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Sorry in advance for the basic question. I just need to replace my fluorescent lights with some flush mount or pot ones. The fluorescent lights are recessed in the drop ceiling and removal will leave a large hole that would need to be drywalled (?) over to make it flat with the rest of the ceiling.

Lighting places I am working with only recommend electricians, and I read electricians wouldnt typically handle any sort of drywalling (fair of course). So I would need a drywaller to come patch it up, but then an electrician to come in and cut into it to do the wiring? We've just been hiring one off contractors at this point. I was just hoping one person could come in and do the whole shebang, but want to respect the skillsets of the contractors

Drop ceiling

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    You probably want the electrician in first to pop holes where needed. A drywaller afer to finish/make it look good.
    – crip659
    Sep 13, 2023 at 22:30
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    this also could be a handyman job. Since no new wiring, just use the existing.
    – Traveler
    Sep 13, 2023 at 22:31
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    @jay613 I said the same thing. The electrician is not risking his license. And the drywall person has no license to risk.
    – Cheery
    Sep 13, 2023 at 23:16
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    It sounds like you could use the services of a general contractor. Their expert knowledge in scheduling work can help sometimes. Some jobs are best done before others, like painting before finishing floors.
    – crip659
    Sep 13, 2023 at 23:16
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    Am I missing the drop ceiling? That looks like regular drywall to me.
    – Huesmann
    Sep 14, 2023 at 12:49

3 Answers 3

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I don't know about your skillset/interest, but this is a good diy project. You take down the old light. You figure out if you have enough wire to easily get to your first pot light. (If not, call an electrician.) You cap the hot wires in a temporary handy box with a cover and push the wires to near where the first light will be. Document where the framing is by measuring to adjacent walls.

Now call the drywaller. They'll prep the opening, apply sheetrock, tape, skim, sand and you'll have a smooth ceiling.

Depending on the lights you want, it might be diy or electrician. Some are really easy to install and have their own junction boxes, so might be a good candidate for diy. Others are a bit more troublesome, or perhaps you live in a jurisdiction/setting that requires an electrician... Somebody will cut the right sized hole in your ceiling (avoiding the framing that you documented earlier), grab the wire and install the lights.

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This job could be done by a skilled handyman. Or a good DIY project as suggested by another answer here. It really depends on your current skillset. If you get one of those new flat recessed light fixtures (also called can-less), they even come with their own junction boxes and detailed instructions. The drywall part depends more on your experience, as there are lots of tricks that experienced tradespeople use to make it look just right.

However, if you must hire an electrician, you will need the electrician to come in twice: first to do the rough-in electrical, then to do the finish electrical. The electrician's bill will be larger than whatever you paid for the lights and the drywall person combined.

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  • I have a handyman I use who can do electrical work (I found out when he got mock-miffed at another electrician friend of ours for encouraging me to DIY a small electrical wiring project), so such people do exist. I'd imagine any self-employed person who can do HVAC work could do both of these.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 14, 2023 at 13:43
  • I'd caution on a handyman doing electrical. You can run afoul of laws that require a license to do electrical work on a property you don't own and live in. In general philosophy, though, I agree with this answer. Maybe ask the handyman if he's licensed, insured & bonded so any failures are on his insurance, not yours.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 14, 2023 at 15:09
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    @FreeMan Agreed. But any handyman licensed to do electrical work would not be called a handyman, but an electrician. I don't think any insurance will cover a handyman doing unlicensed electrical work. It's a big risk for both parties, but also very common.
    – Cheery
    Sep 14, 2023 at 15:16
  • Kinda proves my point. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Sep 14, 2023 at 15:30
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    @Cheery: I would think that many jurisdictions should recognize a distinction between some wiring-related tasks that require a maximally trained and licensed electrician, and others that don't. The level of training needed to safely remove and replace a switch plate or even a receptacle would be far less than what would be needed to safely remove and replace a breaker panel.
    – supercat
    Sep 14, 2023 at 17:50
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Makes sense but in the wrong order.

Hire the electrician first. He or she can remove the old lights and rough-in the new ones.

After that, yes it's drywall and paint. And from the looks of your photo, it's not as if you don't need drywall work in there.

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