Remodeling is a fun home project to take on. Not only will your house get an upgraded style, but remodeling also improves the functionality of your living space and boosts your property’s value.
Trivia: Exterior home improvements bring in the highest ROI to homeowners in 2021.
Whether you’re redoing a single room or upgrading your entire house, there’s always a lot of planning involved. And while you may be focused on getting new furniture and fixtures, you should also think about your home’s electrical system. You have to check whether your current electrical panel can safely carry the load of new appliances and also think if you need new outlets to be installed.
If you’re planning a renovation that involves opening walls or ceilings, now is the perfect opportunity to have your electric wiring and panel upgrade.
In this article, we will share with you remodeling electrical tips, top electrical upgrades to consider during renovation, as well as electrical safety reminders.
Electrical Tips During Remodeling
1. Schedule an electrical inspection
It’s a smart idea to get an electrician inspection done by a licensed electrician even before you set a budget for a remodel. By doing this, you will know all the necessary electrical repairs and upgrades that you need to get done and also estimate the cost.
Skipping an electrical inspection before a remodel may be a safety risk and might put you in a situation where you’ll spend more on emergency repairs, which will blow your budget.
You can schedule an inspection from electricians from your neighborhood here.
2. Consider your future needs
When remodeling, it’s also important to consider your future electrical needs. Are you planning to grow your family? Or are you repurposing an old guestroom into a playroom for your kids? Think of these things to make sure that your electrical system is ready to take on your power demands in the future.
If you will get an electrical inspection, another benefit is that the electrician can guide you and provide recommendations that will fit your needs.
3. Know Your Options
Remodeling is the perfect time to think about where you need your electricity most. Do you need an outlet near your kitchen counter so you can place your most-used appliances there? Or maybe you need an additional outlet in your home office so you can get rid of extension cords?
Not only is this time ideal for moving your outlet, but it’s also an opportune time to have them upgraded. For example, you can consider replacing your outdated outlets in your kitchen or bathroom with ground-fault circuit interrupter (GCFI) outlets, which are designed to increase safety in your home. Another advanced option is USB outlets, which you can place in your charging stations or in areas where you use USB-powered devices.
Continue reading to see the list of the top electrical upgrades you can get for your home!
Electrical Upgrades to Get During a Remodel
Instead of just giving your space an aesthetic upgrade, it’s also worthwhile to have your electrical system updated during a remodel to meet the current guidelines and safety standards. In addition, electrical upgrades also help boost the resale value of a property, which is great if you’re planning to put your home on the market in the future.
Trivia: The National Electrical Code (NEC) is updated every three years. The NEC is a safety standard for electrical wiring installation and equipment in the U.S.
If you’re wondering what electrical upgrade you can consider so your home meets current standards, here’s our list:
Your outdated wiring is at risk of overloading because it simply could not meet the demand for new appliances and high-tech gadgets. This is a huge safety hazard as old and faulty wiring is one of the top causes of electrical fires in the U.S.
Remodeling is the perfect time to rewire your home since, most likely, your walls are already open, so it’s easier for a local electrician to update your home’s electrical wiring.
If you’re living in an old home, chances are you still have two-prong outlets, which are considered as outdated and a safety hazard because they lack proper ground wire. (Grounding helps prevent electrical shock, surges, and electrical fires.)
As mentioned above, GCFI outlets are good to have especially in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoors, as these devices are designed to switch off if the outlets come in contact with moisture.
Also, you can also consider having additional outlets installed while remodeling especially if your electrical needs are growing.
For example, since the COVID-19 pandemic has made working from home a norm, you may need additional outlets for your laptop, printer, and other gadgets. This will prevent you from relying on power strips and extension cords, which are all designed only for temporary use.
Light plays a crucial role in the overall look of your space, that’s why you also should have a lighting plan in place when remodeling your space.
Knowing which type of light and where to use them can help you achieve the ambiance that you want. You can ask your electrical contractor for advice and recommendations on this.
Another lighting upgrade that you can consider is switching your old bulbs to LED lights. LED bulbs are energy-efficient, have a long lifespan, plus they come in a variety of color temperatures.
4. Panel Upgrade
Especially if you’re planning to install smart home devices and add new fixtures, you can consider getting your home’s electrical panel upgraded. Schedule a visit with a reliable electrician to check if your current panel can handle the demand for your electronics and appliances. Doing this upgrade is a wise investment, especially if you want to keep your family and property safe from electric hazards.
5. Surge Protector
Speaking of safety, consider having a surge protector installed for your whole home. A surge protector shields electronic devices from sudden voltage spikes, which helps extend their lifespan. There are surge protectors that you can plug into any outlet. However, if you want your whole home to have a surge protector, you can hire an electrician to safely install the device in your main panel box.
6. Smart Home Features
Smart home devices have been gaining popularity lately because of the many advantages of using them. If you’re planning to remodel, this is the perfect time to turn your house into a smart home.
There are plenty of smart home components that you can consider getting, such as smart lighting, smart thermostats, smart lighting, and smart locks.
You can read more about smart home devices in our article here.
Electrical Safety Tips During a Remodel
Besides getting the upgrades that you need, another thing that should be on top of mind is electrical safety. You want to make sure that everything goes smoothly while your home is undergoing a makeover, and more importantly, after the remodeling, to keep your family and your house safe.
Plan out your devices
When planning where you’re going to put new appliances and devices, make sure that they’re spread out to prevent overloading your sockets. If you’re going to put appliances that require high loads of electricity, you want to make sure that you have additional or separate sockets installed by a professional electrician.
Replace outdated appliances
You might be tempted to continue using your old appliances after remodeling. However, if these are outdated, or worst faulty, they could pose a threat to your safety. In fact, aging appliances are the number one cause of electrical fires in homes.
When buying, consider these tips to help you choose energy-efficient appliances for your new space:
1. Choose the right size – This tip is especially applicable to HVAC systems. You want to make sure that you purchase the right size for your space for optimum efficiency.
2. Look for energy-saving settings – Choose to buy appliances that have the ENERGY STAR label on them. These appliances are designed to help you save money with reduced energy use without sacrificing performance. Also, take a look at the EnergyGuide label that shows the efficiency statistics of the appliance.
3. Consider the cost of operating the appliance – You might turn away from energy-efficient models because they have higher price tags than the standard ones. However, you have to consider that while these appliances may cost higher upfront, they could bring you considerable amounts of savings over their lifetime due to their energy-saving features.
Although it could be tempting to put your handyman skills to work when remodeling, there are some things that you should entrust to the experts, such as electrical work. Yes, you can manage to change the lightbulbs, but this may be the only electrical-related task that you can manage doing safely.
Never compromise safety with savings. Hire a pro to make sure everything is carried out correctly.
Hire a licensed electrician
When hiring a pro, you should ensure that you only hire a licensed electrician to handle all the electrical work while remodeling. These pros are highly trained and are updated with the electrical codes so you are assured that your upgraded home meets the current safety standards.
In addition, you are also protecting yourself from any liabilities because licensed electricians are covered by insurance. Plus, a reliable electrician will offer a service warranty.
Read more about Electrical Home Safety in our article here
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You can also locate remodeling contractors and other home improvement services in our list here