We’ve been crazy busy lately, with prepping the house for our very first electrical inspection and, you know, Thanksgiving-ing. Since we decided to tackle all of the electrical ourselves, we had a lot of work to do! After demo, we were left with a house with no wiring at all. Just a totally empty service panel, with power coming in from the street that went nowhere. From there, our job was to wire up the whole house according to our approved plans, without fouling up any of the electrical code requirements along the way. Sounds fun, right? This was definitely a team effort — Mr. Crafty quarterbacked the project, and did most of the wiring and service panel work, and my dad and I helped with some of the home runs (running romex wiring from the service panel to the circuits in each room) and wiring in the outlets. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant at first to dip my toes into doing electrical work (I was worried I’d mess something up!), but Mr. Crafty is a good teacher, and I picked up some new skills along the way. It was also ultra-helpful that Mr. Crafty’s dad (a general contractor) was always just a phone call away, and always willing to answer our many questions.
Aaaaannd, as the title suggests, I’m over the moon to announce that we passed our first inspection… yippee! We had ourselves pretty convinced that the inspector would nitpick, or find some tiny nuances in the wiring code that we missed, and we’d need to redo a whole bunch of our work… but nope! The inspector was very knowledgeable, yet helpful. He caught on really quickly to what our thinking was with wiring the circuits for each room, and he asked a few questions that Mr. Crafty was able to answer easily. He instructed us to install one additional outlet, on the bar that separates the kitchen and living room, since technically that classifies as wall space, although it’s a short wall. You’re supposed to have an outlet every 6 feet along interior walls, and we hadn’t figured that area in as “wall” space. But that’s an easy fix that won’t take more than a few minutes, and happily that was the only change we need to make!
Since this was our first electrical inspection, also known as rough-in inspection, the inspector will need to come back out later, when we’re ready to finalize the wiring. At that point, he’ll check that we added that last outlet as he instructed, and that we finished the outlet and switch wiring correctly. Between now and then, we’ll need to pull our framing, mechanical and plumbing inspections with the township, install drywall, and install insulation (which also needs to be inspected). So, this was our first hurdle as far as inspections go, but we still have a ways to go before we have the township’s sign off to move in, of course. It might seem like a small win, but it felt like a BIG hurdle to clear, since there are so many aspects of the code that need to be followed for residential wiring, and Mr. Crafty and I (an engineer and a lawyer) aren’t exactly experienced electricians. We really feel hugely accomplished to have our first “official” sign off on our work. And I’d be fibbing if I said it wasn’t a major ego boost to hear that the inspector was impressed with everything we’ve done so far. DIY win!
I’m not sure whether or how much it ended up mattering, but Mr. Crafty’s dad suggested that we get the work site as clean as possible before the inspection. He thinks inspectors look at our work more critically if your project looks messy, which I guess makes sense. In legal writing, it’s always advised that you pay extra attention to cleaning up grammar and spelling before filing/service, or else you run the risk of losing credibility with your reader (usually a judge), and the ability to persuade, even if your argument is sound. Kind of the same philosophy, ya know? Plus, it was nice having a completely clean space for a few days. You wouldn’t believe how fast the saw dust and debris accumulates!
So, we had a little something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Now, we’re excited and energized for the next phase of the remodel, and have already gotten to work finishing up the last bits of framing, sub-flooring, and are chipping away at figuring out what to do with our HVAC systems. We already scheduled our next inspection for 2 weeks from now, so we better keep up the pace!
Until next time!