There are many jobs a do-it-yourselfer can finish in a weekend. But there are other projects around the home that should be done by a professional, especially as they become more technical. Electrical work is certainly one of those projects, especially when the scope moves beyond installations, replacements, or transitions to changing or planning circuitry. Here are a few things simple enough that you should be able to do it yourself, but don’t hesitate to get help if you find yourself in over your head.
You may be able to add a 120-volt circuit to one room without hiring a professional. This type of project requires some basic math skills, common sense, hand tools, test tools, and a healthy respect for electrical safety. The new circuit will come off of the main circuit breaker panel.
Whether you need to add a circuit or change a circuit, you must take into account the current draw expected from everything connected to the circuit and then factor in some additional margin. This will indicate what size breaker is needed to avoid constant tripping of the circuit, and sometimes you may find that you need to add more than one circuit. When factoring in the other supplies like receptacles and wire for one circuit, expect to spend between $50 and $100.
To plan electricity for a whole floor, especially with a 240-volt circuit, there are several factors to weigh. These considerations include those previously mentioned along with cabling, obtaining permits, and following rigorous building codes. This is a job best handled by a licensed electrician, which can cost around $500 or more, depending upon the project.
Planning an electrical redesign for an entire house is an ambitious and highly complex project. This is an electrical load balancing act best handled by a professional with training and experience for the previously mentioned tasks plus connecting to the grid. Proper design and workmanship are paramount to avoid shock and fire hazards that may cause serious injury or death, so definitely hire a licensed electrician.
There truly is a good feeling about finishing a home improvement project by yourself. However, there are times when it’s time to call in the professionals, and changing the wiring in the more than one room in a house one of those times. Your safety is important, so know when to call a professional.
Featured image credit: Kugler Construction