IMG_2349.jpgThis weekend was a productive one for the office. We’ve all but finished painting. Gay did most of the painting while I did the electrical work. There’s still a bit of touch-up painting left to do, but the photo shows the progress.

On Friday, we went to Fry’s in Renton and we got a patch panel and an electrical tone and probe kit. On Saturday, I wired all 16 of the CAT5 outlets into the patch panel – easy but very tedious. Our local hardware store didn’t have the style of outlets we have in our house so we still need to get those and then I can finish the outlet wiring. That should just be an hour or so of work to complete. I haven’t been electrocuted yet, but I did blow the fuse once wiring a wall switch.

When it’s all said and done, I estimate we will have saved close to $700 on the electrician bill; it would have taken one electrician one full day to finish the work (~$500 in labor) and at least a couple hundred dollars in materials because they charge outrageous prices for 50¢ items like outlets and even more for CAT5 receptacles. If you go to Home Depot and buy one CAT5 jack it’s $6. I bet the electrician would have charged $15 or more for each of the 16 jacks – imagine paying $240 just for jacks! Home Depot sells them in packs of 10 for $30, so we paid $60 and we have have some left over to use elsewhere. Our cost in tools and materials: $200. And we have the tools to use in the future.

Savings on doing the painting ourselves? Given that we have three colors, Ron’s painting estimate of $1800 would easily have hit $3000, not unlike his other estimates. ;) Our cost in paint and supplies: $150. Ron’s $1800 estimate to paint a 400-square-foot room was insane to start, however.

Assuming we would have paid $3,700 for both painting and electrical work, we saved ~$3,400 by doing it ourselves. Ron’s 16% “overhead & profit” tax on the work would have been an additional $600. Total savings: $4,000!

Next week, the carpet should get installed and we’ll be done!