Light switch being too close to door trims can be a bit annoying. Although it does not do any harm to anything, it’s not pleasing to the eyes.
However, since it has to do with electrical knowledge and equipment, most people leave it untouched.
So, what to do when you find the light switch too close to door trim?
You need to move the light switch panel. Firstly, you have to remove the door trim and the light switch box. Then, determine the stud position and the slack. After that, place the new light switch box in by cutting a hole in the drywall and rewire everything. Finally, restore the door trim as well!
While this information is important, you will need to know more. Read the article till the end to achieve a better understanding!
Start reading here.
What to Do When the Light Switch is Too Close to Door Trim?
Light switches are essential, but it is not mandatory to be close to door trims. When they are too close to door trims, they hinder the visual aesthetics of the trims.
Also, if you’re trying to set new door trims, the light switches can be an obstacle.
In these situations, the best thing to do is move the light switch. Moving the light switch can create enough room between the switch and the trim.
However, moving a fixed outlet from the wall can be tricky. This problem is similar to misaligned drywall ceiling fan boxes.
Hence, to do this, you will need proper guidelines. That is exactly what we have provided in the below segment. Keep reading to learn more.
How to Move Light Switch Panels?
You may think moving light switches is a really complex task. However, in reality, it is straightforward work.
I have explained all the steps to shift or move a light switch panel below. Grab all the necessary tools mentioned and start moving the panel!
Step 1: Remove the Door Trim
Maybe you are planning to install a new door trim or move the switch panel. For both cases, you must remove the door trim.
To remove the door trim, you will need a utility knife first. Cut around all the edges of the door trim with the utility knife. You need to cut around where the caulking is; especially where the trim’s against the wall.
This way, you can prevent damaging the drywall or the paint. When you remove the trim, it should come off easily.
After cutting the edges, grab a putty knife, hammer, and prybar. Take the pry bar and carefully try to hammer it under the door trim.
The hammering should make the door trim pop out. From that point, you can use the pry bar to pull the door trim off.
Remove all the nails left in the drywall. You can remove nails using a hammer backside. After that, take the putty knife and remove all the leftover caulking.
Since the trims are removed, removing the caulking should be an easy and satisfying task.
Step 2: Remove the Light Switch Panel
After taking the trims off, you have to take the light switch panel off. You can use normal screwdrivers to do this.
Use a screwdriver and screw off any screws holding the panel to the wall. Doing that successfully will make the panel pop out.
Set the screws and the panel aside for later use. Remove the casing and plate cover and proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Find the Stud
In most cases, it is quite easy to find the stud. For instance, a switch can be right beside a door trim. In that case, the stud should be on the side of the door trim.
Yet, there are scenarios where the stud is quite hard to find. For example, if the switch is in the middle of a wall, it’ll be tough. So, in such cases, a stud finder can help you out the most.
Use the stud finder to find the stud for your outlet. Place the stud finder on the right and left of the outlet. On one of the sides, the stud will show up on the display of the stud finder
If you’re planning to buy a stud finder, here are some top-grade suggestions from our end-
By using any of these stud finders, you can easily find the stud. These devices are also very safe. Understand that, on the side, you find the stud, the outlet will shift on the opposite.
Step 4: Determine the Slack
Once you have found the stud, you know the direction your revamped switchboard will be in. Now you just have to find out the distance.
To find the distance, you have to pull on the metal framing of the light switch. Make sure there’s no electricity flowing through that breaker.
Pull the metal framing towards yourself, as much as you can. The maximum length of the wire outside the framing dictates how much you can shift the light switch. After determining the slack, take all the wirings apart.
A good idea can be to take a photo of the current wiring setup. This will help in the future if you do forget how the wiring is done. A quick look at the photo can easily bring back your memories. It can act as a backup.
Detach all the wires and pull out the metal box housing that holds the wires. You can cut around the box with handheld drywall saw to make this process easier.
Step 5: Fit the New Box
For this step, you can use a remodeling box to retrofit the light switch. Place the remodeling box where you want the light switch to shift. After that, using a pen or a sharpie, mark the outlines of the box.
Then, take a handheld drywall saw and cut through the lines. If the hole is somewhat circular, it will take more time and precision to cut.
In the end, you should have a hole in the drywall, ready to be equipped. Through that hole, pull all the wiring from your old light switch socket.
Then, put the desired wires through the remodeling box. With your fingers, put the tip of the wire in. Then, using a needle nose plier, pull them through the remodeling box.
The remodeling box should have multiple set screws preset. Tighten the set screws using a screwdriver so that the box is fixed in place.
Step 6: Restore the Wiring
All the hard work for setting up a new light switch is done. Now all that is left is the rewiring. If you remember the wiring setup, you can do it easily.
If you forgot how the setup looks, you can take help from the picture you took earlier. After all the wiring is done, screw in the switch plate as well.
Then finally, you can turn the breaker on for this particular switch and test out the switch. It should work flawlessly! If the light doesn’t react to the switch, there’s a high chance you missed the wiring.
Wire properly and you’ll be good to go!
Step 7: Attach the Door Trim
Now for the aesthetic part of this whole process. Restore the door trims you removed earlier. You can again use some caulking to attach the trims to the sides of the doors.
If you want, you can attach a new set of door trims that is bigger! Since you have more space between the light switch and the door trims, why not, right?
After that, the hole in the old light switch needs to be restored. You can repair the drywall for that particular spot. The drywall will be house done after a while.
That is about it. This is the whole process of moving the light switch further away from the door trim.
Can you use caulk around electrical wires?
Yes, you can use caulk around electrical wires. It is a very safe way to prohibit any electricity leakage issue. You can use caulk around any wiring concerning internet cables, exterior outlets, security systems, etc. Alternatively, you can also use spray foams, gaskets, and many other sealants.
Should switch plates match trim?
Yes, the switch plates should match the wall trim. It should not stick out from the wall. Although they are not aesthetically please, they are not unsafe either. To match the switch plates with the wall, you can consider sanding them with sandpaper. Alternatively, painting the switch plate can also help.
Does the light switch cover standard size?
Yes, the light switches can cover the standard sizes. If you get to know the cover plate sizes, it will be easier to measure them. A standard light switch cover plate is 4.5 inches tall and 2.75 inches wide. This is for one outlet. For two switch outlets, the height is the same but the width is 4.56 inches.
The Final Words
This is the end of this article. Hopefully, now you know what to do when you inspect the light switch too close to door trim.
It’s better to be safe and turn off the breaker of the light switch before work. That’ll help you from getting electrocuted.
Wishing you all the best.