I know. Replacing a bathroom fan shouldn't be a big deal, but I want to replace the one in our first-floor bathroom, which has the second floor, not the attic, above it. Removing the old fan seems to require cutting a larger than necessary opening around the fan, removing the old fan, installing the new one, and patching/reparing the ceiling around it. Does anyone have a better way? Someone suggested just replacing the motor and blade, which I guess I could do, but the new fan moves more air and is nore quiet. Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide.
You can mimimize the hole by understanding the attachments your current fan has. After you remove the motor assembly, do you see screws through the housing? If not ,it was installed using the telescoping arms it came with. Just take a hacksaw blade and cut the four arms and it will drop down out of it's current opening.
To install the new one using screws through the housing, you'll need to install two 2x4's in the opening to provide a solid surface to attach the new fan.
If the new fan has multiple lights,a fan or heating element, you will need to run new wiring.