Electric Bugaboo

Last weekend, I shut off power to the entire house to install two breakers. I also ended up removing four unused breakers, and realized how mind-bogglingly terrible the wiring in my house really is. You don't really get a good feel for that until you've seen that someone put a (bare) ground wire over the two voltage rails (240 V between them), instead of wiring it into the block an inch from where it entered the box. Interesting times, indeed. Once I've finished the existing rooms, I'm going to rewire the entire house. There are just too many things wrong with it to let the existing wiring stand.

The electrical work was frustrating, though not because it was hard work (though it was), bad wiring (though it really was). No, it's frustrating because of rules... and cost.


The Final Countdown (or) Inspection Projection

Let me begin by apologizing for the erratic feel of this post. I've worked on so many bits and pieces over the last couple weeks, and hit on so many interesting things to share that it's hard to focus on just one. With that in mind...

I grew up in Kansas, about a mile outside the city limits. I learned how to do plumbing, roofing, put up drywall and siding, and generally how to fix and/or build a house from my dad; however, we never had to mess with any building permits. Being outside the city, we could do what we liked, for the most part. The most we ever had to deal with was reporting some of the larger modifications (like when we built a whole house as an addition to our existing house) for tax purposes. And even then, it was hardly anything formal. Living inside the city, however, I have to deal with permits and inspections; it's a whole new world, and it puts some remarkable constraints on what I can and can't do.