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How To Update An Old House To The 21st Century

Older homes were not designed for the way we live today. One of the less obvious ways this is true: The electrical system can be inadequate for the needs of a modern family. 

Decades ago, people typically had a few lamps, a TV and a radio. It was common to have only a washing machine, but no dryer. Clothes were often hung up to dry on a clothesline out back. Microwaves hadn't even been invented yet, much less personal computers. 

Many of the things we cannot imagine living without simply didn't exist. So older homes generally have fewer outlets and cannot handle the load involved in serving our many gadgets. 

Signs You Need To Update The Wiring

Do you live in an old cabin? Is your home a maze of extension cords? Are you blowing fuses on a regular basis? Do the lights flicker every time the wind howls? 

These are some signs that your electrical system needs to be upgraded by a professional that knows how to upgrade your electrical service. It's not only inconvenient to try to make such a system work, it's dangerous. Here are some of the hazards you face : 

  • Potential fire.
  • Falling in the dark when the lights go out.
  • Tripping over the extension cords.
  • Food poisoning if the fridge goes out regularly.
  • Costs to replace damaged items, whether spoiled food or fried electronics.

When To Upgrade

A lot of outdated features in an old cabin are grandfathered in. You aren't required to update them just because they are no longer to code under the current codes. 

But you will need to update them if you do major renovations. If you are gutting a room, you will need to update the wiring at that time. If you are doing a whole cabin renovation, you will need to update the system at that time. 

If you are purchasing an old cabin, sometimes it is possible to borrow funds specifically for bringing it up to modern standards. If you can do that and delay moving in, this is an excellent time to upgrade the electrical system. 

An electrical upgrade doesn't come cheap. But it's cheaper than the cabin burning down or having major medical bills from a nasty fall. 

It will also make the home more efficient and enjoyable to live in. It will be money well spent. Your quality of life will go up immensely.

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