19 April 2009

[Problem::Solution] Light Switch

Problem: Existing light switch is too close to the door frame; thus making it impossible to install the door trim without cutting an unsightly notch out of the trim.

Solution: Move the light switch to create more room for the trim.

1. Install the new switch according to building and electrical codes in your area.

2. Next you'll have to cover the hole left from the original junction box. Depending on your wall material, there are a number of ways to do this. I'll address the drywall method I like best -- it makes use of scrap peices of drywall you have laying around and doesn't require any taping. Measure the opening you need to close and add about an inch to each side. Transfer the measurements and cut out a piece of drywall accordingly.

3. Using the back side of the piece you just cut, transfer the measurements of the opening itself to the center of the larger piece. Score the lines with a knife a number of times but don't cut through the paper front . Break away the edges carefully, leaving the paper, and use your knife blade to scrape away the remnents of the drywall substance, leaving only the paper front. Your end goal is pitured above. Note that I only have three sides to work with because the fourth side will sit against the new box.

4. Apply drywall mud to the flaps of your drywall and carefully sit into place. Cover the enire piece with mud. Remember that most of the area to the right will be covered by the door trim and the area to the left will be covered by the switch plate.

5. Sand the patch and apply a thin second coat if necessary (and sand accordingly).

6. Prime + 2 coats of wall paint + door trim + switch plate = finished project.


baz_mcm said...

I've spent the entire weekend running new wire for the planned built-in office and media center. Relocating junction boxes and switches has become a common activity.

Great post.



Anonymous said...

Umm...I noticed you spliced two wires and they were not contained inside a junction box. Then they were left in the wall cavity and covered with drywall. Just let you know thats a fire hazard and against the building code in all 50 states.

troy. said...

Anonymous: Thanks for pointing out my error. I checked this with an electrician friend of mine and he agrees with you -- if only I had checked BEFORE I did the job.

Now I'll have to open the wall back up and get that splice inside a box.

I'll also be removing that portion of the post. I shouldn't have included it to begin with now that I think about it, but honestly it didn't cross my mind at the time.