SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

By jefm
I moved into a cool house but it needs remodeling. The walls will likely be pulled to studs and replaced. So I'm trying to brainstorm any wiring stuff I've forgotten before getting to it. I already did computer networking for years on copper and fiber so I generally have the hang of that. I also did some electric work so I'll likely have many outlets. Working on doing a subpanel which will be fed by a big UPS, so I can just wire outlets to that instead of having small UPS's scattered around the place.

I'm woefully out of touch on smart switches, outlets, etc. Like say, transistorized relay/triac outlet that can switch on/off via an Arduino pin, or a light switch that instead of powering a light sends a low voltage signal to some home automation gadget. I'm not sure what the state is on those. Besides installing oversized boxes, this seems like something I can fish through the wall later, since I'm working on installing power vertically not horizontally. That's more work and wiring but I'll have j-boxes for everything in the attic and can change anything even with walls up.

Difficult is deciding what should it look like. My sense of style is behind what something needs to do.
If it were all me, I'd get tongue & groove plywood, paint it white, screw it to the studs and slap on some trim boards. Don't hide the fasteners. Jigsaw ports to access plumbing/etc within the wall. Screw the wiring, shelves, and networking equipment straight to the plywood wall. Screw the computer to the wall as well, put the monitor on an arm and stick it. When I had an apartment, I put up a double wall and did all that. I loved it, nothing was in drawers everything I used was visible and in reach, the only computer stuff on my desk was the mouse and keyboard.When something messed up, the wiring was right there to look at, not balled up behind a desk.
However plywood walls don't meet insurance/fire code everywhere. Posting the above ideals on any home improvement site will get a lot of people obsessed with form and resale values. My home's job is to function, I reserve form for the art projects. For resale, my present plan is to have my final exit of the house be done horizontal and feet first. But if I do sell it, I agree plywood with a thousand screwholes in it will be a nonstarter.
If I avoided carving it up, people have been doing awesome plywood walls. It's not a garage/clubhouse exclusive material anymore.
I'm working on a couple sheetrock compromise plans.

Thanks to anyone who read this far. Looking forward to any advice.