Hope the power was off.. This really does make me wonder about the soundness of the idea behind H for H and other charity groups that go to 3rd world countries and do this sort of thing... but then again you are not as likely to be sued for defects in a house you build in Mexico, either... My vote is for "bad". Most real estate types are mechanincally over-challenged when you pass the point of changing a lightbulb anyway...
From what I have heard there are real electricians to supervise and the volunteers are taught how to do the task at hand; drill holes here, pull wire like this to here, get this tool for me, make the switches like this etc.,like a green helper. Rod
It's both. Good for the "system" because the house gets built cheaper but bad for the poor licensed electrician who has to supervise the job, repair all the mess ups and take liability for the whole thing. The newspaper never sees the guy who spends 40 hrs correcting what the execs did in 10.
It is not really as bad as some think. I worked a habitat for humanity house with my church a few years back. The laymen weren't allowed to do major electrical work. No service entrance orlarge loads like A/C and the like. They were allowed to wire light fittings, switches and outlets, nothing major. They were all showed how to do it and the work WAS thoroughly inspected after wards. In my experience they didn't do too bad. You did have to look at them a little more closely. But, it was no big deal.
We had a thread not so long ago about "qualified help." The Three Stooges were used to illustrate the principle.
No matter how you slice it, "real estate executives" are not "qualified help." No matter how good their intentions, they have no business even as "the dumb end of the shovel."
Do you think, that for even one minute, they considered letting a well-intentioned electrician handle the sale of the house? Well, their objections apply to their own doing electrical work.
Ours is a trade that takes time, brains, and expereince to master. There are lives, and property, at stake. Nor is it the job of the inspector to check every detail- which is why many places restrict who may do "electrical work."
You can be sure that "Habitat" uses real archetects and structural engineers in their plans. There is no excuse for not using real electricians. The poor deserve better.