6 Home Projects That Require an Electrician

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated July 1, 2021
a cozy den with red hued wood floor and wooden furniture, leather couch, and recessed lights in the ceiling
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Hiring a licensed electrician is the best way to guarantee an electrical home upgrade is safely completed

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Making electrical changes isn’t as straightforward as other home projects, such as painting walls or laying down hardwood floors. Sorting through all the necessary wires and circuits to install new lighting or outlets can be difficult, if not dangerous, for the average person to do on their own. 

Hiring a local electrician will take the work off of your plate and ensure everything is up to code so there’s no risk of hazards in the long run. Here’s a guide to what home projects you should never attempt to DIY.

1. Adding a New Electrical Outlet or Switch

Though this might seem like a DIY-friendly project, it’s better left to the pros. Replacing a pre-existing outlet or switch is fair game for homeowners to do by themselves (as long as it’s not damaged or burnt, in which case it’s better to call in an electrician). But installing brand new outlets requires running additional wire through the walls, which can be hazardous without the necessary skills and know-how.

2. Replacing Wiring

This is another similarly risky project for a person to attempt on their own. Hiring a pro for a job like this will make your life easier—and ensure your home is safe from electrical fires.

3. Installing Recessed Lights

Recessed lights are a type of fixture that’s built directly into your ceiling. Installing recessed lights involves moving a lot of wires around—a job a pro will have a much easier time handling. If your home is equipped with pre-existing recessed lights, feel free to replace them on your own. This is easy for any homeowner to do because there’s no need to sort through or add extra wiring. 

4. Repairing a Broken Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker is basically the center of your electrical system. Though it may seem simple on the surface, fixing or replacing your breaker can be daunting—especially because breaking one part could also cause unforeseen problems elsewhere. Instead of becoming an electricity expert in order to fix a broken circuit breaker, save yourself some time and energy and hire one instead. 

5. Setting Up Outdoor Lighting

Hiring a qualified electrician to do this job ensures everything is installed correctly upfront, so there’s no risk of overloading your circuit breaker. A pro will also make sure everything is properly waterproofed and protected from the elements, so you can enjoy cozy outdoor lighting any time of the year. 

shot of front of house with outdoor light above front door, with light streaming out of front windows into dark front yard
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What to Know About Hiring an Electrician

There are a few important things to keep in mind when hiring an electrician. 

Before

Plan your project ahead of time to get the most accurate quotes and consider at least three options to guarantee you’re choosing the right person for the job. Check their qualifications and license status and take time to ask the important questions—like if a permit or safety inspection will be necessary. 

During

Determine the cost per hour and the amount of time the project will take from start to finish. Keep track of the hours worked and any obstacles or interferences that pop up during the process. This will help you be sure that your final bill matches up with the original estimate.

After

At the end of your project, all you still need to do is make your final payment and leave a review for your electrician. If they offer a warranty period, you can usually ask for additional changes or alterations during this time for no extra cost.

6. Running Power to a Detached Garage

If you decide it’s time to run light up your detached garage, it’s best to call a pro. There are a few steps you have to take before an electrician runs power to a detached garage, such as calling a utility locating service and digging a trench. But most of this project involves tricky electrical wiring that a professional should handle for you.

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