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  • Do-It-Yourself Home Remodel

    Anybody got any hints and tips for a do-it-yourself home remodel?

    We're having to re-do my grandma's 50 year old house, taking it down to the studs, mostly so we can re-wire and re-insulate. Plus the gas wall heaters need to be replaced, as well as the hot water heater. The kitchen is being switched with the laundry area, new exterior doors, and a couple windows which are broke.

    We're on a LIMITED budget and need to get half of it liveable SOON! We also live on the rez where there's NO CODES, so we have a lot of liberty to do whatever, but try to keep it SAFE.

    At the start of demolition today, what a surprize to find NO insulation in the walls at all. And NO wiring going through the walls - it all comes up from the crawl space. We hate to go down to the crawl space cuz there are garter snakes GALORE down there. So I'm wondering if we should violate the virgin studs and run the electric through the studs around the rooms.

    The ceiling insulation is probably pretty much powder with a tar paper layer. I just heard how yucky it is to breathe it in, so am trying to devise a way to contain the yuck while we're taking it down. Hopefully the drywall will come off first, leaving the tar paper and insulation fibers in the ceiling until we take it out. There's no attic so we can't remove it from above. Any tips are welcome!

    There's no central air, just old gas wall heaters that need to be replaced, and NO heat in the bedroom or bathroom. Thinking about doing 110 V wired radiant floor heating in the tiny bathroom. Thought about vent free blue flame or radiant heaters until I found they don't work great at high altitudes and northern latitudes. Same with the tankless water heater we wanted.

    We only have 100 Amp Electric Service, so that eliminates electric heating. We also thought about a continuous vapor barrier but don't have any air ventilation so I think we'll leave it "leaky".

    Tomorrow the gas company is going to come out and suggest and quote a replacement heaters. My uncle died from carbon monoxide poisoning so that's 1 area where we're going with all new and all professionally installed equipment.

    Luckily our friend is the only licensed electrician on the rez. NO electric contractors are willing to touch an old home around here and he's too busy, so we're doing all the wiring ourselves, with advice and final connection by our friend. It was actually fun designing the circuits and learning electric code. Plus anything has to be safer than what's in place now.

    So to sum it up, we're open to any hints on the remodel from demo to heat - electric - drywall - insulation (especially how to keep an air channel open above the insulation on a flat roof system) - bathrooms - kitchen - laundry area - sewer - painting.

    Today my friend that is very NON mechanical had some great tips on stuccoing ceilings. I'm sure our drywalling is going to be so uneven that it's gonna NEED some texture.

    I'll have to post some pics! Gonna sneak off from work tomorrow and check the progress!
    ...it is what it is...

  • #2
    Make sure you tie all your neutrals back to the panel. And make sure your panel is grounded. Be safe and put a GFCI outlet in the bathroom and on the counter if you're putting an outlet there.

    Do 15 amp circuits for lights and 20 amp circuits ofr outlets.


    Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


    "When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

    Mr. Rossie Freeman

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    • #3
      Yep, when they fixed the water, they replaced the IN line with plastic pipe and we instantly lost our ground. The plumber unfortunately found out the hard and got quite a jolt.

      We bought a 10 foot copper rod to try to sink in our rocky soil to ground the new panel. We're just wondering now if we need to ground the rest of the copper water pipe system. If so I think we'll need another copper rod.

      I have a GFCI outlet ordered for the bathroom outlet, but I forgot about putting them in the kitchen too. You just need the first one to be GFCI, then the rest in the circuit are covered, right? I am also ordering a GFCI circuit breaker for the dedicated circuit to run the bathroom electric radiant floor heat. It's going to heat the new tile floor and I can't wait to see how warm that will be for the tootsies in the winter time!!

      My outlets in the bathroom and kitchen are 20 Amp. And I have a dedicated 20 Amp circuit for the fridge. BUT... my living room, dining room and bedroom outlets are just 15 Amp, like the lighting circuit. Do the newer LCD large screen TV's take more juice than older sets?? I have a max of 6 outlets on each circuit. Do you think we'll be alright with just 15 Amp? Should I use 12 gauge wire on those?

      Electricity is SO SCARY!! And when we first moved back my uncle came over and threw Romex all over the place hooking up motion lights and such. I was washing the windows one day on a ladder, touched the metal edge of the window and got zapped!
      Last edited by wyo_rose; 10-08-2008, 01:23 PM.
      ...it is what it is...

      Comment


      • #4
        hello ,i have the same deal on heating none ...we are looking at the electiric fire places thay run on a low amp im wired for 100 amps too,anyway my mom says thay work grate and coust about 300 and can heat and look pretty ,on line thier cheeper

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        Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass..It's about learning to dance in the rain. for me and the wolf

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        • #5
          also we laided the copper line on top of the ground side ways and buired it about 4 inches deep and tied a guide wire to it , worked well but we were only running 25 amps through it for electic fencing.

          the kids played out side and no one got shocked by it.
          Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass..It's about learning to dance in the rain. for me and the wolf

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          • #6
            Do you have a Home Depot or Lowes in your area that offers classes? Get some Huge sheets of plastic to seperate and cover areas that are dusty and dangerous.
            To bad you don't live us I could help you with the drywall and painting. If you don't want to worry about uneven ceilings try tin ceiliings, they are decorative and functional. Pergo flooring is quick and easy to install and it can surive pets very well with out scratching.Make sure to get thermal insulated windows to cut down with energy loss.
            Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

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            • #7
              Yep, luckily I only have to replace one window. It's a weird size though, and has to open so it'll be a bigger expense than I expected.

              With 2x4 stud walls I guess whatever insulation we put in would be a great improvement. My friend suggested spray foam and after searching online, some of this stuff looks GREAT!!! But expensive. Tiger Foam is even a DIY product with no off-gassing. You spray an inch of the foam then but in a R-13 3-1/2 inch batt and get and R-19 wall rating. It seals all the gaps and drafts and small openings.

              But alas, it's out of my range at probably $600 a room. So I'll stick with the pink itchy and a plastic vapor barrier. At $100 a room.

              The electical plan had to be redone a couple times. Some of the gas appliances we're getting needed wiring, some didn't. Not even sure which ones we're getting yet, but have to leave some circuits open for the 2 new direct vent furnaces and hopefully a tankless on-demand hot water heater.

              We're sitting under a foot of snow so not much is getting done today.
              ...it is what it is...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wyo_rose View Post
                Yep, when they fixed the water, they replaced the IN line with plastic pipe and we instantly lost our ground. The plumber unfortunately found out the hard and got quite a jolt.

                We bought a 10 foot copper rod to try to sink in our rocky soil to ground the new panel. We're just wondering now if we need to ground the rest of the copper water pipe system. If so I think we'll need another copper rod.

                If you want to tie the rest of your water pipes, get bonding clamps with #4 solid copper wire. Bridge the gap on both ends of the plastic pipes. You are then mechanichally bonded. Should work.


                I have a GFCI outlet ordered for the bathroom outlet, but I forgot about putting them in the kitchen too. You just need the first one to be GFCI, then the rest in the circuit are covered, right?

                Make sure you connect your incoming electricity to the LINE connectors on the receptacles. All the other receptacles go on the LOAD side.


                I am also ordering a GFCI circuit breaker for the dedicated circuit to run the bathroom electric radiant floor heat. It's going to heat the new tile floor and I can't wait to see how warm that will be for the tootsies in the winter time!!

                Make sure sure check out the Amp rating for the heater. Some are 30 amp and require #10 copper wire.

                My outlets in the bathroom and kitchen are 20 Amp. And I have a dedicated 20 Amp circuit for the fridge. BUT... my living room, dining room and bedroom outlets are just 15 Amp, like the lighting circuit.

                Make sure you use #14 copper wire for the 15 amp circuits and #12 copper wire for the 20 amp circuits. I believe the max watts on a 15 amp circuit is 1200 watts a little more for 20 amp circuits. Be careful not to use too many extension cords! lol


                Do the newer LCD large screen TV's take more juice than older sets?? I have a max of 6 outlets on each circuit. Do you think we'll be alright with just 15 Amp? Should I use 12 gauge wire on those?

                New hidef plasmas and LCDs use a little more energy than the old tvs. Shouldn't have to worry unless you have alot of stuff on a circuit. Don't use #12 wire on a 15 amp circuit. Everything else will fry before the wire does.

                Electricity is SO SCARY!! And when we first moved back my uncle came over and threw Romex all over the place hooking up motion lights and such. I was washing the windows one day on a ladder, touched the metal edge of the window and got zapped!

                This happens when u stick a nail or staple through the conductors.
                I had to lengthen my message. lol
                Last edited by Joe's Dad; 10-11-2008, 07:48 PM.


                Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


                "When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

                Mr. Rossie Freeman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wyo,
                  Here is the scoop on the electric.
                  GROUNDING:
                  The nuetral bar in the panel must be bonded to the housing. You also need to sink that ground rod completely and connect it to the panel ground. You also need to run a #8 bare copper wire to the copper water pipe (cold). You need a jumper ground between the hot and cold at the water tank. If you have copper plumbing underground before the water meter, a jumper must be attached to the copper on both sides of the meter. All grounding should be made with a #8 bare copper for a 100amp service, #6 bare copper for a 150 amp service, and a #4 bare copper for a 200 amp service per the National Electrical Code.

                  Kitchen: You need two 20 amp circuits for the counter plugs on GFIC recepticals. Each counter plug should be less then 4' apart. Run a seperate circuit for the fridge. We dont want food spoiling because you tripped a breaker or blown a fuse.

                  In bedrooms, outlets should be no farther apart then 12 feet. 10 feet is better for convienance.

                  A bathroom requires a GFCI plug at the sink counter on a seperate circuit. All bathrooms plugs in every bath can be on the same circuit.

                  This is all part of the National Electric Code. Some is for your safety and some for convienance.

                  The best way to place outlets is to do a floor plan of each room with your furnature in place. Put the outlets where you need them plus one opened near the door so it's easy to plug in a vacume for cleaning.

                  Because the walls are opened, it's easy to put in switches and outlets where you need them. It's also OK to drill the studs. No more then 2 romex wires per hole.

                  When I'm not doing sound and recording, I'm a master electrician. It's my day job!

                  Reasoning: A kitchen small appliance such as a toaster only has a 2' cord. That is why code dictates outlets 4' apart or less. Keep the outlets at least 2' from the sink.

                  Bathroom outlet on seperate circuit: Hair dryers and curling irons take a lot of power. No need to disturb the rest of the house with a blown breaker.

                  12' rule for balance of house: A lamp cord can be no longer then 6' by NEC. Cheap walmart extention cords can be dangerous and overheat causing a fire. I always wire rooms by my own code at 10' or less apart. Better then NEC That way a lamp cord is not stretched to its limit. Use common sense when wiring and put outlets where you need them. Think before you nail up that box.

                  Note: Nore more the 10 outlets (holes) on a 20 amp circuit.
                  No more then 7 outlets (holes) on a 15 amp circuit.
                  Lights and outlets can be combined together per NEC except in kitchens and bathrooms. A hole is one unit that can consume power such as a light or outlet. So on a 15 amp circuit you can have no more then 7 holes (outlets and lights combined)

                  Ken
                  Last edited by TKMJ Productions; 10-11-2008, 09:02 PM.
                  Don't ask me what I think about something unless you want a truthful anwser. It may not be the anwser you are looking for.

                  It's better to fly with the eagles then drive with the turkeys.

                  Duct tape has a light side and dark side that binds our universe together.

                  Bad attatude lessons available here. To inquire, Check the box to the right. []

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                  • #10
                    Wow, thanks for all the info , guys! My learning curve is shooting straight up, and I have a lot of questions since my local electrician won't return my calls.

                    The thing with the water pipes is that the new plastic runs from the copper lines under the house to the water main that happens to run through the back yard. No water meter. With all the new wiring and abandoning all the old electric, does the water pipe system still need to be grounded?

                    We have 100 amp service, and have a #6 copper wire for grounding. The dedicated circuits seem easy straight runs: 20 Amp to the fridge, 20 Amp to the Washer, 30 Amp to the Dryer, 50 Amp to the Kitchen Stove. There are 2 20 Amp circuits for the kitchen outlets. I decided not to do 15 Amp circuits anywhere, even the lighting, especially since my daughter told me she wants to do ceiling fans in every room. So I will do one 20 Amp circuit per room that will include outlets and the lighting for that room.

                    Is it okay to include an outside GFCI outlet and an outdoor porch light in with the front room outlets and circuits? It would make 9 totals boxes.

                    The 2 new gas furnaces need to be hardwired to a 20 Amp circuit, as well as the possible gas tankless hot water heater. Do they need their own circuit, or can they all be wired on one? They just need to have electricity for the fans and electronic ignition.

                    The only 100 Amp panel I could find locally for has 14 slots for 20 circuits. At least it's a step up from the 6 circuits in the old box.
                    I'm trying to squeeze everything together to leave 1 empty spot.

                    I'm still not sure what to do from the main box outside to the new panel inside. The electric company ran the new 100 Amp line to a box with 100 Amp circuit breaker on the outside of the house. Then there's a line going from that box to an old 60 Amp (eek) disconnect. Then the line goes up the wall and through the soffit down to the circuit box inside the house.

                    Do you think I need a new disconnect box on the outside, or will the circuit breaker box suffice? I plan on drilling a hole and running conduit into the house to the new circuit breaker box. Or does the conduit just need to go through the wall? What kind of wire needs to run from the outside box to the new panel inside? I'm not going to hook it up myself, or maybe just the inside panel side. Plus I think the electric company will have to come turn off the whole service to hook it up. I would just like to have everything else in place before we have to do that.

                    I was kinda scared to hook everything up in the circuit box myself, but I've looked at the box, the breakers, the wires, and I think I can do it. Wish me luck! Actually I don't think I'll need luck - I will be very meticulous and double check everything twice!
                    ...it is what it is...

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