Recessed Cabinet Install


Senior Member
Hey All,

Browsed Cocoontech quite a bit - not sure if I've posted before - I normally am good with Search...

Based on what I've read, I decided an Elk M1G was something I wanted in my new (to me) house... 20 yr. old house - was wired for alarm when built, but previous owners weren't using it and it was basically dead, so I decided to do an M1G with HAI thermostat and UPB.

2. questions...
1 - because they weren't using the alarm, when some doors were replaced, they didn't keep the sensors working... and they used carpet pads which I ripped out. I want to upgrade to a monitored smoke alarm (ge w/cleanme); motion sensors and a glass break. Plus the doorbell sensor, RJ31X, etc. Personally I hate running wires in attics... My question - where's a good place to look for help with an installer to do the wiring without expecting to make money off monitoring and equip sales?

2. The place I want to mount my panel is basically where the old one was - but it was a surface mount. Also, I bought Elk's 28" recessed cabinet so I can hide it better (it's bigger, and compatible with all the other makers' parts). I know I have the standard 16" stud width - but I know I also have pictures of when the walls were off (we re-sheetrocked the other side of that wall) - there's a single romex running down from above to an outlet below. Will I still be able to get the cabinet in that stud cavity flush mounted and just push the romex into the corner, or do I need to choose to move either the romex or the cabinet to another cavity? I do a lot of structured wiring, but this is my first run with a structured media cabinet.

Thx! Looking forward to any advice. BTW, I live in Roseville (Sacramento area) California.


Senior Member
Usually only the big guys like ADT and Brinks are going to try to sell you monitoring and their equipment. Are there any local shops that sell the equipment, like the wiring structured media. etc? If you ask someone there there can usually recommend a local installer. You can also look in your phone book for home theater/automation companies as often they are equipped to do the work. You can check with IVB as he is in your general area and may know someplace.


Senior Member
When you cut the sheetrock out for the 28" enclosure you might be able to reroute the romex to the next cavity (it will be some work). This all assumes the wire is long enough and you want to mount your outlet inside the bottom cutout of the ELK enclosure..

The opening will be from stud to stud about 28" in height. If you can get into the top of the cavityand drill to the adjacent cavity in the center of the stud about 3" above your cutout and again about 3" below your cutout. From the top hole feed a piece of 18 awg or similar wire down into the adjacent cavity long enough so it will easily reach the second hole below. Now the fun part is to snag it and pull it back into the first cavity as a pull wire for the romex. Use it to drag the romex into the next cavity and back into the first below the cutout so you can mount an electrical single gang box to the bottom of the 28" cabinet.

You may get lucky and you may not. I have done this a couple of times over the years and its up to you if you want to give it a shot but it can be a real pain.


Senior Member
Digger - I may have to look at that - I don't think the wire is long enough though. It's actually going to an outlet on the other side of the wall down at the normal height, then it splits off and goes around the corner to a switch, as well as back up to the top of the closet for the old alarm.

The top one from the old alarm I was just going to cut and feed into the bottom of the cabinet. To deal with the short wire issue, maybe I can use the one that goes to the lower outlet - bump to the next cavity, come back below the box - into the internal outlet, then back down to the lower outlet with a fresh piece of romex, and let it continue its journey around the corner.. I think I could make that work...

Sounds like a plan - looks like I'm breaking out a drywall saw tonight! I'm pretty anxious to finally get the Elk powered up - it's not like me to have a new toy around for 2 weeks and not rig up some way to play with it...

Here's an old pic from when we were doing the remodel when I first bought the place - obviously the walls aren't open anymore, and the box is going on the other side of the wall, in the closet... but you can see where all the alarm wiring already is - I was just gonna cut that out and put the recessed panel in there.


  • TMB_7215.jpg
    146.9 KB · Views: 60


Senior Member
Actually went easier than I thought it would. My biggest concern was hooking the wire back around to get it back into the correct stud cavity - so I used a metal coat hangar, and bent it into about the right radius - stuck it in one hole, and took me about 45 seconds to get it through the bottom hole (was barely long enough, actually) - taped a guide wire on - pulled that through, then taped the guide wire to the romex and pulled it through.

All in all, about an hour and a half to cut the wall to size (while being careful not to cut any other wires), rerun all the wires, and tie everything back up. Just by repurposing the previous romex, I didn't have to add any new stuff either -

Thx for the tip, Digger - it worked out better than I could've expected.