Ok, here's the scenario: The dining room in my circa 1935 home has a
single lightswitch wired to an overhead chandelier. The chandelier is
on its own 20A breaker. I want to add a few low voltage recessed
lights to the room and, because they are easily reached and there is
ample capacity, it makes the most sense to tie into the power line
going to the chandelier.
The wall switch for the chandelier is in a metal single gang box that
is nailed to a doorframe stud. It would be quite easy to cut an
opening in the wall immediately adjacent to this box and install a
plastic single gang remodeling box. Is there a way to do this such
that a double gang wallplate can be used over the two adjacent
switches to give a neater appearance? If possible, I would like to
avoid the removal of good plaster that would be required to take out
the existing box and replace it with one double gang box.
Thanks in advance for the help!
1) I'm quite sure I've seen (at home improvement stores) a bracket designed
to add a metal box to the side of another one. Or, perhaps my ancient home
had a box extended that way. But I *know* I've seen it somewhere. Perhaps
it's worth a look at Home Despot, in all the little plastic bags you can't
figure out without actually touching them.
2) Either way, you're going to cut some plaster adjacent to the old box.
Another 1/2" around the old one is nothing compared to what you'll remove
for the new one. Why not just replace the whole box, and even go with a box
larger than you'll need? You know you may want it later. If you're planning
on having two switches, use a 3-switch box, and get a plate with a blank
spot on one side. At worst, it'll give you more space for joining wires.
2 boxes next to each other will not work on single plate unless you get one
custom made....$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Yes I have seen custom plates made. Took for
Best thing to do is cut out the old box install a new 2 gang remodel or old
work box and away you go. If you careful and go slow this is pretty easy to
do. Time consuming but not hard. If you make small blunders in the wall
there are always jumbo plates..
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.