Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Doing It Right the Second Time

I fully understand that someday someone might look at some of my work and wonder why in the heck I did it that way. I know I often ponder why a previous occupant to my homes have done things the way there were done. Case in point is the light switch above in the office remodel project I am working on.

Since I have lived here, I have had to reach around a corner and feel for the light switch where it had been previously located in the metal box on the right. I always assumed that perhaps there was a support post in the stud cavity right beside the door that prevented them from putting it in the 'normal' spot. However when I removed the drywall, there was nothing in that cavity but insulation. The other thing I pondered about the old light switch is that they installed the box so that it protruded beyond the drywall a half inch. So when you were feeling for the switch, you inevitably got your fingers caught behind the cover and the drywall first.

So I decided to fix both of those problems by installing a new switch and rerouting the wires. However they were too short to reach the new switch and didn't have enough slack in the line to stretch them so I ended up having to put in a junction box and splicing some extra wire to reach. Someday in the future when I've moved on, someone will pull off the drywall and see my junction box and wonder why I just didn't make the wire long enough to begin with!

Below is a picture showing the lighting situation. Since there are no windows in this room, it needs good lighting so that you don't feel like you are living in a cave. Whomever did it the first time only put in three can lights which weren't adequate due to the low ceilings. You end up with three cones of light with darkness inbetween. So I installed nine smaller can lights that are more equally spaced throughout the room. The three unlit large can lights will be removed and probably repurposed in some way. The new ones all use LED bulbs and will use less wattage in total than one of the old much larger lights.

Since I'm putting removable ceiling tiles on the ceiling of this room, I had to do some head scratching to figure out where to put all my new lights so that they end up more or less in the center of a whole ceiling tile and not in the middle of the track supporting them. I will see if my head scratching paid off but not for awhile down the road. They are adjustable in one direction and I can always pull the nails and move them in the other direction if I have too because unlike others before me, I left some slack in the wire just in case.


Kelly said...

Surely the original owners had some logical reasoning in how they placed that light switch.

Again, I'm impressed with your skills. I know it might seem like simple work to you, but it's brain surgery to me.

Ed said...

Kelly - I'm guessing it was original to the house and thus the builders. My oldest daughter's bedroom also has the light switch far from the door but I have no reason to tear up the drywall to fix it. At least it was flush to the wall so you can feel for it and hit it most times without hurting a finger. Home wiring really isn't too difficult to learn how to do. Meeting local codes is a bit more of a challenge but most of what I do is grandfathered in so I don't have to meet code though I almost always try to do so anyway.

Bob said...

I can't wait to see this when it's finished! Like Kelly, I am in awe! Keep us posted.