Kitchen Renovations: Cover All Your (electrical) Bases Featured Image

Last week, a lady called me excited about her decision to renovate the kitchen with her husband. They believed it wouldn’t be too challenging after reading about it online and asked for a budget estimate. I explained that I needed more details before providing a cost estimate, starting with an overview of today’s electrical codes.

I informed her about the requirement for Arc Fault Protection on all new receptacles, except for those on the kitchen counter and the refrigerator. Surprised, she asked about the additional cost, realizing she hadn’t considered this aspect.

Next, I discussed the need for new wiring from the electrical panel to the kitchen to comply with code requirements. I inquired about the location of the electrical panel relative to the kitchen, and she mentioned it was on the other side of the finished basement. I pointed out the potential challenge of navigating through the finished ceiling, requiring repair afterward.

Once again, she admitted, “I didn’t think of that.”

Moving on, I asked if the electrical panel had space for additional breakers, and she revealed it was full, with the last spaces used for an air conditioner installation two years ago. I explained the options—installing a sub-panel or upgrading to a larger panel. She expressed concern as the panel was boxed in with finished drywall, and she hadn’t anticipated this complication.

Her response, once again, was, “I didn’t think of that.”

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Finally, discussing lighting plans for the new kitchen, she mentioned wanting pot lights and pendants over the island. When I asked about the attic above the kitchen, she mentioned it was recently filled with insulation.

Surprised at the oversight, she admitted, “I didn’t think of that.”

The moral of the story: Gather comprehensive information before starting a renovation project, and don’t assume you’ve covered all bases. A few days later, she texted, saying they realized the project was more than expected. They opted for a general contractor with an in-house electrician, and our services were no longer needed. You win some, you lose some… LOL.

If you have any electrical-related questions about home renovation projects, we’re always here to help. Contact us at 780-238-8195.

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