There is very little more terrifying for most DIYers than doing electrical work. The fear of blowing circuits, starting fires or even electrocution is usually what steers most people away from attempting to rewire anything in the house, let alone install electricity from scratch. Here we will discuss how even the most novice of tiny house builders can learn to feel comfortable around tiny house electrical wiring.
Respect the Tiny House Electrical Wiring
Before we go any farther, let me say how good it is if you are scared of electrical wiring. If you have a healthy fear of something, you will respect it. At the same time, with the proper precautions being taken, you can easily prevent anyone or anything from getting hurt.
So let’s remember, you are only going to have one way for power to get to the house and as long as you keep that unplugged, you aren’t going to electrocute yourself. Even once you have your house wired and go to power it up and have done something wrong, 99.9 percent of the time you are going to pop a breaker.
Master the Equipment
This is the best part of tiny house electrical wiring: it takes only three tools to do the job. Wire strippers are your go to tiny house tool for stripping and cutting wires, cutting screws and even as a quick little set of pliers. Lineman’s Pliers are basically bulkier wire cutters but offer more torque for cutting multiple/thicker wires as well as a larger gripping surface at the head to help twist multiple wires together. You will also need a screwdriver or two for attaching wires, switch-plates, etc. For a full, in-depth look at every tiny house tool that you will need to build your tiny home, check out Dan’s Tool and Gear page with descriptions, reviews and even links to buy all the necessities.
Know the Materials
The concepts of electrical are not as bad as you think. There are really less than ten components that you will typically come up against in the process of building your tiny house. Wire, switches, outlets, and fixtures are some of the most common. Even some of the more complex three way switches and breaker box wiring is just a matter of following the current. It may be more than the commonly thrown around saying, “black to black, white to white,” but not by much.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Tiny House Materials Guide
Take the Time
Installing tiny house electrical wiring in nowhere near as time consuming as you would think. To rough-in an entire tiny home (drill through studs, pull wire, install boxes, etc.) it should only take one person about three hours. This is a good time to mention that you should definitely put an electrical diagram together ahead of time so you can create the most efficient flow of wiring throughout the home. The finish work (installing the outlets, switches, etc.) should take you another four hours or so. Dan offers up advice in his book to preview the electrical system by finish-connecting everything before you close the walls. If you should choose to do this, it will only add another half a day of labor at the most.
Feel better about tiny house electrical wiring now? What other worries do you have? Let me know in the comments below.