Monday, September 8, 2008


Notice anything different about these two photos? There's a few, but the most important difference is the presence of an outlet.

When This D*mn House – and lots of others like it – were built around 1940, its original occupants didn’t have too many uses for electrical outlets. Oh, there were lamps and radios and the occasional kitchen gadgetry, but beyond that, nothing. There weren’t even televisions yet!
And a lot of people still didn’t have telephones, so the thought of one that you could walk around with that didn’t even have a cord … stop, you’re makin’ it up!

But almost 70 years later, the lack of outlets can be a real pain in the butt for current occupants who need electricity for almost everything. Phones, computers, iPods, televisions, just about everything in the kitchen, and tools, let’s not forget tools, all need a place to be plugged.

The hallway that runs between our bedrooms and which houses the bathroom in between has always been dark. REALLY dark. And when you run the sweeper, you have to plug it in behind the sofa or under the buffet in the dining room in order to reach the whole space, small though it may be. (And you even need an extension cord to do this.)
So during Lawrence’s last visit, we set out to change all that. The mother wanted an outlet in the darkened hallway and another in the dining room under the window. It looks like someone may have done this once or at least tried to do it; there’s a cover over a junction box with nothing connected to it.

Lawrence said it can be done, it just couldn’t be done that day as it’s going to require drilling holes through the family room ceiling. (Good thing we have plans for that ceiling that haven’t been done yet …) But on this particular day, with a little doing, we managed to get an outlet wired in the hallway. See the difference in the pictures?
It’s still weird to me. After 20+ years of one not being there, it’s occasionally odd to catch a glint from the switch plate that’s been there just a few weeks. The mother is going to put a lamp on that table eventually. For right now, it’s nice to have a place to plug in my phone or my laptop that’s just outside my door when my meager outlets are already full.
I was shocked by the cost of the electrical wire. And we only bought 50 feet! Most of which is still in the package awaiting the next job ...


Jenni said...

We have one of those giant vent/returns in our hall floor.

Ann said...

I swear, you can never have enough outlets. But adding them? No freakin' clue - NONE.

Ty'sMommy said...

Yeah, that's one project I need the dad-man for. Electrician, I am not! But hey, too bad I didn't know you wanted a my "Clarence" fest at walmart yesterday they had one that would have been perfect on that table for $5!

Vicki said...

Awesome! I always thought there couldn't be enough outlets in a house. Now, I'm in this new house that was built just a couple years ago. You can't walk a couple inches without there being another outlet. Overkill a little. I shouldn't complain though, should I?

NV said...

Jenni -- Yeah, apparently they were pretty popular! Our hall is so narrow though, it takes up a good chunk of floor space. Came in handy for the outlet project though. :-)

Ann -- Me either. And I've now helped add TWO!

Ty'smom -- Never fear. The mother has it covered. She buys lamps and watches the way some of us buy pens ...

V -- No. Be thankful they're there. You never know when you'll need one! (Especially with the holidays coming. Would be nice to have the extra dining room outlet in for Christmas this year!)

Anonymous said...