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How to Avoid Electrical Problems When Buying an Older Home


The charm of older homes can be hard to resist. Homebuyers are taken in by their unique character and architectural features - but these older homes often come with a host of unseen electrical problems, including unsafe wiring, outdated electrical panels and inconvenient outlet placement. If you're interested in buying an older home, follow these tips before signing the contract to ensure you won't run into major electrical problems once the house is yours.

  1. Know when the house was originally built. If the house was built in the 1940s or earlier, you should budget for the cost of rewiring the house. It will likely have outdated - not to mention dangerous - knob-and-tube wiring. This type of wiring was removed from homes decades ago because the rubber insulation around the wires can break down, leaving the wires exposed and creating a fire hazard. This is especially true in attic spaces, where the home insulation covers the wires.
  2. Bring in a professional. Before buying the home, have a trained electrician perform a safety inspection. The electrician will ensure the house meets electrical safety codes and check for potential problem areas, like the attic and electrical panel. This is also a good time to examine the number of outlets in the home. If you are concerned there aren't enough outlets to meet your modern electrical needs, allocate some money to add new ones.
  3. Read the contract. This is one case where you will want to thoroughly read the entire contract before signing. If you have an agreement with the previous owners to get some electrical work done in the house, make sure that you have it in writing. Verbal agreements won't be worth much after you have purchased the house.

If you need an electrical inspection or home rewiring, set up an appointment with our certified electricians. Call David Gray Electrical Services at (904) 605-8190.