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Wiring Your New House Part 1 – Research

March 3, 2007

Ok, I’ve decided to write a multi-part series discussing researching, planning and wiring your new home. I receive a ton of questions on this subject and I have always told everyone to hire an electrician. However, most areas permit homeowners to do this wiring themselves on their own homes. With proper research and planning, you can save a lot of money doing your own electrical wiring.

The first place you should start is your local building codes department. Here you will learn all of your local building requirements and if you are legally permitted to do this work. Some areas will allow homeowners to wire their own homes without restrictions, some areas have restrictions (limited to branch circuits only) and some areas do not permit homeowners to do any of their own electrical wiring.

The next thing you need to do is get a copy of the current edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC can be difficult to read and understand so, I recommend getting the NEC Handbook. The NEC Handbook includes over 500 full-color illustrations, wiring diagrams, equipment photographs and explanations about NEC intent and practical use.

Have you ever done any electrical wiring before? If not, get involved in a project. Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers. Maybe a friend is wiring their home and could use another pair of hands.

If you can’t get involved in a project, read, read and read. A good book I recommend is Electrical Wiring Residential.

I also recommend researching which appliances you will use. This is information you will need during the pre-wire or rough-in phase. For example, if you decide on a sub zero refrigerator, the receptacle needs to be placed 75 1/2″ above the finished floor in a 7″ x 6″ area in the upper right hand corner.

Do lots of research on lighting. Recessed cans, pendants, surface mounted fixtures, monopoints, low voltage, incandescent, compact fluorescent, LED, etc… There are so many options. Lamps Plus has a large selection of quality lights.

Home Automation is rapidly becoming very popular. Smarthome has a lot of good information and products that will help out here.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post “Wiring Your New House Part 2 – Planning”.

DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician Do you need assistance with your electrical wiring project? Please visit my DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician page. Where I provide electrical wiring tips, expert electrical advice, answers to your electrical questions and electrical consulting & design services over the phone, via instant messenger or via email.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Wiring Your New House Part 1 – Research”

  1. kathryn on March 5th, 2007 5:51 pm

    Great if you can do your own DIY!
    But for there are professionals for jobs like this!
    Plus in the UK, you will require a certificate of safety when you come to sell your house.
    Good Luck!

    kathryn
    http://www.homereporter.co.uk

  2. Sandra on March 6th, 2007 4:17 am

    It is great if you can do your own DIY. And wiring an entire house is pretty ambitious. I know people who could take that on and pull if off but I must confess to being at my limit with switches and light fixtures. Still, I’d want to read up on it so I can have an intelligent discussion with the professional I hire to do it. I plan to get my electrical service expanded in the summer and would like to understand what’s involved.

  3. Administrator on March 6th, 2007 5:12 pm

    Hey Sandra,

    If there are any questions I may help you with, please feel free to post them here.

  4. Sandra on March 15th, 2007 10:55 pm

    Hi Wayne,

    Thank you! I have to read up more so I can have an intelligent discussion with you! Basically, I use one of the bedrooms in the house as an office, lots of computers and equipment going, I end up blowing fuses in the summer trying to keep the place cool … so something needs to be done, I’m not sure what. I will get back to you on this one when I’m ready to tackle it … got to deal with getting the garden in shape first … Sandra

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