This afternoon, after meeting with our general contractor, and finding most of the things we thought were complicated were going to be simple (and all the things we hadn’t thought of might be more complicated), one of my friends came over to help me scope the electrics.
We have our work cut out for us: we need to put in a new panel (the American name for "the box the circuit breakers go in) and relocate it from the back of the house to another location, and then sort out some of the rats’ nest of wiring that goes through the house. Long term this is a good thing, because we can relocate light switches to sensible locations, ensure we have the ability to have a hot tub later on and external outlets for when I want to string Christmas lights out front, but there’s some serious thinking to do. I’m glad that my electrician friend is there to guide me through the whole process: much better than having some random sparky figuring it out…
As a first step, we went to Home Depot to buy parts; $650 of parts – a new panel, hundreds of feet of electrical cable, metal boxes, screws, sockets, and we haven’t even got onto the circuit breakers themselves, which can be $50 a time (and we need around twenty of them). So it’s going to be quite the project.
Thankfully, this is the right time to do it; before the drywall goes in anywhere, there’s a lot of latitude to change things and sort stuff out. Fingers crossed it all goes well, and by the end of it I’ll know more about wiring than I ever expected to (similar to knowing more about concrete…)