PowerTech Blog

What Kind Of Electrical Upgrades Do You Need For Your Historic Home?

You own a historic home — it’s a century old and a treasure. It stood throughout the years, has been there for generations, and is filled with history and character. Love! 

All of this aside, historic homes have weird quirks that don’t jibe with modern needs — the everyday stuff we consider commonplace today. In an old house, plugging in a lamp can be a challenge, much less provide the right wiring for your home office. To experience the joy of an old house, make improvements before such nuances become a nightmare — including making the electrical upgrades you need for safety and sanity. 

At PowerTech, we help clients like you take your historic home’s electrical system to the next level without diminishing the charm or beauty of living here. Below, Vivian, a PowerTech client, shares about the electrical upgrades needed for her 100 year old home.

PowerTech Omaha and Council Bluffs Electricians

Electrical Upgrades In A Historic Home

Vivian and her husband Troy recently bought a 100-year-old home in one of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods in Council Bluffs. The couple sees owning a historic home as a wonderful thing in preserving history as well as helping the community remember its past. As they quickly discovered, though, owning an old home has its share of issues alongside its charm. 

“They were funny problems,” Vivian said. “Things we didn’t expect, like having to walk across a room to turn a light on, or turn it off and stumble through the pitch black to walk out. It was a bit of a puzzle trying to figure it all out so we could upgrade our electrical to keep us plugged in and safe.” 

Vivian called in PowerTech’s team of residential service technicians, who installed three-way switches in the dining room and kitchen. They also added additional outlets, checked the wiring and made other upgrades to ensure the house was up to modern standards — but kept its early 20th century look and feel. 

4 Tips for Upgrading the Electrical in Your Century Home 

  1. Create a home electrical diagram. Indicate every outlet, every light fixture, and every ceiling fan. Then you should test every circuit breaker, light fixture, and outlet and write on that diagram what is connected to which breaker, this way you will know which breaker to shut off if there is an emergency. 
  2. Review your diagram, then decide what changes you need to make first. Make note of any additional light fixtures you need or additional outlets, and whether they should be 110V or 220V. Make your way through each room to take notes of what you need and where, such as data ethernet ports, phone lines, internet modems and routers. This will help as you plan. 
  3. Determine your style, your needs, and your expectations. Electrical upgrades can vary greatly from one home to the next. Talk with a Council Bluffs licensed electrician. Seek advice on making the necessary upgrades but not damaging the home’s curb appeal, interior appearance and historic value. Ask the electrician to inspect your home’s wiring. If it has been several years since the wiring has been upgraded, you should have the home rewired to prevent fires, shorts, power surges and other problems.
  4. Hire a Licensed Electrician. You may live in an old house, but we’re well into the 21st century. Embrace the technology you want, such as WiFi, Google Home, multiple computers, smart appliances, security systems and more. You can have it all without damaging the integrity of a historic home. You’ll increase its value. A licensed electrician knows the best way to approach these situations. An electrician can inspect your home’s wiring and electrical panels, verify your diagram, and make any necessary changes to your home’s electrical system. 

For Vivian, the Bluffs historic homeowner, the house’s detached garage needed a lighting upgrade as well. The PowerTech residential electrical team installed a 220 outlet so Vivian and Troy could heat the garage and have enough power to tinker with their two campers. 

“It made a difference in the garage and in the house,” Vivian says. “We loved our home before, but we love it more now that it’s easier for us to work, live and feel safe.” 

Electrical System Upgrades in Omaha and Council Bluffs 

If you want to take your historic home’s electrical system to the next level, contact PowerTech today. With a team of the most experienced electricians in the area, we understand historic homes and the importance of ensuring their electrical upgrades are compatible. We offer a variety of electrical services throughout the area. Let us tell you what we can do for your home today. 

About PowerTech 

PowerTech has the power to provide all of your residential electrician and commercial electrical needs, whether it’s a home remodel or repair, an electrical issue at your business, a generator service or purchase, or emergency electrical help. Let us show you why we are the top choice for service in Council Bluffs, Omaha, and beyond. 

Ready to get started? Give us a call at 712.256.8702. You also can fill out our contact form and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.