Paddle ceiling fan, seen close up

Unfortunately, homes don’t come with instructions — but they do come with surprises. That’s the case for homeowner Jeanne, who is unhappy with the previous owner’s makeshift control for a ceiling fan.

“We bought a two-story home that was built in 1985,” she writes. “The master bedroom sits directly above the family room and both of these rooms have 9-volt battery-operated controllers mounted with the main light switches as you walk into these rooms.”

Jeanne removed the switch plate in the family room when she made the shocking discovery: the battery transmitter for the overhead ceiling fan and light.

“I pulled it out and realized that it’s, essentially, a remote control. And it works better out of the wall than inside the wall. It’s the same in the master bedroom as well.”

That kind of setup may have worked for the previous homeowner, but it’s just not up to Jeanne’s standards.  

“I don’t want to rely on a battery to turn on the light when I go into my family room or bedroom, [so] I’ll have to get an electrician to figure out which wires go to the overhead lights and hook them up correctly to an electrical light switch that I can flip on and off.”

Jeanne knows she wants a regular light switch to control her ceiling fans, but she doesn’t know which steps to take next.

“Is this something we can do ourselves, and if so, how?” she says. “Wondering if you guys have advice for any alternative solutions other than hiring an electrician.”

Skip to [skipto time=15:12][15:12][/skipto] for the answer!

And listen to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for these topics:

  • To wait or not to wait before applying primer over a freshly painted wall to repaint it
  • Solutions for a constantly running toilet
  • “The Carey Brothers,” James and Morris Carey, talk about retiring from their 35-year radio career and things they’ve seen change in their years of home improvement.
  • How to fix French patio doors that don’t close properly
  • Danny and Joe talk Home Safety and Security Week and new products available from GE’s Cync line.  
  • Whether to install gutters on a house with a metal roof.

In The Aisles of The Home Depot

The Home Depot has fun, family-friendly workshops, how-to guides and gift ideas for this holiday season at

Some of our favorite projects are:

They also share these decorating hacks:

  • Add lights and light projectors to accentuate exterior decorations at a low cost.  
  • Just add a bow for a simple holiday accent to almost anything (like a banister or mailbox).  
  • Use ornaments and bows to customize place settings, wine glasses or gifts.
  • Decorate your holiday table with a mini Christmas tree farm down the center to enhance a table setting

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Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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