Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by hotrod1965, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Let me ask you guys this question. Do you make your own extension cords for christmas lights?
    I usally buy pre-made cords, but I hate having a several feet of left over cord laying next to a tree or in someone's flower bed. I think some people think it may look bad...

    just wondering what everyone's thoughts are?
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I believe, actually know, that making custom length cords is expensive using bulk cord and ends. (usually 2 to 3x the price per foot)

    I don't think having a bit of cord coiled neatly and tucked out of the way is all that unsightly. Anymore cords come in about every length imiginable, though it would be hard to keep every possible one on hand just for the ocassion.

    Best thing is to have the cords match the situation. white house, white cord, tan house, tan cords, and so on. Black or brown for going up tree trunks. Orange and yellow... yuck!
  3. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Thanks for the insights. The price is actually about the same if you buy the whole spool of wire. You would lose a little on the actual time to make the cords, so I'm wondering it that is worth it or not.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    3 or 4 years ago it was worth it. copper was cheap, and bulk wire per foot was less than the cost of pre-made cords per foot. we used 16 or 18 guage white and green spt-2 cord and the slider plugs. starting 3 years ago, I noticed bulk cord doubled in price, even on 500, 1000 ft spools. 2 years ago to this year, it is still more expensive to do bulk and make your own than to buy pre-made.

    a 6 foot 16 guage "lamp" cord can be had for a buck at Lowes. it includes a male end and a polarized 3 way female. build this cord from bulk, it will cost you 15 cents a foot for the 16 guage wire, so 90 cents. the male end, 65 cents each if you buy a box of 100 plugs from most internet suppliers. and 3 way females can't really be found, so just a plain single female end is 65 cents. add it up and you just spent $2.20 plus labor to build a 1 buck cord. the same is true of grounded cords and pretty much all cords.

    I stock my trucks with 16 guage lamp 6's and 15's, grounded 25's, 40's, 50's and 100's. I also buy those outdoor 3-ways, the solid rubber ones for 1.99 at walmart or dollar stores. I'll buy 100 at a time and get it over with. for some reason Lowes and Home depot sell the 3 ways for 3.99 or so, so I save money when I can.
  5. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    We can't really use lamp cords here, I'm concerned they won't hold up in Michigan winters.

    typically we use 10, 15, 20, 40, 50 and 100 outdoor cords. To make our own it's about the same price, maybe a little more on the shorter cords. But the time/labor would go up, but I'm thinking the appearance of perfect cords would be worth it in some cases. Just wondering what guys thoughts are on the appearance. If you had a $1mil home with four or five trees by the road deorated and the cords were a little slack, would that bother you?

    I agree on those 3 way plugs! We get them for about a $1 and HD always wants $3-4 for one!

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