I'm a homeowner. I was thinking of finishing my basement. For some
crazy reason, I thought I'd do it via permits rather than without. All
my friends and my parents have either done them without or with a small
contractor who also didn't pull permits. Anyway, I called the local
building code office to ask about fees, schedules, etc. They tell me
that a homeowner can do any of it, but needs to take a test on the
Electrical codes and Plumbing codes after applying for permit and
before recieving go ahead. When asked what material to study, they
said just visit a library and they would have the code books. All
right, Here's my beef. I want to finish my basement and run 2-3 new
circuits. I have a rough in for the plumbing sticking up through the
floor. I don't want to be a contractor, electrician or plumber by
trade. I never intend to rough in my own plumbing, attach the main
drain, add a sub panel, work on anyone else's house. I want to do
about 3 weeks work(mostly finish). The books they are talking about
are the raw code books that I would need to memorize if I wanted to
build a damn skyscraper. OK, rant done. Well, I said I would do it
thr proper way and rather than admit to my friends and family that I
should have just snuck it, I will. So finally, are there any
recommended books I should pick up to do prepare for the test? One
thing that strikes me about the test is that it is probably not open
book, yet in the real world, I would have been continuously following
the advice of books and/or tips. thanks for your help.
Interesting... Around here I can do all of my own work without taking any
kind of test. But, the final job must be up to code and pass the
I've never had any problem passing an inspection, but based on the looks
the inspectors give when they first read "homeowner wired" on the permit,
I'm guessing they see a lot of really bad work by homeowners. :)
"Code Check Electrical" and "Code Check Plumbing" (both by Redwood Kardon)
do a good job of condensing the code down to something readable. But,
there's a LOT of information in there. It's easy to skip over important
codes, so read and reread them.
"Wiring Simplified" by Richter/Schwan/Hartwell is also good at explaining
the basics and is often found in the electrical section of hardware stores.
As for plumbing, my two favorites are "The Complete Guide to Home Plumbing"
by Black and Decker, and "Plumbing - Basic, Intermediate & Advanced
Projects" by Merle-Henkenius". Neither are real deep on code information,
but they're both good references for planning new projects. Lot's
of pictures... :)
Same here... No matter how much I "think" I may know about an upcoming
project, I still "go to the books" and re-educate myself before starting a
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