Painted electrical and switches
January 1, 2013 in Other
We hired a designer who was also the project manager for our extensive renovation including moving walls, new windows, doors, brand new bathrooms and all new furniture We're pleased with the results EXCEPT all the electrical outlets, switches and plates were painted the same color as the walls, which is a flat finish. When asked, the designer claimed this is how she does all her high end renos. We think it looks very cheap and also unsafe. Any comments???
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Glad you're pleased with the overall result of such a large project. If you're unhappy with the plates, then she should replace them all at her expense if it was not discussed in advance and set forth in the agreement. (I would assume it would be specified in the contract since this is a design detail. We specifiy what we plan to do with switches/plates in our construction contracts.) If it was specified in the contract that they would be painted flat and you agreed to it, then they would be yours to deal with. I would not like them painted flat either as I think they will nick and peel over time.
January 1, 2013 at 1:04PM     
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Custom Home Planning Center
Most paints are not formulated for application to plastic or metal, so I agree it is a poor practice for switch and duplex covers.
January 1, 2013 at 3:39PM   
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Eggleston Farkas Architects
I haven't seen this done before, and I would expect there to be durability problems. Hopefully you can resolve the situation amicably with the designer.

You didn't mention it in your post, but were the smoke/fire/CO detectors painted? As far as I know, no detectors on the market are paintable. If they were painted, they might not work properly and should be replaced ASAP, as this would be a life safety problem.
January 8, 2013 at 11:45PM     
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I've not heard of this for new upscale work, but it is common in old lower end properties. Often it was used in an attempt to hide the fact that the outlets were old and dingy or that some outlets were different colors than others.

Actually, it is surprisingly durable if done with a good paint.
January 9, 2013 at 7:45PM   
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