Yet efforts to update electrical systems can often result in damage to historic buildings.
Updating an old house
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Chances are you may have to pay a little extra to protect your building, but a few preventive dollars and hours can save big sums spent on restoring battered walls and weakened structures.
Make sure specialists each focus on their areas of expertise.
This kind of awareness needs to be a top priority in any rewiring job.
“Ask twice, drill once”—one historic electrician’s credo—are words to live by.6.
Creating a “balanced” system will make life easier as your load expands and you put new wiring to use.10.
Integrate switches and plates into the historic look and feel of the house.Uneven access holes, like this one punched in the author’s house (top), prove difficult to patch.(Photos: Tony Seideman/Peter Means)First and foremost, it’s critical to understand that you’re dealing with an older building—and if keeping the structure of that building relatively intact is your top priority, you need to say so up front.Numerous companies offer hardware that matches the appearance and the feel of almost any era, while providing a far greater margin of safety than older equipment does.New wiring systems often can be run near the old—as in this vintage house that’s been successfully rewired, with a new box placed near now-defunct ceramic knobs on the basement ceiling.Old houses often need updates to electrical systems; the author’s 1903 home was no exception.