When You Need to Upgrade the Wiring in Your Home

6 questions to help determine whether you’re due for an upgrade:

1. How old is your house and what kind of wiring does it have?
2. Do you have sufficient power coming into the house for your electrical needs?
3. What are your possible future electrical needs?
4. Have you seen any of the warning signs of electrical fire hazards?
- Breakers that trip or fuses that blow repeatedly
- A tingling sensation when you touch an appliance
- Flickering or dimming lights
- A persistent burning smell from a room or appliance
- Warm, discolored, or sparking outlets
- Two-prong ungrounded outlets throughout the house
- No ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in kitchens, baths, and other areas exposed to moisture
5. Will your insurance carrier give you a discount for upgrading your wiring?
6. Do you want to add structured wiring?



A skylight can provide your home with day lighting and ventilation. When properly selected and installed, an energy-efficient skylight can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.


It's a good idea to understand the energy performance ratings of skylights so you can select your skylight based on the local climate and your home's design. For labeling energy-efficient skylights, ENERGY STAR® has established minimum energy performance rating criteria by climate.

Skylight glazing is usually either plastic or glass, although other glazing technologies may be used for solar heat control. Depending on the performance you expect from a skylight, you may choose different types of glazing for different skylight locations throughout your home. Manufacturers use various glazing technologies to reduce these impacts, including heat-absorbing tints, insulated glazing, and low-emissivity (low-e) coatings.

Skylights are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common shapes include rectangular, circular, oval, diamond, triangular, multi-sided, and tubular. Non-rectangular units usually use plastic glazing, but higher quality ones use glass. The glazing can be flat, arched, domed, pyramidal, or "warped plane"—flat on the low side and concave in section on the high side. Of these, the pyramidal, arched, and domed shapes offer flexibility for positioning, because their raised design allows light to enter from more extreme angles than flat or warped plane units.

Radiant barriers

Radiant barriers

Radiant barriers are installed in homes, usually in attics, primarily to reduce summer heat gain and reduce cooling costs. The barriers consist of a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it. They don't, however, reduce heat conduction like thermal insulation materials.


Heat travels from a warm area to a cool area by a combination of conduction, convection, and radiation. Heat transfer by convection occurs when a liquid or gas, for example, is heated. It becomes less dense, and rises. As the liquid or gas cools, it becomes denser and falls. Radiant heat travels in a straight line away from any surface and heats anything solid that absorbs its energy.

Most common insulation materials work by slowing conductive heat flow and, to a lesser extent , convective heat flow. Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems work by reducing radiant heat gain. To be effective, the reflective surface must face an air space.

When the sun heats a roof, it's primarily the sun's radiant energy that makes the roof hot. Much of this heat travels by conduction through the roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material then radiates its gained heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic.

Radiant barriers are more effective in hot climates than in cool climates, especially when cooling air ducts are located in the attic. Some studies show that radiant barriers can reduce cooling costs 5% to 10% when used in a warm, sunny climate. The reduced heat gain may even allow for a smaller air conditioning system.


Radiant barriers consist of a highly reflective material, usually aluminum foil, which is applied to one or both sides of a number of substrate materials such as Kraft paper, plastic films, cardboard, oriented strand board, and air infiltration barrier material. Some products are fiber-reinforced to increase durability and ease of handling.

Radiant barriers can be combined with many types of insulation materials in reflective insulation systems. In these combinations, radiant barriers can act as the thermal insulation's facing material.

Do I need a handyman or a contractor?

The differences between hiring a handyman and a contractor:


When you are trying to find someone in Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura County to meet all of your home improvement needs, there are some projects a handyman may not be licensed to do. Specialized trades, such as a plumbing or electric work, require licensing, so check with your local licensing agency to see if the handyman is properly licensed, should your project require one. If not, you'll need to hire a specialized contractor who is. If not, you could be liable financially if damages occur. Or, if you try to sell the home, you could end up paying more to fix the issue so it meets local code requirements.

Large projects that take time, machinery and multiple workers, such as a kitchen remodel or home addition, often require a general contractor’s license. These types of projects often require multiple types of licensing and levels of expertise.

• A qualified handyman, though, can often tackle in one visit several smaller projects that don’t require licensing,

• A remodeling contractor and a handyman are essentially the same thing in terms of ability. Where a remodeling contractor and a handyman typically differ, generally, is the size and the scope of the work that they perform.

Handymen often charge by the day or hour and can be cheaper than a contractor because many small projects do not require multiple workers, and they usually do not have a lot of overhead costs. Some states have limits on how much work a contractor can do. In California, for example, a handyman is only allowed to do up to $500 worth of work per day.

• Handymen are very well-versed in a variety of small tasks due to the fact that they are exposed to many different minor challenges on a daily basis.

• Contractors are well-versed in a variety of larger tasks due to the fact that they are exposed to many larger challenges on a daily basis.

If a homeowner wants to keep the work scope limited, they should call a handyman. If the homeowner wants to get into a larger work scope, especially where walls are being removed, they call a remodeling contractor.

• The cost of a handyman project can range from $75 to $5,000 or more, depending on the scope, but many handyman projects can be as low as $50 to $400.

A general contractor, meanwhile, often has proven experience in construction. Both trades should be insured and bonded to perform work.

Published: by Tom Moor

Avoid Home Contractor Horror Stories


Are you looking for a Home Remodeling Contractor in Los Angeles or Orange County, but have no idea who to call. All you seem to hear are stories about contractors ripping people off, walking away with a lot of your hard earned cash. Reports show upwards of $2 Billion a year is taking from home owners by deceitful contractors that perform substandard work, often needing to be redone by a professional within a few years… that can lead to the value of the home plummeting significantly.

Remember this when looking for a contractor - Throw price aside; you get what you pay for. Do your research! Ask for references and License info and check for online ratings. Select the remodeler who you feel comfortable working with. They will be in your home day after day.


Professional Builders & Remodeling, Inc.

Father & Son since 1965


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