Home Improvement – Criteria For Choosing the Right Electrician

A good number of people either have or know of a horror story about poor workmanship and/or exorbitant pricing from their electrician. Getting ripped-off by an electrician can go beyond inconvenience or a hit to the wallet. Shoddy electrical workmanship can pose serious safety risks. Moreover, faulty work performed by an unlicensed electrician can leave a homeowner or business owner open to legal liability for any injury incurred by a third party. Therefore, selecting the right person for the job is vital.

Before contracting with anyone, write out a complete description of the work you wish to have done. If you are having a home improvement or adding on another room, now would be a good time to consider future electrical needs. For example, with the proliferation of electrical appliances and devices available to consumers and businesses, having renovation work done might be a good time to have additional outlets installed too.

Beginning your search can sometimes be a daunting task. Start your hunt by searching on the internet, thumbing through the phone book or asking your friends if they have used somebody that they trust. You should only hire a licensed electrician. Although this does not guarantee excellent workmanship, it does mean minimum standards of training and/or experience have been met. Be sure that the contractor you go with is insured.

Narrow your search down to three companies and invite each to inspect your location and place a bid on the job. This is a good time to confirm their qualifications. Ask about their licenses, whether they are insured, and how long they have been in business.

You and the company you hire should be on the same page when it comes to the proposed work. Review the list of work that you want done and gain agreement. If the electrician proposes something materially different, have him or her explain in layman’s terms why the additional work is necessary. If the explanation does not “feel” right or is not made clear, move on to the next. On the other hand, if it does sound right, you may be speaking to somebody who knows what he or she is talking about and may prove to know more about electrical work that the others.

It is also in your interest to ask any prospective electrician for references. He or she should not hesitate to provide you with at least three references in your area. Contact those customers and ask about the quality of work delivered. Problems with work sometimes occur. How a company responds to those problems is important. Ask references about post installation support.

For many people, price is often the determining factor as to whom they hire. Compare the bids from all the candidates for the job. Least expensive is not always the best, especially if the lowest bidder does not measure up to all of the criteria you have set for selection. Further, as a rule of thumb, it is better to have pricing based on the overall job rather than on an hourly rate. Lastly, be sure the start and finish dates are clearly stipulated.

Having a home improvement and hiring an electrician does not have to be a risky venture or an exercise in frustration. Careful attention to the selection process usually results in a favorable experience, one that does not break the bank or blow the fuse box.

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Home Improvement: Redesigning Your Basement

There are times when the rooms you have are insufficient and you look into home improvement methods to convert any available space into a room. One of the best options for this purpose is your basement. Often the basement is used more as a storage space and can be easily converted to create a good study, office, or at times even a bedroom, depending on your requirements. Depending on the conversion you propose to make, your budget will also vary.

Planning Cost and Requirements

Before you estimate the cost of conversion, you need to ascertain the actual requirements. Ascertain what space you want to create as part of your home improvement project. If it is a study or office, the space can be manipulated with minimal expenses. However, if you are looking at converting your basement into a bedroom or adding bathrooms or toilets, then your expenses will increase accordingly. The other factors that affect your budget are the electrical connectivity required, need for water connections and related plumbing, extra furniture required, etc. If you intend to fix air conditioners or heater, then the corresponding electrical work and additional appliances or material would add more cost to your home improvement plans. As in a home construction project, you can get an estimate from a builder or contractor to ascertain the actual cost of converting your basement.

Electricity and Plumbing

A study or office room does not require much manipulation of space. The electrical and plumbing work is also minimal unless you think of adding a toilet or bathroom to this space. You can use existing furniture or even visit some second-hand furniture store for the purpose. However, the scenario changes if you are looking into a home improvement plan that involves creating a bedroom or guest room. In addition to furniture, you need to think of plumbing and sanitation, electrical fittings, air conditioners or heaters, etc. Lighting should be planned not only for the new room but also for the stairways leading to your remodeled basement. This is to prevent any risks of accident while climbing up or going down.

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8 Ways NOT to Save Money on Home Improvements

Home improvements can be expensive, so many people look for ways to save money on the project. And while it’s okay to try to save money, there are some areas where cutting corners can be a disaster waiting to happen.

Electrical

Always have electrical work done by a qualified professional electrician. They will need to be licensed and insured. If you do feel you are qualified to do electrical work yourself, spend a little extra to have the work inspected by a pro. Improper electrical work can cause a fire that can totally destroy your home.

Furnace or Fireplace Repairs

Again, it is important to use a qualified professional to avoid fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plumbing

Water leaks are a common source of structural damage and unhealthy mold, as well as high water bills. A licensed plumber will be insured, so if they make a mistake, it will be fixed.

Permits

In many areas, failing to get the proper permits may result in substantial fines and penalties. Authorities may even demand that you undo the improvement.

Doing Part of the Job Yourself

You may be able to realize some savings by doing some work yourself, but make sure you know EXACTLY what you need to do. For example, if you are removing a wall to build on an addition, make sure it isn’t a load bearing wall. The idea is to make the job easier for your contractor: if you make their job harder, you will end up paying more.

Debris Disposal

Dumpsters are expensive. But in most locations, you can’t put construction debris out with your regular trash. You may not even be able to haul it to the dump. A dumpster is worth the cost.

Ultra Low Bids

If you put the job up for bid, most of the bids will be in the same price range. An ultra-low bid may be due to using inferior materials, “under-the-table” labor, or failing to meet common requirements, such as bonded employees, errors & omissions insurance, or worker’s compensation. These situations can damage your home or subject you to theft, legal penalties or even lawsuits.

Door-to-Door Scam Artists

Many home improvement frauds are perpetrated by itinerant contractors using inferior materials, high pressure tactics, and low bids to entice unsuspecting homeowners. Always get a second opinion if a contractor approaches you to do immediate “emergency” repairs.

By properly preparing for your home improvement project, you and your contractor can help keep costs in line while still getting a quality job done in a reasonable time frame.

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General Aspects Regarding Home Improvement on Electrical and Lighting

Our homes are the ones that should provide us the peace and relaxation we need after a long day of hard working. This is the place where we are supposed to get the energy we need to continue the completion of our daily projects and activities. Therefore it is no wonder that we constantly invest our time and money in making our houses better places to live in. Improving our homes is improving our lives whether we realize this or not. Some of the major aspects when it comes to home improvement are the details related to electrical and lighting systems.

Make sure you get the proper system

Taking care of electrical wiring and lighting is surely not an easy thing to do if you need it done in the right way. However, you can manage with these kinds of improvements by yourself if you have the time for learning helpful tips. If you are not confident on your abilities, you should ask for professional advice to be sure that your electrical and lighting projects will be completed in the way you want. This is an important thing to do because improving the electrical and lighting part of your home can also be very dangerous.

Another important reason why home improvement on electrical and lighting should be done in the right way is that your electronic devices need protection. The world we live in is constantly developing when it comes to this technology so your appliances require certain conditions for running without troubles. Otherwise, you risk losing significant devices because the electrical wiring was not structured as it was supposed to be. Once you buy a fast computer you need the assurance that your electrical system won’t damage it.

Comfort – as important as the technical part

In what concerns the lighting part, this is essential for your home’s comfort and can bring major changes in the way you feel. We are all aware of the fact that colors and lighting are important for us to relax. This is why you will not only need to work with technical details when it comes to electrical and lighting but also with design issues. For example, you do not only need systems that work but also hidden wiring and friendly lamps.

If you decide to make major improvements to home electrical and lighting you should find a good solution to cover everything from communications to security. Your home deserves the best treatment so you should take care of major aspects such as installation and details related to the materials you use. If you do not take care of the home improvement on electrical and lighting in a hurry you and your family will surely get to benefit from the proper conditions.

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The Shocking Truth About Electrical Home Improvement

When facing a home repair job that needs electrical home improvement, you should consult a professional, or hopefully take a class at your local building supply store for the best results. This article will expose some of the primary concerns when tackling the wiring in your home. Learn what to avoid and how to make the project one that is executed correctly.

Safety First

When working with electrical current and wires, it is advisable to wear rubber soled shoes to avoid being shocked. There are still other dangers involved, but this is one that is often overlooked. Also, make sure that the surrounding environment you are working in is clear from any water. Water and electricity do not mix. If you are using tools for your electrical home improvement, make sure that all of the cords are safe and clear of any damage. Caution – Make sure to check them when they are unplugged, and if you find any open wiring on any of the cords be sure to tape them with some good quality electrical tape or discard them and use a cord that you know is safe.

Start With A Smaller Project

Before you take on an electrical home improvement project, it is better to start with something you have more confidence or experience with. Changing a light switch might be a good place to start You could make some decorative changes to the light switches while you are learning about wiring in your home.

Installing A Circuit Box

One of the bigger electrical home improvement jobs that you may face is, changing out an old circuit breaker box and installing a new one. If you live in a home that was built several years ago there is a good chance that an electrical home improvement project is in order for this area of the home. Before beginning this type of project you should consult with your local electrical supply store. If you are the least bit unsure of yourself you should definitely consider having a licensed professional electrician do this job for you. It could mean the difference between life and death.

Try Installing a Ceiling Fan

One electrical home improvement project you might want to try is to install a ceiling fan in the bedroom or family room. This is a rather simple project if you are careful. If you purchased a new ceiling fan it should come with some detailed instructions for installation. If you are installing a ceiling fan that did not come with directions, you can usually find help at your local building supply store. Another tip for this type of project is to make sure you have some electrical tape and twist nuts for the wires. When tackling your next electrical home improvement project, make sure that you’re well prepared and stay safe.

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