Some of the greatest costs incurred when upgrading, repairing, and replacing parts of an electrical system are incurred because much of the electrical system is difficult to access. Full overhauls of an electrical system often require things like opening up walls and re-installing major electrical components. Generally speaking, expensive electrical upgrades are needed for two reasons. The first is that the electrical system is old and out of date, with unreliable aging component. The second is when the owner is looking to add some new electrical functionality which is not currently supported.
There isn’t a whole lot to do about the first scenario. If you pay for a good quality electrical system, it will last for a long time, but not forever. Eventually, things will begin to wear down, and newer electrical standards will make your old system obsolete.
However, when it comes to the second situation, there are things you can do to decrease the chances that you will need expensive renovations to cope with future electrical needs.
Predicting Future Demand
While you don’t truly know how your needs may change over the next decade or two, skilled electricians will be aware not only of trends in electrical innovation, but also may be able to make suggestions as to which improvements you are likely to need.
The key to successfully future proofing a house is to create an electrical system which is easy to upgrade. Because you cannot know exactly what your needs will be, it is best to create a system which has the capability to support future additions without extensive renovation. For example, your electrician will be able to increase the number of dedicated circuits running to areas. If you later want to add things to the circuit, you will have enough power on the circuit to support the addition. If you max out the capacity of all your dedicated circuits, you will need to install new ones before being able to add any new electrical features. And while there will be material costs, the labor costs involved with extra circuits running adjacent to each other will not be much higher than the costs for the original circuit.
There are a whole host of exciting new upgrades potentially around the corner for your house. Many of these can not only improve your standard of living, but can also help increase the value of your home. Potential buyers can be won over by new and powerful technologies which are becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives.
For example, solar is becoming more and more popular for the average homeowner. This is for a number of reasons. First, advancements in the technology have lead to more and more efficient panels being available for cheaper prices. Not only are todays panels lighter, more durable, and more eco friendly to produce, but they also produce electrical energy more efficiently, leading to greater returns on your investment. However, integrating solar panels into a home electrical system is a much more involved process than simply putting them on the roof and plugging them in. Depending on the size and location of the solar installation, you could be in for some serious electrical work as well. All of that power will have to be safely transmitted and distributed in order for the system to work properly. If you are thinking of installing electric, ask your electrician what will be needed in your electrical system, and what your options are.
Another electrical innovation to keep an eye on is the rise of smart technology in recent years. Everything from wristbands to cell phones to dishwashers are beginning to be connected to the internet and each other. This technology naturally integrates itself into a home setting extremely effectively. Being able to do things like check the locks of your doors while away, set the oven to preheat from an app on your phone, and check the security cameras in real time will allow homeowners unprecedented control and convenience. However, all of these functions will require electrical systems which can fully support their power consumption and placement. This can easily be prepared for by running extra wire to areas where you are likely to want smart devices.
There is nothing you can do which will completely guarantee that your home will be ready for your future needs. Just as meteorologists cannot predict weather perfectly, electricians and tech experts cannot perfectly know what your needs will be in ten or fifteen years. However, it is still useful to make predictions and act accordingly. For the most part, there are cost effective upgrades you can make while doing extensive renovations which will all greatly increase the chances that your future electrical needs will be able to be met with minimal expense and time commitment.