You Can Do It, Yes, You Can!

March 22, 2010

electrical, house history

In my recent post about my new textbook, Lin from asked a question in her usual elegant and poised manner:

Head gonna ’splode. Are you seriously gonna do that yourself??? Wow.

Hee hee!

I thought I’d post my response here (rather then have it buried in the comments), because I realized that a few of you “newer” readers did not go through the excruciatingly crazy time when we gutted our living room, in the summer of 2007. It was SUPPOSED to be a simple tear-down-the-walls-and-slap-news-ones-up-again job.. but my house is 150+ years old. I guess that kind of project never happens with old homes.

When I opened up the walls, I found a few surprises. One, noggin– noggin is brick, installed in the studs. We’ve no idea why the original builder did that; it was rare even back then. We suppose it was to help keep the house cool. And it does… both summer AND winter. :S


I also found mouse-chewed wires, and quite a few bare wires. And a disastrous mess of mangled wires. Oh Lord, it was a disaster. Long ago, the previous owners ripped off the flooring to the second floor, installed wiring, and put the floors back on– basically encapsulating the wiring. And this is what it looked like, 70 years later when I opened it up.

Bad Knob Wiring 1

You can read more about the craziness if you click the links. I had no intentions of doing the wiring myself, but I couldn’t find an electrician who would do one room– well, I did finally get one quote, but he wanted $1500 for it. I decided to study at night and do it myself.

Electrician Shock
Why My Electricity Won’t Work
Things Looking Brighter
The worst part was going into The Attic [insert creepy organ music]
It was a very frustrating job at times.
I also installed Cat5 ethernet wiring for the living room.

ALL MY WORK PASSED Codes Inspection! I was so happy.


Besides the living room, I installed wiring in my daughters’ bedroom above, light switches for two bedrooms upstairs, and separate outlets for the washing machine and sump pump. However, half the house still has no electricity. After seeing the condition of the living room wiring, I was too terrified to turn the rest of the old wiring back on. I disconnected everything I could. It’s been almost three years, and I’m hoping praying I can get electricity into the kitchen, dining room, stairwell, and upper bedrooms very soon. This year, we’re tackling the kitchen. The dining room and bedrooms will have to wait, unless a miracle happens.

This is our living room. ALL MODERN wiring!!!


You can read more about the House History and Our History here and all about Our Story of renovations up to now. After the massive 2007 renovation, which was the largest project we’ve ever accomplished yet here, I got a job blogging, and life just got hectic. I haven’t done anything else besides garden work around here. I’m praying the kitchen will be accomplished this year because it’s almost unlivable now. Please keep us in your prayers! I’m a little older now (40s) and rather out of shape because of my desk jobs for the past three years. I’m a little apprehensive about the physical labor involved. But God willing, it can be done. 😀 Thanks for reading.

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