What to Consider Before Starting Your Remodeling Project
If you've ever embarked on a home remodeling project, you know how complicated the process can be. These projects are a lot more than just changing some paint colors and rearranging your furniture. Even if you are not moving walls or doing major construction, you may find that you have to reconsider your home's electrical setup.
No matter what your remodeling plans are, if you are doing anything that involves your electrical system, new appliances, or new lighting fixtures, we recommend consulting with an experienced electrician before beginning your project. Electrical systems can be complicated, and changing up how your home is configured can place undue stress on your existing electrical system. By working with an electrician, you can ensure that all of your upgrades are completed safely and effectively.
Below we review a few important things to consider when planning a home remodel, all of which the electricians at Lightning Bug Electric can help you with when you're ready to move forward with your project.
Service Panel Upgrades
New appliances, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and more can all put an extra burden on your electrical system. This can cause your electric panel to try and overwork itself, leading to many problems. From flickering lights to tripped circuits, a struggling service panel can put a damper on your remodel. Additionally, an over-burdened electrical service panel can be a safety hazard.
If you see any of the following signs, you should consider upgrading your service panel as part of your remodeling project:
- Scorched outlets
- Warped or melted outlet covers
- Electrical burning smell
- Buzzing when lights and other devices are on
- Frequently tripped breakers
- Lights that flicker when you turn on other appliances
Many people's electrical panels are located in garages, storage closets, or even outside. This often means that they are more susceptible to environmental damage beyond normal wear and tear. Dirt, leaves, debris, and even pests can cause problems with your service panel. Therefore, even if your service panel can handle the new appliances or fixtures you're planning, it is a good idea to have it checked and serviced by an electrician. This is especially true if your home is older and your electrical system hasn't been checked over in a while.
Outlets: When to Add More
Are you overly reliant on outlet extenders and extension cords? Does your home improvement project leave you searching for more outlets? If so, you should consider adding more outlets as part of your remodel. In particular, you should reassess your outlet layout if you are converting a space to a new or different use or expanding an existing area. For example, are you converting a guest bedroom to a home office or expanding your kitchen? These types of remodeling projects typically mean that you will need more electrical outlets to power the new area.
Even bedrooms may need more power options to deal with our modern technologies and devices. Many people install dedicated charging stations for cell phones, tablets, and more in their bedrooms. They also need normal outlets for televisions, additional lighting, smart home technology, and more.
Common remodeling projects that likely could benefit from adding additional outlets:
- Home offices
- Home theaters
- Hobby rooms or workshops
- Outdoor living spaces
Similarly, if you have an older home and your outlets have never been updated, you should have them inspected by one of our electricians to ensure they are up to code and properly grounded.
How to Stay Up to Code
As previously mentioned, older homes sometimes have issues with their electrical systems not being up to current electrical codes. Code issues are often not discovered until you go to remodel your home. Then you discover that your wiring needs to be upgraded, your outlets aren't grounded correctly, or you see signs of major electrical issues (such as damaged wires, scorch marks, rust, and pest damage). The last thing you want is to be surprised by electrical code issues.
Electrical code issues can cause the following:
- Time delays
- Changes to your original plan
- Increased project costs
If you are working on a remodeling project and need help with your electrical design, contact Lightning Bug Electric for guidance. We can inspect your electric system, go over your remodeling plans, and help you ensure that your electrical system is up to the task. If there are any repair issues or if you need help upgrading your system, our electricians have the skill and experience required to get the job done.