Electrical Remodeling Tricks, Tips, and Hacks
Taking Safe Shortcuts
When it comes to minor electrical upgrades and remodeling projects, less is often more. That is, the less you can mess with the existing fixtures and wiring, the better. If something is unsafe or improperly wired, of course, you should replace it. But if you just need to add a light here, an outlet there, it can pay to look for ways to streamline the process. The following tips can help.
Need a Receptacle? Look on Other Side of the Wall
We tend to think room by room, forgetting that an interior wall is nothing more than some framing and two layers of drywall (or plaster). Electrical wiring runs inside the walls and can be accessed from either side. So if you need to add an outlet (receptacle) to a room that has no nearby outlets, check the opposite side of the wall. If there’s an outlet (or a light switch) close by, you can cut a hole in the wall behind the outlet box to tap into the circuit. Just be sure you know what circuit you’re tapping into, and don’t exceed its safe load limit by adding a new outlet.
Move Ceiling Lights Without Running More Wire
Sometimes ceiling lights aren’t where you want them to be. But you may find that you can move a ceiling light surprisingly far without adding more wire or running a new circuit. The electrical runs in your attic often have some room for movement. You can increase this by removing a few of the staples that secure the electrical cable to the framing. Be sure to re-fasten the cable with staples after you’ve moved the fixture.
Take a Homeowner’s Electrical Exam and Save Money
Amateur, non-permitted electrical work in residences isn’t uncommon. For small jobs, like adding an outlet, it’s likely that you don’t even need a permit to do the work. However, for more major electrical work, like adding new circuits or installing a subpanel, you most certainly will need a permit. And permits usually mean working with a licensed electrician.
However, in some areas, homeowners can legally do their own electrical work and get fully permitted and approved. The bar to this is a homeowner’s electrical exam. It’s not standard everywhere but is growing in use. A homeowner studies up for the test and pays a nominal fee. They then take a test consisting of 10 to 20 questions, usually at the permitting office. If you’re qualified to do the work yourself, you’ll save the cost of hiring a pro. If you’re not qualified, use an electrician.
Open up Closed Boxes to Add New Fixtures
These are easy to miss: electrical boxes that are covered up and often painted over. They are such a part of the landscape of our lives that we barely notice them. But they usually have live power in them: that’s the reason for the cover. Boxes that contain wiring must have a cover that encloses the box and remains accessible. Remove the cover and test the wiring for voltage with a non-contact voltage tester. These detect voltage through wire insulation, so you don’t have to risk touching any bare wire ends.
Use “Old Work” Electrical Boxes as Needed
Old work boxes also called remodel or cut-in boxes, are designed to be installed after the wall or ceiling drywall is in place. They have flip-up ears or bending tabs that snug up to the backside of the drywall to secure the box. You simply cut a hole that’s a close fit for the box, insert the electrical cable into the box, slip the box into the hole, and tighten the screws to pull the ears or tabs tight to the drywall. This saves you the trouble of cutting out a large hole in the wall or ceiling to install a standard box against the framing.
Planning to Remodel Your House? Make Sure You Call Your Electrician
After a period of time, everyone thinks about remodeling their homes or adding some additional features to it. Actually, that’s a great thought! But what does a successful remodeling require? The simple answer to this question is a great plan. A successful remodeling needs and demands creative and thoughtful planning. This planning should be advanced in every aspect. For example, consider your electrical room. If you are planning to increase the number of rooms then the electrical burden will be more.
Hence you need to plan it big and safe for the safety of everyone in your family. In this article, we will see why we should call our electrician before starting the remodeling and what are the electrical tips which have to be taken care of before the build starts? Before we talk about the importance of electrician, let’s have a look at the types of remodeling. There are various types of remodeling. Based on people’s requirement they have been classified under various categories. Understanding these types of remodeling will also help you decide what you want for your home. This will also guide you through the electrical changes you must bring to your house.
House Remodeling Types
Renovation is the minor changes that you plan to bring to your house. The whole purpose of the renovation is to add some additional features to your homes like replacing windows with a fancy one or having your interior designed with more attractive décor and design. Renovation is also done to make the house more energy-efficient. Electrical changes often are not a part of the renovation. But in case you are planning for safe electrical installations then it can be a part of it.
The home update usually refers to the updating of functionalities in one or more rooms. A nice example of this is the upgrades we make in the kitchen. For example the addition of a few or more shelves. This may also include changes in electrical outlets and the installation of additional plugs across the home.
Remodeling? Consider These 3
Could you imagine your life without electricity? From turning on the lights to running televisions and other electronic devices, we use electric power for so many things. In fact, we often take it for granted. However, you should always keep your home’s electrical system in mind. This is especially true if you’re remodeling your home. The residential electricians at Polk Electric have three tips for your home remodeling projects.
Schedule an electrical inspection – Before you begin your remodel, call a residential electrical contractor to inspect the property. Sadly, many homeowners find out too late that they harmed their home’s electrical system while remodeling. After the inspection, consider hiring a professional electrician to handle any repairs or upgrades, especially rewiring. Safety comes first. Your primary goal should be to make sure everything is working properly and has been done correctly.
Know what should get the most attention – Know which electrical components are the most critical. It’s true that light fixtures may be the thing that catches your eye, but what’s behind the scenes is really more important. For example, consider the wiring, electrical panels, and circuits. If you install the wrong parts (or install them incorrectly), you could wind up facing serious problems in the future. You could even put your family in danger. Place these items on the top of your priority list during your remodel. You can always add other conveniences and upgrade the fixtures later.
Think twice about your lighting – When you’re installing light fixtures, less is more. While this may sound surprising, it’s very easy to over-do the lighting in your home while you’re remodeling. Talking with a residential electrician is the best way to come up with a good lighting plan. Our contractors will help you find the best places to add lighting for maximum impact without going overboard.
4 Tips for Home Electrical Remodeling
Remodeling you home interior can be both an exciting and challenging time. Whether it’s the kitchen, bathroom, or basement, it’s important to consider every component of the room, before you launch. Many homeowners never consider the electrical wiring in their homes, however, when they’re making adjustments or upgrades. The result is that they get everything set in place, and then have to go back in and redo the electrical wiring which can cause unneeded expense and wasted time and effort. So before you make the first step in your renovation, consider your electrical system first and make the necessary adjustments.
Rewiring & Rerouting
Most room renovations include moving things around. For instance, you may re-conceptualize your entire kitchen and want the counter transferred to the other side of the room. While this may be a more aesthetically pleasing approach, your current electrical system may not be in position to accommodate the move. Before you know it, you have to pull the counters back off the wall, and make the adjustment. So make sure that there are actually wires behind the wall before you move your kitchen components, appliances, or electronics. Also, this is a great time to consider whether you need to upgrade your electrical wiring – especially if you’re going to be ripping down walls.
Electrical Panel Upgrades & Other Updates
Today’s modern technology requires much more power than the older models. Although many manufacturers boast the energy efficiency, by comparison they still utilize more energy. This is due to large machines and added features on appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, and media driven electronics like TV’s and stereos. Overall, the average household is using 30%-50% more energy than ever before. When remodeling any room in your home, consider how much energy it will utilize and whether or not your electrical system can handle it in a manner that is safe and efficient.
Outlet and Receptacle Considerations
Outlets and receptacles are like any other part of your electrical system. When installed, they must be safe and efficient. You may love the way a certain receptacle looks on your wall. The real question, however, is will it perform the way it’s supposed to. You’ve noticed that high-energy appliances use different receptacles, such as a specialized model for your washer or dryer. The reason for this is that these appliances require large amounts of power and need a certain of receptacle that can accommodate it. When remodeling, get advice from a professional electrician in order to get the right outlets and light switches for the electronics and appliances in your room. There are several options and many of them come with great decorative features that put the finishing touches on your room.
Great Light Switch Features
When it comes to creating the right room atmosphere, lighting is everything. The right light can create energy or give you a soothing environment. Although the right type of light is important, light switches can often give you the same affect. For instance, faders, which are extremely popular, can control the amount of light is in the room. There are numerous options for light switches including 3-way, 4-way, sliders, different size switches, multi-locations, dimmers, and even remote control lighting. With all the options available, you never have to settle for boring light switches again!
Electrical Safety Tips for Remodeling Your Home
When it comes to home improvement, remodeling and home projects, electricity is no laughing matter. When performing electrical work, even the most simple of mistakes can cause a fire – or worse, result in personal tragedy. Even outside of home projects, knowing the signs of electrical danger is important, and with that in mind, in today’s article we present you with some great electrical safety tips.
Home Improvement Electrical Safety Tips
Before you begin any home improvement project that involves electrical work, ask yourself this question: am I a licensed electrician? If the answer to that question is no, then we strongly suggest you put down the tool belt and back slowly away from whatever work you are about to undertake. Calling in a professional to handle the electrical part of your DIY or remodeling job is smart for many reasons – if not just for safety alone!
Dress for the (Electrical) Job
Dressing for the job is about more than just making a fashion statement – no matter how good you might look in those overalls! Wearing the right clothing and protective gear while tackling a home improvement project is crucial to your well-being, especially if it involves electrical work. Wear shoes or boots with rubber heels and soles to help insulate your body against shock. A nice pair of high voltage electrician gloves also will go a long way toward absorbing any errant electricity.
Use Insulated Tools for Electrical Work
The tools you use for any home remodeling work (even those that may not involve electrical directly) should come equipped with insulated handles. Power tools should be UL-listed (Underwriters Laboratories) or bear the UL mark to ensure they meet compliancy and safety standards.
Of course, it should go without saying that you should also clean and properly maintain your tools. If your power drill is damaged or the charging cord is frayed, replace it – don’t just slap some tape on it!
Turn off the Circuit Breaker
Even if you are confident that your circuit breaker panel is labeled properly, it is best practice to go ahead and cut power to the whole house by flipping off the main breaker. Working on live circuits is a big no-no and is a real safety hazard. Don’t take the risk – flip the switch!
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are electrical devices that “monitor” electrical currents and shut them off the moment they detect even the most minute of changes. This protects you – and equipment – from electrical harm. If your home does not have a GFCI or ground fault circuit breaker, be sure to have one installed, even if you are not undertaking any home projects.
Call a Licensed Electrician
At the end of the day, calling in a licensed electrician to handle electrical work in your home is the safest – and best – thing to do. In addition to performing the job safely, an electrical contractor will do the job right – saving you from future issues and reducing your risk of electrical fire or power failure. In addition, an electrician can pull permits for you and offer tips and advice for energy efficiency that can help you save on your monthly energy bills.