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Question DetailsAsked on 5/19/2011

Who do I hire to install a bathroom fan?

We're remodeling a bathroom in our 1967 house. We removed the old bathroom fan, and discovered that this fan was venting directly into the attic. The attic space is filled with about 2 feet of sprayed in, probably cellulose (?) insulation, so we don't think it's a good idea to vent the fan directly into that stuff. We want to hire someone to install a vent on the roof that the new fan can exhaust through, but we're not sure which trade does this kind of work. Is this something a roofer would do? A handyman? A plumber? An electrician? I would appreciate getting some advice on what kind of company to contact for this job. Thanks for your help!

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5 Answers


What is required is something you will need to discuss with your local building inspectors. You can call them in the city/county where you live and they'd be glad to answer you.

I think national building codes would have a sane person believe that it shoud vent to the outside. But, many local building authorities (according to what I've read) seem to take a liberal view of that.

I wouldn't have it take the warm, moist air from a bathroom and merely move it to the attic. That insulation you have has got to collect the warm, moist air in my opinion.

But, I doubt you need to open the roof so you should be able to do it yourself.

It will be like putting a vent onto your clothes dryer. If you don't mind getting into the attic, measure the diameter of the exhaust side of the fan and measure approximate distance from the fan to the eave/edge of the house.

Then, visit a hardware store or Lowes/Home Depot sort of store. Go the the plumbing section and ask about venting ducts for your bathroom fan. They should be able to fix you up with a fitting to attach to the fan, duct to go to the sidewall / eave and a fitting to drop the air through the eave. Far less invasive and you likely have ventilation holes with screen or mesh coverings to keep critters from trying to get in.

It's the sort of homeowner/handyperson thing that you can do fairly inexpensively. If you don't have the time or inclination to get up there...go for a handyman with the usual precautions about insurance.

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


my 3 cents worth: OG's advice is valid; my "kids" are making improvements to their 2-story 70s home. A bathroom doesn't necessarily need to be vented thru the roof if a bathroom window is cracked to allow steam to escape.

I live in a state where new and refurbishing building codes are closely regulated> installing a vented to the outside ceiling fan can be performed by a handy homeowner or a roofer without a permit. If it were me, absent new electrical, I'd hire a savvy roofer so no worries about a potential leaky roof next winter [:)]

Answered 9 years ago by tessa89


If you do some research online, as I recently did on this subject, I think you'll find that the experts recommend using smooth ducting to vent to the outside. Check the installation instructions that are in PDF format online in regard to a good bathroom exhaust fan and you'll get the idea.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense


Hi Sally,

This is Kristy E. from Angie's List. Most handymen and electricians can install a bathroom fan. Angie addressed your question in a recent article if you want more details. Need help finding a provider? Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-944-5478.

Answered 4 years ago by KristyBr


Hello, I'm asking myself the same question.

Who did you end up having install the bathroom fan and how did it work out. IMO it must be vented through the roof as an open window in the middle of a freezing weather spell is not pleasant.

The roofer makes sense from the importance of the roof connection, but what if they are lax on the other areas. I almost want to hire both a handyman to get the fans in place and a roofer, as I am redoing my roof anyhow, to do the hole through the roof and ducting connection.

Answered 2 months ago by TamaraCalgary

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