How to Save Money By Installing Your Own Commercial Electrical System

Installing your own commercial electrical system can seem daunting, but with the right planning and preparation, it can also lead to significant cost savings for your business. As the owner and operator of a commercial building, being able to understand and work on your electrical system provides more control over your operations and enables you to reduce reliance on outside electrical contractors.

Evaluating Your Electrical Needs

Before beginning any electrical project, the first step is determining the scope of your electrical needs. Consider the following:

Thoroughly evaluating your electrical needs will provide the crucial details for planning your commercial electrical project. Being realistic about the scale of the job will help in budgeting both time and money.

Devising an Electrical Plan

The foundation of any successful commercial electrical project is a well-devised plan. Important elements to include are:

Electrical Load Calculator

Using your inventory of lighting, equipment, and devices, calculate total amperage or wattage needed. Compare this to the capacity of your existing electrical panel to identify any upgrades needed. Provide plenty of extra capacity for future growth.

Electrical Layout

Map out a floor plan and indicate the locations of your electrical panel, circuits, switches, outlets, and lighting fixtures. Consider code requirements for the number of outlets and lighting based on room size. Mark the paths for running wiring through walls and ceilings.

Materials List

Compile a list of every item needed for the project, including wiring, conduit, junction boxes, breakers, outlets, switches, and lighting fixtures. Having all materials in hand will make the installation process smoother. Order well in advance for specialized industrial equipment.

Permits and Inspections

Check your local jurisdiction's permit requirements for commercial electrical work. Factor in costs and timing of required permits and inspections. Failing to get proper permits can risk fines, work delays, and rejection of the electrical system.

Hiring a Licensed Electrician

For all but the most basic commercial electrical projects, it is advisable to hire a licensed electrician to carry out the work, especially if you lack expertise in electrical systems. However, you can perform much of the planning and preparation yourself to control costs. Key steps where hiring a professional electrician is critical include:

For these critical tasks, the cost of hiring a professional electrician will pay off in ensuring a compliant, safe electrical system.

Ordering and Installing Electrical Components

For a DIY electrical project, ordering equipment and handling basic installations are great ways to reduce costs. With proper planning, you can take on tasks such as:

By ordering materials at cost and taking on basic installations, you can reduce the total expense while leveraging the electrician's more advanced skills where needed.

Maintaining Your Commercial Electrical System

Once your commercial electrical system is installed, focus on maintenance to keep it running safely and efficiently. Good practices include:

By making electrical system maintenance a priority, you can get the maximum return on investment from a DIY electrical project while keeping your business's power needs running smoothly.

Leveraging Professional Guidance

When tackling a significant commercial electrical project yourself, don't hesitate to lean on the expertise of professionals like electrical supply companies, inspectors, and contractors:

While wanting to save on costs, recognize that electrical systems are not a place to cut corners. Invest in quality components and seek guidance throughout your project for a safe, reliable outcome.

Completing your own commercial electrical installation or upgrade provides an immense sense of accomplishment and significant cost savings that directly benefit your business. By realistically evaluating the project scope, hiring electricians strategically, and immersing yourself in the process, you can gain the skills and knowledge to reap the rewards of a DIY electrical project. Use caution, be thorough, and enjoy the power of controlling your own commercial space's electrical capabilities.