You might want to give some thought to the following approach and judge
whether it may be feasible for you. However, I wouldn't even consider it if
your local codes prohibit a homeowner doing his own electrical work.
Draw up a circuit plan (do it right, including amperage requirements) and
pull a homeowner's permit.
Make sure of all the contingencies, wire sizes, etc. (including the capacity
remaining in your main panel) ... in short, do your homework as if your life
depended upon it ... it may.
Once past the planning and permit stage, and BEFORE you hook up the sub
panel to the main panel, do all the wiring and installation work yourself,
including mounting the sub panel. You will be working on dead circuits with
no current during this process.
Leave the actual connection of the sub panel to the main panel to a licensed
electrician. Get one lined up beforehand and let him know what you are
You will be safer that way, learn a lot in the process, and may be able to
save yourself enough bucks it make it worthwhile.
I saved around $1300 on my current shop ... that'll buy a lot of wood. I did
pull a permit and had it inspected by the city.
This is very doable with care, caution and common sense.
It has been my experience that a conscientious shop owner will often do his
own electrical work to a higher standard than the average electrician I've
run across around these parts.
Whatever you decide to do, make damn sure you pull a permit and go though
inspection process... if for no other reason than to not
jeopardize your homeowner's insurance.
Last update: 9/21/03
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