One Room Challenge Week 5 – Professional help

We’re heading into the homestretch on the One Room Challenge.

One Room Challenge

Next week is the big reveal of my master bedroom makeover. Here’s where we’ve come so far:

The One Room Challenge is largely about DIY. It’s not a requirement, but most of the other bloggers participating are painting, sewing, carpentering all on their own like I am.

However, last week it was time for some professional help.

One of the quirky elements of this room is that the light switch was behind the door. When we used this room as a guest room, people would always walk in and reach for the light switch. I’d have to explain that no, it’s not where you’d expect it to be. You have to reach around behind the door.

Light switches behind the door

Apparently, I didn’t mind making things inconvenient for our guests, but now that we’re the ones living in the room, I wanted the light switch where it should be.

Matt and I discussed doing this ourselves, but the electrical in this house is a bit wonky. Plus, relocating the switch would involve lots of time in the attic–and lots of time with the insulation in the attic. Not fun. We also had some other minor electrical work on our to-do list, so we decided to bundle it all together and call in a professional.

When he first saw the bedroom, our professional questioned whether there was space for a switch. There’s a very narrow wall between the door and the edge of the closet. We had no way of knowing how the studs were configured. He got out his stud finder, picked a spot, and I held my breath as he punched through the drywall.

There was a narrow cavity. It was nearly the width we needed for the box, but just a bit too narrow.

Cutting drywall for a new light switch

Fortunately, it was close enough that a quick trim with the sawzall allowed the box to fit and didn’t compromise the stud.

Tracing the wire from the junction box in the ceiling to the switch turned out to be another bit of fun. There’s a join in the wiring somewhere, but the electrician wasn’t sure where. It looks like there’s a junction box in the closet of the bedroom next door, so that’s my guess. When we do our big whole house reno, we will definitely devote a portion of the budget to fixing all of the wiring.

Our electrician couldn’t get rid of the original switch behind the door. It’s a crowded box that appears to be feeding some other areas of the house. But a blank cover on the missing switch is something I can live with.

Blank plate covering a light switch

I’m just happy that I no longer have to live with the switch behind the door… although I still reach for it when I go into the room. This new switch, on the right side of the door, with a dimmer (can I have a hooray for dimmer switches?) is so wonderful.

Bedroom light switch with a dimmer

The bedroom is coming together. All of the cosmetic updates are looking really good. However, this little functional improvement is equally awesome.

Thanks to our awesome electrician. And thanks to all of you for following along so far. Only one week to go!

To check out the other ORC participants, be sure to visit Calling it Home.

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17 thoughts on “One Room Challenge Week 5 – Professional help

  1. Yes! Yes! We have dimmers on most rooms of our house and we even took it a step further. In our bathroom and in our hallway we have motion sensors on the light switches. With kids in the house, we never have to worry about someone forgetting to turn off the lights!

  2. My husband says there are two things he won’t mess with himself–electrical and plumbing. I’m okay with that! Some of the most gratifying fixes are those that let you stop asking WHY?? about a small, annoying thing. Totally worth it in my book to get that switch where you want it. Looking forward to seeing everything all put together!

      • Haha, that is SO funny. When we installed the lights I asked Justin what kind of tradesperson he would want to be. He picked a general contractor, and (even though it’s strange) I think wallpaper hangers are really neat. Even in our fantasies we can’t help with practical matters.

      • I never thought about a wallpaper hanger. The beadboard wallpaper I used on the closet doors during this makeover is my first time wallpapering. I learned it’s definitely a skill! I’m not sure I have that skill yet!

  3. I had a light switch like this too – drove me nuts! My Dad finally moved it for me. LOL Can’t wait to see the big reveal next week!

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