The process of selling or buying a home can be stressful. Not only are you possibly dealing with the “biggest investment” of your life, but you’re also dealing with safety issues. While it can be tempting for home buyers and sellers to cut corners with a home’s electrical, it can be dangerous, especially if you don’t adhere to the National Electric Code.
But what is the National Electric Code? A lot of homeowners have never even heard of it. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff supports activities involving the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC (the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 70) is a widely-adopted model code for the installation of electrical components and systems.
“Its purpose is to safeguard persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity (NEC 90.1(A)). Improving the safety of electrical installations through participation in the NEC revision process is one of the strategies CPSC staff employs to reduce potential electrical fire and shock hazards.”
Now that we know what the National Electric Code is, let’s discuss buying or selling the “fixer upper.”
The Classic Fixer Upper
Have you fallen in love with an older home, a beautiful fixer upper with lots of potential? Or, are you selling one? Either way, you’re dealing with a BIG investment and you don’t want a surprise in the realm of an electrical disaster. If you are buying a fixer upper, it’s important to find out what kind of electrical work has been done and when. How long was the work done? Was it done by a licensed electrician?
If you don’t know, ask your real estate agent how to get your hands on those records. Another option is to call in a licensed electrician and have him conduct a general electrical inspection. This is not the same as a home inspection because it strictly focuses on the home’s electrical system.
We do not recommend doing any electrical work yourself as this can be very dangerous and illegal. If you try doing certain types of electrical work without a permit, you can be breaking the law and your dream fixer upper can turn into a nightmare.