Respect to the Electricians

by Niel M. Bornstein

We've been planning to finish off an area in our basement for an office and a separate storage room for some time now. In the last few weeks, the time has come to begin the actual work.



It's nice to have a handy father-in-law who lives only a few miles away; he was able to begin the construction while I was away on a project. He did all of the framing, with the help of my wife and mother-in-law, and, when I've been around, me.



But when it came to the electrical work, we decided to call in a professional.



After getting some quotes from electricians via servicemagic.com, we punted. The quotes were all too high and we found a retired electrician who works through a handyman service. He gave us a great rate, and even suggested some wise changes to our plans.



After he had come and gone, I realized that I needed to move one existing outlet in order to make room for some drywall. All I had to do was remove and unwire the old box, nail in a two-foot piece of 2x4, attach a new box, and wire it up.



This was not as easy as it sounds. The removal was easy, sure, and putting in a new box was pretty simple. But the existing wires were old, and there was not much slack.



It took me more than an hour to attach three pairs of wire to a single outlet.



I don't know how these guys do it, but cheers to the electricians.



Otherwise, the construction is going fine. I've set up a closet for my DSL modem, wireless router, and VoIP modem, and run a few category 5e cables as well -- everything's not wireless yet, so it's nice to have some good old-fashioned wires here and there.



I found a good resource on telephone wiring at Phone-man's Home Phone Wiring Advice Page, so I hope to get the appropriate phone lines installed tonight.



Then the sheetrock work can commence.



Done any home wiring lately?