DIY Part 4 – DIY Advice from a Master Electrician

I stumbled upon Wayne Gilchrist’s DIY Electrical blog, when looking for “real contractor” blogs. There are a lot of home improvement blogs out there, but only a few of them seem to have “real people” behind them, let alone “real contractors”. The blog covers a wide range of electrical articles and questions. Said Wayne, “… people get stumped in the middle of their project a need a simple answer to help them continue forward and complete their electrical project.”

So when looking at writing a series of posts on DIY, interviewing him seemed a natural thing to do.

Curious about when people are making the call. Is it the planning stage – figuring out what they need to do? Or when they’re actually stuck?

Wayne’s answer: when they get stuck. “Most of the time, they have wired almost everything wrong and I need to have them remove everything and start over. I am trying to figure out a way to get these DIYers to come to me first and I will help them plan, design, layout and install their electrical wiring safely and help keep them within their budget.”

Wayne has a new site ezdiyelectricity.com that can help with free articles and diagrams plus reference books (like the National Electrical Code for example) and testing tools you can buy. Wayne is also “working on several ebooks and videos for DIY electrical wiring projects that will include step by step instructions, materials lists and tools lists for each project”. Sounds really helpful.

Enquiring minds want to know more. What types of electrical projects do people tend to need help with? What are they taking on?

“These DIYers are very brave and willing to take on almost any electrical wiring project … You name it, [they're] willing to try it”. Wayne has helped people repair switches, lights and receptacles, install ceiling fans, change breakers, add sub-panels and more over the phone.

One thing Wayne reiterated is that he wished more people would do their research before getting started on their DIY electrical projects. If it works out, Wayne will never hear from them. When it doesn’t work out, he is of the opinion that more research and planning would have made the difference.

Do you sometimes have to recommend they get an electrician if they are in over their heads?

“Yes I do. I always recommend them getting a licensed electrician. I can offer my advice, but it is no substitute for an electrician being at their home. I can only offer advice on the information that is given to me. However, an experienced electrician will look around everywhere and see problems that the DIYer will not.”

One final question. How are these stuck DIYers finding you when they need you? Do they already know of your site? Or do they find you by Google?

Do it yourselfers find Wayne through search engines, doityourself.com, and Yahoo! Answers. Wayne answers a lot of electrical questions on Yahoo. “I have noticed there are a lot of self-proclaimed experts offering very bad electrical advice on Yahoo! Answers” sez Wayne. Well that’s good to know! Sort of scary too.

Wayne offers DIY electrical help by phone, instant messenger, or email. Check out ezdiyelectricity.com for more details and rates.

About Wayne (from research on the internet):

He’s a master electrician with 20 years experience. He has a 5-star rating on ServiceMagic, from real customers with real electrical jobs. Check out his profile on Yahoo! Answers.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 5th, 2007 at 9:49 am and is filed under DIY, Electrical, Great Contractors, Home Improvement. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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