Adding New Outlets to an Older Home

While we work on moving furniture around in the bedrooms to make room for the nursery, there were a few projects that we had to complete first.

First up, was installing two new outlets upstairs, one in the (future) office and the other in our bedroom.  You see, one of the perks of our 90-year-old house is there are no outlets on any exterior walls upstairs.  When I first mentioned this to Mike he was living in Chicago and he 100% thought I was wrong.  I assured him that as someone who’s had to decorate around this quirk, it was true, (I’m pretty sure he went and checked the next time he was in town just in case I was wrong)!

Before moving the desk I wanted to add an outlet so I didn’t have extension cords running across the room, and while we’re adding one, we might as well add another on the other side of the house in our bedroom to get rid of the extension cords we were already using!

While the pictures aren’t anything to look at, some aren’t even in focus because I was also acting as “apprentice” during installation, I found the process interesting and actually it’s not that hard at all!  Although, if you’ve never done electrical work before I definitely wouldn’t recommend this, but by knowing the process it can help you stay informed when getting quotes by licensed electricians.

First, you cut a hole.  We determined the new outlet should fall somewhere in the middle of the wall where my desk would sit.  We used the cable outlet (which were installed in all the bedrooms prior to us moving in) to match the height.  Mike chose to use an old work box (the blue plastic kind) because we are installing into the original lathe and plaster walls, also you don’t need to find and attach to a stud.  We used the stud finder to determine we weren’t hitting a stud and then used a multi-tool (oscillating saw) to cut the hole.

Then came the fun part, and by fun, I mean worst part for Mike because he had to get up in the attic.

We attached a pull string to the original outlet wiring in the room and from the attic, Mike pulled the existing wire up (making sure the string didn't get pulled out and I had something to grab on to).  Then he attached the new wire to the string and existing wire.  From below, I pulled both back through the outlet.  The gray is the exisiting, and the yellow is the new wire.

By connecting the new wire to the existing receptacle, this is where the power to the new outlets will come from (they'll also all be on the same breaker which will make it easier for future work).  Mike then moved to the other side of the room (in the attic) and since we had measured where the new outlet was cut in relation to the corner of the house, he knew where to drill the holes to drop down the new wire.  Here's the relation of the existing outlet (on the bottom right) to the new outlet across the room.

I was in the room in charge of making sure I saw sawdust through the new hole as he drilled the hole up in the attic (check!) and then I had to grab the wire as he fed it down.  Once the first wire was pulled, then he sent down another one, which would then feed to our bedroom across the attic.

At this point, it's basically 90% done.  We did the same procedure to the new outlet in our bedroom, (Mike laid out the second wire across the attic and after cutting it with more than enough slack, he pushed that down the wall as I grabbed it through the new hole and pulled it through).

Mike then added receptacles, which was a little difficult due to the 12-gauge wire, but of course, he made it work.  We decided to add receptacles with USB ports (these ones specifically) knowing that I'll be charging my phone and electronics in my office sometimes, and we charge our kindles on our bedside tables in our bedroom.

With that project done, I'm basically ready to paint this room!  I have a lot more energy now that I've hit the second trimester, but I still can't get excited about this project.  I'm hoping to just push through it this weekend so we can start setting up the nursery, which is both overwhelming and exciting!

We tackled another smaller electrical project this weekend, which I'll share later this week.

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