When contractors work on a home (or any building), they have to deal with a wide range of challenges. If any of the work involves electrical devices and wiring, then they probably have to install or utilize electrical enclosures for the process.
The thing is, there are a lot of different enclosures in the world. How do contractors choose the best option? What goes through their minds when they shop around? While no one can speak for every contractor, you can think about electrical boxes in three ways, and when you do, the right option tends to select itself for each individual job.
When a contractor sources materials for a project, one of the first things they will consider is the building code. Building codes vary by location, but there are clear regulations, and they often dictate what an electrical box has to do, how it has to be designed, what materials are viable, and more. That has to be the starting point for the entire thought process.
From there, contractors will exercise discretion to get boxes that meet the needs of the job at hand. They’ll think about the size of the box, how it installs, whether or not it is adjustable, and exactly what is going to go into it.
As a quick example, the electrical box used to install a ceiling fan with a light fixture will be a different size and shape from the box used to install an outlet for major kitchen appliances. The applications are different, and as a result, the electrical enclosure for each application needs to be built accordingly.
Assuming there are competing options that meet the needs of the job, then the obvious next choice is to think about the cost. Bringing costs down is generally good on any project, so contractors want the most affordable options that are still effective.
In terms of electrical enclosures, that usually comes down to materials and thickness. Non-metal enclosures are almost always cheaper than their metal counterparts, and getting enclosures that are as thin as possible while still meeting specifications often brings down costs.
While everything above does matter, you can look up building codes and compare costs yourself. The one area where the experienced contractor is going to think differently from a new DIYer is in terms of adaptability.
Depending on how the box is designed, you can drill holes, shave corners, and do a whole bunch of things to modify and customize the box while you work with it. Contractors love boxes with this kind of adaptability so that they can get the job done right without having to return boxes and buy new ones. It saves time and money.
So, which enclosures are more adaptable? Polycarbonate usually wins that battle. Fiberglass enclosures have some levels of adaptability, but polycarbonate is the very easiest to modify. So, when possible, a good polycarbonate enclosure gives you a lot more freedom when it comes to installation.
These are the three leading concepts that contractors debate and consider when they need electrical boxes for a job. Plenty of other minor considerations might come into play, but if you get the right function for a competitive price, then you just want the most adaptable option. Everything else matters a lot less.