The Great Coat Closet Remodel Project – Box Rough-In

Last weekend, I was all geared up to get some work done on The Great Coat Closet Remodel Project. However, because of the disarray in our house, it took me an hour to locate my special Arlington Slider boxes. Then, I turned the house upside down looking for my coil of 12/2 NM, but never found it. I also found that I was out of nail plates, and I could have sworn that I had bought GFCI outlets but I couldn’t find them. Another way that clutter affects my life, but more on that later.

Since I could not get any actual installation done, I did a little prep work by drilling the holes for the new branch circuit. Here is the area along the back wall of the closet where I will install the outlets.


First, I placed my electrical boxes where I plan to install them and marked the upper edge with a Sharpie.

Because the studs in our walls are 100 year old pine, and hard as a rock, I dug out my spade bits for my Ryobi right-angle drill.

You can see that I am not the first person in the history of our home to think that an outlet in this closet was a good idea!


This outlet is of course defunct, still connected to the old knob-and-tube that we find occasionally throughout the house. I was going to remove it, but I think I will just leave it there.

I used a 3/4-inch spade bit and drilled holes as close to the center of the studs as I could, about an inch above the marks. Of course, I will install nail plates before I put up the drywall.


There were two studs at 90 degrees to one another in the corner. It required a little creative maneuvering to get the left hole drilled. Even my right-angle drill did not fit in the cavity between the studs.


Here you can see the holes drilled in succession, ready for the new NM.


The line of holes continues along the interior wall to reach the location where the new junction box will be installed.


I also needed to drill holes in the ceiling joists, so the NM could reach the new pot lights.


Preparing the route for the NM was all that I had time for last weekend. Last night, I decided to install the boxes. I installed two boxes near the floor for the outlets, in the positions that I had marked.


About half way up the wall, I installed another box for the switch.


The stud on which I installed the switch box looks like it was added later, though I am not sure why it would have been. The wood was quite a bit softer than the standard pine, making the box easier to install (I didn’t have to pre-drill the holes). I had noticed before that this stud was not plumb. I am kind of picky and I wanted the light switch to be square on the wall, so I decided to shim the box so that it would be plumb. I drove a shim between the stud and the box, checking occasionally with my level until it was just the way I wanted it.

The pot lights are remodel lights, so there is nothing to install for them until the ceiling is in place.

Here are all the boxes, installed and ready to be wired.


Today, I plan to run the NM and wire in the outlets and the switch. After that I will be able to install the remaining insulation and the drywall. The junction box will be installed on the outside of drywall, so it will go in after the walls are up.

There are still a few issues that I have to work out, but I think that I am on track to be finished by Thanksgiving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *