How Do I Hang a Heavy Chandelier?

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You can hang a heavy chandelier.
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Some home improvement projects must be done correctly for safety, and one of those is hanging a heavy chandelier. While they look elegant and sophisticated, trying to hang a heavy chandelier can also be dangerous: you must use a chandelier brace to ensure a sturdy attachment and avoid the chandelier falling.

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Install Your Chandelier Brace

Decide where you want your chandelier to hang. Get up on a ladder and hammer a 3-inch nail into that spot on the ceiling. This nail will help you locate the place in your attic where you'll add the brace. Climb up into your attic and locate the spot where you stuck the nail through the ceiling. Measure the distance between the joists on either side of the nail.

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Note that if you don't have an attic or you're hanging the chandelier on a lower story of your home, you'll need to cut a large opening in the ceiling to hang the brace in the joists between the floors of your home. Using a wood saw, cut a 2x4 piece of wood to fit that opening. Attach a metal hook on one of the 4-inch sides, the same distance from the end of the board that the nail is located between the two joists. Ensure that the metal hook is large and strong enough to hold the chandelier. Inspect the hook on the chandelier to ensure it's compatible.

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Make sure that the hook faces down and attach the brace to the joists using an electric drill and L brackets on the top and bottom of the board. Test the brace to ensure it stays in place and feels sturdy enough to hold a heavy chandelier.

Prepare to Hang the Chandelier

Now that the brace is in place and ready, you can hang your gorgeous new chandelier. From the attic, cut an opening in the floor of the attic/ceiling of the room underneath the hook. The opening should be just large enough for the wire and hanger of the chandelier. It will be unsightly and need to be covered or repaired later if it's any larger.

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Using wood screws, attach the junction box to the corner of one of the joists. This box is where you will house the wiring for the chandelier.

The next step is to add wiring for the chandelier. Unless you know about electricity and wiring, you'll need to hire an electrician to take care of this step. If you decide to tackle it yourself, wear protective gear and cut the power to the relevant circuits.

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Finishing the Installation

Find an electrician with experience hanging a chandelier and follow the chandelier manufacturer's instructions for the wiring. In addition, make sure that you or the electrician follow local ordinances and regulations for wiring.

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Now it's time to hang the chandelier from the hook and brace you installed previously. If you hired an electrician, have her do the actual hanging to ensure that the wiring is attached correctly. Once you hang the chandelier, attach its wires to the junction box on the joist. Your chandelier should be ready to shine.

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