It can be a big challenge to hide an electrical panel. Some electrical panels are perfectly fine hidden behind a metal door. But when we finished our basement and had to increase the size of our the panel even more to accommodate the electrical needs for my craft room and the man cave, it looked horrendous.
Updating the Panel
By the way, our post only talks about hiding the panel. But before you go and do that, make sure you don’t need to update (like we did), or replace the electrical panel first. This article talks about some of the signs that you need an electrical panel upgrade.
We’re all for saving money on work around the home. However, electrical work is not an area to cut corners in order to save money. Hire a licensed electrician or (at least in Ontario, Canada) get a permit to run the wires so it gets inspected by the City. We hired an electrician to do the final hookups to the panel after the work was passed.
Now onto how to hide it!
How to Hide an Electrical Panel
Here are a few pictures of the ‘before’:
The electrical panel is in Hub’s man cave so he took responsibility for making it presentable.
After the drywall installation however, there’s still a large gaping hole – ugh!
Enjoying His Man Cave
With my craft room complete, Hubs couldn’t wait to move his furniture into his man cave. No one deserves to enjoy a personal space more! So for ages, hiding the electrical panel fell by the wayside. Below you can see the electrical panel in the corner. It detracts from the beauty of the space as Hubs installs airplane wall decor on the soffit over the entryway to the man cave.
Hubs’ framing and dry walling is phenomenal. However, who can really appreciate all his hard work when a big piece of the room is left unfinished? I wasn’t sure how he would execute a finished look, but before the Christmas holidays, I thought I’d surprise him with some artwork. An interim measure until he’s ready to come up with a final solution to frame it out.
If you follow our blog, you know we love our Beetle. It’s even featured on a bank of storage drawers in my craft studio, as you’ll see late)! This beetle graphic is what I had in mind for his man cave to cover the panel. There are names of the Beetle in different languages around the world. And if you look closely, you can also see in red the phrase “I do not like them in a car”. That happens to be one of Hubs’ favourite phrases from Dr. Seuss. However, he ixnayed my idea 🙁
Since it was in his space, Hubs REALLY wanted to put his own stamp on the electrical panel. So I end up turning the Beetle graphic into a T-shirt for him instead (which he loves).
Frame with Aluminum Channel
Anyway, after Christmas, Hubs finally got around to framing the panel with aluminum channel he bought at a specialty metal shop. He drilled holes through the back of the channel, then screwed it into the wood frame with the thinnest screw head he could find so the poster board cover wouldn’t catch on the screws when it slides.
The gaping hole went from this:
….to this, but only temporarily. I think he was tired of hearing me comment on how it looked every time I passed through to get to my craft studio. So he slid some scraps of foam core into the channel sporting posters on two of the three panels. It’s only a interim solution until he decides what he really wants to display there.
Once the final artwork is in place, he’ll close off the end with another piece of aluminum channel. The beauty of it is that it’s easily removable for easy access if we ever need to get into the electrical panel.
Centre the Panel on Wall
In retrospect, there are two things I would change. I wish Hubs was able to centre the framing of the panel over the sofa. Now, I guess we’ll just have to add more artwork to balance it out. Also, if I knew what Hub’s plans were for the metal channel, I would have suggested a double channel so the panels could slide across without being removed completely. Two things for you to think about in advance of planning your own basement space! However, we won’t have to access the panel very often, if at all. And he’s happy with the functionality and practicality of it. I’m just happy that I don’t have to look at the wire monster anymore!
HIde an Electrical Panel in Plain Sight
I’ve been wanting to reveal the man cave for weeks but because the electrical panel is still unfinished, it thwarted my plans. Hopefully Hubs will decide what he wants to display in front of the panel. But for now, here’s a glimpse of how the electrical panel could look with one of our pictures from a holiday in Niagara Falls. I think the green and blue in the photo complements the burgundy La-Z-Boy leather sofa! But, if I know Hubs, he’ll just say that water and electricity don’t mix 🙂
Birdz of a Feather Renovations
Next week, we’ll be showing you how to make this pipe table.
On the renovation front one floor up, we’re removing an interior wall for our dining room transformation and installing shoji screen sliding doors – getting the look without using glass.
We also do a complete staircase makeover on the main level.
Pin Hide an Electrical Panel
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated!
Other Basement Spaces and Makeovers
The electrical panel makeover is one more thing to (almost) check off our list as we complete our basement reno! In the meantime, if you haven’t yet seen my craft room (also in the basement), click on the picture below for the tour:
I’m looking forward to seeing the man cave in all its glory, Sara. That exposed panel would bug me too. It’s in our DNA. 😉
That’s for sure!