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Fitting a Bathroom Extractor Fan

Apologies for the lack of posting over the last week and a half, I'm struggling to juggle between working extra hours at my job and trying to achieve forward movement in our bathroom renovation. It's a hard balance to achieve; on one hand I want to work like hell and earn super cash to fund our renovations and on the other hand, I want to have time to actually achieve any sort of renovation! I set our new schedule back to be completed by Christmas and even if I have to work up till Christmas Eve, I am so determined to make this happen! Although when I say finish, I suppose what I really mean is, usable. I'll settle for just having the bath installed! Still, we have five weeks to go, so it can still happen right?

One of the biggest time-wasting parts of renovating is researching. If you're a savvy shopper you'll want to find the cheapest, best possible purchases out there; whether it's cement mixture, screws, or a super fancy LED Radio-combination mirror, the first site or store you stumble upon may not be the cheapest and to make you're money go further you search the market like an eager beaver on a hunt. Well, this takes time. Lots of time actually. There isn't a 'compare the market' for DIY tools or radiator covers, nope, you have to do it yourself. When time is lacking, this is the first thing I end up slacking on... If I need screws, hell, let's just go to the closest store and get some whatever the cost! So all in all, perhaps I should ditch the extra hours at work and spend it researching. In a round-about way, I suppose I'm probably not going to end up with any extra cash as I'll have spent it all on over-priced DIY materials. Ah, life.

Enough ranting, let's get down to DIY-talk - It's a Do-It-Yourself extractor fan installation day. So this bathroom actually had no extraction what-so-ever, although actually, it hasn't affected the room one bit. I'm guessing the previous owner was a devout window-opener. Or maybe she just took super quick non-steamy baths. Either way, that's definitely not for me - I take showers longer than an EastEnders episode, and if you think I want to step out into the winter air after that length of heat, think again! Nope, and nope. We need extraction!

I chose this particular extractor fan from Screwfix. I actually did make time to intently research this; my reasons for this particular choice were fairly simple:

1. Extraction Rate.
A large bathroom requires a higher extraction rate. UK standard for any size bathroom must be 75m3/hr. So we opted for 110m3/hr as our bathroom is on the med-high side.

2. Noise.
If you've ever had a noisy extractor fan, you'll know how annoying it is. We used to have a kitchen one that you literally had to turn off to have a conversation. Reviews tell me this one is relatively quiet. Thanks guys!

3. Timer.
When you leave the bathroom after a shower the moisture is usually still in the room; a timer one continues to extract for a length of time after you've left the room and switched it off (usually they're on the same on/off as the light switch)

4. Fan Type.
We opted for an in-line fan, which is basically where the actual fan part sits in the line of the ducting. This makes it not only more powerful, but allows for extraction to travel a greater distance to its external vent. This article explains it a bit better. Basically these are the best types of standard extractor fans.

It certainly wasn't the cheapest fan going, but I believe you get what you pay for. We had a fan in our old kitchen (cost £15) and quite frankly it was a waste of money, it did nothing. You need a fan that fits the needs of the room, not just one that fits your wallet. So this one cost on the expensive side of £50. but we're hoping it'll be worth it. Obviously, I can't say how good it is until we have a bathroom to actually use!

As this room didn't have a fan previously, it meant we had to create a hole to vent it externally on the external wall. As this fan is an in-line fan, this hole needed to be above ceiling level so not to be seen. Because our guttering is quite low, the room to fit this hole was quite tight so we chose to create the hole on the outside of the house to make sure we didn't damage said guttering. Luckily, we have a downstairs extension directly below the bathroom so we could just hop out the window onto the extension roof to do this job. Firstly, Grant marked out a circle-template on the wall, and then drilled multiple holes all the way around. Then, using a masonry chisel, he chiselled out the brick in-between the holes. Once the holes had been drilled, I could see the template from the inside too, so we both chiselled from either side of the wall to speed things up.





Once the vent could fit through the hole, the external grille was screwed into place. Because more brick had been removed than necessary, I then filled the gap to make it air-tight once again. Whilst this dried, Grant set about fixing the in-line part of the fan to a joist. Because of the size of this beast, it had to go where there were no floorboards above, but into the roof space. If we hadn't of had this part of the roof exposed, we probably wouldn't have been able to use this fan, so we were actually kind of lucky.



More ducting fits on to the end of that fan and then another grille will be fitted into the ceiling (when we have that up!) but first we need the fan wired in, which is a job for an electrician; but by doing this part of the job ourselves, we should have saved money.

2 comments

  1. Well done you! I know how much of a tiring and mucky job this is, I bet you're so glad it's done and dusted! :)

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