Relocating a light switch along same wall as current location

I just had an electrician over. I realize that he is an electrician and I am a no-nothing, so I assume that what he told me was accurate, but still.... I have a light switch in a central location on the wall. I want to move that switch further over about a foot closer to the edge of the wall. He told me that he would have to cut out the drywall between the two points (possibly more depending on wire pipe locations), and then we would have to get the drywall repaired and repainted. Suddenly, moving a light switch turns into a $2,000 project (my exaggerated estimate, not his). How come the wires that are currently in the wiring pipe up to the switch cannot just be extended horizontally from point A to point B where the new switch would be? Then, he would just cap the old hole with a cover and cut out a single square for the new switch. I understand that I do not know NEC codes (or anything about electricity for that matter), but is there no easier way to move a light switch one foot?
Thanks, Zack
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On 14 Apr 2007 08:09:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The cheapest way out would be to use a surface mount box and wiremold. It will also look like a crack whore, but you get what you pay for.
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To extend the wires you'd have to make a splice inside of a wiring box. In your case, it would then be covered over with the drywall and hidden.
It is against the code to make a splice inside of a wall or any location that is not readily accessible. No hidden joins inside of a wall or ceiling. There will not be enough wire to just pull it over to the new location.
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On 14 Apr 2007 08:09:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I would never assume that anything anyone says is accurate. I was just thinking about that earlier this morning, after my friend's vet gave me some very dubious advice, and someone else told me he's bound to be right because he's a vet. I remember the five times medical doctors have misdiagnosed me, and how 3 of them at least prescribed either drugs or surgery totally inappropriately because they had made the wrong diagnosis, and the orthopedist who set my broken leg improperly. Three of these six were specialists, and one more specialist (a seventh doctor) gave me mistaken advice, although it didn't reach the level of malpractice. None of these doctors were newbies, they all had a decade or more expeience, plus medical school, internship, and for the specialists, residency.
And then there was the guy with a new Ph.D. in political science about to teach a major university especially well known for its political science department, who made the kind of blunder that I, 22 years old with a degree in mathematics!, would never have made. Which almost no one would have made. I don't think any one did more to cost us the election I was working in. We lost by 4 votes out of 50,000 cast.
It's harder to live without being able to rely on more people, it's unnerving, but it can also be unnerving to rely on someone who turns out not to have known what he's talking about.
**

In addition, to the other questions people have asked, do you have access to this wall from underneath? You don't have to be able to tell exactly where the wall is. I just want to know if you there is a finished ceiling below it or an unfinished space with the floor above showing or easily accessible.

Is metal conduit required, or you just have it for some other reason?

Yes, a cover. Someone else noticed that.

There are boxes that can be put in walls with holds no bigger than the box. They're called "old work" boxes, even though they're new, because everything else is old.

You could also put an electrostatic pillow in the wall between the old switch and the new switch. They are about 45 dollars, but no wires would be required.
You don't think this would work? See, you do know something about electricity.
**Details of just two example above: 1) I had a pain in my side, and the first doctor wanted to do an appendectomy. She would have done it I'm sure if I hadn't gone to see another doctor. I had just a little bit of fat at the right spot, and despite how small it was, even after he told me it was there, I just couldn't see around it to see the bruise on my side. 2) In high school, when I would get dizzy standing up suddenly, after an EEG, my GP prescribed a drug which I later learned was for epilepsy. I don't think he told my mother anymore than he told me, but she wanted to see a specialist. The board certified neurologish prescribed a second drug in addition to the first, and when my mother asked if it was habit-forming, he said, "What do you think we're doing here, Mrs. MM, running an opium den." He never did answer her question. We had to go see a second specialist to find one who listened carefully to my story (for example, it ONLY happend when I stood up.), and took me, over the course of a couple weeks, off both drugs. Story is too complicated, but later a prime researcher in epilepsy told me that I didn't have epilepsy and had never had it. I got dizzy, or feint, just like about half the papulation does if they stand up too fast.

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