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There are many home improvement projects that get us excited. Kitchen remodels, basement finishing, attic conversion, and installing new flooring certainly have the interior designer in us anxious to begin planning, but it is often the less flashy, more practical upgrades that make such projects a success. While plumbing and electrical updates are hardly the belles of the remodeling ball, they are both likely to improve how our home functions and performs substantially, and they each play an important role in many of the other, more noticeable changes that make home improvement so much fun!
Common Electrical Updates
While some electrical updates are required by code, many others are performed simply to allow our homes to function properly under modern conditions. Since the number of electrical items in our homes seems to increase every year, it's no surprise that the following electrical upgrades are key factors in keeping our homes safe, and the operation of our electrical devices as convenient as possible.
- Electrical Updates for Lighting: Though single overhead bulbs have a certain minimalist charm, most modern homeowners find that having multiple lights in a single room looks better and allows for added control. Adding track lighting and/or dimmer switches to living and bedrooms, task lighting to kitchens, and low-voltage lighting to your landscaping brings a new look to these areas and gives you enough flexibility to adjust your lighting scheme to fit the function currently taking place.
- Electrical Updates for Garages and Workshops: Can you use a power tool without unplugging the freezer? If not, upgrading the electrical service in your workshop or garage will reduce the chances of overloading your circuits, allow you to work more freely, and may even open up the area to other uses.
- Home Entertainment Center Electrical Upgrades: Televisions, VCRs, stereos, CD and DVD players, MP3 players, surround sound, gaming systems, and many other devices are now a part of many living rooms, and the right electrical updates can give you the freedom to have each of these devices ready for use at all times as well as reduce the increasing clutter of wires and powerstrips found in the average house. Some specialty electrical updates may even allow you to take advantage of certain features found in your home entertainment center that would be cumbersome or impossible otherwise.
- Outdoor Electrical Updates: Gone are the days when electricity was only an indoor convenience! Adding a home security system, spa, automatic sprinklers, a misting system on the patio, or an outdoor kitchen all will require more electricity.
Common Plumbing Updates
In some situations, plumbing updates are just as important as electrical ones. While far from flashy in themselves, these plumbing updates are essential parts of many popular remodeling projects that will make your home a more exciting place to be!
- Plumbing Updates for Outdoor Kitchens: As one of the hottest (and most fun!) trends in home improvement, outdoor kitchens take the joy of barbecuing to the next level. In addition to more electrical, you'll need a few plumbing updates to hook up that sink.
- Plumbing Updates for Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs: Though some pool and hot tub models can be filled with a hose, many will require additional outdoor plumbing to function their best.
- Plumbing Updates for Landscaping: Whether you opt for a koi pond or a water fountain in your backyard, water features are another outdoor installation that may require additional plumbing.
- Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Updates: Separate shower stalls, whirlpool tubs, dishwasher installation, and a host of other kitchen and bathroom alterations can all require plumbing updates. Even if you aren't planning on adding any new features to your home, kitchen and bathroom plumbing updates are often the key to solving water pressure problems, avoiding cold spells in the shower, and conserving water throughout your daily routine.
Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.