Question to all DIYer's

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  #1  
Old 09-19-02, 10:46 AM
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Question to all DIYer's

There are several types of other forums that suggest Diy’ers should not be doing their own work. As well as we (moderators) should not be giving advice. Most generally questions asked on this forum are from DIYes, As a moderator I would like to ask DIYers (yourself). Should you have the right to perform your own electrical projects in your own home? Why, and Why not? Should the city or county’s require that all electrical work be done by (only) qualified electricians? All DIYers please fill free to give your advice to us this time. Thank you.
 

Last edited by aphares; 09-19-02 at 02:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-02, 11:21 AM
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So far! So good!

I am a DIYer. I fix everything. I own three rental properties. I am a software engineer. I have advanced degrees in mathmatics and engineering. I consider myself to be an educated man. I have been doing minor electrial repairs for most of my life (45 years). From time to time I encounter situations where I am uncertain. At these times I will seek the help and/or opinions of qualified persons. When warranted I will ask the local inspector to check my work. This is the way it should be. Unfortunately there are people that should not attempt these things. One of the biggest problems with the DIYers is the lack of the appropriate tools. Tools are expensive. Many DIYers are DIYers solely to save $$$$. There is a conflict here and there may be a tendency to cut corners. Safety is and will always be first with me. I'd rather save a life than save a buck.

To answer the question: YES, you should have the right to perform your own work. Should "all" work be inspected? NO, there is already enough bureaucracy. The litmus test is this question: "Am I putting myself, my family, or others at risk?" This probably wouldn't stand up in court.
I encourage everyone on this forum to keep making contributions. If I say something that is incorrect, bust my chops. This is how we learn from each other and each others mistakes.

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON!
 
  #3  
Old 09-19-02, 11:38 AM
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For me, these forums provide me with invaluable information. As a doityourselfer, I have decided after reading several posts stating exactly how to do things (electrical or otherwise) that it is beyond my scope of abilities and knowledge. Being armed with the knowledge provided on these forums allows me to be less dangerous, to know my limits and respect them.

As far as electrical work being inspected, yes, any major electrical work or alterations should be inspected irregardless of who does the work. It could save the family's life, as well as the next owner of the home.

I can't say this is true for everyone. So many out there are either trying to save money, or just don't have the money available for a professional to do a job that needs to be done. Some just like taking pride in knowing that they did it themselves. I fall into all 3 catogories. In knowing the details, if I do attempt it myself then the odds of me doing a job well and properly are greatly increased. If presented with instructions that are too deep for me to understand, that is when I realize that this DIY project is not a DIY project afterall - too many unforseen or imagined aspects.

I do appreciate you guys on the forums, especially in this forum. You guys have talked me out of more projects than you realize just by letting me know whats involved.

Kay
 
  #4  
Old 09-19-02, 11:42 AM
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This could invite a lot of response. I own my equipment not the state. Why dont we stop letting people work on their own cars too? Another thing,,, I havnt really seen all that much evidence that having a licence really makes a guy all that much better electrician,,, so when they get rid of all the incompentent ones then we really have some grounds to stand on. That should actually be the first priority. I have seen some obsene estimates on jobs from contractors so whats going to stop them from robbing the public more than thety do now. They already have the lock on commercial work to he point some business owners are scared to change a plug themselves. Also having owners being able to do their own is getting thousands of old installations updated that would otherwise be left alone. I saw a study in a farm magazine with 14 upgrades done,, the only 2 that passed inspection were owner done. Once something is contracted for the faster we finish the more we make,,, so that says it all. We already see things that are not thouroughly inspected when done by contractor that are nit picked when an owner does them. Someplaces now have a self inspection sheet to fill out I here. I bet that will keep them all honest.
 
  #5  
Old 09-19-02, 12:20 PM
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The only way to prevent DIYer's from doing their own work would be to restrict all sales of electrical supplies to licensed electricians. That's not likely going to happen. Therefore, it seems only logical that forums of this nature be available. In my case, there is a big difference between knowing how to physically run, cut, splice wire and hook up fixtures/switches/receptacles and what is code. I'd venture to guess that most DIYer's aren't well versed in electrical code. From reading this forum, I have already identified things I've not done to code and corrected them (wire size based on breaker size, separate runs for microwave, etc.). Without forums like this, a whole lot of DIYer's like me are going to leave a lot of hidden potential problems for their family and the future owners of their house. To answer your question, let us do our own work to the level we are comfortable, and don't restrict our ability to get professional advice when needed.
 
  #6  
Old 09-19-02, 04:40 PM
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I feel a DIYer should have a right to do work to his own resident, I know many craftman that are too stupid to care about doing a job right. Also I feel that the work a DIYer does should meet code and no shortcut be allowed. The strict laws should applied to all.
 
  #7  
Old 09-19-02, 11:10 PM
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I agree with the previous posters. I do most of my own work and it meets or exceeds code. I know my limitations and when I have questions, I have been given great information, particularly at this forum. I do have the advantage of growing up in a family of plumbers and electricians, so I learned beyond the basic DIY level stuff early on. I hired pros to upgrade my service to 200A. They failed inspection for using drywall screws and did not connect the wires properly at the meter, almost burning down my house. Oh, I reported them alright.
 
  #8  
Old 09-20-02, 03:30 AM
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Is the Forum healthy?

I believe there should be laws, with limitations, allowing homeowners the right to perform, or to hire out to unlicensed persons, to perform their own electrical work. As a previous poster pointed out, the owner, not the state, owns the home.

There are considerations, however, that must be met. Thus, I mentioned above that there must be limitations. Two requirements come to mind. Those being, the right of the state to demand, and the responsibility of the homeowner to request and acquiesce to that inspection from highly trained and qualified state/local inspectors. The second limitation would be a required testing that the homeowner, or his/her designee, would have to pass to the inspection department verifying that he/she is competent in Basic electrical knowledge, and that he/she agrees and realizes the potential dangers of operating installed electrical equipment. These tests do not have to be all inclusive: The homeowner shouldn't have to complete a 100-hr exam; neither should the state be required to form more tax payer funded bureaucracy.

EVERY major electrical job must be inspected, be it work performed by the DIY or by a licensed Electrician. Unintentional mistakes do happen, even by the most experienced and well informed professional - how much more would this be the case for a DIY? Verily I say, a second opinion (the inspection) is a very valuable tool in eliminating, or mitigating mistakes.

Here's one reason why I would campaign for required inspections:

As stated before, the owner does, in fact, own his/her own home. However, how often are homes sold? How often have we seen posts here of folks buying older homes and finding out that the previous owner performed his/her own work, and either done it badly, or at the very least, the performance was questionable.

Here's where the danger to others, outside of the DIY own personal well being and that of his/her family comes into being. The argument that the owner is the owner has some merit, but it is not a conclusive argument: other folks are placed at risk by faulty work. Not only the potential new owner, but also the neighborhood is, to a degree, at risk - fires do spread to other homes on occasion!

So, not only am I against laws prohibiting the homeowner the right to do his or her own work, I am a proponent of his/her right to, in fact, do so, if he/she so pleases - BUT, with limitations.

This forum has helped me tremendously in my understanding of how Electricity works. I am not so high on myself yet though, as to consider myself a know-it-all. So, I welcome feedback on my ideas.

One thing that I do think I know, is that unqualified/illegal work IS going to be performed, no matter what laws are passed. This isn't to say that I believe we should legalize everything simply because it isn't enforceable. I say this only because I believe that there are intelligent, knowledgeble people who, for whatever reason, aren't licensed by any state to perform jobs of this nature. These people should have the right to exercise their often hard earned knowledge; with due caution, of course!

For these people, I think that this forum is of great valuable assistance. It should not be done away with. Afterall, look at the people who post here, asking questions, knowing, realizing that they don't have all the answers. They have the intestinal fortitude to admit their shortcomings, and they step right up and ask for guidance. And for those people, you have some of the best moderators and members who answer their posts. For me, this forum is invaluable. Please DO NOT close it.

Terry
 
  #9  
Old 09-20-02, 06:47 AM
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belew
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doing own wiring

I am a firm believer in doing all my own work I see no reason why I should not be able to wire "my" house overhaul "my" car ect. as long as I am working on what is mine I should be the one to decide if it is within my capabilities. If I decide that a job is beyond my capabilies and hire it done I expect that person to meet minimum skill levels that is what licences are for. I feel that given the means to get the right information about how things should be done the majority of DYI's will make the right decision about doing it themselves or hireing it done. Unfortunatley there will always be those who cannot tell the difference between a hammer and a screw driver but will not admit it. there is no way to make the world safe from these people.
 
  #10  
Old 09-20-02, 07:02 AM
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I think that a homeowner should be able to do his/her own electrical work. With that said, there needs to be more jursidictions that require permits, special simplified homeowner electrical exams (prior to issuance of permit) and then inspection by a town inspector. These are not generally practical when some town don't even have inspectors to check the major work never mind the small home projects.
These are important because, although you might do work in your house, mine might burn down because it is next to yours.
 
  #11  
Old 09-21-02, 07:06 AM
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the one thing i've noticed is that DIY'ers, (most), dont mind asking questions and seeking advice about what their not sure of. that is a wonderful thing. there are many in the "trade" who will not bring themselves to the point of admitting their shortcomings. some sort of "ego" thing, i suspect. i believe that most DIY'ers are very conscientous, and aware of the potential hazards to their homes and family, when working around electricity. probably more so than the so-called "pro" who is just there to make a buck. of course, as in everything else, there are always exceptions.
in defense of the "professionals", there are those of us who are not as "production line oriented", and do not try to juggle several jobs at once. there are those of us, who, when faced with a code issue, or a safety concern their not sure of, will ask questions, and look to the proper authorities for the right answers. sadly, those "true professionals" are beginning to get outnumbered by the ones who go by the rule that "we are determined to make money now, no matter what it costs later". these are the guys that will rip you off in a heartbeat, and walk away laughing, all the way to the bank. i make no apologies for these charactors, because they are giving the rest of us a very bad name. i have been in the electrical field for the past 31 years, have had my own contracting business for the last 12, and i still learn something new every day. i dont advertise, except by "word-of-mouth" through my customers, and i have more business than i can handle right now. i guess what i'm saying, is that if a contractor does a good, honest, and safe job for the homeowner, at a reasonable cost, he doesnt need to advertise and beat his chest about how good or how smart he is, to get more business.
the majority of the mistakes i see, in doing residential repairs and upgrades, are not made by the DIY'er, but rather by an unscrupulous and unqualified "pro". go figure...
 
  #12  
Old 10-07-02, 09:56 AM
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I think of it this way: The DIYers who are safety conscious are the ones who frequent this and other boards. The ones who want to make sure they do it CORRECTLY are the ones who are here.

Closing down a forum or not giving advice to a DIYer who is looking for it is NOT going to keep the DIYer from doing the work. It will just keep the DIYer from the doing the work CORRECTLY. Obviously if they already knew how to do it, they wouldn't be asking.

(And none of this will affect the DIYers who aren't asking and searching for help in the first place.)

As someone mentioned before, if the homeowner could not do the work his or herself, in many cases the work would not get done. For example, I am just starting a bit by bit REWIRE of my entire 50 year old 2-wire home. I will do it a circuit at a time once I get the new main lug installed. If I could not do the work myself at my own pace, this rewire would not get done--I cannot afford to pay for a professional to do it. And with the load that is on this system and some of the old wiring I've seen, this NEEDS to be done.

Folks are going to either do it themselves or much of needed work won't get done. If they are going to do it themselves, they might as well be able to get professional advice from caring professionals to make sure it is done CORRECTLY.

Regarding inspection: Yes, I think DIY electrical work should be inspected if it is a big job. I think there are laws requiring certain work to be inspected regardless of who does it, isn't there?

Just my 1/5 of a dime.
 
  #13  
Old 10-07-02, 10:30 PM
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How many electricians want to come out an almost 40 minute drive from anywhere, and put a dimmer in my living room instead of a switch?

I think I could find someone to do it only if i paid them driving time too!

If any of you read the family handyman ( who must sponsor this site or something) they are always advocating doing your own wiring CORRECTLY, but leaving the panel work to the pros.

I like wiring and have done some small and larger projects, though i do have a friend who is a commercial electrician check up one me. So id say have it "inspected" by someone who knows more than you.

I think the biggest danger is to the DIYer who isnt safety concious, why do you test both receptacles after you shut down the breaker? I mean who knows how its wired until you get in there, buy one of these little orange testers for 10 bucks. Its the only way to be safe!

One more thing, finding a speciality store, like S&H electric ( my promo fave) is alot better than going up to Lowes, lowes wont know what youre talking about half the time even if they do sell it. The people at S&H im sure realize my electrical skills arent profesional, considering i wanted an auger drill bit and called it a "curly one really fast to drill holes" but they knew what i meant!

I was at a friends garage and noted that he had a 1 switch 2 receptacle 3 gang box with no cover and asked why said couldnt find one. I happen to know he just had an electrician in to put a gfci outlet outside for a small pond and where the new outside receptacle is is about 5 feet away from this coverless but energized box. Seriously i went and got him a cover that week! Should i have left it alone, clearly the electrician didnt mind it? In a garage, with metal tools aplenty, and it was right under his workbench. -Josh
 
  #14  
Old 10-08-02, 10:26 PM
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As an electrical contractor, whos business is probably 80% insurance company burn jobs, I see things a little differently.
Most the jobs I go on are electrical fires, of those electrical fires, roughly 70% of them are caused by DYIers. A couple of these fires have caused death and/or injury to family members. But one things for sure, every one of these fires scarred these people for life, and made them think just how confident they were in there work.
Im a big time supporter of do it yourselfers, but you have got to know your limits.
I read a post in here that said something like, ".... you can do any wiring in a house yourself, but leave the panel to the pros." I have yet to see a fire that was started in the panel itself. Doesnt mean its never happened, I just havent seen it.
Im not trying to use a scare tactic here, just wanted to give people food for thought.
 
  #15  
Old 10-11-02, 11:17 AM
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definitely a supporter of diy
I'm not saying that we all do it ourselves
but we sure can all use some good advice at times. If in doubt go down the
posts a little and read the one about
"power out"
Another good example is last year before the heating season our furnace started
to act up, we brought somebody in,
2 months later the same problem
(delayed ignition) So from advice from the heating forum i pulled my own burners out(30 plugged ports)
and cleaned them myself. Works like a champ, needless to say I do the yearly
cleaning and inspection myself now.
I only bring this up because I hear the
same thing in the heating forum about
diy'ers not doing it themselves.
I know my limits like I'm sure we all do
but the pro's should also know their limits too. I'm not generalising every pro, but hey we're human.

Thank you, Do It Yourself
 
  #16  
Old 10-11-02, 07:21 PM
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Thumbs up Do it yourself !!

I just about EVERTHING myself unless I don't have the skills, tools or desire to do it
 
  #17  
Old 10-15-02, 03:47 PM
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I seem to be a minority, being in the U.K.
My view is, over here, ONLY registered gas fitters can touch anything gas goes through by law. You can smell and hear gas.
Electricity cannot be seen, heard or smelled but can kill.
NEVER work on live circuits and if you have ANY doubts, consult a qualified electrician.
Some of the questions AND answers I have heard in DIY stores are very frightening.

Live long and prosper.
 
  #18  
Old 10-15-02, 07:15 PM
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the problem with the term "DIYer" is that all of the craft consider all of the diyer as unintelligent people that have no idea what they are doing.

But you cannot group all diyer as same level. So you are a medical doctor but you work during college as a electrical helper. according to craft you would be a diyer, no reason to give up day job.

So I do something different to make money. I also know refrigeration, plumbing, electrical, masonary. I am classified as a DIYerbut that does not mean I do not know the craft.

It is just hard to consider all diyer as unskilled, the craft looks at hundred and hundred of different refrigeration (example) unit but I look at my refrigeration unit hundred and hundred of times, I feel I am more qualified to work on my own stuff more than the craft. I know my house better than anybody else.

I will always be considered a DIYer but I will alway work on my own stuff. Beside its not rocket science.
 
  #19  
Old 10-16-02, 07:33 AM
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Thumbs up DIYing it

I'm all for self done electrical if it can be done correctly and safely.

I've wired an addition and a 2,100 sq. ft. house and two barns. But, I called in the pros to do the service changes or installs. I got plenty of books on the subject and carefully drew out the circuits and what was needed. A master electrician (who was also the Business Agent for the local electrical union) looked at the house job and said my work was better than most pro's work he's seen over the course of 30 some years in the trade. All to the point that some can do it and some can't, or shouldn't. Those of us that can should be allowed to do so.

Someone made the point about getting someone to come out to do small jobs. It is almost impossible to get a contractor to come out on small jobs, they just don't want to do them, and if they do it will be some often undetermined time in the future and for a princely sum (not that I begrudge anyone getting paid fairly for their time, often that is too much for some to pay for simple jobs). I blame the trades (and not just electrical, although they seem to be the worst) for restricting entry into the field (try to get into a union apprentice program) and contractors for not treating employees decently to the point they want to remain in the trade.

Regulation is fine to ensure those pursuing trades for a living have knowledge of the trade, but it doesn't get to quality of work and honesty in dealing with customers. This is two other reasons that some have more work than they can do compared to others not so skilled in these aspects.

Bill
 
  #20  
Old 10-16-02, 08:51 AM
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wow, that was a big time stereotype............
My company has a one day turn around on ALL service calls, no job too small by the way. The only time we charge a pricely sum, is in the case of emergencies. And the only reason we charge a little more in these cases is because we have to pull a guy off a job (for another customer) and send him to the emergency. Im sorry if thats hard to understand, but the customer we had to cut out on early deserves a break on the bill, right? So i give the extra money for the emergency to whichever customer deserves it. So its not like Im getting rich off other peoples misery. I am extremely tired of hearing how evil and manipulative me and my peers are. We're just trying to make a living in a trade thats been overrun by hacks who want to undercut every bid you make and go out of business with in a month. Thats hard to compete with. Im starting to understand why people dont trust most contractors, but not all of us are bad, and we're not all trying to take you for every penny.
And as far as employees go, if you are not a contractor, you have no idea what its like to try and find good help. Im not sure where you get your info, but if your a good electrician, your boss is taking very good care of you. And if hes not.....gimmie a call, I will.
 
  #21  
Old 10-16-02, 09:21 AM
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Lightbulb marcerrin

BTW how much do you get for a service call these days ??
How much do you charge a customer to do a simple job like repalcing an electrical outlet ??
I work in the service trade (HDTV repair) and understand where you are coming from, it's hard to make a living with all the overhead these days
 
  #22  
Old 10-16-02, 09:38 AM
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i charge $40 per half hour, half hour minimum, $75 trip fee/travel charge. This is the cost of a typical service call (less than 2 hours).
Everything above 2 hours gets a bid.
 
  #23  
Old 10-16-02, 11:28 AM
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I guess I'd be sitting in the dark if I had to pay someone to do some simple job around here.

I wouldn't have a disposal installed, or able to hang the towel rack in our remodeled bathroom due to the fact an outlet had to be relocated 3" on the same wall... couldn't afford any of those simple jobs if I had to pay someone else.

By the way, I would never attempt to mess with the main box, or try to add to the lines in any fashion. This I have learned is best left to those with more knowledge than I have on this subject.

I do hear the same 'don't try this at home' stuff from auto mechanics, and appliance repairmen. I'm not sure who I trust more today in regards to anything needing repairs because despite the better business bureau and word of mouth, some pros are as talented as I am.

I know there are some good ones out there. I 'see' them here online all the time...but...they are not near me so I can call on their services. Until I find someone I can afford and trust then I will have to continue to doitmyself and hopefully with the wisdom of those in these forum walls I will not hurt myself or others.

Kay
 
  #24  
Old 10-16-02, 12:19 PM
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Thumbs up DIY

If you know or can find out how to do a job I say doit.
Have done a lot of electrical work in my time right now in HVAC.
ON some big jobs the electrician had to wire in our unit for code.
When we tried to start them up it burn up 4 of them on the inside
before we found out they had wired them wrong.Made a deal with them pull the wires and just put them in so they pass code and we would take it from there and wire them ourselfs Now Im not trying to knot the electrician here heck the ones on this job had pulled in some 4k lines and all kind of stuff.That I sure wouldnt look at or try,BUtttttttttt They sure dont know about our heat and AC units so keep your hand off if you dont know.If you can read the print doit ED
 
  #25  
Old 10-16-02, 02:15 PM
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As I understand the law (or at least local code), a homeowner who owns the home and lives in it can do their own electrical work. I'd like to see the "lives in it" requirement dropped.

I replaced the breaker box in my house and added three circuits to the garage to create a workshop. I had the inspector out for both jobs and passed both inspections.

I think that DIY'ing is a fundamental right of owning a house. (I'm putting on my asbestos jacket now for saying that.)

I do, however, feel that the city has the right to require inspections in the interests of public safety. (The issue of selling a house that others have pointed out.)
 
  #26  
Old 10-16-02, 07:17 PM
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My husband and I have been building a "new" home for the past 3 years. We dug every footing, poured 100+ cy of concrete, hung all of the siding, framed and installed 1000+ sf of porch/decking, ran every stick of plumbing including installation of the tubs and showers, and currently are pulling the wire for electrical. We also will complete all of the finish work (insulation, drywall, cabinetry, trim, tile, and hardwood floors) ourselves. This is the way we choose to do things and our house will be paid for when we are completed (hopefully April '03). We have had the required inspections thus far and everything so far has been fine. We are fortunate to have an architect, general contractor, HVAC professional, certified plumber, and commercial electrician in our family or extremely close family friends and this forum to consult when we have concerns or questions. We do not do things without asking the appropriate professional for help up front, along the way, and prior to inspection time. As for requiring us to hire a professional - NO! As for requiring us to pass inspections - YES! We will defer to our commercial electrician's advice to ensure a properly and safely wired home. Just don't tell us we can't, or else we may show you we can! And yes, family help is free but comes at the expense of their availability (now you understand the 3 years a little better!)
Sandie
 
  #27  
Old 10-18-02, 05:23 AM
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About 25 years ago I built a substantial two-story addition to my house. When I got the permits, I took a written exam for homeowners on the electrical code. I did all my wiring (with the usual inspections). The plumbing was a different story. A licensed plumber was required to do the plumbing, with no provision for the homeowner to be permitted to do the work. (Actually, the inspector allowed me to do all the finish plumbing work after the plumber had done the rough-in.)

Well, about 3 years ago I decided to enclose a small porch off my kitchen. When I went to get the permits for the work, the building inspector said that homeowner electrical permits were no longer allowed in our community. Since he knew me, however, he was reasonable and suggested that if a mutual friend who was an electrician pulled the permit he would allow me to do the work.

Where am I going with all of this? I am not sure, but I see both sides of the issue of DIY work. I have seen some really poorly (dangerous) done electrical work which would not have been that way if a properly trained professional had done it or if it had been inspected. But likewise, I know that there are many persons like me out there who are not in the trades but have the requisite knowledge and skills to perform many of these tasks in a safe, workmanlike manner. I don't know it all by any streach of the imagination, but I do know enough to ensure basic safety and to know when to ask for help and advise. I likewise realize that the task of separating the wheat from the chaff is the basic problem.
 
  #28  
Old 10-18-02, 06:06 AM
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I know things have changed over the years regarding permits and what homeowners can do. However, my first husband and I built our home from the ground up ourselves. The only finish work was contracted out since I had just had a baby and couldn't float and tape the wallboard anymore.

We went step by step just like the city required, having inspectors out when required. I ran all the wiring, installed all outlets, telephone lines, etc. My husband ran all the plumbing. We did have the footings for the house poured for us, but after that we did everything else. It helped that my husband knew how to run different pieces of large equipment and that I had worked for a company that rented out said utility equipment.

My point is that we followed the same rules and regulations that a 'pro' would have to follow. Got all our permits, etc. A master electrician checked my work daily, and also was the one who wired the main for us.

We spent $17,000 building a $45, 000 (1985) home (not including the land it was sitting on). We didn't scrimp on things - materials or on how we did the job. We wanted this house to still be around (acts of God withstanding) 100 years from now. We could have never achieved this without having the ability to do it ourselves.

On the other hand, my current husband and I recently purchased this home. As a judge, the previous owner was allowed to add on, and do some remodeling without permits. In this case, it shouldn't have been allowed. We have had to call in on our warranty many times due to shoddy workmanship and code violations. I feel I need to add this: half of the shoddy work done on the house was performed by professionals. Licensed in their fields.

I'm not sure how this can all be resolved. I guess it all depends upon the person, but you can't really judge a book by its cover anymore. Seems everyone can talk the talk, but how do you tell before hand if they can walk the walk? I'm not sure what the requirements here for diy'ers are since all the work I've done isn't major, and the rest has been done by qualified persons through the warranty company.

Kay
 
  #29  
Old 10-18-02, 07:22 AM
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BillOH
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marcerrin, please don't take my remarks as indicative of the conduct of all contractors. I have worked with several very good, honest and hard working contractors that I've hired over the past several years and will continue to do so. It is unfortunate that the good contractors have a tough time making it and the bad ones continue to work. In any business these days it is tough to find good workers, and will only get worse. We've not yet hit the real crunch in worker availability. Any business owner will do well to carefully cultivate their good people.

As I said I begrudge no one fair compensation for their time and talent, but sometimes that is too much for some to pay. The option of DIY enables them to get the job done at minimal expense. Just my opinion $75 for the service call and $40 some an hour seems a bit steep (that is the going rate in our area too) but it's your call to price your services as you see fit. My point is can Granny pay someone $90 service and labor plus a few dollars more for parts to change a switch or a receptacle? They see you pop in, spend a half hour and leave with the big part of a $100 bill, any wonder they think contractors are fleecing them (and I'm NOT saying they are) and become reluctant to call them in? I don't know the answer but it seems that there is a lot of work not getting done that should be done because of the affordability issue (outside of the DIYers). To cut DIY off with draconian regulation invites only cheating (no permit, no inspection) or the continuation of unsafe conditions.

Good discussion, this!
 
  #30  
Old 10-21-02, 01:01 PM
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To go off a little on a 'sub-plot':

BillOH says, "It is unfortunate that the good contractors have a tough time making it and the bad ones continue to work."

I work in a profession where we often have to bid on contracts, similar to what an electrical, plumbing or other contractor would do (I work for a building service company--janitorial, floor care, carpet care, etc.). One reason the 'bad' contractors continue to work is one simple word: cheap. I will elaborate:

The 'bad' contractors bid much lower (CHEAP) than the 'good' ones. The person(s) or company accepting the bids sees the low figure and drools because they are CHEAP and they knock themselves over accepting that bid. That is why the "bad ones continue to work."

Unfortunately, then the contractor comes in and does CHEAP work b/c they can't do the job right at the price they quoted. Until the Purchasing Departments, company heads and even the Average Joe realize that inexpensive doesn't always mean the best deal (in other words that CHEAP is most of the time CHEAP), things won't change and the 'bad' contractors will continue to make the 'good' ones look bad.

Just my 8% of a quarter.
 
  #31  
Old 10-21-02, 05:02 PM
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There is a lot to be said about DIY'ers. I can't speak for all of us, but for a good number of us QUALITY means just as much as "doing it right". From the last poster, cheap is cheap and you get what you pay for. But even when you pay top dollar you can sometimes still end up with junk. So when you take the time to learn about the project at hand, ask the questions, do the research the last thing you want is to finish a job and not be proud of it. Heck I finish mowing the lawn and still remark to my wife "Damn that looks so much better, don't it?"

So it takes 6 hours to do a 3 hour job. You maybe learned some thing, get some satisfaction from knowing you were able to complete the job, and if your not to hard on yourself for not doing that one part differently, or better, you can still have some pride in your work.

You do work for someone else and "most" will do just a good enough job to get paid and leave.

Brian
 
  #32  
Old 10-22-02, 04:52 PM
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Jxofaltrds
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NEVER NEVER NEVER should the gov. tell you what to do on your property.

That said, you should have to tell anyone buying your property that you did your own electrical work.

Guys and Gals remember your first electrical project?

This is not plumbing. Electricity kills.

Most electricians do NOT understand the NEC.

To every DIYer please be careful.

Mike
 
  #33  
Old 10-22-02, 06:44 PM
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Angry

MOST ELECTRICIANS DONT UNDERSTAND THE N.E.C.!!!!!!!!??????
Are you an electrician?
 
  #34  
Old 10-22-02, 07:46 PM
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texsparky
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I don't know if he is an electrician,but he's definitely anti-government.Wonder what he has to hide ?
 
  #35  
Old 10-23-02, 02:33 AM
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subversive "cults"

actually, after some "in-depth, undercover" investigating, i found out that mike is the head "guru" of a "home improvement cult" that promotes, from his highly guarded "compound", (fortress?), such "subversive" activities as "accurate code compliance, quality workmanship, reasonable prices, and prompt service." these "lunatic, fringe" types that adhere to this stuff, sure make it hard for others to make a buck, and, seem to impower many homeowners to seek his advice, and be conscious of doing their "d.i.y." jobs with an eye for safety. it just ain't right, and something oughta be done about these guys!




j/k, mike!

have a great day!
old_timer
 
  #36  
Old 10-23-02, 07:48 AM
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Cool

Just to add my 2 cents.
I've been an avid D-I-Yer for many years, and do all of my own electrical and plumbing work, not to mention other stuff.
I know what I personally can and cannot do, but it is impossible to determine the skill levels of people asking quesitons in here.
I have a few posts in here, and I try my best to offer good advice, but only on what I think that I know about.
Sometimes, I make mistakes, but I've always been instantly corrected by someone who knows more about it, usually a licensed pro (I'm not one).
I've seen licensed pros in here disagree on how to do things (I think this has more to do with local codes than anything else.)
I think that anyone should be allowed to do their own work, subject to inspection. If they're not sure of what they're doing, especially electrical, they shouldn't even try it, however.
Mike
 
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Old 10-23-02, 08:05 AM
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Originally posted by Jxofaltrds
[

Most electricians do NOT understand the NEC.

]
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HES A HOME INSPECTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROFLLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How on gods green earth can you possibly think you can get away with saying that, as a home inspector. You probably got your licence on-line you quack
 
  #38  
Old 10-23-02, 08:39 AM
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texsparky
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Post Get back to topic

If you look at Mikes website,it appears he is a licensed master electrician as well as a licensed home inspector.
I'm not defending nor condoning his making a generalized statement about electricians.


Let's get back on the subject here,which is/was "Should DIYers be allowed to do their own electric work?"
 
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