Home renovations can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are a multitude of important decisions to consider when undergoing a kitchen or bathroom remodel. In addition to all of the aesthetic changes, even more changes and updates are happening behind the walls. With this in mind, we thought it might prove helpful to prepare for a remodel by sitting down with a professional electrical subcontractor to get his take on the industry and the things homeowners need to know before taking that first remodeling step.
What is the best advice you would give someone preparing to undertake a bathroom or kitchen remodel?
It’s imperative that the service panel can handle the extra load from all additional circuits required for new and updated appliances. A service panel with too many circuits is dangerous, so you may need to have a new or an additional panel installed to balance the load. Take note: Installation of a new panel may affect changes to your remodel budget and timeline.
What can customers do to prepare for the work on their electrical systems?
Having a customer properly mark their electrical panel and know what each switch/breaker controls is the most beneficial preparation before an electrician arrives. Every homeowner should be aware of the breaker and fuse box in their home and what each controls. Be sure your breaker panel/fuse box is up to code to avoid any electrical damage to your home.
What “smart” features can be incorporated in today’s kitchen or bathroom?
Wireless switches are becoming more and more popular. These switches use radio frequencies to communicate, thus eliminating extraneous wiring. With this technology, lights can be operated from your smart phone which allows you to turn on/off lights from anywhere. This also gives the homeowner the capability to dim lights individually. Another great use of wireless technology involves “smart” blinds which can be scheduled to open or close depending upon time of day.
What is a kitchen remodel/design “must have”?
With the rise of technology and smart phones, all kitchens need to have receptacle outlets equipped with USB ports. Adding multiple and easily accessible ports for phones, laptops and tablets is one of the easiest ways to update a kitchen, thereby, making it more functional for today’s families.
What is a bathroom remodel/design “must have”?
If singing in the shower is your thing, you can install an exhaust fan with a Bluetooth speaker and LED lights. Even today’s exhaust fans come with technology advancements. If you prefer peace and quiet, there are fan units with remote loaders – meaning the motor is in another section of the house so you won’t hear the fan running.
How can people be efficient and save money on their electric bill? What environmentally friendly options are available?
LED lights are the answer. In terms of efficiency, there is a significant difference between an LED light and a traditional bulb – LED lights use a third of the wattage. It’s best to avoid CFL lights as they energy efficient, but environmentally costly – each bulb contains enough mercury to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water.
Do you have to update all the wiring when you’re doing a kitchen renovation or a bathroom remodel?
During a renovation or remodel, you only have to update the wiring if it’s bad or outdated. This will also depend greatly upon the age of the home in question. However, chances are pretty good that when you open up a wall during a remodel, you’re probably going to find a few things that will need to be replaced. An up-to-code electrical wiring system insures that the home is not only functional, but safe.
What about regular maintenance?
It’s extremely important that homeowners check their GCFI electrical outlets frequently. These outlets are used in areas where water is likely to appear – kitchens, bathrooms, or outside the home. Regular testing will ensure these outlets work properly and eliminate risk of electrical shock.
What is the biggest electrical “no-no” that you often find on a job?
One of the most common issues is an open splice. A splice is the connection of two or more wires. However, an open splice is when it is not contained in an electrical box. Homeowners who dabble in some amateur electrical work often leave these projects unfinished due to lack of
knowledge. The problem is an open splice is more likely to ignite if left exposed. Your best bet is to always go with a professional electrician for any type of electrical work.
Is there anything else a homeowner needs to know before hiring an electrician?
First and foremost make sure all of your contractors are licensed and insured. Be sure to ask what type of warranty they offer on parts and labor. Having an experienced, professional electrical contractor on the job can make all the difference. Don’t skimp when doing a remodel/renovation – go with the best.
Creativity makes all the difference in remodeling your home! Becraft Plus has experience with electric and electric contractors. Contractor experience makes all the difference.
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About Becraft Plus
Since 1989, Becraft Plus has provided customized design and construction services to customers in the Washington, D.C. area. We specialize in custom home building, additions and remodeling, and whole house renovations with a focus on creating living spaces that are tailored to the needs of our clients.
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