Rough in refers to bringing lines into a space without making the final connections. This can be done with ductwork, plumbing, and electrical conduit. If you are building a new home or adding an addition to your existing property, then you may be looking for ways to save money. One way to do it is to handle the rough in part yourself.

7 Tips to Rough In Electrical Wiring at Home

Connect Electric can help you get started with these easy tips. Just remember that you should do your research and plan to have a professional electrician come in to check your work and make the connections.

  • Check Your Local Building Codes – Make sure you remain compliant with local building codes. Most regions allow homeowners to run their own wiring, however, that may not be the case everywhere. Ensure that you are following regulations to avoid expensive mistakes and re-dos later.
  • Lift Cable from the Center – Remove the cable from the roll starting at the center. Grab a handful of coils and place them on the floor. Four loops equal approximately 12 feet in length. This will detangle the lines and make it easier to move and store the cable later.




If you know that you’ll be using the entire roll, you can unroll it across the floor like you would a garden hose. Fix any kinks, curls, or twists for easier placement.

  • Use the Right Staples to Secure Wires – Standard staples can usually handle one or two wires. If you need to stack more than that, then you will need to buy special staples. These are rated for a certain number of wires. The information should be found on the label, so you know what you are buying. Staples must be at least 1.25 inches away from a framing member edge.
  • Drill Holes So That They Are Aligned – Always drill holes so that they are straight and aligned at the same height. Trying to slide cable through holes that are at different angles and heights is difficult. It can cause the cable to snag on edges.
  • Avoid Overbending Cable – You should not overbend cable to prevent damaging the conductors or sheathing. This can create a fire hazard that you may not notice until later. Cable should not be bent at more than a 2.5-inch radius.7 Tips to Rough In Electrical Wiring at Home - cables

To avoid overbending, drill holes that are 8 to 12 inches above or below boxes so that cable can sweep over or below. Never pull hard on a cable that is stapled.

  • Straighten Cable Before Pulling – The easiest way to feed cable through the framing is by straightening it first. Use your thumb and forefinger to keep it straight as you work.

After it is through the holes, you can push it back a little to leave some slack. This will be beneficial later if you cut it too short or need more length, especially when avoiding ductwork or pipes.

  • Do Not Leave Wires Exposed – Your wires should never be left exposed in open spaces. This is against electrical code. Cable that is installed in unfinished basements or garages should be positioned close to the framing members.

Safety is essential when wiring a house. That’s why you should have an electrician available to assist in case of problems or to take over when it’s time to finish the job. Your local electrician can help wire your home and provide advice to keep you and your family safe.