When I was putting up my wood panel wall for my master bedroom redesign, I found that the electrical outlets would no longer sit flush with the new wall treatment.  This is a super simple fix and takes very little time.

I went to Lowe’s and picked up some electrical outlet extenders.

There are several different types of extenders to choose from but I went with these because they are simple to install and less than $3 for a package of two.  Basically, you just want an outlet box with an open back.  When you pick up a package of these, they will be hooked together and look like one unit.  They come apart easily if you only need one, so don’t fret.  They also come with extended screws to reach the old outlet box.

Please excuse the mess.  There was work in progress when this was taken.

Anytime you are working with something electrical, it is best to turn off the power to the area you are working in.  I did not follow this practice because I am a rebel and because I’ve learned bad habits from my dad.  If you choose not to turn off the power while adding the extenders, be sure not to touch the screws on the side of the receptacles.  They’ll get ya.  And no, this was not learned from experience.

Anyway, they outlet cover should already be removed by this point but if it’s not, that’s your first step.  Next you will remove the screws holding the receptacle into the outlet box and pull the receptacle out a bit.  You’ll slide the extender around the receptacle and position it into the old outlet box so that it sits flush against the wall.

This is very easy to do for plug in outlets.  If you are placing an extender on a phone jack, you’ll need to remove a few screws on the back of the jack and disconnect the wires from the face plate to slide the extender on.  It’s not at all difficult, it just takes a few extra steps.

Once your extender is in place, you’ll screw your receptacle back in position like it was before you added the extender.  I found that the longer screws that came with the extenders were not long enough to reach the original outlet box.  I went back to the store and bought a pack of 2” flat head screws that fit into the receptacle.

 

I opened them before I remembered that I needed a picture of them.  Sorry about that!

Don’t worry if there is a little extra space around the extender box.  As long as you made cuts in the wood (or tile, or whatever you’ve put on the wall) that lined up with the original holes, your outlet covers will cover the gaps.

This wall treatment is on a wall that is also an exterior wall.  To help with energy efficiency, I purchased some outlet sealers.  They are little foam cutouts that cover any openings where air might come in or escape.  They are inexpensive and are made to fit a variety of electrical fixtures.

You simply hold them in place over the receptacle and screw the outlet cover on top.

When you’re done, it’ll look like the outlets were always that way.  Don’t forget to turn your power back on!

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