Because much of the electrical system of a house or building is concealed behind the walls, homeowners often overlook it when planning a remodel. However, you must consider upgrading home electrical wiring along with the different items on your home renovation list. You may have a plan to add a new room to your home. It may be an outdoor kitchen or a home office. These are significant changes that require careful planning, so you have to ensure that you take the electrical factors into account. Make sure that your plan meets both current and future needs.
You should work with the best electrician in your area, one who’s licensed and has the necessary experience in working with a project like the one you got. Always remember that proper planning can save you significant time and money as it ensures that your project runs seamlessly. Having said that, here are some renovation planning tips when installing new electrical wiring:
Add Extra Outlets
A home renovation can be the perfect time to install extra outlets on each of your home’s walls. These are essential if your family has already grown, which means that your electrical power requirements have increased as well. Extra outlets are ideal, especially when the home renovation will be adding a kitchen with new appliances and gadgets, an outdoor space, a kid’s room with video game consoles and televisions, or a home office with computers and printers. If you’re finding yourself and your family members using multiple extension cords and power strips for everyday tasks, then it might be the right time to consider an electrical upgrade. The professional electrician you’re going to hire can include additional outlets in the renovation plan, eliminating the need for unplugging some appliances to accommodate other devices and gadgets.
Upgrade Electrical Panels
As you probably already know, an outdated panel at home has fuses or has limitations in terms of the availability of space for adding circuits. Many old panels are also of low quality that others stop working on their own and need to be replaced. To increase the capacity of your existing electrical service at home, an upgrade is usually recommended. There are now new appliances and devices in the market, and it will be hard for older homes to keep up with the power needed to handle the demand of these modern technological inventions. That’s why it’s a good idea to include a service change in your home renovation plan. Of course, the last thing you’d want is for your panel to still use obsolete technology even after completely remodeling your house.
Address Different Wiring Concerns
Since all home renovation projects involve changes or additions to the existing wiring you have at home, your renovation plan should address wiring concerns, including the following:
- Unprotected Wires – It’s highly recommended to conduct a safety inspection to make sure that there’s no unprotected wiring. All electrical wires need to have cover to prevent them from getting exposed to elements, humans, or pets.
- Improper Wire Lengths And Connections – There are electrical codes that regulate the length of wiring that you can strip. Follow these codes to not end up with wires that are stripped too short or too much. Of course, such a mistake increases the risk of voltage drops and fires.
- Unsecured Wiring – Your home renovation plan should also correctly secure all wiring. For example, the wires can easily get damaged if the staples used aren’t properly attached. Running the wiring through cable trays is highly recommended.
- Insufficient Wiring Size – It’s also essential to ensure that the wiring size you have at home matches the new electrical requirements. Not addressing this concern increases the risk of fires. For example, excess current for the circuit results from the increase in the number of outlets. Always remember that you should have new circuits installed into the panel when adding more amps.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground fault circuit interrupters or GFCIs are designed to turn the electricity off instantaneously if the plugged-in items come in contact with moisture. Modern standard bathrooms and kitchens usually have these safety devices. However, if the one you own is an older home, these safety devices may be missing from the rooms in your house. It’s going to be a straightforward task for a professional electrician to switch one type of outlet to another during the renovation process, however it’s essential if you want to ensure your family’s safety. Depending on the building code that exists in your area, you may even be required to include GFCIs in your renovation plan.
Upgrade Your Outlets
Aside from adding new outlets, you should also ensure that your old ones get upgraded. This is especially important when you often find plugs laying on the floor a few minutes after plugging in an appliance. Outlets ideally should grip the end of the plugs when they’re plugged into the holes. Plug slipping out and falling to the floor usually results from the clip that’s designed to hold it has already worn out. Regrettably, not fixing this situation will only cause arcs and sparking since it’s a fire hazard.
During a renovation project for your home, your family’s safety should be your priority. That said, you must not forget to include all electrical factors in your considerations. The renovation should address not only the aesthetics, but also the functional aspect of your home. The functional aspect, of course, specifically involves your home’s electrical components. The tips above should guide you in coming up with a renovation plan.
Thank you for warning us that an outdated electrical panel will have limitations in terms of the availability of space for adding circuits and offer low-quality electrical service that might damage appliances and devices, so it’s best to get it upgraded as soon as possible. My grandma’s house is quite old now, and with how dim the lighting is, I can only assume that the panel needs immediate upgrading soon. I’ll be sure to contact a contractor as soon as possible for my electrical remodeling and get a panel upgrade done while we’re at it.