DIY, Inspections, and Insurance? (Panel upgrade & wiring in gen.)
It all started from a needed service panel upgrade (from 100Amp to 200 Amp) for a kitchen remodel. We got a couple of quotes from licensed electricians. One breakdown goes: $800 for material, $900 for labor, add 27% profit and overhead; and then 10% on top of everything for a set contract price. This is from a reputable electrician and I trust that he will do a fantastic job if we pony up the money. So I'm not here to criticize the quotes and am not inviting any ridicules.
My problem is, having analysis paralysis, I can't help but look into what's all involved in the work, and then I got excited about my findings:
1. I can get all the required materials from HD including a Murray 20/40 Surface mount OH Combo panel, 2 ground rods (quotes cover only one), all the wires and clamps, etc. The total material cost will be less than $500.
2. The panel switch seems very straightforward to me.
So, can we / should we do this as a DIY project? I'm leaning towards it because I'm genuinely interesting in DIY, and saving money is just a bonus. However, the husband got some idea from a lawyer friend of his that any electrical work in the house should be done by a licensed electrician and needs to be inspected by municipality (We live in the SF Bay Area). Otherwise, even though we have homeowner insurance, when there is fire caused by any electric failure, we won't be covered. Is it really that gloomy for DIY'ers???
Actually this DIY dilemma appears to be a bigger issue for other parts of the house. We still have some knobs and tubes for some parts of the house wiring. The way I see it, upgrading is pretty easy. I don't mind crawling under the house, and actually it'll be fun. DIY at our own pace totally makes sense to me. But for this kind of gradual upgrade, are we supposed to have inspectors over to look at every upgrade?