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DIY Projects

Repositioning Electrics & Adding a Spur


Welcome back to our spare bedroom! We've been working hard over the last few weeks in this room and whilst we're not quite finished just yet, we've made huge progress! Today I'm sharing some changes to the position of electrics in this room and also one small little installation.

Remember the ceiling light that was placed stupidly in the corner of the room? Or how about the one and only double socket butted up against the door? Not to mention the pull chord behind the door that operated the light...

All gone. This room (and every room!) is all about long-term practicality and the previous electrical situation was far from practical. So, I headed down to Screwfix and got tooled-up. We bought in bulk since all the electrics in this house are in ridiculous locations and not a single socket, switch or wire is buried into wall either. As such, our house is somewhat a chaotic mess of trunking and massive bulky plastic surface mounted boxes. U-g-l-y.

Tools for electrical jobs

The first job was moving the light to the centre of the room. This was really a simple job of disconnecting, drilling up a new hole, lifting the floorboards in the attic room above and re-positioning the cable.

repositioning ceiling light

fitting ceiling light

But things are never that simple! Since the new location (and old location) were in the eaves of the attic bedroom, there was no way of directly getting to the new hole from the room above. We lifted up the nearest floorboard where were able to pull the cable straight from the old position but were unable to directly feed it through the new hole, quite simply because we couldn't get to it. Instead we used a makeshift cable rod which we fed through the hole from below until it was reachable from under the floorboards in the attic bedroom above. We tied the cable to it and pulled it back through and... voila!

homemade cable rod

cable rod DIY

how to pull cables through ceiling

cables through ceiling

We had a few cables to pull through, but it was super simple to do with this technique. We also swapped the old pull-switch for a modern proper wall switch. We opted for a toggle switch which was slightly pricier, but the click-on, click-off is so unbelievably satisfying. This is still positioned behind the door as we intend on rehanging the door to swing the opposite way as we did in the bathroom too.

swapping pull chord for switch

Everything above was a very simple re-positioning job. We used no new cables or altered anything in any way - The second part of this repositioning did require some additional electrical work. Since the bedroom only had one double socket, we needed to add a second to suit our electrical needs. Most bedrooms nowadays are fitted with two double sockets anyway and since it's so simple to do, it just made sense.

We completed this job ourselves since it's very basic-level electrical work. It's non-notifiable, described as "minor works" and legally doesn't require a registered electrician to complete. That being said, you do need to know what you're doing and you do need a good understanding of the existing circuit. You can view the UK law on electrical jobs and building regulations here.

Adding an additional socket on a circuit is generally referred to as a 'spur' which is essentially as simple as one socket feeding power to an another socket. Some things you might need to consider before tackling this job include whether or not the circuit is a ring circuit or radial circuit (the way to add additional sockets differs from each), what the ampage the circuit is if you require a junction box, how long the circuit is and how many spur's are already on the circuit. You also cannot add a spur onto an existing spur either, so you need to be able to recognise whether or not a socket is already a spur.

If you have all the knowledge from above and a good understanding of electrics in general, then it really is quite a simple job with most of the hassle actually coming from chiselling out the brickwork. Luckily our new second socket is actually positioned in a lath and plaster wall which made the installation super quick and simple. Grant scored around the back box with a knife and then chiselled away the plaster before using our Worx Sonicrafter to cut away some of the laths.

chiselling lath and plaster wall

socket in lath and plaster wall

He then fed the new cable through a conduit for protection, which then goes behind the original skirting, under the floorboards and quite simply attaches up to the other socket. It really is as simple as that.

cable in conduit

chrome socket screwfix

Ideally all electrical work should be checked off by a professional electrician although generally speaking most electricians won't check off any work they haven't done themselves. If you cannot get it checked over, it might be a better case to get the job set-up with all necessary chiselling complete so that an electrician simply needs to make the simple connections. This way you can have the peace of mind and a bargain price too!

Our final job in this room was to reposition the original socket around 1 meter to the right. This sounds slightly silly but the original socket was butted up right against the doorway in a position where quite frankly, you would never use it. Installing it 1 meter to the right is a much more suited location to where we hope to fit a desk in the future.

repositioning electric sockets

repositioning electrics

You can see the new socket without it's fancy chrome cover to the right of the ladder above. It's much closer to the corner of the room and means we won't need to use extension leads when we finally bring the PC up here. Obviously everything still requires plastering over, but it all works and looks so much more modern. I love the chrome mirrored finish on the sockets and switch, it was definitely a pricier option than plain plastic, but I much prefer the way it looks. The chrome cover is also screw-less as well, which means those little holes won't get clogged up with dirt and grime as many of our older switches are like!

This job was a bit of a faff-job, but everything is now modernised and makes much more sense in the room. We even removed the old phone-line socket since modern technology now means our phones are all wireless. How times have changed, eh?! Have you had poor locations for any electrics in your home? Did they bother you enough to reposition?

Total Costs

(rounded to the nearest pound)


New Tools Purchased:
Masonry Chisel Set £25


Materials Used:
Cable Free from previous job
Double Metal Back Boxes (Pack of 10) £5
Single Metal Back Box for (Pack of 10) £4
Drywall Back Box £1
Conduit x2 £2
Grommets £2
Toggle Switch £7
Sockets (Pack of 5) £30


Total: £76


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