Electrical Work and Stockpiling

I know it has been a while since I last posted, so I feel I owe all my new followers an update of what is happening and an idea of what is to come.  I would like to start off by saying thank you to Kent Griswold over at http://www.tinyhouseblog.com for running an article on my project.  I nearly doubled my all-time views in one day due to the traffic I gained from people who came here from his site.  I hope you all continue to follow my blog and comment if you have any questions as to what I am doing or why i am doing it.

Currently the project at hand is electrical work.  We have the structure finished and since we are still unable to put up the siding because of the moisture content of the wood, we have moved inside to begin work there.  As much as I would have liked to have the protection of siding up for the winter, we must make do and complete the work that we can in the meantime.

I have personally never done electrical work before, but when doing some research it became clear to me that some municipalities require conduit to be used, while others are fine with simply Romex being run through holes drilled in the studs.  For those who do not know, Romex is basically all your electrical wires put together in one casing.  When you run it to where you want it, you strip the end of the casing and strip the ends of the wires contained within, and simply connect the ends to an outlet or whatever it is you are connecting it to.  This certainly would have been the easy way to go, but I wanted my house to be built to the highest standards I could make it.  I decided to use flexible conduit and would then run the individual wires through that.  It is more work, but it is of a higher quality, and if I end up living in an area that does not allow Romex, I should be able to avoid any problems that would have otherwise risen.

It does not look like much now, but it was a lot of hard work even to do this small portion.  the conduit is 1″ in diameter, so I had to drill through the studs with a spade bit in order to run it through.  In some areas where the windows are supported we have studs that are doubled up and sometimes even tripled up so we would need to start drilling from one side, then switch to the other side to get the rest of the way through.  After running the conduit we had to get the snake through it, affix the three wires (Hot, Ground, and Neutral) to the snake, and pull them through the conduit to where the electrical outlet was to be.

Before we could start any of the electrical work we needed to determine where we would put the breaker box.  It needed to be somewhere where it is easily accessible, but non-intrusive.  I decided to place it next to the front window.

Some may think it is intrusive where it is, but my dad and I are toying with the idea of concealing it.  I won’t go into too much detail with that though because we are not sure how we are going to do it just yet.  If you look at the picture showing the box open, it is a good example of how the conduit is run with the wires.  For those who do not know, the green wire is always the Ground wire, the white wire is always the Neutral wire, and the Hot wire can be just about any color.  We chose to make it black, but it is also commonly seen as red.

Unfortunately that is all the electrical work I was able to get done last time I was home, but I will be done with finals very soon and am hoping to get most of the conduit for the 120 volt circuits ran by Christmas.  The Incinolet I have, as well as a stove will need 240 volt circuits, but I have not progressed that far yet.

In addition to the electrical work, my dad began erecting the remaining wall for the bathroom while I was at school.  We are planning on using a pocket door so that it does not intrude on the living space at all.  We were going to simply build two walls and have the dor slide between them, but that would have taken more space and with the house already so small it would have been quite a sacrifice.  My dad was able to get a complete pocket door assembly from a friend he works with.  This is the same friend who has donated the Tyvek, a couch for when it is finished, as wel as a ceiling fan to be used in the living area.

That is all for the progress of the build, but I have quite a stockpile of materials ready for use.

This is all the pine planking I bought at a demolition sale.  It was in a completely mold infested basement and we thought we were going to need to remove it ourselves.  My dad and I were dreading doing the work because there was no electricity and we would have been wearing respirators and headlamps, but I got a call from the person in charge of the demolitions saying they had removed it all themselves because they were doing demolition on other areas of the house.  It should be enough to cover my entire interior and it only cost me $50.  They even removed all the nails and wrapped it according to size as the planks vary in height.  Add this to the oak flooring I have stacked in the house, and the fan and couch seen in the picture, and I have almost everything I need to finish my house.  There is still electrical work to finish and a very small amount of plumbing to do, but I think most of the large expenditures are out of the way.


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6 Responses to Electrical Work and Stockpiling

  1. Good to see how quickly this is coming together!

    As to disguising the panel box, what about a decorative frame cover? Check out this one at http://www.myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/2011/01/what-garage-door-opener.html

    Of course you will probably want to design something more… masculine, but you get the idea.

    Keep it up!

    • kmaibusch says:

      Thanks for the idea, but I was thinking that there may be a way to put the pine planking I am using for all the walls on the panel box so that it is hidden. It’ll be a while before I get to that point, but that’s the plan for now.

  2. Great write up! This will come in handy when I start doing the electrical for my project. Are you ever planning on incorporating solar? I hadn’t even though of trying to satisfy building codes in various locations, because I figured that mobile structures like these were never considered houses so not subject to inspection. It’s good to think about though…

    • kmaibusch says:

      I am planning on leaving it open to using solar. I unfortunately don’t have the money for the panels in the budget right now, so I am going to plug it in much like an RV. I can later build a cart to mount the panels on which would house the inverter as well as the batteries. I still need to do a lot more research before I consider solar a viable option, but I am open to using it.

      • Interesting- So you’ll wire the whole house for AC and then if you decide to go solar, you’ll just run the whole house off of the Inverter. I was thinking of something similar, except I would want the option to run certain circuits off of DC directly. Like the lights- If you went with DC compatible LED lights, no inverter necessary.

      • kmaibusch says:

        I’m fairly inexperienced when it comes to electrical work, but I am planning on just running the whole house AC because that is what most homes are and I am wiring it like a home. I know running lights DC might alleviate the load being pulled from the batteries or inverter later on, but because I do not have those at the moment, I am more concerned with making all the electrical components functional using shore power.

        I am planning on using either LEDs or CFLs for the lighting though due to the decrease in energy usage and less added heat load to the house.

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