Most homeowners shy away from do-it-yourself electrical work and for good reason. But there are a few projects that individuals with the right knowledge and tools can tackle to give their home a fresh look (as long as applicable local codes allow it). Treat these electrical projects with the right amount of respect, and you can update your house with peace of mind. And if you’re not comfortable tackling these tasks, rely on the expertise of a licensed professional.
Switch Plates and Dimmers —
It may seem like a small detail, but changing those dull beige switch plates to metal or a faux finish can give a room a more sophisticated look. Replacing switch plates requires a screwdriver, while adding a dimmer switch can be a little more complicated. As with any electrical project, make sure the power is off at the breaker before starting. If wiring needs to be updated, contact a trusted professional.
Outlet Upgrades —
While you have those plates off, consider the electrical outlets. Though it’s not cosmetic,replacing an old electrical outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) can add an extra layer of protection to your home.
Light Fixtures —
Do you still have the contractor’s choice of light fixtures that came with your home? Add your own touch by replacing old fixtures with something more personal and in line with your design style. It’s more advanced than taking out a switch plate, but putting in a new light fixture doesn’t have to be intimidating with the right know-how.
Ceiling Fans —
If you’re thinking about updates to lighting, why not increase comfort (and save a little money on your electricity bills while you’re at it) by installing a new ceiling fan in place of an outdated lighting fixture? This job is a bit more complicated since a ceiling fan requires a stronger electrical box than a standard light fixture.