Wooden "power strip" simplifies shop walls
When I added a workshop to my house, I wanted the interior to look finished, but I know how hard it is to get the holes in exactly the right spot for the utility boxes. I also worried about handling the heavy sheets to cover the walls. I solved both problems with an outlet skirt, as shown, mounted with its bottom edge about 481⁄2 " above the floor.
Before installing the skirt, I planed the boards to the same thickness as my sheeting, and cut holes for the outlet boxes. I could put an outlet box hole anywhere along the skirt's length, as long as I didn't line it up on top of a stud.
With the skirt in place and the shop wired, I used it as a support ledge while I attached the upper sheets, and I didn't have to cut any utility box holes in the drywall. While I'll admit this is an unorthodox solution, it helped save my back. And I like the look of the separate skirt so much that I painted it a different color than the walls.
—Jerry Bittner, Jacksonville, N.C.
Editor's Note: Local building codes govern the types of sheeting that can be used to cover workshop/garage walls and ceilings that are shared with living spaces. In most situations, shared walls and shared ceilings (in the case of basement workshops) must be covered with 5⁄8 "- thick fire-rated drywall sheets, and joints must be sealed. Be sure to check with local building officials before using Jerry's tip.