5000 sf mansion rewire

G0049

Senior Member
Location
Ludington, MI
Oh, and I forgot to add,

Rats, mice, feral cats, possums, coons, snakes, spiders, roaches, ants, bees and nests and excrement thereof.

That is if you manage to remain unscathed through the rusty cans, broken glass and shards of broken concrete.
And, if the home was rented out, or sat empty for any length of time, you can add dirty needles, syringes, and all sorts of drug paraphanalia to the mix. Just for fun, they used to put slots in the backs of bathroom medicine cabinets to be used to dispose of old razor blades. You would be surprised at how many can pile up in there.
 
And, if the home was rented out, or sat empty for any length of time, you can add dirty needles, syringes, and all sorts of drug paraphanalia to the mix. Just for fun, they used to put slots in the backs of bathroom medicine cabinets to be used to dispose of old razor blades. You would be surprised at how many can pile up in there.
I have seen the cabinets with the slots in them. They must not have been easy to use, I have never seen any blades in the wall behind one, but I look very carefully every time I see one.

So, you wanted to bring renters into the scene. OK.....

Here is a hint from Heloise: Cat pee will soak into wood. Removing cat pee carpet won't get out the smell. You can either decide to work with it, or use a marvelous product called Fabreeze. Every night before leaving, fog the place with Fabreeze. I think they have one formulated for cat pee. The just says 'for pet odors' but it works on the worst, cat pee. It only takes about three full nights and the odor will be gone, or at least barely noticeable.

You won't get the owners to pay you for this, but it's not unheard of to get copious amounts of beer from the other trades in appreciation for your noble deed.

If a non cat pee like odor persists, scour the premises for dirty diapers. It's common to see them stashed in rental units.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Did one like that one time, but it had black pipe so not as bad. Went to start repulling some wire and couldn't get it to go from box to box, kept getting hung up in the wall some where, no matter where we tried to push from. Turned out that there was an old sconce light above every receptacle in the great room that had simply been plastered over. Luckly the lady of the house loved the idea and we just had to break them out and reuse them.

The real point is, you have no idea what you are going to run into on a job like this. I also agree the T&M may be the way to go. Maybe come up with a WAG for the job and then let them know where you are at certain intervuls so they can decide if they want to continue.

I also agree that a 150 amp service is probably not going to cut it on a 5000 sqft house.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
In Michigan, once a wall is opened, everything in the wall must be brought up to code.
Is New Jersey the only state with a sensible attitude about these things? I never would have guessed it. We're usually dead last in the common sense department.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
I have seen the cabinets with the slots in them. They must not have been easy to use, I have never seen any blades in the wall behind one, but I look very carefully every time I see one.

So, you wanted to bring renters into the scene. OK.....

Here is a hint from Heloise: Cat pee will soak into wood. Removing cat pee carpet won't get out the smell. You can either decide to work with it, or use a marvelous product called Fabreeze. Every night before leaving, fog the place with Fabreeze. I think they have one formulated for cat pee. The just says 'for pet odors' but it works on the worst, cat pee. It only takes about three full nights and the odor will be gone, or at least barely noticeable.

You won't get the owners to pay you for this, but it's not unheard of to get copious amounts of beer from the other trades in appreciation for your noble deed.

If a non cat pee like odor persists, scour the premises for dirty diapers. It's common to see them stashed in rental units.
Or an equally marvelous product called Nature's Miracle. My wife is a pet groomer and this is what they use in the kennel to kill odors. Pick it up at your local Petco or equivalent. I comes in 1 gallon containers as well as a refillable spray bottle. We have two dogs, two small boys, and carpet all over the house. I have yet to encounter a stink this stuff won't kill.
 

newservice

Senior Member
Well then! Thank you all. Im not new at the rehab game by any stretch, have done my share.
I once found 3 collectable beer cans in a wall when removing the switch box, one alone was rare and worth $1,500 min. Squirrel carcasses, mice, dust, yes ..Ive been there it doesnt get much worse than rewiring an old house.

After readiing other comments, the most revealing thing I take away is the owners stance. You are right, she wants minimal damage while she lives there and keeps saying she cant wait to decorate. When she told me she was going to remove the lath and plaster 8 foot ceiling herself from the basement, I was like ..whoa...this lady either IS nuts or thinks IM nuts. Shes must be in her 60s and is trying to sell me a bill of goods or something. So, I may yet bail. Couple things, the house is 3 stories, 5000 ft without basement, 4 beds on 2 and 4 beds on 3, smaller baths, so yea, big but not unreal. The channel saw is a new one on me and sounds useful to cut a 3/4" channel. Thanks alot for that. Husband is asking for a 200A service, I think for what they have in mind this might be alright, and might be the easy money on this job.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I also agree that a 150 amp service is probably not going to cut it on a 5000 sqft house.
That really depends on what load there is outside of general lighting load. If heating, water heating, range, maybe even dryer are gas about the only significant load that is likely to be above and beyond general lighting is air conditioning, and you still may be able get that on a 100 amp service, and should not be as much doubt on 150 amps.

Or an equally marvelous product called Nature's Miracle. My wife is a pet groomer and this is what they use in the kennel to kill odors. Pick it up at your local Petco or equivalent. I comes in 1 gallon containers as well as a refillable spray bottle. We have two dogs, two small boys, and carpet all over the house. I have yet to encounter a stink this stuff won't kill.
Does it work on people, like after working in a hog barn? Whenever I have been in one I can usually still smell it on myself 3 or 4 days later as well as any tools I took in there - the hand tools usually wash and are fine, you may not want to wash a multimeter or drill or something like that, but just a wipe down seems to help some.

You can put on cologne but it is temporary - only couple hours at most and you can smell hogs again.
 

realolman

Senior Member
.....Squirrel carcasses, mice, dust, yes ..Ive been there it doesnt get much worse than rewiring an old house.......

.

Yeah one time I took about a whole drywall bucket full of flying squirrels out of a wall... durndest thing ... the ones on the bottom were skalingtons and the ones on the top were just dried up a bit past ripe. somebody put a wall in a house and ran studs up to the ceiling joists and never put a top plate on it .

Apparently the squirrels fell(?) down in there and couldn't get back out. You'd think they coulda climbed up the studs but apparently not. There was cheap paneling on it about 1/8 inch think but the squirrels gnawed on the studs where the romex went through.. three bare wires ...still hot.

They were about 2 feet deep in the wall cavity, and you could see bloody high water marks where they tried to claw up out. Made me feel very bad when I realized what went on there.


There was also a BIG snake skin in the attic. Bet he ate good.
 
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Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
After readiing other comments, the most revealing thing I take away is the owners stance. You are right, she wants minimal damage while she lives there and keeps saying she cant wait to decorate. When she told me she was going to remove the lath and plaster 8 foot ceiling herself from the basement, I was like ..whoa...this lady either IS nuts or thinks IM nuts. Shes must be in her 60s and is trying to sell me a bill of goods or something. So, I may yet bail. .
print out marky's post back there a ways, and tape it to
the dashboard so you can read it every day you are going over there.

that is one of the best things i've ever read on here about classical remodels.

every single thing about the money should be repeated like it's a rosary.

the channeling widgit sounds kinda like the thing they use for chasing mortar
when they repoint brick... doesn't sound cheap.. the brick pointer is pushing
$2k.... and the teeth wear out and need replacing... they weren't cheap either,
but the alternative is.... nothing....

ya need to make sure that the customers understand that you are going to
end up with a commercial install, at above commercial prices.... honestly,
i'd say somewhere above $75k.

and this is a T&M thing, unless you want to flat rate it for $124,000, with
substantial draws early on......

and you have the abatement issue as well. the A word.
and you will need an asbestos rated vac as well... and certification.
back when, they usually threw asbestos in the plaster, cause it made
it trowel out better.... enough to require abatement.

if she's living there during your work, the hours needed just doubled.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Fulthrotl is right about the channeling widgit. Probably is something used by tuck pointers.

I have been thinking why you would want to use this in a finished house, it is going to make a big mess, and that is without condideration of the fact that mess may contain asbestos, lead, portland cement...

My next thought is how do you repair this channel. In a solid wall like brick, not so much of a problem, in a plaster and lathe wall you have cut all the way through the finished surface and have nothing to support the wall finish for repairs, you start making it become more worth while to just remove the entire wall finish and start over. The device was intended to use for putting raceway into solid walls like brick, not hollow walls IMO.
 

nizak

Senior Member
Opened a wall once in a turn of the century house and found razor blades 12" high in the cavity behind the medicine cabinet.Must have been 50 years of product in there. Interesting some of the stuff you stumble across. On a job where a carpenter found a mason type jar stuck up in the floor joists full of Morgan silver dollars.House was vacant and to my knowledge he kept everything. Go figure.
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
Fulthrotl is right about the channeling widgit. Probably is something used by tuck pointers.

I have been thinking why you would want to use this in a finished house, it is going to make a big mess, and that is without condideration of the fact that mess may contain asbestos, lead, portland cement...

My next thought is how do you repair this channel. In a solid wall like brick, not so much of a problem, in a plaster and lathe wall you have cut all the way through the finished surface and have nothing to support the wall finish for repairs, you start making it become more worth while to just remove the entire wall finish and start over. The device was intended to use for putting raceway into solid walls like brick, not hollow walls IMO.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAvzob2R60k

pretty slick tool... made in australia.

$1,100 USD

here's the deal.... my experience with old lath
and plaster is that it has this tendency to crack
along the lath.... extensively. i'd want to see one
of these things go at a wall without ending up with
4' long cracks chasing halfway across a wall.... :(

again, now you have airborne lead from old paint,
and anything else like asbestos that they threw
into the mix, back when..

there seems to be a thing in the video where the
guy is cutting channel and burying romex in the
crack.....

hm... they have a caulking tool that will pull the
caulk out of tilt ups..... looks to work pretty well...
 
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mlnk

Senior Member
You do not need to be licensed to deal with lead and asbestos...but you need to bring someone in who is Have a pro test the plaster and everything else. If there is a problem, go from there. We did wiring in a house built about 1910, and had it tested...it had no asbestos or lead in the plaster.
 

jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI
You do not need to be licensed to deal with lead and asbestos...but you need to bring someone in who is Have a pro test the plaster and everything else. If there is a problem, go from there. We did wiring in a house built about 1910, and had it tested...it had no asbestos or lead in the plaster.
And you are allowed to practice law in what states?
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
Sorry, Mink, but you are incorrect as regards the lead RRP requirements.

If the place was built before 1976, the requirements are in place, whether there is lead present or not. These requirements include testing (you can do), and providing the customer with certain paperwork. If lead is present, you get to do the full tenting / moon suit / air filtering silliness. Your usual vacuum won't do. And, even if no lead is present, you and your crew need the RRP training.

For lead paint rules, this link is a very good place to start: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/pages/guide-to-lead-safety.asp

As for the 'channel saw,' here is a link to the Flex version: http://www.flexnorthamerica.com/products/MS1706FR.php
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
As for the 'channel saw,' here is a link to the Flex version: http://www.flexnorthamerica.com/products/MS1706FR.php
More like what I suspected, just how do you repair the channel in a plaster and lathe wall, if you cut the lathe you have weakened it, and besides that you better get someone pretty talanted to repair it as it will easily show where the channel was cut later on and a run of Wiremold may actually look better. Plus it likely will make a big mess, high rpm means lots of fine dust, unless using wet blade - then you have a water mess.
 

haskindm

Senior Member
Location
Maryland
They are NOT going to want to live in the house while this work is being done, and if lead or asbestos is discovered they will probably not be allowed to live in the house. To do this job right the interior should be gutted and started again from scratch. If they are not willing or able to do that, you will have to do the job time and material. If they insist on a quote, figure absolutely the worst case and then double or triple it. Also put in plenty of verbiage about unforeseeable circumstances such as asbestos, structural defects, and lead paint adding to the costs. I have worked on both types of jobs. The person that gutted the house actually saved money and ended up with a much nicer house. Plumbing, telephone, and data cabling was also updated at the same time.
 
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