Can I Legally DIY My Own Electrical Problems in Texas?
June 16, 2022
In many states, it is illegal for anyone who is not a licensed electrical contractor to perform any kind of electrical work in a home or building.
Texas is not one of those states, as it permits non-licensed homeowners to handle their own electrical services in many situations.
Before picking up a toolbox and venturing forward to do the wiring on a new house under construction or rewiring an electrical problem in an existing home, Texans might want to think twice.
There are some very good reasons why residential electrical services should always be done by licensed specialists, no matter how handy a homeowner may view themselves to be!
Texas Law Allows Some Non-Licensed Electrical Services
The state of Texas is one of a few states that permits a homeowner to perform their own electrical services based on a list of exemptions published by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations.
According to this list of situations exempt from requiring services by a licensed electrical contractor, homeowners can perform electrical work of any kind, from repairing a circuit panel to rewiring the entire house, as long as they follow the correct procedure.
While this might inspire many informed, handy homeowners to choose the DIY approach, it is important to note the problems doing so can create in the future before committing to the work.
Homeowners Must Obtain Permits And Work Accordingly
Texas homeowners may perform their own residential electrical services in their own home that they actually live in once they have applied for a permit and so long as they can do the work according to the rules and requirements stated within the permit.
The tricky part with this is that it specifically excludes any other electrical contractor from doing any of the work and the completed work must comply with the local building code.
Compliance requires knowing and understanding the building code in the first place.
Electrical Contractors Will Not Sign Off On Non-Licensed Work
More importantly, those considering DIY electrical services should be aware of the fact that while it probably seems like a good idea to have a licensed electrician go over the work afterward to “okay” it or even help with repair challenges, no contractor will do this.
Residential electrical services are very precise, require careful adherence to local code, and must be carefully done to ensure the safety of the work and the dwelling.
For this reason alone, no licensed electrical contractor will sign off or approve work that they have not done themselves, as the liability risk is too great.
Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should
Ultimately, while it might be cheaper for an educated and skilled homeowner to do their own electrical work, the DIY method for this task might seem more appealing than it actually is.
Homeowners must not only be able to complete the work on their own but also be willing to assume full responsibility for their work, as they cannot access the aid of a licensed electrical contractor according to state licensing law.
The possibility of running into issues in the future should repair be needed is there, as is the possibility of contractor qualifications with regard to insuring or selling the home.
In the end, paying a licensed electrician to do residential electrical services is ultimately the best choice, even in Texas!