Friday, May 2, 2014

Easily Replace Switch Plates with This Handy Checklist

Remodeling Guide for Replacing Switch Plates & Outlet Covers in Your Home

Remodeling is so much fun, isn't it? Well, the actual process isn't but the results sure are! I could look at remodel before-and-afters on Pinterest for days. I just love seeing how others transform their living spaces whether it's painting their kitchen cabinets, adding a kitchen island, or doing a full-on makeover to a kitchen, bathroom or living room. It's so inspiring to see other peoples' creativity.

The thing about transforming a room - new paint colors, new stainless steel appliances, newly tiled backsplashes - is that a new color palette often creates an unexpected need. Just when you think you've reached the final step in your remodel - putting the switch plates and outlet covers back up - you realize there's one more thing you must do to add the finishing touch - replace those cheap, white plastic faceplates.

Easy enough, you think. But then you head to the local hardware store and find out that they don't carry every size and configuration you need in the gorgeous new finish you've chosen. Frustrating, I know. So you go online, find what you need, pay the stupid shipping fee, wait a week for your new plates to arrive and then (and only then) come to the painful realization that you forgot a plate. And somehow ended up with an extra one you don't need. Ugh!

That's why we've put together this handy, comprehensive switch plate checklist that we highly, highly, highly (can't say highly enough!) recommend (demand?) you download before you step foot in the hardware store or start your online search for your dream switch plates.

Please, please do yourself a huge favor and print this comprehensive switch plate order checklist right now.

 Switch Plate Order Checklist for Your Remodeling Project

Be sure you also think about whether your new switch plates will look OK with your old switch and outlets - you may want to replace those devices as well to make things cohesive.

At Kyle Switch Plates, we understand how difficult it can be to find every plate you need in the finish you desire. That's why we carry a lot of standard and hard-to-find switch plates in up to 18 gorgeous finishes (you may not be able to resist the oil rubbed bronze or antique brass, although the stainless steel will coordinate perfectly with your new kitchen appliances). Click to shop switch plates by finish and see what we're talking about! We also carry light switches, dimmer and outlets in a variety of finishes to go with your new cover plates.

Extra Tips for Replacing Your Cover Plates:

Walk through your room and make note of each switch plate you come across in the top of the checklist. Then, start tallying how many of each you need. To be sure you're completely thorough, add a small piece of painter's tape to each old plate as you add it to the list. Then, once you're done, walk back through the room and double (rather, triple!) check that you haven't missed any plates.

Switch plates can be flipped upside down. If you see a switch plate that has an outlet on the right and a switch on the left, but you need the opposite configuration (outlet on left/switch on right), you can flip the plate upside down and it will still fit (so long as it's a standard switch plate).

When you can't find the configuration you need, you can create a custom plate  - learn how to create any configuration switch plate using inserts.

Most DIY home owners don't know the correct terminology for the different types of switch plate openings. Visit our Switch Plate 101 post to learn the correct terms for various cover plates.

You may need to replace your devices to match your new switch plates. If so, be sure you correctly identify which type of switches and outlets you have. If you're not sure whether you need a single-pole, 3-way or 4-way light switch, or if your outlet is 15-amp, 20-amp or GFI, read our Switch Plate 101 post.

Shop Kyle Switch Plates to order your new switch plates, outlet covers and matching devices from a single store. You're quality, metal faceplates will be shipped out in 1 to 2 business days with our convenient flat-rate shipping. They'll arrive in a protective box in perfect condition so you can finally invite your friends and family over to reveal your newly remodeled home.

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