If the lights in the kitchen flicker every time you run the dryer, your home’s electrical system is about ready for an upgrade. You can do a lot of the work yourself, but make sure that you proceed carefully and install everything by the book.

Start with a Building Permit

In many cases, you need a building permit to complete electrical renovations on your home. Even if you don’t need one, communicating with your local building authority is a great way to make sure that you’re following local regulations and choosing the safest upgrades for your electrical system.

Apply for a permit several months before you want to begin work on the project. The office needs time to process your application, and you need time to purchase new equipment that meets department specifications.

Purchase the Best Equipment

Don’t skimp on your electrical system. Electrical repairs are expensive, so purchasing a high-quality piece of equipment is almost always better for your long-term budget. Get wires that you know won’t fray, choose the safest fuse box, and install grounded outlets with extra protections.

Modern demand for electricity has increased over the years, and it’s safe to assume that it will keep increasing in the future. If you have the chance, install a circuit breaker box with more voltage than you think you’ll need. This will let you add appliances and even smart home technology without worrying about exceeding your home’s limits.

Take Safety Seriously

Exposed wires can start fires, so be particularly careful with your wiring job. Don’t leave any part of the wire exposed; you can get hermetic sealing solutions that will fit even the most creative configurations.

You should also watch out for outlets near sinks or other water sources; these need to be protected with a circuit interrupter that shuts off electricity when water is present. Make sure that you use wires and fuses with the correct voltages, and double-check manuals before you complete any installation.

Hire a Contractor

Even if you’re an experienced electrician, you should still enlist help in the final stages of your project. You might need help getting into the walls or safely removing old wires. A professional will also be able to catch common safety issues and recommend solutions that you might not have thought of on your own.

You can’t upgrade your home’s electrical system overnight. Prioritize problematic areas first; if the lights in one room flicker all the time, that’s probably where your worst circuit is. Go slow, read your manuals, and follow safety regulations at all times.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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