Maximum Value Mechanical Projects: Electrical

Electrical projects cover a vast array of residential systems. From ceiling fans to chandeliers, garage doors to doorbells, electricity is one of the most obvious necessities in the home. Electrical projects can range from a simple light fixture swap to the more tedious and specific whole-house electric remodel.

In any case, it's important to note that electrical projects are more about safety than luxury or convenience, so whether you plan on adding a ceiling fan to the bonus room or an outdoor living area complete with surround sound and a kitchen, make sure you understand the importance of working with the pros so that nothing goes "hay-wire!"

CURRENT TRENDS

  • Function trumps decoration. The housing market has begun to see functional fixtures replacing the large and elaborate trends of the recent past. Sleek and practical is the new grand and decorative -- which is good news to the lower and mid-range housing markets -- where keeping up with the Joneses of yesteryear now means energy efficiency and aesthetics can come at almost any price point.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Changing a light switch might be an easy task, but according to appraisal expert Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, overestimating your handyman capabilities could turn into a hard-learned lesson in humility. Electrical systems -- behind the scenes -- are very complicated, so it's important to have an electrician tackle the bigger stuff -- like a full-on electrical remodeling project. By working with a pro to consider the location, amperage, ease of access and fixtures before starting a remodel, you can spare yourself a lot of grief.

EXPERT TIPS

  • On a Budget/ Mid-Range: If you are looking to make some electrical upgrades in order to keep up with the competitive housing market and further the livability of your home, it's smart to replace old fixtures and appliances with newer, more efficient models. By getting rid of old fuse boxes, plugs, switches and lighting fixtures, a vast improvement in aesthetics and function can bring big returns.
  • High-End: Trending in the high-end housing market is the need for larger electrical services. Because these homes are now seeing a rise in features like media rooms, outdoor living areas and other spots that generally demand more electricity, the units are seeing a big boost in service.
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