By Gene and Katie Hamilton
A bathroom without good ventilation is a likely target for mildew and wood damage. You can prevent it by adding a through-the-wall exhaust fan in an outside wall. The fan is designed to remove excessive and unwanted moisture so the project requires both carpentry and electrical skills, which makes it a job best left to a pro unless you have those talents and tools and have no fear of cutting a hole in the wall.
Assuming the house has wood siding and there's an electrical line already in the bathroom, an electrician will charge $314 to install an exhaust fan, which includes the labor and material. You can buy the fan for $80 and install it, saving 74 percent.
DIY Hassle Alert
That saving is well-earned because it's a complicated job that involves crawling around in an attic to fish and run wires connecting the electrical circuit to the fan, then cutting holes for the fan in the siding and bathroom wall. You’ll spend time investigating the circuit to find which line to tap for power, pulling the wires and installing the switch and, finally, hooking up the fan box and assembly.
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You'll need a well-stocked toolbox that includes: an electronic stud finder, inductive voltage tester, wire strippers, side-cutting electrical pliers, fish tape, screwdrivers, hammer, drywall saw, utility knife, saber or reciprocating saw and a tape measure.When you’re working on any electrical project, always turn off the power at the circuit panel or fuse box before you begin.
For information on ventilating a bathroom go to the Healthy Home Institute.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to install an exhaust fan lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020