If you can get to it from above its much better. If you want to cut a larger opening and install a different type of bracket you can use a medallion. To cover the hole instead of a patch and paint.enter image description here

They come in different sizes and decor. That's all I've got, good luck.

  • thanks, yeah i had purchased the westinghouse bracket from home depot, my real roadblock right now is how to remove this existing bracket rod since i dont have access from above Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 17:59

That cross brace looks like a new construction hanger, a fan really needs a listed box, yes this means cutting out 16" of drywall or possibly more. Then you can properly anchor the correct listed fan box and repair the drywall. This will be much better than hanging a fan on a questionable box that may in time bring down more drywall and possibly injure someone.

  • 1
    There was a recent question on a fan box and bracket device that can be installed through the box hole. I wouldn't say the ceiling needs to be opened.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 21:20
  • If your hands were as big as mine you would think differently. I might be able to squeeze them through but then my forearms are to large to do anything especially if the box is suspended in the center. Easier to cut a hole.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 23:17
  • 1
    Or borrow a friend's forearm.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 23:33
  • so im not sure why my topic heading got changed, but i am not looking for advice on if i should use this existing bracket. I wanted advice on how to remove this without putting holes in the ceiling Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 18:00

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