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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Electrical entry box camouflage?

doreymeJanuary 12, 2013
The electrical entry box was set right by the front door of the 1890's house. We want to build a box with door to hide it in but we can't figure out how to hide the wires (foam pipe insulators?). Also we can't quite build the box right to the wall because the light switch for the porch is there as well. What a mess. We've renovated the entire house except for this area which we hid until today. Something industrial chic to cover the wires would be great. The box + wall will be tongue + grooved...
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A little lost as to where this is and what the house looks like so hesitate to suggest something that would conflict with the style of your reno. Can you post a few more pics of where this is in regards to the facade of the house?
    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:32PM
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First check with a licensed electrician or building code enforcement to make sure what you plan to do is safe.

That being said, why not put the box/wall where you want to, and move the light switches from their present location to the new wall?
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:56AM
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YIKES! Call an electrician to sort out that spaghetti mess of wires and move the light switch.

It mostly looks like a large tangle of old phone lines. If a phone extension line is no longer in use, disconnect it from the incoming phone lines. It makes a cleaner, easier to troubleshoot phone system and improves the wireless reception in a house.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:27AM
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It appears to be tucked right up next to the latch jamb of your front door. Yikes!
Presuming this is located in the US, the code states that there must be 36" of clear working space in front of electrical panels when being accessed. Placing a wood door across it will violate code, but a METAL door would be non-combustible, and when open, ensure the clear working area requirement is met. Consider utilizing a metal door from an old office storage cabinet, or a pair of tall narrow school-locker doors (depending on your aesthetic needs). Painted an awesome color (that's a great green door, btw), or just match your walls.
As for the light switches, how about a small board (6-8" square) mounted perpendicular to the wall they are on now (like a fin-sign), in the same plane as the metal door(s). The door edge would need to be cut out around it, so that when it opens, the switches stay in place. It's not like it will be opened all the time, just when you need to get to the panel.
Always double-check with a local, reputable electrician - I'm 90% sure this solution would be acceptable. Hope this helps! good luck.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:37AM
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This house is in Quebec, Canada + the electrical box had just been installed before we bought it some years ago. The location is not uncommon in this inner city neighbourhood which used to be an artist/immigrant neighbourhood + is now gentrified + pricey. Ideally the box would be great to move into the basement but that would be quite expensive. I think calling an electrician in to tidy up the mess of wires is a good idea. I did't realize it had to be a metal door over it....I'm not sure that's the case in Canada...In my studio I had a wood door over the entry box in my studio + it passed the inspection of a master electrician + the city inspectors...However, I like the idea of using metal storage cabinet bits + will look into it...the biggest problem is the huge wad of wires which go into the box from overhead. The ceilings are fairly high...we'd like to install tongue + groove on the ceilings + the walls...a continuation of the tongue + groove of the front + back porches...Painted a warm cream. Don't think the tongue + groove should cover the wires as we might need to access them at some point? Thinking of some kind of attractive industrial looking piping to enclose the wires?
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:29AM
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The white skinny wire is the wire to the doorbell...it needs to be tidied up as well...as I mentioned...with the exception of the actual electrical box this mess was hidden by cheap wooden panels + fabric until yesterday....
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:32AM
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While on vacation recently our condo had this issue and the owners sucessfully concealed the electrical elements with what looked like artwork on the wall - we really had to look to find it. Im not suggesting that you go with the fish but thought the general idea might help. The whole "picture" swung open nicely and it was made of a metal of sorts so would fit with the safety suggestions made by others here. Just a thought that came to mind when I saw your question. We thought it was creative enough at the time that we snapped a photo.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:40AM
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decoenthusiast...if you opened that green door you would be on the landing of the the porch rebuilt about 10 years ago...you'd walk down about 5-6 steps of a brick attached "cottage" which is what we call them here...it's very much like a townhouse you'd find in New York or Boston...2 stories, basement, backyard, 4 bedrooms...the little room holding the electrical box is a sort of walk in mud room/closet...there is another door about 6 feet from it which is the entry to the hall...we're just in the process of adding on either side of a radiator, oak coat hangers with cubby holes over them....
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:41AM
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sorry it is sideways...........I'm not great with the computer stuff..........but gives you a general idea anyways..........curious to see what you end up deciding to do.... good luck
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:43AM
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When they install "Smart Meters" for you they won' t have to have access - it will be scanable from the street. Until then, maybe a faux replica of your siding painted over it will be camouflage. Good idea to have a pro hide the wires somehow.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:10PM
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