Wiring a home can be an intimidating task, but with proper precautions and planning, it is possible for a dedicated DIYer to take on some basic electrical projects. However, working with electricity is extremely dangerous and errors can lead to electrocution, fires, and other hazards. I strongly advise hiring a licensed electrician for any major electrical work in your home. If you do decide to take on minor projects yourself, be sure to follow all safety precautions and building codes.

Dangers of Unlicensed Electrical Work

Before considering any DIY electrical project, I must emphasize the risks involved. Electrical systems carry live current and incorrect wiring can overheat and start fires. Each year thousands of home fires are caused by faulty wiring. Without proper training and licensure, you may:

Untrained homeowners doing their own electrical work are much more likely to make dangerous mistakes. The safety of your home and family is not worth taking risks to save money.

When to Call an Electrician

I strongly advise calling a licensed electrician for:

Unless you have professional electrical training, these complex projects are best left to experts. Never attempt electrical work in wet areas around sinks, tubs, pools, etc.

Basic Safety Tips for Minor Electrical Projects

If you do decide to take on a small project like installing a light fixture or switch, follow these precautions:

Also be sure to wear protective gear like rubber-soled shoes, gloves, and eye protection when working with electrical wires.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional

Electricity is not to be trifled with. If you have any reservations about your abilities to complete a project safely, hire an electrician. It may cost more upfront, but it is infinitely cheaper than hospital bills or rebuilding your home after a fire. A licensed pro will know all the safety protocols, building codes, and have the right tools and testing equipment. Don't take risks with your safety. Hire a professional for any complex electrical work.


While basic electrical projects can be DIYed with proper precautions, I strongly discourage homeowners from taking on major electrical work without professional training. The risks of electrocution, fire, and other hazards are simply too high. For your own safety, as well as protecting your family and your most expensive investment (your home), hire a licensed electrician for any complex electrical wiring projects. If you do take on a minor project, follow basic safety tips like turning off power, wearing protective gear, testing wires before touching, and having GFCI outlets near water sources. When in doubt, call a pro. Your safety is worth the investment.