Wiring your new home yourself can save you a lot of money, but it's also a potentially risky situation. Mistakes in the wiring can cause electrical fires or shocks, so don't attempt to wire your own home unless you have a working knowledge of electrical circuits. You also have to follow the national and local building codes related to electrical writing. some areas don't allow an unlicensed homeowner to wire a house. In this case, you may still be able to wire your home under the direction of a licensed electrician. Check on the local regulations before wiring your own home.
Create an Electrical Wiring Diagram
Before you handle any installation of the wiring, you need a clear plan for where everything will go. That includes the wiring, outlets, light switches and breaker boxes. Think about what activities you do in each room that require outlets. Entertainment rooms often need a lot more outlets with the ability to support lots of electronics running simultaneously, for example. In the bathroom, you need outlets within reach of the vanity for hairdryers and other electrical grooming tools. You also need to think about things like where outlets and light switches will be most convenient in different rooms.
Design a electrical wiring diagram that shows the location of all of the components after you get the okay to wire your home and you have a copy of your local building code for wiring. The building codes might dictate where you can and can't place outlets. Or you can hire an electrician to draw one for you if you're not comfortable with doing it yourself. A wiring diagram shows the location of the breaker box and the path of the wires to each outlet. Have an electrician check your diagram if you're drawing it yourself. Even if you have some electrical knowledge, a professional electrician may notice some issues with your design.
Determine how many outlets and switches will run on one circuit. Local code controls this in most areas. Normally, you can do six outlets per a 110-voltage circuit in a living area. As few as two per circuit are the standard in a kitchen, where appliances use more wattage. Check the local codes, or work with an electrician if you're not sure.
Install the Basic Components
With the plan created and approved, you can start installing the basic components of the electrical system. Attach the outlet, switch and fixture boxes to the studs. This is the first step in wiring, and it takes place after you frame the walls but before you install insulation. Check local code for the minimum amount of space between electrical outlets. In general, the more outlets you have, the safer your home.
Set your breaker box in an area where you can easily access it in the future. An unfinished location in a basement or a utility room is usually a good choice. Choose the correct amperage for your breaker box, usually 200 amps for a mid-sized home.
Add the Wire
Once the boxes are in place, you can roll out the wires leading from the breaker box to all of the outlets. Place the roll of wire next to the breaker box, and begin pulling the wire according to your diagram to the closest outlet or switch for each circuit. Be aware that certain appliances, such as the refrigerator, microwave, oven and furnace, are equipped with a 220-volt outlet and require corresponding wire. Check with an electrician if you have any questions.
Never splice wires between junction boxes. The biggest cause of fire from faulty wiring occurs with splicing mistakes. If you run short of wire in a wall, pull the entire piece out and use a new piece that is long enough to reach the junction box.
Cut the wire after it extends through your first outlet on each circuit. Leave a few inches to work with later. Start a new wire from that outlet to the next one on your diagram. Repeat this process with every switch and outlet, following your diagram carefully.
Use wire strippers to remove the outer plastic coating from the ends of the wires and attach them, according to the instructions on the box, at each outlet, fixture or switch. Refer to individual diagrams to wire three-way switches. These diagrams come in the box.
Purchase and install the individual circuits for each wiring set. These must match the amperage of the wire and the intended purpose of the outlet. Err on the side of caution if you are unsure about a specific circuit, and install one with a higher load capacity for safety.
House wiring is a straightforward process, but it's one where mistakes can be deadly. Always follow the advice of a licensed electrician, and follow the building codes. If you find yourself in over your head, hire an electrician to take over the job.