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Old 05-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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Can I really do this on my own?


Greetings!

I am new to DIY Chatroom but have quickly come to realize its value. There are a tremendous number of experts here to glean information from. For those of you who have not seen my posts, I am in the planning phase of finishing my 1900 square foot basement. The electrical work involves:

1. 30, 110 electrical outlets
2. 14, 6 inch recessed lights
3. 3 ceiling fan/light combos
4. 2 smoke detectors
5. 1 bathroom fan w/ light
6. wiring for a 7.1 surround sound system (not really electrical I guess)
7. 2 dimmer light switches
8. 6 standard light switches

Based on a walk through with an electrical contractor, my fuse box has enough room so I will not need a sub.

Within the process of determining what I should do and what should be left to the pros, a number of friends have indicated that basic electrical installation is not beyond my reach. Is this so? I have no experience but am a quick learner. I have read and understand the electrical codes that need to be followed. In addition, I purchased a series of 27 videos that cover electrical work, plumbing, HVAC and carpentry. I have yet to begin watching it though. Simply put, electrical work intimidates me because of my healthy fear of the unknown. I would like a few subject matter experts to tell me whether this job is worth tackling or better left to professionals. If you consider the work to be DIY material, what books, videos and online educational tools would you recommend? Should I hire and electrician as a consultant?

Thanks everyone. Your feedback is appreciated!

~HT4ME

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
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Can I really do this on my own?


It is worth tackling if you know what you are doing. Since I do not know you or your skill level I can't say whether YOU can tackle it or not.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
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There's more than just the codes to deal with. Are you going to get this inspected? Will you need a permit?

If you haven't done much wiring before you might want some help. Running and securing the wire itself is an art form. It is an indicator of the quality of the work. Then comes box fill and all the connections.

Only you know your limitations.

Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
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Can I really do this on my own?


Take my opinion for what it's worth as it is coming from a licensed electrician. I understand money is tight for everyone these days, but if you have the money, I'd hire this out to be done correctly. A mistake could take everything from you and your family.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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Take my opinion for what it's worth as it is coming from a licensed electrician. I understand money is tight for everyone these days, but if you have the money, I'd hire this out to be done correctly. A mistake could take everything from you and your family.
k_buz,

Thank you for your response. The contractor I looked into using has over 30 years of experience. His estimate came into right around $3,000. In addition, he indicated that it may be even less than that. I really have two choices:

1. Have the work done by this contractor
2. Utilize the contractor as a consultant to oversee my work. He said this was an acceptable path and he will only charge me $30/hr.

The reason I am even looking at option to is threefold. First, I love the sense of satisfaction you receive from doing your own work. Second, it gives me the opportunity to learn something new from a pro. Lastly, while it may take longer, I will save money doing it this way.

Thanks,

~HT4ME
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HT4Me View Post
k_buz,

Thank you for your response. The contractor I looked into using has over 30 years of experience. His estimate came into right around $3,000. In addition, he indicated that it may be even less than that. I really have two choices:

1. Have the work done by this contractor

If the contractor do this work he will have to pull his own permit for electrique wiring.

2. Utilize the contractor as a consultant to oversee my work. He said this was an acceptable path and he will only charge me $30/hr.

If you pull the permit for yourself this part may be a doable as long the permit office say ok for homeowner to do the own wiring.

I am not really famuair with State of Missouri reguations about useing the permit so this part you may want to check it ahead to see what they allow this methold.


The reason I am even looking at option to is threefold. First, I love the sense of satisfaction you receive from doing your own work. Second, it gives me the opportunity to learn something new from a pro. Lastly, while it may take longer, I will save money doing it this way.

Thanks,

~HT4ME
Bon Chance with your project.

My reply in Bleu.

As far for the actual cost I did yank out my note and it was not too far off from the list due this customer I have done his basement is larger than your so it was litte more ( 500 Euros more than you listed.)

Now the other question I will ask is the " fuse box " is that breaker box or old school fuse box ? that will make the differnce there.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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Can I really do this on my own?


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Bon Chance with your project.

My reply in Bleu.

As far for the actual cost I did yank out my note and it was not too far off from the list due this customer I have done his basement is larger than your so it was litte more ( 500 Euros more than you listed.)

Now the other question I will ask is the " fuse box " is that breaker box or old school fuse box ? that will make the differnce there.

Merci,
Marc
Marc,

It is a breaker box.

~HT4ME
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:10 PM   #8
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Can I really do this on my own?


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Utilize the contractor as a consultant to oversee my work. He said this was an acceptable path and he will only charge me $30/hr.
Compared to $3000? I don't know much about electricity but I think you can be perfectly safe and leave the power off and have him check everything before it's turned on. If you "read and understand the electrical codes" and "purchased a series of 27 videos that cover electrical work, plumbing, HVAC and carpentry" I think the $30/hr is the right choice for you.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:20 PM   #9
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Can I really do this on my own?


Everyone,

Thanks for your comments. I really value your opinions. I am going to go with option 2: "Utilize the contractor as a consultant to oversee my work. He said this was an acceptable path and he will only charge me $30/hr." I am chomping at the bit to get this project going and will be sure to update the group as progress occurs.

With much appreciation,

HT4ME
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:07 AM   #10
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Can I really do this on my own?


Quote:
Originally Posted by HT4Me View Post
a number of friends have indicated that basic electrical installation is not beyond my reach.
Sounds like you have a number of friends that should be utilized to help you.

When you say you are going to have an electrician as a consultant, what does that mean?

Are you going to leave all covers off of junction boxes and leave all devices(switches, receptacles, lights) hanging out of boxes and this electrician is going to examine all connections?

Will you be back asking about how to wire up a 3-way or 4-way switches?

Good luck.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:04 AM   #11
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I think it is important to congratulate the OP for throwing these questions or there before starting. No pictures of three gangs with 15 wires hanging out from this one I'll bet.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT4Me View Post
The electrical work involves:

1. 30, 110 electrical outlets
2. 14, 6 inch recessed lights
3. 3 ceiling fan/light combos
4. 2 smoke detectors
5. 1 bathroom fan w/ light
6. wiring for a 7.1 surround sound system (not really electrical I guess)
7. 2 dimmer light switches
8. 6 standard light switches


Within the process of determining what I should do and what should be left to the pros, a number of friends have indicated that basic electrical installation is not beyond my reach. Is this so? I have no experience but am a quick learner. I have read and understand the electrical codes that need to be followed. In addition, I purchased a series of 27 videos that cover electrical work,
In my opinion I say it is beyond your reach. This opinion is based on the amount of work you want done and the no experience clause in your statement. Folding wires properly in a box is an art in its self. Especially when you have outlets and or switches and need to push them back in. Just my opinion and do post photos of your progress when you proceed.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #13
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Can I really do this on my own?


I vote for option #2
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:51 AM   #14
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RWOLFF,

After receiving such great feedback (thanks everyone), I am definitely going with option #2. There are many advantages to going this route: an opportunity to learn, a chance to apply what I have learned and lower installation costs. I called the electrician this morning and asked how long he thought it would take using the option #2 scenario. His best guess was 2 days. That means instead of paying a large sum for labor, I will only spend $240 out of pocket! Not bad if you ask me!

~HT4ME
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:31 AM   #15
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Can I really do this on my own?


The real gain is in what you learn from doing it yourself. The first project you do will have this $240 overhead, but then you know for the next project. Also if you're new to it consider getting it permitted. This is typically very cheap... even in California an electrical permit was only like $120. In any other part of the country it's probly going to be even cheaper. The inspector will tell you lots of things you didn't know.

It will take you way more than 2 days to do all that in your list. 2 weeks might be more realistic. But still do it yourself...
-mike

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