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Old 03-29-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
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4-gang box in new construction


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Having an new house built in central PA. After most of the wiring for the lighting was put in place I noticed that we had misunderstood what lights were included in the build and I asked for a change order to add cans in the kitchen and on the front porch. Drywall is now in place and painted and flooring and cabinets are being installed. Walked through the other day and noticed that instead of pulling the 3-gang boxes that the electrician had put in place for the "stock" wiring and replacing it with a 4-gang box to include the new switch, the electrician simply placed a single-gang box about 6" below the 3-gang box he had already installed. Not only was this done in the kitchen, it was also done in the foyer for the added porch lights. So, the question is, is there some logical reason that this was done, or is this simply laziness on the part of the electrician (the electrician did not want to do the change-order if you think that makes a difference)?

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Old 03-29-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
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4-gang box in new construction


My gut says pure laziness. He could have pried the gang box nails out from the inside and the replaced it with a 4 gang (old work box). Why not have the electrician give you an explanation? Perhaps there's more to the story than meets the eye.

Just a thought: Depending on what the switches are for, one could have been made a double switch..

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Old 03-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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4-gang box in new construction


Because unless you specified your change order you probably got what was up to his discretion.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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My gut says pure laziness. He could have pried the gang box nails out from the inside and the replaced it with a 4 gang (old work box).
Just like magic, right?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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Just like magic, right?
Granted it would have taken an extra hour or so. Not everyone takes cosmetics details into account. If it wasn't specified, he technically didn't do anything wrong. A double switch would still be my first thought. Less work, cleaner look.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:40 PM   #6
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Well, I understand the discretion for the poor wall placement due to my not specifying. However, drywall had not been hung when he acted on the change-order so pulling the 3-gang and putting in the 4 would have taken a whole extra 10 minutes. Is it common practice to place two rows of switches where there are no less than 4 switches and plenty of room for the 4-gang box in a new construction build?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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Granted it would have taken an extra hour or so. Not everyone takes cosmetics details into account. If it wasn't specified, he technically didn't do anything wrong. A double switch would still be my first thought. Less work, cleaner look.
personally, I try to work with the client and give them the best option for the scenario at hand, but I don't do spec houses with set prices and change orders, so I don't have to deal with this much.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
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Well, I understand the discretion for the poor wall placement due to my not specifying. However, drywall had not been hung when he acted on the change-order so pulling the 3-gang and putting in the 4 would have taken a whole extra 10 minutes. Is it common practice to place two rows of switches where there are no less than 4 switches and plenty of room for the 4-gang box in a new construction build?
There is no such thing as common practice, i've seen everything. But you should have specified exactly what you wanted.

If I didnt have a four gang box on the truck , I probably would have just added a switch above or adjacent to the existing box... hard to say with out knowing the exact deal of the cards.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:44 PM   #9
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Maybe I did not paint the picture right. i have a row of three switches located against a stud, and a single switch on the same stud about 6-inches below the row of three. Drywall had not been hung when the change order was acted upon so there was no access restrictions. Just smells like a sour attitude to me since he was originally refusing to do the change order.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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Maybe I did not paint the picture right. i have a row of three switches located against a stud, and a single switch on the same stud about 6-inches below the row of three. Drywall had not been hung when the change order was acted upon so there was no access restrictions. Just smells like a sour attitude to me since he was originally refusing to do the change order.
Maybe you whizzed him off? I have no idea, but talk to the electrician if you are not happy and want it changed... it's your house.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:54 PM   #11
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Sorry, above was for Property Medics so I was clear in what happened.

Just have never seen two rows of switches. And, if there was a question, the electrician was quick to communicate his distaste for the change but could not confirm switch placement? Realtor knows I'm not happy and builder will get an ear-full during walk-through. Fixing what looks like a short-cut installation as my first task in my newly built house was not on my agenda. Sorry, It just looks like an afterthought and was slapped in. If there's a code reason, I'll deal with it, but doesn't sound like it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:58 PM   #12
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Sorry, above was for Property Medics so I was clear in what happened.

Just have never seen two rows of switches. And, if there was a question, the electrician was quick to communicate his distaste for the change but could not confirm switch placement? Realtor knows I'm not happy and builder will get an ear-full during walk-through. Fixing what looks like a short-cut installation as my first task in my newly built house was not on my agenda. Sorry, It just looks like an afterthought and was slapped in. If there's a code reason, I'll deal with it, but doesn't sound like it.
No code issues, in my honest opinion, he was either time burdened, or money was an issue...
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:59 PM   #13
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Well, I understand the discretion for the poor wall placement due to my not specifying. However, drywall had not been hung when he acted on the change-order so pulling the 3-gang and putting in the 4 would have taken a whole extra 10 minutes. Is it common practice to place two rows of switches where there are no less than 4 switches and plenty of room for the 4-gang box in a new construction build?
If the drywall wasn't up when he acted on the change order.. then yes, he added the switch underneath because he didn't want to remove and rewire the existing 3 gang. It would have taken an addition 20 minutes each, so he saved himself 40 minutes of labor. Time is money.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:02 PM   #14
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Double, switch: Just sunk in, missed what you were getting at before.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:06 PM   #15
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Good point stickboy1375, who's to know what supplies he had on hand. I'm in NJ/ Philadelphia.. there's a home improvements store on every corner.

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