It can be easy to forget about the electrics when carrying out a home renovation. After all, they are mostly hidden behind the walls!
It is, however, the perfect time to consider doing electrical upgrades and/or replacements. Why? Well, the ceilings and walls are all being opened up anyway!
Some reno work can be done DIY. But, it is advisable to contact an electrician to take care of the more complicated (and sometimes hazardous) electrical work.
Some problems with older electrics are just a bit of an inconvenience. But others can be a real safety risk. So, here’s the top electrical things to consider when carrying out a home renovation.
Planning A Renovation? Here's The Electrical Things To Think About
New Power Outlets
There are two issues that often pop up regarding power outlets. The most common one is having too few outlets available, and/or having them in inconvenient places. This is especially the case in older houses. When many older homes were built, we simply didn’t have all the electronics and appliances that we use today. So the outlet layouts are often no longer fit for purpose.
Or, perhaps you’ve grown your family and now the kids require a lot more electronics than you ever used to!
It can also be unsafe having loads of different appliances all plugged into multi-boards, or having extension cords running everywhere creating trip hazards. So when you are renovating, have a careful think about how many outlets you require in each room and where their ideal location would be. This is especially important for the kitchen and living areas, and any home offices.
Upgrading Older Outlets
The other issue that comes up with power outlets is that as they get older and more worn out, the plugs can actually become loose and not sit in them properly. The outlet should securely grip the plug to prevent it from falling out.
Not only is it annoying when you go to use an appliance only to find it’s fallen out of the socket, this can also create a shock or fire hazard which you definitely want to avoid. So, be sure to check all of your outlets prior to your renovation and make a plan to replace any that have become worn out.
Charging mobile devices tends to take up a lot of outlet space in most homes. For this reason, you might also consider installing some USB charging ports, to save essential power outlet space for other appliances.
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. These are safety devices that will shut off the power to an outlet if they detect moisture, and are especially important in bathrooms and kitchens. If you own an older house that has not undergone any electrical upgrades in the past, you likely won’t have any GFCIs installed.
These will need to be professionally installed by an electrician. So, chat with yours at the planning stage of your renovation.
If you are renovating an old house (built in the 50s/60s or earlier) that still has the original wiring, it’s time to look at replacing it. Old wiring presents safety hazards, and is also just not built to handle the level of technology that modern homes now have. Modern appliances require a higher level of power than the old wiring is made to support.
Again, this is a job that will need to be completed by a trained electrician to ensure safety standards are met.
Old switchboard panels don’t have the required capacity to support modern power usage. You may find that an old panel will become easily overloaded or may stop working altogether. If your house is running off an old or obsolete panel or fuse box, then an electric service upgrade will be a key part of your overall renovation.
Once you’ve ticked off the essential upgrades for safety and functionality, there are some other ‘nice-to-have’ upgrades that you also might like to consider if they fit within your budget and lifestyle requirements. One of these is eco-friendly power upgrades. This might include energy efficient lighting, solar panels, or upgrading to eco-friendly appliances.
Making Your Home Smart
Something else to consider might be adding some home automation or smart home upgrades. There are so many options that you can tap into, such as smart home alarms and cameras, or smart lighting and thermostats to increase comfortability and energy efficiency.
Have a chat with your electrician about what you are wanting to achieve and they’ll be able to suggest some options. If you aren’t able to budget the whole smart home shebang right now, you can talk about future proofing your home for down the track. Your electrician may be able to insert cabling, ducting or other elements during the renovation that you can utilise in the coming years.
Choosing An Electrical Expert
Electrical work is not something that you should DIY, so it is important to choose an electrician you can trust for a renovation. Here at Retrolec, we are residential electricity experts. Our team have completed many renovation projects and would love to partner with you to create an ideal electrical solution for your home.
Get in touch with us now to discuss your renovation.