There are two main points to consider before beginning the basic electrical wiring for your small house:
- Building codes for your region, and
- the interior design of your house in terms of appliances, lighting, and general uses.
You will want to check with your local electrical inspector to find out the general regulations for basic house wiring. Although electrical inspectors follow the National Electric Code (or NEC) as general criteria, electric code will vary according to jurisdiction. For instance, in some jurisdictions, the spacing of electrical outlets has a specific distance which may affect some of the interior uses and designs you have in mind for each room of the house. Other jurisdictions allow the homeowner to perform the electrical installation while others require a certified electrician.
If you are planning “do it yourself” electrical wiring, your jurisdiction may also require an electrical permit. The electrical inspector will perform inspections at different stages of the installation according to the permit. They will approve the work when it is completed to their satisfaction and will also do an inspection at the final stage of the work.
Speaking from one of my personal do-it-yourself electrical wiring experiences, I once became sick and tired of stringing extension cords, video cable, or internet cable across a room from an outlet to my desired location. So, I decided to put in copious outlets throughout the rooms in my house. I’m so glad I did! Pulling wires through walls is not complicated, just a bit time consuming.
You’ll thank me later for this advice. But, deciding where outlets should go and pulling wires through and installing most of the lighting fixtures are the extent of my involvement with the electrical. The only advice here is “hire a good, certified electrician”.
Fortunately my sweet Dad volunteered to do everything from the fine details of wiring the circuit panel to the individual outlets. Dad’s not a certified electrician, but he has years of personal experience in wiring remodeling projects in their own home. Ok, I’m not following my own advice here, but there were 3 good reason: 1) he had years of experiences doing many varied electrical projects on his own houses, 2) everything he did would be inspected, 3) he was free (thanks, Dad!).
One thing my Dad did that the electrical inspector was very impressed with was to label all wires coming out of the basement control panel as to their room of destination by writing with a Sharpie right on the casing of the wire. I think this was a very smart move for future remodeling and renovations. The inspector was impressed and said he’s never seen anything like it.
Whether you are planning to do the basic house wiring yourself or hiring a certified electrician, you may want to have a basic understanding of the wiring process. You can check out a book from the library, visit some sites on the Internet, or download an ebook on basic electrical wiring. Wiring was the one area I was really unsure of and I am still pretty clueless other than knowing how a basic circuit works.
Before beginning basic electrical wiring you will also want to consider the fact that there will most likely be outbuildings on your small house property in the future. You should have a pretty good idea where they will be located and if you are hiring a certified electrician, you will ant to share this information with him/her as well. This way the electrician can leave space on the electrical panel for these future additions.
Most home improvement projects you can do yourself, but when it comes to basic electrical wiring, you want to think twice if you are not knowledgeable enough in this area. Electrical wiring can be a danger to you and your small house, so it may be best to leave it to a certified electrician so you have piece of mind that the job is completed safely and correctly.