This is long by necessity. Friend called me to replace the exterior light fixture next to the front door. He has purchased the new fixture. House is about 40 years old, brick veneer. About 20 years ago, fake shutters were installed on the front of the house, both at windows and the door. Appear to be top-of-the-line plastic, probably polypropylene as they are as good as new. Held by plastic pin driven into holes in the brick/mortar. Unknown if there is any other insert in the hole. Pins would probably break rather than pull out and finding matching ones would not be possible. Shutter removal, even temporarily, is not in the plan.
The shutter installer simply ran the wires from the electrical box in the brick through the shutter slats and fastened the fixture to the shutter with drywall screws. The fixture is nicely centered in the width of the shutter. The original box is flush in the brick wall and is a 2 x 3 receptacle box positioned horizontally. But the box is offset from the center of the shutter width. Replacing the box and matching brick and mortar to the 40 year old stuff is just not possible.
So mounting the new fixture to the existing box and centering it in the shutter is not possible. And new box over the existing one would have to be offset over half the dimensions of the respective boxes. No good solution is in sight. Seemed so simple when he requested on the phone that the fixture be replaced. The existing mess does need correcting.