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jkeck 11-27-2012 08:06 AM

New wiring (no attic access)

I am new to the forums, but really hoping someone can offer some advice for a new home owner/DIY'er. I just purchased a home built in 1980 which has never been updated. I am in the process of doing some renovations before moving in. I am very handy, but this one has me stumped.

The home is a two-story flat roof home with no attic access. I guess when it was built in 1980, switch controlled outlets and exposed wires ( must have been the in-thing... but alas, they are just not my taste. Because the home has a flat roof, there is no attic access. I would love to run wiring behind the ceiling, but don't want the work of tearing the ceiling out. Is my only option to open a hole in the wall/celing and fish the wire then patch the drywall? This would not be a problem, but I think the ceiling texture would be hard to match.

Also, I would like to add can lighting to the living room on the 1st floor, but there is no existing wiring in the ceiling of that room either. I have the carpet torn up in the room above the living room. I was thinking I could tear the floor up in the 2nd floor room to run electrical in the ceiling of the first floor, but the subfloor is tongue and groove 3/4" plywood. Anyone have any experience pulling this up? Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance for any help/advice,

<*(((>< 11-27-2012 08:27 AM

All of what you want to do can be done but it will be frustrating but rewarding when finished. First you need to know what circuits you will be using to add lights and make sure you are not overloading them.

But as far as your question on fishing wires you will have to be cutting into the ceiling and walls to accomplish this. First of all you need to confirm which way your ceiling/floor joists are running so that when you get it to the ceiling you can follow a joist bay all the way to he light location. It will also be important to find out whether or not you have fire blocking in the stud bays as this will hinder your ability to get the wire up the wall and cause you to have to cut another hole in the wall to drill a hole in the blocking and fire caulk it.

Another question is how these lights are going to be switched. Are you trying to use the existing switched outlet circuit to run the lights or are you running new wires for a switch as well.

When fishing wires into a ceiling it is best to get the wires in the right stud bay that lines up with the correct ceiling/floor joist to hit he spot on the ceiling for the light.

I could keep on or I could tell you to just use wiremold and be done with it in 1/4 the time, but that's not what you asked about. But there is some planning that needs to be done before cutting up drywall as I said above, find those things out and draw a game plan out on how the wire needs to travel in the walls and ceiling to get to where it needs to go given the locations of the blocking and joists.

jkeck 11-27-2012 09:21 AM

Thanks for your response! I understand that wire molding would be MUCH easier, but to me, just as ugly... if not worse ugh! The only other option I could think of would be to use wire molding to get to the the wall and find some "decorative" way to hide the wire molding on the ceiling like a faux beam or something, but it's just not quite the look I want. Looks like wire fishing/drywall repair will be my new hobby :(.

Any experience pulling up a subfloor to run wiring in the ceiling below?

Thanks again,

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