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For Consumers

The Consequences of Working Without a Contract: A Personal Account

Considering working with a friendly contractor sans a contract? Think again. Contracts are extremely important in all working relationships, whether you are working with a friend or a new professional. They protect both parties from potential conflict, and ensure that the project is completed successfully and everyone is happy. Still need convincing? Our partner Thumb and Hammer fills us in on its experience… Several years ago, I discovered some structural damage to an exterior wall. I hired a contractor that was recommended to me by my real estate agent and I was satisfied with his work. It was not a …

Light Fixtures

Trying to move or repair light fixtures is not a project that should be attempted by homeowners. It is important that experienced electricians handle these projects, as the risks of becoming hurt or starting a fire are high. Not having the skill or knowledge needed to make these repairs, can often lead to more harm than good. When a light fixture is replaced, it is necessary to disconnect all of the wires that connect to the light. Without the proper knowledge and electrical experience it’s easy to often make the mistake of not knowing how to reconnect the wires. This …

What You Need to Know About Home Solar Power Systems

How exactly does solar power work? Can I install it myself? What about used panels? Where does an electrician fit into all of this? Solar options raise a lot of questions. Since solar power is an investment, doing your research before committing is a good idea. Before diving into solar energy for your home, read this advice from our partner Jacob Mintz, certified electrical engineer and solar power expert. Solar Power Background Home Solar Systems are energy converters. Sun radiation hits the solar electric panels and the solar panels convert the sun radiation (stream of photons) to DC electrical power …

Easy Electrical Cord and Plug Repairs

When it comes to electricity, safety is the primary concern. And, because the risks and dangers are so great, there is really no easy repair to cord and plugs. Some signs that your cords and plugs need to be repaired include products not working, no power, or frayed and split cords. This is when a professional, licensed, insured electrician is needed to determine the source of the problem. The typical do-it-yourselfer is quick to discover that many modern products are fit together so tightly, that it is often difficult to get objects apart in order to replace cords and plugs. …

Fuses To Circuit Breakers

If your fuse box is outdated, you will need to upgrade it to a circuit breaker box. Circuit breaker boxes are installed in all new homes. In some cases, before you sell or buy a home, the lenders will require that the wiring be brought up to code. If this is the case, you will need to install a circuit breaker box. Circuit breaker boxes are easier to use and are much safer than fuse boxes. The breaker trips when you over load the circuit, which means you must turn something off and then flip the switch back on. It …

Entertainment Systems

If you are installing a new entertainment system in your home, you need to call an experienced electrician to make sure the wiring is all done correctly. If you are building a new home, the wiring is typically done as the home is being built. If your home is older, a wiring update will be needed to install an entertainment system. Although this type of wiring may seem easy, it is still a project that requires professional electrical experience. A professional electrician has the tools to fish the wires through the walls, put in any outlets you may need and …

Choosing the Right Lighting for your Home

Good lighting in a home is something that everyone appreciates, but few of us put much thought into. As long as we’re not sitting in the dark, we rarely think about the quality of the lighting. But good lighting design is more than just chasing away the shadows. Effective lighting can transform spaces and make them multifunctional. If you’re remodeling, building a new home or just wondering why you’re struggling to read the newspaper, you’ll want to learn more about making your home’s lighting design more effective. Read on to learn more about the types of lighting and how to …

What is the National Electric Code?

The NEC, also known as the National Electric Code safeguards people and property from the hazards that comes from using electricity and brings about the foundation of electrical safety. The NEC states the minimum guidelines for safety standards for any wiring and electrical work. All professional electricians need to know all the guidelines of the NEC to receive a license. The NEC is updated every three years. Every community has additional code regulations. All electrical work must be done to meet the code of your particular community. Inspectors, engineers, electrical contractors and electricians adhere to the guidelines of the National …

When and Why to Hire a Home Professional: The Ultimate Guide to the DIY or Not to DIY Conundrum

There are many options available to people who are about to undergo a home improvement project. You can hire a general contractor, an architect, or a designer; you could get a handyman or just do it yourself. But which choice best suits each homeowner’s specific needs and interests? During our 7th Blog-Off, we asked our panel of over 50 home improvement experts to weigh in… The Expert Opinion: Things to Consider Before Deciding to Hire a Professional The biggest step towards deciding how you want your home improvement project to proceed is understanding the factors that are involved. Bill Riggs …

The DOs and DON’Ts of Working with a Professional

We asked our experts what homeowners can do to ensure a smooth working relationship when hiring a professional. They all agreed on the key ingredients: open communication, transparency, and mutual trust. A happier professional can mean extra perks and even a better end project. In an I’ll-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine world, the relationship is key to a successful remodel. Ensure your project runs smoothly with these tips. DO be very clear and concise at the beginning of the transaction about what you want done and your expectations. Communication is key to saving time and money. DO be involved and responsive, but DON’T be …