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  1. In most States electricians are required to complete a four-year apprentice program to become a licensed journeyman electrician.
  2. Most states require that the electrical wiring is by a journeyman electrician or by the homeowner themselves.
  3. Residential wiring is not a difficult task, however, because mistakes can be costly and sometimes fatal, electricians are well regulated.
  4. Don't skimp on the size of your panel. 125amp should be considered a minimum for an average (1500 sq. ft) home.


Electricians calculate their bid by the square footage of the house plus extras. Recessed lights, string lights, ceiling fans and certain 220V outlets are generally extra. The cable used for residential construction is called Romex cable. 12 or 14 gauge wire is used for most of the circuits (except dedicated 220V circuits). Building code require that Outlets near or potentially near water be GFCI (Ground fault circuit interrupter) protected. A GFCI outlet protects people from electric shock caused by a ground fault.An electrician and helper can rough wire an average house (1500 sq. ft.) in about 3 days. Because lighting fixtures vary greatly in price the bid price usually includes installing fixtures but not purchasing them. A light fixture allowance is the $ amount allocated to fixtures.

Planning

In the planning stages you will need to sit down with your electrician and plan out his phase of the job. Good electricians will be knowledgeable and be able to give advice about the latest trends, techniques and products. Once items are agree to include them in the specification sheet.

Here are some of the Planning items to discuss:

  1. The items that are covered in the basic bid.
  2. Item that are extras which are not covered in the bid.
  3. Lighting fixture allowance or whose responsibility it is for providing fixtures.
  4. Materials used on the job, i.e. type and color of switches, and outlets. Type and models of breaker panel, breakers and service panel.
  5. Location of service panel, breaker panel and any sub panels.
  6. Schedule and Notification process.

Placement
It is important to walk through the house with the electrician to verify the location of all outlets, fixtures, switches and panels. Some of these items can't be moved because of Building Code, however, some may be moved or changed.


Contract items:

  • Total bid price
  • The items that are covered in the basic bid and total for price for basic bid.
  • Item that are "extras" which are not covered in the bid and individual cost for each "extra"
  • Amount of lighting fixture allowance or whose responsibility it is for providing fixtures.
  • The cost per change order.
  • The hourly rate for work that is not included in the contract (additional work).
  • Time needed for completion for each of the following phases; rough electrical, and finish electrical.

Specifications

  • Materials used on the job, i.e. type and color of switches, and outlets. Size and models of breaker panel, breakers and service panel.
  • Location of service panel, breaker panel and sub panels.
  • Types, Colors and brand name of All light fixtures.


Inspection

Generally speaking electrician are well-trained and regulated so that unqualified operators can't get into business. However, there are still some things that need to be inspected.

  • Verify placement of switch boxes, fixture boxes, appliances leads, breaker panel, service panel with the blueprints.
  • Verify materials and equipment with spec sheet.

Scheduling

  • Keep your electrician informed of your schedule. Subcontractors need to know approximately when they will be needed on a job. Go to the contracts & scheduling page for more information.
  • -Decide in advance who will call for the electrical inspection. It is best for the electrician to schedule this.
  • -Check that the materials, fixtures and equipment conform with the specifications.
  • -Make sure any changes, additions or fixes are communicated to the electrician while he is on the job. Call backs cost time and money.
  • -Check site daily for progress.

After the rough electrical is installed and inspected mark the location of all switches, outlets and fixtures on the floor. This is done so that if they are covered by drywall they can be found.

Budget

  • Plan ahead! Minimize change orders.
  • Shop around for appliances and fixtures, lighting fixtures are a high mark-up item, usually 40-100%.

 

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