The 6 handle rule is still in the NEC. As far as DIY on a project of this type, with no experience, I'm somewhat in agreement with Tramo. However, it doesn't matter what we think because City and County of Denver will shut you down anyway if you're going to get a permit (I'm assuming you live in CCD). They have a requirement that homeowners who want to pull a permit must pass a basic electrical test to get the permit displaying they know what they are doing. I'm guessing if your experience is as limited as you indicate you won't pass that test.