How to Install Remodeling Boxes

1-2 hours

Quickly add an additional outlet wherever you need it by installing old-work boxes on drywall

How to Install Remodeling Boxes

Remodeling boxes, also called old-work boxes, are electrical boxes designed to be installed after drywall has been hung. For example, you would install a remodeling box if you need an additional outlet for a home office or theater. 

In contrast to new-work boxes, which are screwed to the wall studs before drywall is hung, old-work boxes hang on the drywall with clamps built in to the box. 

Installing a remodeling box is something you can easily do with just a few tools. This project guide will walk you step-by-step through the process of installing a plastic remodeling box in drywall for a new outlet, including running wiring from an existing outlet to power the new one.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT

1
Turn off power at the circuit breaker box
circuit breaker box - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Turn off power at the circuit breaker panel box.
• Use a voltage tester to ensure power is off at the outlet.

2
Mark the drywall for the new box
Mark the drywall - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Hold the remodeling box up to the drywall where it will be installed.
• Use a stud finder to ensure you don’t install a remodeling box adjacent to a stud or pipes.
• Trace around the box with a pencil to mark the area to be cut.

3
Cut the drywall
Cut the drywall - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Use a utility knife to score the drywall paper along the outline of the box.
• Use the drywall saw to carefully cut out the hole. Go slowly to ensure you don’t cut any wires behind the wall.
• Push the remodeling box into the hole for a test fit. It should fit snugly, but you shouldn’t have to force it.

4
Loosen the old outlet
Loosen old outlet - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Using a voltage tester, ensure the power is cut off at the electrical outlet from which you will draw power.
• Unscrew the faceplate from the old outlet.
• Pull the outlet away from the box.

5
Feed the cable to the old box
Feed cable old box - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Use a screwdriver to knock a hole in the back of the old box, at one of the knockouts.
• Feed the wiring through the hole in the box and out the other side of the wall.

6
Connect the wires in the old box
Connect wires in old box - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Use the wire strippers to strip 5/8 inches of insulation off each end of each wire.
• Using new wire connectors, connect the wires from the cable to the existing wiring.
• Connect white to white, black to black and ground to ground.

7
Mount the remodeling box
Mount the remodeling box - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Pull the new cable through the hole in the wall where the new outlet will be located.
• Strip about 10 inches of sheathing off the cable.
• Insert the wires through the hole in the back of the remodeling box.
• Insert the box into the hole.
• Screw down the clamping tabs carefully until the box is tight against the wall.

8
Wire the new outlet
Wire the new outlet - Install Remodeling Boxes

Attach the wires to the new outlet and connect the white wire to a silver terminal screw, black wire to a brass terminal screw and bare copper wire to the green grounding screw.

9
Install the new outlet
Install the new outlet - Install Remodeling Boxes

• Screw the outlet into the box.
• Attach the faceplate.
• Turn the power back on and test the new outlet.