Installing an Electrical Box in Framing

Intro

Wiring is easier before the walls and ceilings become covered with drywall or plaster.

Buy switch and receptacle boxes that meet local codes and are large enough for the wires they hold. It's easy to underestimate, so buy extra supplies. At the same time you install boxes, attach fans, lights, or other fixtures that need to be hardwired.

Local codes specify where cable should run and at what height to place receptacles and switch boxes. Check codes before you begin.

Checklist

Time
About 1 hour to install eight boxes

Tools
Hammer, tape measure, drill, screwdriver

Skills
Measuring, driving nails

Prep
Expose framing, remove obstructions in the room, make and follow a written plan that plots the location of each box.

Materials
New-work electrical boxes, 1-1/4-inch wood screws (not drywall screws)

Step 1

Receptacle boxes typically sit 12 inches up from the floor. Measure with a tape measure or set your hammer upright on the floor and rest the box on top.

Step 2

The front edge of the box must be flush with the finished wall surface, usually 1/2-inch-thick drywall. Some boxes have depth gauges. You can use a scrap of drywall to position the box.

Step 3

Drive the box's nails into the stud or joist. If the box attaches with a flange, drive screws or nails to anchor the box.


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