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Electrical Contractors Sussex

To DIY Or Not To DIY?

Recent economic instability and an uncertain housing market means that many homeowners are deciding to stay put and renovate or extend rather than move home. This has led to an increased interest in DIY home improvements.

However, it’s got to be asked: if you’ve decided to take on a DIY project, do you really know what you’re doing? What’s more, do you have the knowledge and skills to complete a job successfully and safely?

If you’re thinking of taking on a DIY project over the summer, here are a few factors you should consider before you make a start.

Time

If you are an expert DIYer then doing a job yourself can save you a lot of money. However, the price you have to pay is your time investment. Are you a weekend warrior who can only work on your DIY project during time off and over the weekends? Even a simple DIY job can end up taking months to complete if your commitment time is limited.

Electrical Contractors SussexCertain jobs such as sanding back floors that creates a great deal of dust and dirt or kitchen and bathroom improvements can end up causing major upheavals if the job takes a long time to finish. The prospect of having an inaccessible kitchen or bathroom for long periods of time is not a happy one. You may be saving money, but if a professional can complete the work in half the time it might be wiser to swallow your pride and pay for a job to be done more quickly. 

Also bear in mind if you’re tackling a DIY project for the first time, the money you save by not calling in a professional may well be spent on buying the necessary tools.

Skills

If you don’t have the skills, you may end up paying a professional even more money to correct a job that you’ve botched up. Do you know enough to complete the process from start to finish? Popular TV shows make DIY look easier than it is.

Dangers

Two areas you should definitely leave to the professionals are plumbing and electrics. Botched plumbing could easily flood your home and fiddling about with electrical wiring could result in fire, injury or even death.

No matter how competent you think you are, the following are absolute DIY no no’s:

  • Electrical works
  • Plumbing
  • Asbestos removal
  • Roof work
  • Gas appliance work

Icarus Electrical are experienced and professional electrical contractors based in Sussex. For all your electrical requirements no matter how large or small, contact us today, or visit us online for more information.

Electrical Contractors Brighton

Is Your Wiring Out Of Date?

In the UK we love to restore older properties, returning them to their former glory and keeping original features. However, one original feature you won’t want to keep, is the electrical wiring. It’s not just an issue with period properties. Any building over 25 years old with original wiring will need to have it replaced to be compliant with Building Regulations safety and energy efficiency standards.

Electrical Contractors BrightonRe-wiring is disruptive, as floorboards, plasterwork, carpets and flooring will need to be removed, so it’s best to get it done before moving in or carrying out any home improvement works. Re-wiring is not a DIY job and needs to be carried out by a qualified electrical contractor.

Here are some signs that your wiring is out of date and needs replacing.

Old Fuse Box

Signs of an old fuse box that needs replacing are: wooden backs, cast iron switches, no labels and a mix of different fuses. Black rubber cables are used in older fuse boxes. These can deteriorate over time, exposing live wires which can result in a fire or electrical shock.

Plugs And Switches

Check your plugs for broken plastic casings that expose the inner components. Round pins are frequently found in older properties and should be replaced with the modern 3 pin variety. Round black switches may be in keeping with an older property, but will need to be replaced as will sockets attached to the skirting boards instead of the wall itself.

Check any plugs that are warm to touch or emit a ‘fizzing’ or ‘crackling’ sound when in use.

Lights

Old style lightbulbs consume more energy and frequently blow. All light bulbs should be replaced by energy efficient ones.

Round switches were used pre-1960s so will need to be replaced with modern versions. New replica versions are available to buy if you still want to keep an original look.

Check for flickering lights, it is a sure sign that your fuse box is out of date or your light switches are not functioning correctly. This can be a serious fire risk and needs to be inspected by a qualified electrician.

Old braided cables hanging from central ceiling lights need to be replaced with modern PVC cabling.

You may find that an older property has had some refurbishment so a completer re-wire may not be necessary, however, to avoid constant wiring problems and costly repairs, a complete re-wire may end up being more cost effective in the long run.

For more information and advice, contact Icarus Electrical Contractors Brighton.

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