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”.
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.