Hide the Circuit Breakers

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Project by shaun posted 09-16-2007 04:32 PM 24845 views 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first time posting a project here so be paitent with me. My wife and I were renovating a condo, it’s built on a slab so there’s no basement and all the utilties (water meter, hot water heater, etc) are tucked away out of sight throughout the ground level. All except the circuit breaker panel. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door, it almost jumps off the wall and smacks you in the face.

We looked high and low for an off the shelf solution to this eyesore and the best we could come up with was “hang a picture over it”. Since that wasn’t a good enough answer for me, I decided to build this shallow cabinet and mount it over the breaker panel. I got the idea from a hide away ironing board type thing I saw at one of the big box stores.

The whole thing is soid oak (ecept for the back panel) and I held it all together using my Kreg pocket hole jig (I love that thing). I probably could have cut the cost a bit by throwing some plywood in there but the cabinet is shallow enough that using solid wood didn’t break the bank. The door on the cabinet is wide enough so that when it’s open, the door on the breaker panel swings past 90 degrees to the wall and you have clear access to the breakers should you ever need to flip one.The back is cut out so that it fits nicely over the existing breaker panel and it’s mounted to the sheet rock wth anchors so it comes off the wall easily should anyone ever need to get inside the breaker panel. You really can’t tell from the pictures but I ran an ogee over the edges to sweeten the look.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

20 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5017 days

#1 posted 09-16-2007 04:53 PM

Very nice. It is really a big improvement.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Jeff's profile


91 posts in 4867 days

#2 posted 09-16-2007 05:08 PM

NIce work that is a great way to hide something that does to belong there.

-- Jeff B.

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 4956 days

#3 posted 09-16-2007 05:12 PM

Great idea!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35229 posts in 5320 days

#4 posted 09-16-2007 07:41 PM

Great job and a fantastic improvement.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Napaman's profile


5533 posts in 4997 days

#5 posted 09-16-2007 08:31 PM

nice job…i love it…and welcome to the community of LJ’s….

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4854 days

#6 posted 09-16-2007 09:16 PM

Really cool, Shaun, and welcome to LumberJocks!

-- Robb

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 4825 days

#7 posted 09-17-2007 01:10 AM

Thanks for the compliments and the welcomes. I’m looking forward to participating in the community. I’m still learning my way around the site but I’ve gotten a truckload of ideas from looking at everyone’s work. I’m in the middle of a patio table (and a hundred other thing) right now. I”ll be posting that one when it’s finished.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 5007 days

#8 posted 09-17-2007 03:04 AM

Shaunj, it is a good idea and you can probably get away with it in your residence and you plan on living there a long time.

I tried to do the same in our office as the panel stuck out like a sore thumb.
The fire department made us remove it because in case of a fire the circuit breaker box is the first place the firemen go. If it is covered up it’s a no-no.

But our office is open to the public, sort of, so we have different rules.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5080 days

#9 posted 09-18-2007 03:05 PM

oh MUCH better!
well thought out and it looks great.

Great posting! Thanks for sharing.

Enjoy the tour around—it’s an awesome “work shop” :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Krisztian's profile


89 posts in 4819 days

#10 posted 10-08-2007 06:33 AM

Great idea!Nice finish.

-- Krisztian VA My website:

View Drew1House's profile


425 posts in 5007 days

#11 posted 10-09-2007 06:36 PM

Very nice… I have the same thing in Maple at my house but your little box is much nicer than mine… mine is just a 4 board frame shot to the wall with my finish nail gun… the door is nice though…


-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 5012 days

#12 posted 10-09-2007 06:50 PM

great solution!

-- Paul, Kentucky

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4997 days

#13 posted 10-10-2007 05:54 AM

Very cool idea.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5019 days

#14 posted 11-05-2007 05:20 AM

That is a great design and solution for hiding a hideous panel. Nicely done.

I love the Kreg jig too!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4698 days

#15 posted 01-28-2008 05:35 PM

Great looking solution…but is it legal? I know it’s a code violation to build a cabinet of any type around an electric panel. Emergency response people need to be able to find the panel as quickly as possible.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

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