Houses (was Re: [TriLUG] Re: FUD alert!)

Justin Johnson justin at
Mon Apr 22 12:25:59 EDT 2002

Having had more experience than I care to remember with the building process
and trades, here's the unofficial skinny on this. The builder has to build a
house (1)to code and (2)to schedule. Since they already have a hard enough
time keeping things on schedule, they don't want homeowners in the house
installing things that may make the inspections fail which would cause
failing(1) to not allow(2). Also, I think that technically you are supposed
to have an electrical contractors license to install ANY wiring in new
construction, but there may be a gray area if you are the homeowner. Some
builders care more about these things than others, with the larger builders
being more concerned than the smaller. Centrex is one of, if not the,
largest builders in the country. I'm sure it this is their company wide
policy not to allow homeowners to self install anything.

Be that as it may, I would not pay ANYONE to run network / speaker / other
low voltage wire in the house that I am paying to be built. I would go out
there in the evening or weekend, AFTER the electrician has roughed in the
house, but before the electrical inspection has taken place, and install it
myself. I would pay attention to place boxes at the correct height, and not
to cut through any sill plates or headers. Take your cue from the
electricians work. This way you should be fairly certain that you won't do
anything to cause the electrical inspection to fail. If the inspections
passes, your superintendent shouldn't care about the wire.

One thing to consider. You may want to run the conduit and install boxes,
but not run the wire if possible. This is because if wire is run, it has to
be terminated for the final electrical inspection to pass. If there is a box
and no wire. you just have to cover the hole with a blank plate, and you can
pull your wire after you get your CO. Or just plan on another secret trip
after the electrician does his finish work, and go ahead and terminate your
ends before the electrical final.

Have fun.

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