Back in April we spent a full three weeks researching and planning our electrical wiring plan for our tiny house. Thanks to several resources and hours of mapping everything from our overall house circuitry to individual switch and outlet box details, we felt very confident when it came time to buy our materials and get started. Since we are not electricians we won’t be providing any detail on how to wire a house, but we’ll gladly provide our resources and pictures of our process and finished product.
- Local Electrician
- Travis’ Dad
- Wiring Simplified (42nd ed., though there are later editions also) by Richter, Schwan & Hartwell (recommended by our electrician)
- The Complete Guide to Wiring (6th ed.) produced by Black & Decker
- National Electric Code
- The interwebs (for clarification or confirmation of our understanding of a concept)
Useful tips we learned along the way:
- “Nail plates are cheap insurance.” ~Tony, our electrical guy. As Tony recommended, we placed nail plates over any place where our wires passed through the studs so we wouldn’t be able to accidentally shoot a nail or screw into our wires in later stages of construction. This provided immense peace of mind later when we installed our tongue and groove interior siding. Once they’re covered, it’s really difficult to remember exactly where those wires are.
- Take detailed pictures of your wiring before closing in the walls. We used a tape measure in our pictures to we can look back and reference the height of wires at different locations. We have already referenced these pictures many times to make sure we don’t hit our wires!
- Draw circuit maps until you see black, white and copper lines in your sleep, then draw some more, until you absolutely feel confident in your understanding of the flow of electrons.
- Use your circuit maps to estimate how much wire you’ll need by adding up the distances between boxes and switches and adding them up. Then add roughly 6 inches for each wire coming into each box, then add an additional 20%. This leaves plenty of wire to work with at each gang box, your main panel, and a healthy margin for error.
- If you have any doubts at all, ASK A PROFESSIONAL ELECTRICIAN BEFORE YOU CONTINUE.