Ceiling Fan Buying Guide
The price of a ceiling fan installation is tough to estimate because it depends on many different factors. Does the electrician have to run a new circuit from the panel, or can he or she pull the wire from an existing switch? How expensive is the fan? Will you supply the fan or will the electrician? In what region of the country do you live? How high are your ceilings? Is there attic access to the room? The list goes on and on.
The cost to install a fan starts at about $100 to $200 if the box and wiring are already in place and you provide the fan. Expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $500 per fan if the electrician has to run wiring and install the fixture box. For jobs that require running a new circuit from the main panel and/or jobs that are very difficult to access, you could spend as much as $500 to $1,000.
Because prices vary so widely, it’s always a good idea to get estimates from multiple electricians before choosing one. Make sure the quote includes a line-by-line breakdown of all costs, including materials and the hourly rate. Hourly rates vary widely from one region of the country to the next, ranging from about $40 to $100. The national average is probably closer to $50 to $80 per hour.
Ceiling Fan Costs
Small, basic ceiling fans start at about $50 to $100. These are usually 44 to 48 inches in size. They are suitable for small bedrooms, and they may or may not have light fixtures. If they do have light fixtures, they will not be fancy.
For $100 to $200, you’re likely to get a 52- to 60-inch fan with a light fixture. In this price range you’ll be able to find some fans that are Energy Star rated and some with remote controls. The selection of styles and materials will be vast.
For $200 to $500, you can get a high-end model with variable speeds, a remote control, a more sophisticated-looking light fixture, a dimmer and more. In this price range your fan should be suitable for a large room. Again, the selections of styles and materials will be vast.
DIY vs Hiring a Professional
Ceiling fan installation can be a DIY project if an overhead light fixture already exists. You’ll need a ceiling outlet box and some basic tools, including wire connectors, a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, a socket wrench, a utility knife, needle-nose pliers and a ladder. However, you should always hire a professional electrician if additional wiring is necessary. Electrical work can be dangerous, and it must adhere to local building codes.
Choosing an Electrician
Price is important, but you should never choose an electrician (or any tradesman) on price alone. It’s important to hire someone who is experienced and reputable. Here are some tips for finding an electrician you can trust:
- Make sure the electrician is licensed. Ask to see a copy of his or her current license, or ask for the licensing number and check with your state’s labor department or licensing board to make sure the license is active.
- Do some background research on any electrician you’re considering. Ask for references and check them all. Check the electrical company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Make sure the electrician obtains the necessary permits. Unlicensed electricians can’t secure permits, so consider the lack of permits a major red flag.
- Make sure the electrician carries at least $1 million worth of liability insurance to protect your home (and bank account) in the event of an accident
Author: Ashley Smith