Build my own cabin - DIY projects

Do I Need to Get My Wiring Inspected

Do You Need a Wiring Permit?

Most jurisdictions allow the homeowner to do anything that a licensed electrician can do on your own house.  However, they also generally require that you obtain a permit and inspections of any wiring that is done. Amongst other more mundane bureaucratic reasons (like insurance companies not liking to have to pay claims), a permit and inspections provides some assurance that you, your family, your neighbors or subsequent owners of your home don't get killed or lose their homes one night due to a sloppy wiring job.

You need a permit whenever performing any electrical work that goes beyond repairing an existing wiring system. You do not need a permit if all you are doing is replacing a malfunctioning circuit breaker, receptacle, light switch, light fixture, or the like with a new one. You will need a wiring permit anytime your project involves running new wiring, even if you are merely extending an existing circuit. The best policy is to call the building codes department and ask if there is any doubt.  

Most jurisdictions have the power to order you to vacate your home, or order you to tear out any wiring done without a permit. California, for instance, is particularly nasty about this.

If fire starts in your home, and un-inspected wiring is at fault, insurance companies will often refuse to pay the damage claims.

In general, the process goes like this:

- you apply to your local inspections office or building department for a permit. You should have a sketch or detailed drawing of what you plan on doing. This is a good time to ask questions on any things you're not sure of. If you're doing major work, they may impose special conditions on you, require loading calculations and ask other questions. At this point they will tell you which inspections you will need.

- If you're installing a main panel, you will need to have the panel and service connections inspected before your power utility will provide a connection. This is sometimes done by the local power authority rather than the usual inspectors.

- After installing the boxes and wiring, but before the insulation/walls go up, you will need a "rough-in" inspection.

- After the walls are up, and the wiring is complete, you will need a "final inspection".  


Wiring a House