Electricity is one of the most critical elements needed in a home. It is very common for homeowners to add on more rooms or even an extra story to their homes. Despite how important it is, a lot of people tend to ignore some changes that must be made before having more rooms inside the house. Electrical upgrades for home additions are some of the things that must be considered when renovating.
There will be electrical wiring consideration even if you just add a window or two into your existing room. You may think that nothing changes but there will be wires running from one place to another and electricity has to pass through them so it can go back to where it came from. So you will need to factor in where the cables are in the wall so you don’t cut through them. In addition, there might also be light fixtures and other electrical fixtures which you might need to use.
If a lot of electricity will be used, it is highly suggested that an upgrade for the electrical system must be done to accommodate the additional rooms or areas inside your home. It may cost a bit more but in the long run, you will enjoy having a well-running electrical system inside your house.
Most Important Electrical Home Upgrades
Remodeling and upgrading your home isn’t just about how things look. It’s about updating the functionality and the user-friendliness of your home. Here is a list of some of the most common home renovation electrical upgrades so you can bring your home up to code and rest easy knowing you’re safe from electrical fires and surges.
There will be times when you want to change out an overhead light fixture because you don’t like the style. Or it doesn’t provide enough light where you need it. That new construction phase is also a good time to bring in modern lighting fixtures along with more energy-efficient ones like LED lighting, which uses about 50% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
A dated building is likely to have old wiring, which creates a huge safety risk. With all the demands that new technology and gadgets place on the wiring, outdated wiring simply becomes overloaded, which, in turn, can overload your fuses and breakers. Home additions are the best time to rewire your home since the walls are likely open, giving your electrician easy access to your home’s electrical system and wiring.
Outlets and Receptacles
It is vital to consider changing the receptacle when upgrading your house’s electrical system. A receptacle must be efficient and safe when it is installed. High-energy appliances require specialized receptacle models. This kind of appliance uses a lot of energy, so it requires a receptacle that can handle it.
You should also consider the size of your family. Think about your electrical needs ten years from now. The electrical needs of your family may change if you plan to grow your family. A home addition is an excellent time to install additional outlets in each room of your home. You might want to upgrade and add outlets to the following rooms:
- Home Offices: The home office is becoming more popular than ever before as a sizable portion of the nation’s workforce shifts to remote positions. Other things that have changed are the demands of newer technology, such as laptops, printers, and desktop computers. By installing additional outlets in your home office, you can avoid overloading power strips and using extension cords, both of which can pose safety hazards if overused.
- Children’s Rooms: When you consider how much technology relies on today’s youth, most adults shudder. All modern entertainment systems, video games, and even improved lighting systems require more outlets in a room.
Electrical Panel Upgrades
Compared to older models, modern technology uses a lot more power. Although many manufacturers boost their energy efficiency, by comparison, they still use more energy. These trends are related to bigger and more functional appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, and gadgets powered by the internet. Overall, the average household is using 30% – 50% more energy than ever before. When doing a home addition, consider how much energy it will utilize and whether or not your electrical system can handle it in a manner that is safe and efficient. It’s very likely that you will need to consider electrical panel upgrades as part of your renovation.
As part of any addition to your home, there may be new electrical appliances added, but the existing ones may also need to be updated. Older appliances can be damaged or malfunctioned by faulty wiring caused by power surges that travel back through the circuits when overloaded by newer appliances. Using a surge protector will keep your outlets protected from these spikes and your appliances safe from damage.
Smart Home Features/Upgrades
Since the turn of the century, smart home technology has become more popular and is gaining ground on the market. You can now control your entire house from your smartphone or tablet. The focus of this isn’t just on automated lighting and temperature control; it’s also about safety. Smart home upgrades can help you to keep an eye on how much energy you are using. If doors are left unlocked or if lights are left on at night, and much more. The possibilities are endless. A system of this type is convenient in every way. Some upgrades you can make include:
- Smart Home Alarm Systems
- Smart Door Locks
- Surveillance Cameras
- Smart Doorbell Camera
- Smart Lighting
- Smart Thermostats and Temperature Control
- Smart Outlets
- Smart Motion Detection Security Lighting
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is an essential component of any kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor space. Safety devices such as these are now mandatory for all new construction and home addition. GFCIs are designed to automatically shut off an outlet if it comes in contact with moisture instead of tripping your breakers. GFCIs are easy, inexpensive, and quick to install by your electrician. You can do it on a budget. Make sure you have GFCI outlets installed in all the right places in your house. A local electrician will be able to tell you what the building codes are and what current GFCI guidelines are.
Many custom home additions will need new electrical wiring and points of access, like hot tubs, pool lighting, landscaping lights, an electric fireplace, and more. It wouldn’t hurt to consider the electrical needs before getting bids or DIYing your next home remodel to guarantee your design vision complements its functionality. Considering your new additions and the corresponding electrical upgrades, you can confidently plan your next renovation. For a new home addition, you may want to contact an electrician to find out what is feasible.
Electrical Safety Tips During Home Addition
In addition to getting the upgrades you need, you should also focus on electrical safety. You want to make sure that everything goes smoothly while your home is undergoing a makeover, and more importantly, after the addition, to keep your family and your house safe.
Whenever you are placing new appliances or devices, make sure that they are spread out to prevent overloading your outlets. To install appliances that require high loads of electricity, you should have extra or separate electrical sockets installed by a professional electrician.
- Plan out your devices
It’s tempting to keep using your old appliances after remodeling. However, if these are outdated, or worse, faulty, they could compromise your safety. Aging appliances are the leading cause of home electrical fires.
You can choose energy-efficient appliances for your new home by considering these tips:
- Replace outdated appliances
A. Choose the right size – In particular, this tip applies to HVAC systems. You want to ensure that you purchase the right size for your space to achieve maximum efficiency.
B. Look for energy-saving settings – Make sure you purchase appliances that have the energy star label. You can save money by using these appliances because they use less energy without sacrificing performance. You can also see the appliance’s efficiency statistics on the EnergyGuide label.
C. Consider the cost of operating the appliance – Because energy-efficient models cost more than standard models, you might refrain from buying them. However, you should keep in mind that while these appliances may cost more upfront, they can save you a lot over their lifetime because they use less energy.
When doing a home addition, it might be tempting to use your handyman skills, but there are certain duties you should leave to the experts, such as electrical work. Yes, you can handle changing the lightbulbs, but it may be the only electrical-related task you have to do safely. Don’t compromise safety for savings. Hire a professional to ensure everything is done safely.
- Limit DIY
How an Electrician Can Help with Additions
An electrician is pivotal in the process of adding a room to your house since it is essentially like starting from scratch. Rather than a home, you are building a room. This will require the expert expertise of a trained and experienced professional electrician to keep you and your home safe throughout the process and ensure everything is done to your satisfaction.
If you are planning to add to your home, it is strongly recommended that you examine your home’s wiring and electrical equipment. Aside from improving your quality of life, upgrades such as those on this list may even provide extra safety and security, which, in the end, is truly priceless.