Den:  Living room by Douglas Design Studio

Risky Business: Safe home reno tips to keep in mind

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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With the best will in the world, taking on a reno project is a HUGE task, but it can be made a lot simpler, if you remember some pertinent safety tips! We're talking about getting the right permits, completing work to the right standards and, when appropriate, hiring the perfect professionals. After all, you might be able to change a fuse, but that doesn't mean that you can overlook professional electricians when it comes to rewiring a house! With electrics in mind, we have some safety tips that you need to keep in mind when you carry out your next reno, so come and see what you can't afford to overlook and make sure you bookmark this article, for reference!

1. Get those permits!

We all know that pretty wall sconces will add a rich warmth to any room, but if you don't have the sockets where you need them, you need to not only check to see if you need permits, but also have the new wiring completed by a licensed electrician. If you do have sockets in place in the perfect spots already, then lucky you! You can just plug in and go!

2. Know what you need.

Did you know that new lighting receptacles require a permit from the Electrical Safety Authority? Well they do! In addition to that, you need to know what type of lights you should be installing, to stay safe, especially when it comes to things such as pot lights in your kitchen! Sunk into the ceiling, you need to know whether you need insulation-safe varieties, or you could have some serious problems to contend with.

3. Check your distance!

We all love the look of hanging pendulum and sunken pot lights, but before you start carving holes in your ceilings, do you know how far away they have to be, from anything remotely flammable, to remain compliant with building regulations? A minimum of 30 cm for pendulums and 15 cm for pots is the widely accepted guidance and that includes kitchen top cabinets and wooden trims!

4. Get the right tool for the job.

 Kitchen by Tim Wood Limited
Tim Wood Limited

Kensington Kitchen designed and made by Tim Wood

Tim Wood Limited

We hope that you aren't plugging in multiway adaptors to connect all your electrical items, but just in case you are, STOP! For a safe reno, you need to remember that any large appliances or items need their own dedicated power source and smaller ones might have very specific needs as well! If in doubt, get the professionals out!

5. No shortcuts in the bathroom!

Electric items in the bathroom are always a tricky affair to oversee, as regardless of your decorating preferences, electrical safety rules MUST be put into full force. A prime example is being sure that your shower lighting and extractor fans are suitable for excessive moisture. It might sound silly, but you wouldn't be the first or last person to make this critical error! Always look for CSA or UL certification marks on your purchases!

6. Consider a little segregation.

Laundry - Custom Cabinets :  Bathroom by STUDIO Z
STUDIO Z

Laundry – Custom Cabinets

STUDIO Z

Whether you have your laundry appliances set up in your bathroom or not, it could be worth considering running your wet space circuit separate to the rest of the house. This will minimize strain on one master circuit and reduce the risk of power cuts!c

7. Get to grips with your garden.

With an interior reno completed, you'll turn your attention to the outdoors, which is where a lot of people come unstruck! Outdoor lighting is fabulous and makes your home look incredible, but if you don't use the right transformers or sockets, you could run into serious problems. We think it's best to leave this to a professional electrician. You can sort the plants out, but leave the wiring to someone more experienced!

For more reno tips, take a look at this Ideabook: Kitchen renos: Where to splurge and where to save.

Are you going to leave electrics to the professionals now?
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