Do-It-Yourselfers, lend me your ears! Or, in this case, lend me your eyes. I find myself in the midst of an electrical quagmire and I'm leaning toward the belief that there are only two ways out of this mess: A) To Move - (or the more financially feasible) B) Call an Electrician. This past weekend, there were moments when the former choice almost happened.

No, I didn't spend my weekend fishing for trout on a peaceful stream, or whacking a golf ball up and down the fairway of a manicured golf course, or sitting in the sun whilst sipping a mint julep. No, I embarked on what many of us know as a DIY project - assigned to me by my lovely wife. You see, the ceiling fan in our dining room has been bothering her for a while now. It's, well, ugly and it needs to go! I admit that I was somewhat relieved when I heard her utter those remarks that she was, in fact, talking about the ceiling fan and not me. That's why I took up the project without complaint.

Brian Stephenson

So, here is the offending ceiling fan. I snapped a picture of it for posterity after I unpacked the new one and readied it to the point of needing to take the old one down.

Brian Stephenson

Part of the way into the tear-down I began to get just a bit nervous. Our home was built in 1940. The 'dining room' used to be a covered back patio - so at some point, perhaps 40 or 50 years ago - someone enclosed it and declared it a dining room. It is rather nice with big windows looking out over the back yard, etc. But, it also has that 'converted barn' feel to it. I have noticed the ONLY wall outlet is a two-pronger - and that's frequently inconvenient. As you see here - whomever installed the fan put it right over top of a built-in light fixture (actually drilled a hole in the glass for wires to pass through).

Brian Stephenson

See? More concerned by the minute at this point. No junction box with wires in sight. Just a huge bracket with wire tucked underneath and the mystery of what's behind the glass?!

Um, I found out.

Brian Stephenson

This is what it looks like now - as I was forced to suspend my campaign to become DIY'er in Chief. After a face-full of that creepy asbestos-like substance pouring out and removal of three layers of screwed-in wood pieces - this is what I'm seeing. What I DON'T see is a GROUND WIRE or a CEILING JUNCTION BOX. I'm temped to keep removing layers of wood pieces but afraid of what might come out. I mean, they still haven't found Jimmy Hoffa, right?

I'm not looking for freebie advice or anything but, if you have some freebie advice I'd certainly listen to it. Good news is, since the ceiling fan project died on Saturday, my wife was kind enough to find a wall for me to paint on Sunday. That's love.