A sure sign of amateur work is improperly-installed wires.
Anytime I see new light fixtures in a house, in new places, I always want to see the wiring.
There are many specifics regarding wiring, with many associated code requirements. The bottom line for all that is the word - SAFETY.
As regards electricity and electrical installations things should always be done as safely as possible. That is why it is important to hire a professional.
Connector clamps or the slots on the sides of junction boxes should be used when attaching wires to boxes.
The insulation should be stripped such that no interior wires are exposed, and the clamp secures the wire around the insulation.
The box covers should be tightly placed.
And as regards the cover, there should not be too many wires inside the box so that it can fit tightly.
The wires themselves should be organized and attached to the structure, every 4-5' or so. You can't just stick wires anywhere and let them lay, or haphazardly wrap around this or that, or have a huge gaggle.
Everywhere electrical work had been done in this house the insulation had been gouged out to run wiring or install fixtures, and had not been replaced. So there were huge voids without insulation. Such uninsulated areas add up to negatively affect the living environment of the house.
My recommendation: when you see new fixtures and wiring, make sure a permit had been pulled and then approved by the local jurisdiction. And even beyond that, be sure to hire a home inspector to insure that things were done properly, particularly the insulation following the job. A house is a place where many things interact to insure safety and comfort. There are many systems inside and outside a house that work together. Be sure they do!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560