Many people love to roll up their sleeves and get involved in a home renovation project. In fact, some treat this as a side business as they try to flip homes once they have purchased, renovated and put them back on the market. So, if you're looking for one of these properties (often called a "fixer-upper)," what's one of the first things that you will probably have to fix once you consummate the deal?
Focusing on Electricity
As you will probably be buying this house at a knockdown price, you can safely assume that it still contains its original electrical installation. While this system may well have been good enough when it was first installed back in the day, it's not likely to be able to accommodate the needs of a modern-day family. Therefore, you should replace the panel and all the wiring together with the outlets and switches.
Upgrading the Power
An older electrical panel will probably be underpowered. You will need a panel that can accommodate all of the gadgets and appliances that a new occupant will require. Some recommend a panel that can deal with up to 200 amps, which is likely to be substantially larger than your current box.
Signs of an Issue
If you look closely at the electrical panel, you may notice some signs of overheating or arcing from previous use. This indicates overload, and if you had any doubt before, you may now realise how important it would be to take this out and replace it.
Older homes may have been wired according to individual zones, with one circuit responsible for several rooms at a time. For example, a particular circuit could cover the back bedrooms and upstairs bathroom, while another one could cover the living room, dining room and entrance hallway.
Today, it's far better to introduce one circuit for each room and perhaps two circuits for heavy-duty rooms like a kitchen. For this, you will certainly need a modern-day electrical panel built for performance and extra capacity.
Some of the wirings may have been state-of-the-art when it was first installed back then, but it will certainly be outdated now. Further, some of the insulation may have become brittle, exposing the wires to the risk of fire.
While you may be able to perform some of the other renovation work yourself as part of your project, this is not something that you can DIY. Instead, bring in an experienced electrician, and they will take it from there.