I am replacing our thermostat. The new one has only two holes for mounting to the wall. There is a big round hole in the wall already. I can't position the new thermostat in a way that I can put a new screw in because its always too close to the existing hole. The holes for the new thermostat are vertical and even if I push/pull the thermostat to the left/right, the mounting hole spots are still too close to the edges of the big hole in the wall.

I know I can cut a big square from the drywall and patch it with new drywall but I am trying to avoid that.

Is there another way I could screw the new thermostat into the wall?

hole in wall

  • Mount the thermostat crooked? Hah! Patching a small hole in the wallboard isn't difficult. I worried about this before I learned how, too. It is intimidating. But it turns out, home improvement stores sell kits with 1x1 ft pieces of wallboard so you're not buying a whole sheet (phew!) and user-friendly mud and tape. Check out some videos online before deciding on a shoddy work-around! Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 0:39
  • Google drywall repair clips. Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 0:40
  • @Jeff It’s not that. I am just hoping there is a quicker/cheaper solution before I go crazy. Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 0:51
  • @Jim: You’re saying to patch it with replacement drywall? Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 0:52
  • Yes. Use the drywall clips to hold in a drywall patch. Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


My cheap solution for small patchups, is to use a 6 or 7 inch piece of a paint stirrer stick. Smear it with wood glue or construction adhesive and center it on your hole, inside the drywall, aimed where you might want to drive your screws. A screw in the middle can be a handle.

You'll have to keep it place while it dries. If you don't care about more holes, a drywall screw on either side will work. Remove and patch when done. Predrill though, as the sticks will split. Or tie some string around the middle, and use another stick on the outside to hold it tight.

  • You've done this before? I will give this a try. Sounds like it could work. Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 1:23
  • You can even fill the void with spackle or joint compound or a small scrap of drywall and joint compound around/over it if you want more of a repair, though in this case it seems that you're fine with a thermostat over the hole if it will stay put.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 12:23
  • 2
    If you have any laying around use a thin strip of plywood it's less likely to split. Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 13:24
  • Worked great. Thank you! Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 23:04

Get a piece of wood large enough to cover the hole, attach that to the wall, then attach the thermostat to the wood. Since the edges will be visible, use solid wood, not plywood. 1/2" thick should be plenty strong. Quick, easy, cheap, and you won't have to deal with patching the drywall.

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