HomeAbout usPrivacy PolicyContact usView cart / Checkout

Home electrical wiring, should YOU do it yourself?

Who am I to give advice? Just an old fart with 40 years experience in the electrical contstruction industry and a desire to help people.
A California licensed electrical contractor since 1983 I have had the opportunity, or perhaps I should say misfortune, to see some really poorly done and dangerous home electrical wiring.

Should you have the right to do your own electrical wiring projects in your own home?
The answer is: YES, you should have the right to perform your own work, but you have got to know your own limitations.
Although you might do electrial work in your home, your neighbors house might burn down because it is next to yours.

If you're going to do it, do it right the first time, you may not get a second chance.

Ok fine, where does your freedom end and anothers begin?
Ask yourself this question: "Am I putting myself, my family, or others at risk?"

I am a firm believer in the do it yourself home owner but electricity kills. Annually, over 40,000 fires, 485 deaths, and $868 million in property losses are attributed to home electrical wiring. If you're going to do it, do it right the first time, you may not get a second chance.

If your home wiring project includes adding or extending any fixed electrical wiring I recommend you obtain a city or county eletrical permit. They will inspect your work so you can feel comfortable that you haven't overlooked anything. Listen to what they say, it's for your safety. Contrary to popular belief they really are nice guys. Just kidding of course - about the contrary to popular belief part that is.
( Ahh, spoken like a true contractor )

Speaking of contractors, when I said I have seen some really poorly done and dangerous electrical work I was not implying that it was all done by the homeowner. If you decide to hire someone to do electrical work for you please be advised, all pros are not really pros. Check them out, ask the contractor for references. People who are pleased with a contractors work are willing to recommend them to others. Again a permit may not be a bad idea and may discourage the not so up and up guy.
I have also heard some terrible things about people getting ripped off. Like the poor tearfull lady when she found out she was charged $230.00 for this hard to find circuit breaker, that you can buy off the shelf at most hardware stores for $18.00, and then another $250.00 to install it.
So how do you know? Besides word of mouth, every state should have a page on their website that you can verify the status of and check complaints against a state issued license, which is what a contractors license is. Get their license #, then do a search for "statename.gov" and look for something to do with license verification. Some states are a little harder to find than others but it will be there.

That being said, and I apologize for straying from the DIY theme, I feel that given the right information about how things should be done you will make the right decision about doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it for you. As I said, I am a firm believer in the do it yourself person. If you're armed with the correct information, unless you don't know the difference between a hammer and a screw driver, you should do fine.
So realize your capabilities. Be very safety conscious, and take the time to learn about the project at hand. Ask the questions, do the research and use the proper materials. Find a good hardware store with trained people, like ACE or TRUE VALUE, they will be happy to help and will get you the right stuff.
KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING AND TAKE THE TIME TO DO IT RIGHT!! The last thing you want is to finish a job and not be proud of it, and - your neighbor will sleep better.