I am hoping to run electrical wires in my exterior walls, but I have a very low pitched roof which makes it tough to get to that part of the attic. To give some examples:

  1. One of my switches does not have a neutral wire, I'd like to run a 14/3 wire from the light to the switch to bring the neutral to the switch.

  2. I only have one exterior light by my garage door (on one side of the garage), and I'd like to install a matching set of exterior lights, one on each side of the garage door, to better illuminate the driveway at night.

  3. One of my bathrooms is near an exterior wall, and I want to rewire the switches so that the lights operate in a way that makes more sense. An electrician installed an extra can light, by tying it into the fan, rather than the same switch as the over-vanity light, leaving me with a situation where one switch has a light; and the other switch has a light and a fan. I'd like to adjust this so the lights are on one switch circuit, and the fan is on the second switch circuit. This isn't actually in the exterior wall, but just off of it, so it's the same problem of getting physically into the space.

This may seem like multiple questions at once, but the problem is actually all the same: Of course, it's tough to run wire through the exterior wall if I can't get physical access to the part of the attic. There just isn't the space for a human body to get in there.

So what is the solution? Is there a way to run electrical wires to a location in an exterior wall when you have a low-pitched roof? Or am I stuck with what I've got?

  • 2
    if you have a tile roof, you can access from the top. of course it depends on how comfortable are you climbing the roof vs crawling in the attic.
    – Rick
    Aug 12, 2020 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


I've run into this often and have become very successful at getting into corners of the attic I never thought I'd be able to. Sometimes you have to flat crawl on the joists. What has also worked is cutting out a square in the wall inside the room at the ceiling height and using that as a pull station. You will probably have to drill through a sill plate but then shove the wire up into the attic, lots of it. Then go into the attic with your snake or a 10' piece of EMT with a 90 degree bend at the end and snag the wire and pull it toward you. Feed more from the inside room or pull out the slack. Use the same hole in the wall to drop the wire down to the switch location. When finished, repair the drywall using the piece you cut out. At times, you might have to cut the square into the ceiling too.

  • 1
    I have to do the same I go through a top plate not normally a header. I usually to punch my hole lower down but I have 4’ drill bits with a tennis ball to help keep my bit centered. But saving the piece Of drywall and using paint stir sticks is a cheap drywall repair.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 11, 2020 at 22:52
  • @EdBeal Right, not a header but a sill plate... been a long day. Gotta love home depot paint sticks.. stay safe out there.
    – JACK
    Aug 11, 2020 at 23:08
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    When working in a roof space, take a board to lay on - Min thickness 10mm but more is better, to spread weight over multiple points of support. I've used a finished 2x4" and that was impractical, a 6" width was much better on my torso. Length of 4 feet min, and more is better. Depends what you can get through the manhole. Push the wood before you into the corner, and lie chest-down on it, and slide forward. You can generally get your head touching the roofing, and by then a hand should reach the top-plate of the wall. Reaching into the area above the soffit is just possible.
    – Criggie
    Aug 12, 2020 at 6:00
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    @Criggie And before your head touches the roofing, it will probably come in contact with a few protruding nails... ouch!!
    – JACK
    Aug 12, 2020 at 12:20
  • 1
    @Criggie and once you get to the work location, it's so hot you have to get out... and no room to turn around so you back out..
    – JACK
    Aug 12, 2020 at 20:22

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