While I have previously written about a few guidelines for whether or not a project can be done by a homeowner or an electrician should be called, I still see many homeowners who are dealing with the consequences of a failed DIY project. I think that many people have both a lack of understanding of the risks involved in attempting electrical work without proper training, and the financial effects of doing so. Here I will talk about two pieces of information that you will need to make an informed decision about how to get your electrical work done cheaply and safely.
A very common reason that homeowners attempt electrical work that they do not have the expertise for is a misconception about how hiring an electrician will affect their wallet. While it is correct that there are some projects that can be done cost effectively without training, attempting to go further without training can cause headaches, damage, and end up with you needing to hire an electrician not only to complete your project, but to repair any damage you may have caused. In this scenario, you are out even more money, in addition to the time you will have spent on the project. So, feel free to change out your own outlet covers, but be wary of making any wiring changes. Any time you need to run new wire or change the configuration of the electrical system, you need a professional.
While even most amateur electricians are aware that they are at risk for electrocution if they make a mistake, many are willing to put themselves at risk. While this is obviously a problem, many people have the mistaken belief that are invincible, or for one reason or another aren’t particularly worried about causing themselves an injury. However, improperly done electrical work can lead to a number of problems, including injuries to others. Shoddy electrical work could lead to a house fire, which could injure or kill your family members or cohabitants. Hiring a competent electrician will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your electrical work is not a fire hazard, and ensuring that your work will not cause injuries to others. Finally, you could get in a lot of trouble with regulatory or insurance agencies if you do not properly do the work. My next post will cover these issues in depth.