I was planning to just move the porch light to the center of the ceiling, but when I pulled off the siding to take a look at the wiring I was amazed the house hadn't burned down yet with the multiple splices. I ended up rewiring it all the way back to the panel. I disconnected the original wires inside the wall and drilled a hole through the side of the house to run a new electrical line to the porch light switch inside. A little bit of spray foam sealed the hole back up.
I installed a new breaker in the box and ran the porch light, a weatherproof GFCI outlet on the end of the porch, a floodlight set on the back side of the porch and a switch to turn the floods on and off. I cut a channel in the wood siding behind the vinyl siding for the new wiring to run, and replaced the vinyl siding to cover the wire.
I'm not an electrician but I have enough experience with this and have done enough studying that I am comfortable opening the main breaker box without frying myself (or others) and am reasonably confident that everything is done perfectly to code, even though there's no inspector way out here.
Before I could put the cement backer board on the outside of the bottom of the porch, I decided to install low voltage deck lighting. Since it's all the same cable, I went ahead and placed a few landscape lights as well for the walkway:
You can see I've painted just around the lights themselves before installing them. I promised Kaelin that she could help paint, so I didn't paint the entire section.
It was a lot more expensive than I thought, running $90 for the transformer, $20 for the cable and another $100 for the lights themselves. By the time I'm finished with the screened porch, stone base and tile floor, I think all together it should increase the value of the house considerably.
My house wasn't grounded- no ground for the breaker box, meter, cable or phone.
This weekend I drove me an 8' ground round and grounded the breaker box and cable. My phone access box is so old I'm not exactly sure how to even ground it, but at least I can feel more comfortable around these summer thunderstorms!
Wow, I never knew they ran electrical lines this way! Obviously there's a lot of work to do here... The lines are insulated for the most part, and they are held away from the joists on ceramic standoffs (knob and tube). There's even bare wire where someone in later years added wall outlets. And, you can see all the wonderful insulation (NOT) that keeps my heat in the house... lol!
Read more for the pictures...
I did learn that at least the upper half of the house was originally stucco before the previous owner put siding up. You can see the backing at the gables. This was pretty common for many Craftsman / Arts & Crafts homes and most times would be stucco for the top level and wood siding on the bottom.
Here you can see the finished product. I'm not an electrician, so I won't go into details of exactly how or what was done, but I do have a background in electronics so I knew what I was doing. I don't recommend the average do-it-yourselfer do this kind of rewiring. You can also see I took out the old wiring.