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Here Are the Most Common Electrical Projects for Homeowners

Wilcox-DC-home-electrical-projectsHaving electrical work done is a part of homeownership, and one of the top questions homeowners often have is, what projects will I need a home electrician for? While some projects are apparent, there are others you may not have thought of yet.

Here is a room-by-room guide to the most common electrical repairs and work for your home.

Garage, Basement, and Utility Areas

Utility areas like the basement or garage are often hubs of appliances, electrical panels, and more. As technology usage increases, so does the need for electricity. One of the issues for those living in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill or NoMa – or one of the other areas in Washington DC or Maryland with older homes – is that the electrical panels aren't always optimal for today's modern lifestyle. In some situations, they can even be dangerous.

The solution to this problem is a "heavy up.” Basically, it’s replacing both your panel and cable, and in some cases increasing your amps, to support your current household electrical function (think heating/cooling, household appliances, computers, and more). Even better, the heavy up can stabilize your power and allow you to add more outlets and other electrical-supported fixtures or appliances you’ve wanted.

Other projects include:

  • EV charging station – If you’ve invested in living greener and bought an electric car, an at-home charging station is an excellent addition. The number of EV drivers has increased markedly in the past few years – and so has the demand for Level I and Level II charging stations in the home.
  • Backup generators – It’s not easy to lose power, especially in any type of extreme weather. A home electrician can get you set up to deal with city power loss.

Kitchen, Bathrooms, and Bedrooms

Requests electrical contractors get for the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom are adding new outlets and lighting fixtures. Although these types of upgrades are more typical in a renovation/remodel, it can be a project you do any time.

Other projects on the list include:


Exterior improvements have become popular, especially since the introduction of curb appeal and outdoor living spaces. It’s also an area that may require some electrical work. For example, a dedicated circuit for your new hot tub or wiring for outdoor lighting.

Whole House

While there are many simple electrical projects, there are some that are typically done for the entire house – or throughout it. Some of these are:

  • Installing GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupter)
  • Adding or changing outlets
  • Lighting
  • Surge protection – Electrical surges have the potential to cause a lot of damage, whether to your home's HVAC system or your computer. A home electrician can help prevent problems by installing total home surge protection.
  • Wiring upgrades – if you live in an older home, it’s crucial to know about your wiring. Has it been updated? Has it been updated correctly?  Do you have an adequate number of circuits to safely sustain the power demands that you now place upon the electrical system?  If your circuit breakers trip, for instance, that is often a signal that circuits may be overburdened. 
  • If you’re not sure about the adequacy and/or safety of your electrical system, an electrical safety assessment can answer many of your questions.

Smart homes are also becoming a part of everyday life, which may require electrical work. Homeowners typically seek assistance for thermostats, entertainment, and media features, or anything that needs to "connect."

When do you need a home electrician?

If you’re considering having electrical work done, it’s helpful to invest in an assessment or speak to an experienced electrician. A professional can help determine your needs and collaborate with you to find creative solutions. For advice on all your projects contact Wilcox Electric. With an initial phone conversation, we will assess what you want and the options available. When necessary, we can coordinate with your other contractors.