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Old 03-13-2007, 11:35 PM   #1
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Recessed light plan foiled?


Okay, I'll admit it. I tried to get cheap and it may have cost me. Here's the story. I'm building a new home and I really wanted to add a lot of recessed lighting to the house, but the builder was charging $150 a can.

Instead of shelling out loads of cash for recessed lighting, I decided to have the builder install one ceiling fan rough-in ($150) in every room I wanted to eventually install recessed lighting. My plan was to use one set of wires running to the ceiling fan for the actual fan, and the second set of wires running to the fan light for the recessed lights. Sound good so far? It would have been except for one problem.

Instead of using open web floor joists, my builder is using solid I floor joists–and yes, the house has already been dry-walled. So what are my options? How can I run the electrical wiring for the recessed lights without significantly damaging the ceiling? Is there such a thing as a flexible drill?

Thanks,
Kelly

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Old 03-14-2007, 12:59 AM   #2
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Recessed light plan foiled?


of course... homedepot had this, I dunno how well it'll be as a hole saw


can you post a pic of your situation? it'll probably get you much better advice.

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Old 03-14-2007, 11:24 AM   #3
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Recessed light plan foiled?


You could install crown molding and run the wires behind it.
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:27 PM   #4
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Recessed light plan foiled?


I hope you took pictures of the electrical rough in before the room was rocked. You need to know where the switch and fan are in relationship to the power source. Secondly, you are going to have to cut holes in the ceiling for the lights. IIRC, some those kind of joists have knock outs. If not, you can get a very long drill bit and guide to put it through the light holes in order to drill through the joists.
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
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Recessed light plan foiled?


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I hope you took pictures of the electrical rough in before the room was rocked. You need to know where the switch and fan are in relationship to the power source. Secondly, you are going to have to cut holes in the ceiling for the lights. IIRC, some those kind of joists have knock outs. If not, you can get a very long drill bit and guide to put it through the light holes in order to drill through the joists.
Yep, got plenty of framing and electrical photos. After reviewing them last night, the second floor should be pretty easy because of attic access. The first floor is clearly going to be more difficult. I guess this is what I get for being a cheapskate. But hey, if I don't have the money, I guess I'm not really a cheapskate.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:26 PM   #6
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Recessed light plan foiled?


How many extra $$ per month would it have cost on your mortgage to have them do the first floor lighting? Let's see... 30 cans at $150 is $4500. Divide that by 360 payments in a 30 year mortgage and you have $12.50. Add a little interest and it's what? $13 at the most.

You putting in more or less than 30 cans?
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:37 PM   #7
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Recessed light plan foiled?


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How many extra $$ per month would it have cost on your mortgage to have them do the first floor lighting? Let's see... 30 cans at $150 is $4500. Divide that by 360 payments in a 30 year mortgage and you have $12.50. Add a little interest and it's what? $13 at the most.

You putting in more or less than 30 cans?
Yeah, I know, I know. Unfortunately, those little amounts add up too. And actually, your math is wrong. $4,500 financed for 30 years at 6% interest is $26.97 per month or $9,709.20 over the life of the loan. That brings the unit price per light to $323.64/ea. I can probably do them myself for about $40/ea.

I never look at how much things cost per month. I found that if you do this, it's way too easy to justify just about anything you want to buy. I shutter when I look at how much the house is going to cost me in interest.
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:25 PM   #8
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Recessed light plan foiled?


Considering paying on your lights for 30 years...yes, they are expensive, but you aren't going to pay on them for 30 years because you'll probably move by then or pay off your house. Your costs for material will be cheaper after market, but the time, effort and frustration is not worth it after the fact ( on the first floor, that is). Surely you builder will allow you to enter a change order to correct the first floor for you, and it might only cost you $250- $500 extra. That will cover all associated costs that you would incurr yourself (tools, time, sheetrock repair that won't look consistent, paint touchup...if the die lot matches, NOT TO MENTION that it will be under the builder's warranty). If you do it yourself and something goes wrong, you will pay for what normally would be warrantable, since you will have voided the warranty, plus you are not a licensed electrician. Work smart, not hard.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:08 AM   #9
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Considering paying on your lights for 30 years...yes, they are expensive, but you aren't going to pay on them for 30 years because you'll probably move by then or pay off your house. Your costs for material will be cheaper after market, but the time, effort and frustration is not worth it after the fact ( on the first floor, that is). Surely you builder will allow you to enter a change order to correct the first floor for you, and it might only cost you $250- $500 extra. That will cover all associated costs that you would incurr yourself (tools, time, sheetrock repair that won't look consistent, paint touchup...if the die lot matches, NOT TO MENTION that it will be under the builder's warranty). If you do it yourself and something goes wrong, you will pay for what normally would be warrantable, since you will have voided the warranty, plus you are not a licensed electrician. Work smart, not hard.
Everyone has made some very good points, but at this stage I really can't make anymore changes. Quite frankly, I'll probably hire an electrician to do the work and it'll probably cost me what the builder was originally going to charge. The one benefit is that I can do this in stages so that the cash outlay is not as great. Like I said before, I screwed up, but at least I'm admitting it.

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